Friday in Cartagena, third day of racing for the TP52 fleet, was long, tricky and very hot. Emirates Team New Zealand struggled in the light winds in the first two races, finishing 5th and 4th, but managed to make an incredible comeback in the second beat of the last race to cross the finish line 3rd. Team Origin showed overall consistency throughout the day scoring a 3rd, a 2nd and a bullet. Still, not all is bleak for the kiwis. They are second in Cartagena, so far, but they have also managed to increase their overall lead in the circuit, given the disappointing performance so far by Quantum.
My report today is almost exclusively focused on Emirates Team New Zealand as I had the unique opportunity to be onboard their TP52 boat in the first and third race. Who would turn down the offer to be on the yacht of the world’s best monohull sailing team in two races the same day?
Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy – TP52 Series – Day 3
1. TeamOrigin (GBR), 3+1+3+2+1= 10 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 4+2+5+4+3= 18
3. Matador (ARG), 1+4+1+5+8= 19
4. Luna Rossa (ITA), 2+7+9+6+2= 26
5. Artemis (SWE), 5+6+2+10+4= 27
6. Quantum Racing (USA), 9+5+6+3+7= 30
7. Bribón (ESP), 7+11+4+1+10= 33
8. Synergy (RUS), 8+3+7+11+6= 35
9. Cristabella (GBR), 10+10+10+7+5= 42
10. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 6+8+11+8+9= 42
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+9+8+9+11= 48
Race 1 Finishing in the middle of the fleet, certainly isn’t a performance the kiwis were looking forward. It took about an hour for the breeze to fill in to acceptable levels and the race committee fired the starting gun under a southwesterly between 6 and 8 knots. Emirates Team New Zealand simply didn’t have their mojo. They had a pretty average start, rounded the top mark fourth but slipped to fifth, after an incredible Matador passed them in the second beat. It becomes evident that NZL-380 is optimized for fresher breezes and struggles in the range we had in the first race.
Emirates Team NZ head to the finish line while Matador and Artemis find a good puff at the committee boat side and push Team Origin to third place. Cartagena, 27 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Race 3 After a fourth place in the second race, the final race of the day could have turned out to be a pitiful one hadn’t been for an incredible recovery in the second beat. Once again, the kiwis had an average start and struggled in the first beat, rounding the top mark eighth. Convinced a left shift would pay out handsomely in the first run, NZL-380 stayed on the left hand side, reaching a lateral separation from the rest of the fleet that had never been seen. The shift was there but not the pressure. It was almost straight line sailing to the leeward gate for NZL-380 but the gain was just one place. That’s where the cards turned around and Emirates Team New Zealand fired on all cylinders. The right side was definitely favored and with the fresher breeze NZL-380 powered ahead, rounding the top mark in third place, behind Team Origin and Luna Rossa, and finishing the race in the same order.
Prestart of the second race onboard Emirates Team NZ. Cartagena, 27 August 2010. Videocopyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing