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A Container Full Of " Winning" as Audi Med Cup Kicks off 2011 Season

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  • A Container Full Of " Winning" as Audi Med Cup Kicks off 2011 Season

    TP52 Day 1 - Container PORTUGAL © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    It was one of the Audi MedCup Circuit’s TP52 debutants, Udo Schutz’s famous Container team from Germany, which proved the most consistent performer across the two races which opened the 2011 season at the Cascais Trophy in Portugal.

    S40 Training Day - XXII Portuguese Sailing Team PORTUGAL © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    The Container team, with Hamish Pepper (NZL) calling tactics, built their pair of second places from solid, if not spectacular first beats and twice in consecutive races they got the better of the world champions, Quantum Racing on the final run to the finish.

    The German backed crew made no big errors, and – crucially – were always taking places rather than going backwards in the tough fleet. Indeed it was Quantum Racing which managed to maintain the same consistency. Ed Baird (USA) and crew collected two third places to lie third on count back.

    Audi A1 Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE PORTUGAL © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    Racing in 13-18kts of mainly northerly breeze, with the windward-mark set just off Cabo Raso, to the west of Cascais, the wind carried the typical hallmarks which the Portuguese capital’s sailing centre has long been known for – big differences in wind pressure and shifts in direction- plenty for the tacticians and strategists to work with. And there was more than enough wind strength to punish any crewing errors.

    The Russian team looked odds on to finish the day on top of the fleet after winning the first race comfortably with their brand new, from the wrapper, Botin Partners design, but their messy leeward gate rounding in the second race cost them dearly and their first race win was paired to a sixth.

    TP52 Day 1 - Bribon PORTUGAL © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    And after a series of errors in the first race which resulted in an opening race fifth, an inspired gybe-set at the windward mark of the second race for Audi Azzurra Sailing Team turned a fifth place with a 40 seconds deficit to a race lead by 40 seconds at the leeward gate.

    From there alchemists of the day, Francesco Bruni (ITA) and Vasco Vascotto (ITA), at the back of the boat did not put a foot wrong and they won comfortably with Container second.

    Fleet Shot © Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup

    But, as Vascotto acknowledged later, such opportunities to redeem themselves are not handed out often at this level.

    “To be honest when we saw the wind was so far right then the decision was made for us, but when it was most right at the top mark there was nothing else to do. But, yes, we were a little surprised, not to say pleased, to gain so much. These things don’t happen every day and we really should not have been relying on things like that. We need to focus more and make fewer mistakes. Said Vascotto.

    TP52 Day 1 - Ran © Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup

    Cascais Trophy
    52 Series

    Day 1
    1. Container (GER), 2+2 = 4 points
    2. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5+1= 6 points
    3. Quantum Racing (USA), 3+3= 6 points
    4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 1+6= 7 points
    5. Ràn (SUE), 6+4= 10 points
    6. Bribon (ESP), 4+7= 11 points
    7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (EUR), 7+5= 12 points
    8. Gladiator (GBR), DNC+DNC=18 points

    40 Series
    Practice Race
    1. Iberdrola Sailing Team (ESP)
    2. Bigamist (POR)
    3. Ngoni (GBR)
    4. XXII (POR)
    5. Patagonia (ARG) ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  • #2
    The Green Machine Rolls On In Cascais

    © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    A new chapter of their green revolution was completed on the fierce blue waters of the Atlantic off Cascais, Portugal when Quantum Racing and Iberdrola won the Cascais Trophy for the TP52 and the Soto 40 series respectively, the opening event of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit.

    Both successful programmes roll forwards from a previous iteration. For Quantum Racing (USA), who won five races from nine starts, it is the first victory in the class for the America’s Cup winner Ed Baird (USA) and for a brand new Botin Partners designed boat which is a successor to their 2008 circuit winner, while for Iberdrola Team (ESP) who win the first ever Soto 40 regatta in Europe – their success takes up the reins from previous campaigns at America’s Cup, TP52 and GP42 circuits.

    © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    Quantum Racing came into the regatta well behind their desired schedule but were soon able to reveal excellent upwind speed in the brisk winds which prevailed through the nine races, a strong foundation on which to build success on the windward-leeward track which more often than not favoured one side of the courses and also in the high points value 38 miles coastal race in which they finished second.

    Though they made several crew changes since last season, continuity at the back of the Quantum Racing line up was ensured with world championship winners Kevin Hall (USA), navigator, Ado Stead (GBR), tactician and mainsail trimmer Skip Baxter (NZL) able to give valuable support to Baird, whose confidence grew noticeably through the regatta.

    © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    They finished with two wins Sunday, again proving solid in the strong NW’ly winds.
    In the first race of the day Quantum Racing were quickly able to dominate on the right side of the upwind getting around the WW1 mark with a tiny lead over Markus Wieser (GER) and the crew of Container (GER)

    The German flagged crew made the better set and gained more wind pressure offshore, to the right side of the downwind but Quantum Racing were able to take the preferred inshore, right buoy which allowed them to get back to the right again and lead to the finish.

    Second place for Container kept them in the hunt in their tussle for second with Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) who were compromised by snaring a fishing buoy and line which slowed them on the first upwind, while Ràn (SWE) took third.

    © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    The final race of the regatta was something close to a repeat performance by Quantum Racing who, having clinched the regatta title, were able to start conservatively and use their upwind edge in the 19-24kts breeze to be able to earn that favoured berth again and lead from first mark to the finish. If they were under pressure from Audi Azzurra Sailing Team it evaporated when the Italian team were forced to leave their kite in the water when the take-down line tangled, leaving them with the spinnaker dragging alongside them.

    From second Audi Azzurra Sailing Team dropped places but fought back to a spirited fourth. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, winners of the first race of the regatta and the season took a well earned second behind their sister-ship with which they shares an identical sail programme and a lot of performance intelligence.

    While Audi Azzurra Sailing Team could not make their promising starts stick, so Container were able to finish their first Audi MedCup Circuit regatta with a fifth place, just enough to give second overall, by one point from Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

    © Ian Roman/Audi MedCup

    Ed Baird, winning skipper helm said: “The guys have done a great job figuring out how to make this boat go and obviously it worked out pretty nicely. We have a lot to talk about now and find a way to sail faster, there are plenty of things to do before the next event. We don´t know how the boat is going to act in light weather conditions, we haven’t experienced them and we don´t know how the rest of the boats are going to sail in such conditions, we´ll have to learn how to handle the boat as quick as we can. When it´s windy like that you have to be in the hunt at the first top mark, you have to be going fast down there, the other boats showed over and over again that of you got tangled up with other boats downwind, someone is going to come down from behind. It´s important to find that lane Adrian and Kevin Hall did great guiding us in the racecourse, gave us great confidence and it worked out great”.

    Cascais Trophy
    52 Series
    Final results
    1.Quantum Racing (USA), 3+3+5+1+1+1+3+1+1= 19 points
    2. Container (GER), 2+2+4+3+3+3+7,5+2+5= 31,5 points
    3. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5+1+2+2+6+2+4,5+6+4= 32,5 points
    4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 1+6+3+4+4+6+6+5+2= 37 points
    5. Ràn (SUE), 6+4+6+5+7+5+1,5+3+3= 40,5 points
    6. Bribón (ESP), 4+7+1+6+2+7+10,5+4+6= 47,5 points
    7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (EUR), 7+5+7+7+5+4+9+7+7= 58 points
    8. Gladiator (GBR), 9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+9DNC+13,5 DNC+9DNC+9DNC=85,5 points

    Owner driver trophy: RÀN ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~