Region of Murcia Trophy, being held in Cartagena, Spain is the fourth event of the Audi MedCup Circuit 2011.
As they head on to the race area for two final windward-leeward races of the regatta Spain’s Bribon stand on the cusp of what would be a popular victory at the first of the Audi MedCup’s two Spanish regattas of the season.
Jose Cusi’s crew lead by five points over Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team but the wind conditions for the finale promise to be tricky.
This morning the overhead conditions already differ from the what has been enjoyed so far this regatta. The cloud cover is near complete and there have even been a few spots of rain.
Bribon won the Trophy of Murcia in 2008 but will face a tough day in the NE’ly wind which will be blowing in an offshore direction and so will carry the imprint and influence of Cartagena’s very varied topography. The headland to the right bends the breeze which separates and funnels through the mouth of the naturally occurring harbour.
So it is likely to be very shifty, unsettled winds with big changes in wind strength across the course.
The task for the 40 Series Class leader Ngoni is much more straightforward, they need simply to go out and complete today’s once race to be sure of overall victory:
Ignasi Triay (ESP), trimmer-project manager, Bribon (ESP):
'We just try today to stay constant, to stay regular as we have been this week, try not to make any silly mistakes and to keep fighting because the season is not finishing today. We fight for the Circuit. Before we came here it was difficult for us to think about finishing on the podium at the end of the AudiMedCup, so we have to keep fighting and thinking as much about that, looking at the overall. And today you cannot go out with a specific focus on today, you always have to think about the Circuit.'
Kevin Hall (USA), Navigator, Quantum Racing (USA):
'We are thinking that today is going to be a tricky day. We have two weather models and they are fairly split. It could be a little bit lighter and really shifty, maybe only 10-12 knots, or it could be windier and steadier, but it also depends a lot on where set the race course is set. The influence of the day will also be an important issue. We try to be pretty open minded. We came here to sail a good event, we obviously had a bad run back in the first days, but we are the same team now as we were then. We have to continue focusing on our goals and executing the basics for things to fall back into place'.
Gustavo Martínez Doreste (ESP), Tactician, NH Resorts (ESP):
'Obviously, here in Cartagena we are seeing that the fleet is a now lot tighter. Iberdrola is not standing out as they did in previous events and both our team and Ngoni have been closer to them, which makes racing a lot more fun. Ngoni is doing great. Today we´ll have to race Iberdrola for the second place, we are tied at points with one race left so it will be an interesting day out there for sure. The key when you know that you are basically racing against one rival is to keep an eye on them the whole time, to know what they are doing constantly.'
Markus Wieser (GER), skipper/helm, Container (GER):
'Our goal are two top 3 finishes today, but it will be really hard to achieve. We are not as fast and not as good here in Cartagena as we used to be before. But we don't want to loose the chance for the final to maybe beat the other overall in the circuit. One thing is for sure already, we need to sit down carefully after this because we lost the train a bit re. speed potentials.' Audi MedCup website