Conde de Godó Trophy being held in Barcelona, Spain is the fifth and final event in the Audi MedCup Circuit. With just three days to go the battles for the overall 52 Series title are still closer than they have been, at least since 2007 when Artemis won in Hyeres, France.
In the overall standings for the season Bribón lie just half a point behind Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, who today really need to get their title back on track with a pair of strong results. The Italian team feel they have been under a certain amount of extra attention from some of their main opponents and others, but perhaps today will be their chance to fight back.
Or perhaps some teams will seek to try and halt the upward trajectory of Bribon which are challenging for second overall and are getting to within reach of the overall title in this their final regatta as Jose Cusi’s Bribon team.
But with two windward-leeward races planned for today this could be the pivotal day of the season, leading into tomorrow's high points value Coastal Race.
Circuit leaders Quantum Racing do continue to move closer and closer to the title, even with their seventh in the second race yesterday. Quantum Racing’s navigator Kevin Hall (USA) explains the likely scenarios from his perspective:
'Yesterday we had a tough call to make in the second race, we liked the left a lot, like Bribón and Rán and thought we could follow them and hang with them, maybe even get to RÁN, but we decided to stay ahead of Azzurra and ended up paying less attention to the other two. Today, second and third are basically tied, and that makes things really interesting for us. There are a few scenarios. One, they can each say we could still get Quantum and maybe if we work together and get to them if we don´t tack in each other. Two, they could say we want to fight for that second spot and race looking at each other constantly. And the third could be to ignore the other boats and just try to win the races and see how that goes in terms of points at the end. It´s very hard to look at one boat and sail your own race, we saw that yesterday. We think that conditions will be a bit softer today, yesterday we didn´t think they were going to die the way they did. Bribón is quick in this stuff so they are definitely candidates to perform well again'.
Meanwhile for the Iberdrola Team they seem destined to collect the inaugural overall Circuit title for the Soto 40's if they keep up their same high level today, after winning twice yesterday.
Agustín Zulueta (ESP), Project Director, Iberdrola Team (ESP):
'We´ve had to adjust to the Soto 40 this year and that makes things harder, of course, but everything has been going great. I really enjoyed yesterday´s races as the team´s director because I saw a solid team sailing in conditions that don´t particularly suit us well. They started well, picked to the right sides and did great manoeuvres. We are excited about the next races because we are really close to winning the championship, and that has been our goal from the beginning. I hope that we perform as well as we did yesterday'.
All races will be broadcasted live, from around 13:00 hours, through Audi MedCup TV
Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 12 09 2011 - Audi MedCup Circuit 2011 - © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup Click Here to view large photo
Audi MedCup website
Conde de Godo Barcelona Trophy, 14 09 2011 - Audi MedCup Circuit 2011 - © Francesco Ferri_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup Click Here to view large photo