Good morning from sunny Alicante. The first event of the 2009 AUDI Medcup comes to its conclusion today and everything is up for grabs. Artemis and Emirates Team New Zealand are tied for first with 30 points. A single point behind them is Quantum Racing and a mere 2 points further back Matador. With 4 strong teams separated by only 3 points it is obvious that nothing should be taken for granted and the winner of the trophy will be decided in the last race.
Unfortunately, the forecast for today is not extremely promising and it looks that conditions this Sunday will be as tricky as yesterday. In order to have a shot at leadership all four teams must sail nicely, have a good start and, particularly, be in the right side of the course at the right moment.
Racing is scheduled to start at 1pm and no start can be given after 3:30pm. Given the expected light breeze it seems that 2 races will be sailed today.
Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO: “Yesterday’s third race was just one of those races that we sailed incredibly badly. You know, after you had two good ones, you know in your head that you have to be really careful that you don’t relax or get complacent because that can happen. We got off the line not bad and then went left while we should have gone right. Then we went the wrong way down the first run, we went wrong up the second beat and we came down the last run the wrong way. We basically, completely stuffed it up.
The forecast for today is for light winds so it’s going to be another tricky day. We feel our boat starts to kick at about 8.5 knots and after that it starts to get very fast. Under that threshold I think it’s vulnerable. If it’s like that today we’ll be vulnerable but it doesn’t psychologically suck us, you have to get a good start and go the right way.
Artemis sailed really well yesterday, they were on a roll and it’s going to be hard to stop them today. You always need a little bit of luck but it’s obviously not a question of Russell Coutts being lucky. They just sailed really nicely and we only beat them in the first race. They were considerably fast downwind and had a good day.
We came to Alicante looking for a top three position in this regatta and we are now tied for first. Things are not that bad.”
Ed Reynolds, Quantum Racing: “I think our performance so far has been fine. Yesterday we had a couple of extremely bad breaks. We rounded the weather mark in a great position into the last run. We had 4 knots of wind and everybody behind us was pushed in front and from second at that point we ended up seventh. But you know what? You can’t whine about that, it just happens.
This venue was exactly like that for us last year. When it’s light air, puffy, quite of random where you have to take big risks we haven’t scored well in those regattas. Last year we didn’t, this year we’re struggling. We kind of feel we haven’t gotten too many breaks and that will even out in the course of the year. After all, we’re just one point from winning the regatta.
Everything is up for grabs today and some times being in this position is better than trying to hold the lead. I’m really happy with that and in the only day of the regatta with strong and consistent winds I felt we were the dominant boat. As the season goes on and the breeze gets a little bit more consistent and with a more even race track, I think we are going to be very tough to beat.”
With such tricky and difficult wind conditions, Quantum Racing’s shore crew goes the extra mile, on the top of Alicante’s castle and looks for better breeze.