Quebrama GP42 Challenge Trophy
Quebramar GP42 Cup in Puerto Calero: the waiting is not over.
After waiting for more than hour for wind to stabilize in speed and direction, the race committee fired the starting gun at around 1pm.
With a breeze ranging from 10 to 13 knots the fleet opted for the left side of the course, especially Puerto Calero, Desafío and Caser, while Roma GP42.2 sailed in the middle. Near Miss, helmed by Bertrand Pacé lead in the first leg but was closely followed by Desafío, Roma GP42.2, Puerto Calero, Airis, Madrid and Caser Quum. Yet it was in the third leg that the race was turned upside down and Desafío leapt to first place and held on to it. AIRIS, the Italian yacht with Sandro Montefusco and Cameron Appleton aboard that had a remarkable recovery and finished second, a much needed result in order to stay in the fight for the QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup.
Given the fact wind had settled down in speed and direction the race committee decided to immediately start the second race of the day and fifth of the event. Near Miss and MADRID were early over the line and as a result had to recross. Roma GP42.2 lead the race and rounded the top mark ahead of the fleet but it was once again Desafío that seemed to be in tip-top shape both tactically and crew wise. They overtook Roma GP42.2 in the first run and kept the lead till the finish. Laureano Wizner and his tactician Santi Vazquez Lopez pocketed their second victory of the day. Second was AIRIS, after a photo-finish with Roma GP42.2 that was forced into a last-minute gybe. The locals Canarias Puerto Calero, helmed by José Maria Ponce closed in fourth, while the Swiss Near Miss paid the price of their error in the start and a couple of manoeuvring mistakes.
When it seemed that Desafío was steadily going to mathematically ensure its victory in the overall QUEBRAMAR GP42 circuit, winds had a different opinion in the day’s third and last race. Hamish Pepper was right on the spot with his tactical decisions and Near Miss lead from start to finish. Second placed was José Maria Van de Ploeg’s Madrid and AIRIS third, proving once again their consistency.
As a result, nothing is decided yet and tomorrow it will be a high-tension day on the water and everyone will like to have his say, no doubt about it.
Quotes of the Day
Paolo Cian, helmsman of Roma GP42.2
'I can’t say I’m satisfied, today we sailed three really opaque races, especially the second one where we had a steady advantage and lost precious time in one of the downwind legs for various crew errors. It seems that upwind we still are very fast but downwind we don’t look very smart and as a result we still need to work a little bit. Tomorrow we’ll try to win a race but we’ll have to see how many the race committee decides to carry out. In any case we’ll go on the water motivated, we all are very close and it’s worth trying to finish the season with the best possible two races. '
Tom Schackenberg, navigator on Near Miss
'Tactics were a bit less tricky today and the Committe did an excellent job of waiting just the right amount of time. This means that there were a few postponements but the result was that each time they started us there was pretty much the right amount of breeze for the rest of the race. I wouldn’t say we are satisfied with our racing, we had a good race at the end. We all make mistakes and you only win if you sail very, very well. The three of us (Near Miss, Desafio and Airis) battled through out the season. As for tomorrow we will look at the points and decide our approach from there.'
Roberto Benamati, strategist on Airis
'It was a good day because on average we have always been in the top half of the fleet. We have a good average and for that reason we are leading the César Manrique Trophy. Something very bad must happen to Desafío in order for them to lose the QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup. But we have to defend our overall second place, ahead of Near Miss. Tomorrow we’ll have to work hard but although there is time fort hree races we’ll probably have two. We’ll wait till the last moment before doing anything extraordinary but we’ll always keep a close eye on our adversaries.'
José M Van der Ploeg, owner and skipper of Madrid
'This final stage is an example of what this class has been during the season, with some of the boats much more consistent than the rest, but always close, and this clearly demonstrates this is a great Class with a great level among the teams. Yesterday was an unfortunate day, with bad luck, breakages and few correct tactical decisions. Today, even if we were also unlucky we are happy we have been able to demonstrate in the last race our level. Let’s hope that from now on, we can lift our game and aim better positions.