Unfortunately, the morning forecast was very accurate and the 2010 Cartagena Trophy got off with a practice race in very light conditions. The fleet docked out at around noon and after spending 2 hours bobbing around on a glass-like Mediterranean, the breeze finally came at 2pm with 5-6 knots, topped 10.5 knots and then dropped back to 8 as the afternoon progressesd. As always, the fleet had two prestarts and then a practice race. I was in the cockpit in the prestarts procedures and as a result it was impossible to really understand what was going on with the rest of the fleet.
First Prestart procedure
First prestart procedure onboard Team Origin. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Video copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Second Prestart procedure
Second prestart procedure onboard Team Origin. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Video copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Practice raceIt wasn’t a great day to be onboard Team Origin. The British team had a good start on the committee boat end of the line and opted for the right side of the course in the first beat, a strategy that always pays in Cartagena. They were third in the first weather mark, right behind Artemis and Bigamist and comfortably ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, that struggled at the start, and Synergy. They barely managed to hold on to their spot at the bottom mark but the second beat saw them dropping back, being taken over even by Quantum Racing. Terry Hutchinson and his crew had by far the best recovery, having rounded the first weather mark at the very end of the fleet after a disastrous call to go left.
Origin didn’t show their form in the rest of the race, giving back one position to the kiwis and then in the last run by going to the left in expectation of a shift they slipped behind Matador and Synergy.