Archive | Mean Machine

Tags: ,

Mean Machine leads Breitling regatta with two bullets on first day

Posted on 22 July 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: AUDI Medcup] De Ridder and his team sailed to two race wins and a fifth place to share the same overall points tally as Alberto Roemmers’ Argentinian boat Matador, but by virtue of the tie break it is the 2006 MedCup champions who top the Breitling Regatta leader board after a challenging day reading the shifting, changing breezes off the Mallorcan capital city.

At times the sea breeze was fitful as the oppressive, clammy heat and cloud cover stifled any increase in wind strength and with big wind shifts in direction, and variations in pressure it was not an easy day for the tacticians to decipher.

Consistency across the three races was vital. With Italy’s Francesco Bruni calling the tactics for skipper-helm Guillermo Parada, Matador’s two third places sandwich their first race win this year to form their strongest start to an Audi MedCup regatta yet this season.

But it was a day where every hard earned place was vital as Mean Machine proved when they pulled up from ninth at the first leeward mark in the second race to earn their fifth, while their two race wins were the direct reward for smart starting near the extremes of the line and choosing the preferred side of the beat.

With the wind peaking at 11 knots and at times as low as six or seven knots, the ability to change gears and adapt for best boat speed was equally important over what has been a day of the lightest average wind speeds since the opening regatta, back in May in Alicante.

The TP52 fleet in the opening day of the Breitling regatta. Puerto Portals, 22 July 2008. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AUDI Medcup

In 6-8 knots of breeze Mean Machine won the first race after starting from the left side, pin end of the start line and was able to cross Mutua Madrilena (CHI) half way up the first beat and stay in control of the race from the first windward mark to the finish gun.

Matador’s race win came after a less than perfect start when they were able to escape to the right side of the course, rounding the first mark hard on the heels of Quantum Racing (USA). On the downwind leg Matador used one wind shift a little better and were able to round the leeward mark in first place, going on to win from Quantum Racing.

And in the third race Mean Machine were able to extend to the right side of the course in a light breeze, tracking ahead of Quantum Racing.

Finishing second gave the American boat, steered by Terry Hutchinson (USA), a 11,2,2 scoreline for the day. After struggling early in the first race a gain of three places on the final run by Quantum Racing proved as important as they open their lead to ten points on the AudiMed Cup Circuit standings.

After three races Mean Machine and Matador both have seven point aggregates, eight points clear of third placed Quantum Racing, with Jochen Schuemann (GER) and Platoon powered by Team Germany lying fourth on 17 points.

“Without doubt today pressure was king.” reported Ray Davies (NZL), Mean Machine’s tactician, “We probably saw a variance of up to five knots over the race course at times, so it was really vital to be able to change gears a lot, the trimming team did a really good job of keeping the boat powered up in the lulls and Peter did a really good job of starting. We had two good starts at the pin end and a very good start between Artemis and Quantum at the windward. We had really good speed, the boat seems to go well in the light air as we did in Alicante. We have learned a lot since she was new and we were fast in Alicante and fast here, probably especially downwind.”

The TP52 fleet in the opening day of the Breitling regatta. Puerto Portals, 22 July 2008. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AUDI Medcup

“ The overall feeling today is obviously positive, I am very happy we have started the regatta so well and two times out of three we started well. And in the race we started bad we were in the right position. We have always understood well how the wind shifts here and the boat speed in particular is a result, in part to a new set up of the mast that we are testing for a light wind and waves Part of our success today is due to the speed of the boat and partly the way we sailed the wind shifts.” comments Francesco Bruni (ITA) Matador’s tactician.

Terry Hutchinson (USA), Helmsman -skipper of Quantum Racing (USA), said:

“ It was a good recovery in that first race – in fact every time we did something well, someone would tack on us and send us back which I guess is a complement! But we did really nice work in the last half of the last run to pass four boats so that was really good. The next two races the other positive was we bounced back strong. We highlighted a couple of things in our strategies prior to this; I didn’t have a good start which was part of it and we were a little impatient with a couple of things, we were eight points out of lead. But it is good to see that the boat and changes with the sails and stuff have all been good steps forward- plenty of racing to go!”

Guillermo Parada (ARG), skipper-helm of Matador (ARG), said

“ It has been the best start to the season so far, lets hope it continues! Today we made some changes once again on board with a few new sails and the set up of the mast based on the data we have from last year, as we have sailed really well in Palma in the past. Fortunately it seems to still be working, we hope that continues to be the case for the rest of the week. Palma is our home, the boat is comfortable in these waters and so are we and I suppose that has its positive influence on us,”

Peter de Ridder (NED), owner-skipper-helm of Mean Machine (MON), said:

“I’d love to win the gold and silver Breitling Trophy (a silver and gold cap) again, I think the cap suits me! (joking) Today was a nerve-racking day with light airs and quite puffy and shifty, but we had a good couple of starts. We tried to play the game conservatively and it worked very well. We had two starts on the pin which in itself is not conservative, but there was a big hole, and then relied on our boat speed. From there we sailed nicely in phase for all three races. We like being in Palma, a smaller scaled venue, it’s a relaxing environment and I think that gives you a nice mental ease!”

Video highlights from the first day of the Breitling Regatta

Breitling Regatta, Puerto Portals, Mallorca.

Overall standings after 3 races.

(Place, boat name, nationality, P1, P2, P3, total points)

1 Mean Machine MON (1,5,1, 7)

2 Matador ARG (3,1,3, 7)

3 Quantum Racing USA (11,2,2, 15)

4 Platoon powered by Team Germany GER (7,4,6, 17)

5 Bribón ESP (5,10,4, 19)

6 Artemis SWE (4,11,5, 20)

7 Mutua Madrileña ESP (2,12,8, 22)

8 Cristabella GBR (8,6,9, 23)

9 Tau Cerámica Andalucía ESP (6,8,12, 26)

10 Rusal Synergy RUS (12,3,13, 28)

Comments Off

Mean Machine wins practice race in TP52 Marseille trophy

Posted on 02 June 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: AUDI MedCup] It was an opportunist’s victory for Mean Machine, gained on the final gybe of the practice race for the City of Marseille Trophy regatta, but today’s race is a clear indication that Peter de Ridder’s crew are ready to win again.

The ancient city ramparts around Marseille’s Vieux Port are given over to an exhibition of hundreds of paintings but for most of the 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit’s crews gathered in France’s third city this week the writing may be on the wall, written large today by Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine team when they seized victory in today’s practice race in the final 90 seconds.

After winning the opening regatta of the Audi MedCup Circuit two weeks ago in Alicante, today’s warm-up contest, raced in 8-10 knots of Southerly breeze amidst a spectacular Mediterranean amphitheatre bound to the east by L’Ile Maire and the Montagne de Marseille Veire, signaled a clear warning that De Ridder’s team will be the crew to beat here.

Practice race in the TP52 Marseille Trophy. Marseille, 2 June 2008. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez / AUDI MedCup

Platoon powered by Team Germany, skippered by three times Olympic gold medallist Jochen Schuemann proved that their hard work in Valencia, tuning their new Rolf Vroijk designed boat and a hard week of crew training after Alicante, may reveal a dividend this week. They were quickest off the start line and made the best tactical call to lead the race all the way until the last 400 metres, but showed very good speed, especially downwind.

The maiden race outing for USA 17 saw Larry Ellison (USA) enjoy his first sail on the Reichel Pugh TP52. With Russell Coutts (NZL) and James Spit hill (AUS) orchestrating the tactical decisions at the back of the boat, USA 17 was seventh at the first windward mark, four seconds behind sister-ship Artemis, and finished ninth.

While it was a gentle introduction for Ellison, Coutts and Co to their new boat and the rest of the 14 boat fleet, local forecasters and team navigators are predicting at least 20 knots of Mistral breeze for tomorrow’s opening races.

Practice race in the TP52 Marseille Trophy. Marseille, 2 June 2008. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez / AUDI MedCup

“Twenty knots would be just fine for us. There is less chance for the tactician to get it wrong when the breeze is up.” grins Ray Davies (NZL), Mean Machine’s tactician, “But really, we are a good team and the crew work is generally very good, so we are happy in the breeze. We had a new mainsail on today which we were testing for when the wind is a little more down the range, but otherwise have not really done anything much to the boat.

It is not quite as busy on the start lines with a couple less boats and the start line was a little longer today. We will be out for a clean start tomorrow and to really let the boat do the work. There is nothing specific contributing to our speed, but we have good sails and good trimmers and generally a nice rig set up which is easy to tune. I don’t think there is anything in the hulls particularly because it is the same shape as others.”

Jochen Schuemann, Platoon Powered by Team Germany’s helm and skipper was not reading too much into their performance today:

“We have done some good work on the boat since Alicante, and have learned the right things about the boat. We obviously struggled to have the boat finished before the first event, and now we have settled in a little bit better, have done a little a bit of work on rig tuning, optimised a few things, but essentially learning the rake and sails is a major thing.

We are always optimists but I think we had the right strategy it was so clear which side was favoured today. We did all the right things and that made us look really good but in general lining up with the rest of the competition we have always been happy how we do. We have a good boat – we’ll see how it goes.”

James Spithill (AUS), tactician/strategist on USA 17:

“Like any new boat it takes a lot just to learn it and get the optimum out of it, the boys did a great job to get us here in such a tight time frame. My exact role is sitting on the side and hiking very hard and helping out when needed really, obviously Larry is going to drive, Russell is doing tactics so I will assist when needed. Larry did a great job in Austria driving and is doing so here .It should be fun and from what I hear we should have some good wind.

We want to get the boat performing as well as we can and get a good result but it is tough on the first regatta with a brand new tool but the only way to improve it is to race new boats so that is what we are going to do, and each day we will get a little bit better. We are just taking one event at a time will focus on this one event for the time being and see how we go.

The boats are a lot closer this season as the old boats are still very competitive- its going to be nice.”

Racing starts tomorrow (Tuesday) with the first of nine scheduled windward-leeward races.

Comments Off

Tags: ,

Mean Machine wins practice race in TP52 Marseille trophy

Posted on 02 June 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: AUDI MedCup] It was an opportunist’s victory for Mean Machine, gained on the final gybe of the practice race for the City of Marseille Trophy regatta, but today’s race is a clear indication that Peter de Ridder’s crew are ready to win again.

The ancient city ramparts around Marseille’s Vieux Port are given over to an exhibition of hundreds of paintings but for most of the 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit’s crews gathered in France’s third city this week the writing may be on the wall, written large today by Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine team when they seized victory in today’s practice race in the final 90 seconds.

After winning the opening regatta of the Audi MedCup Circuit two weeks ago in Alicante, today’s warm-up contest, raced in 8-10 knots of Southerly breeze amidst a spectacular Mediterranean amphitheatre bound to the east by L’Ile Maire and the Montagne de Marseille Veire, signaled a clear warning that De Ridder’s team will be the crew to beat here.

Practice race in the TP52 Marseille Trophy. Marseille, 2 June 2008. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez / AUDI MedCup

Platoon powered by Team Germany, skippered by three times Olympic gold medallist Jochen Schuemann proved that their hard work in Valencia, tuning their new Rolf Vroijk designed boat and a hard week of crew training after Alicante, may reveal a dividend this week. They were quickest off the start line and made the best tactical call to lead the race all the way until the last 400 metres, but showed very good speed, especially downwind.

The maiden race outing for USA 17 saw Larry Ellison (USA) enjoy his first sail on the Reichel Pugh TP52. With Russell Coutts (NZL) and James Spit hill (AUS) orchestrating the tactical decisions at the back of the boat, USA 17 was seventh at the first windward mark, four seconds behind sister-ship Artemis, and finished ninth.

While it was a gentle introduction for Ellison, Coutts and Co to their new boat and the rest of the 14 boat fleet, local forecasters and team navigators are predicting at least 20 knots of Mistral breeze for tomorrow’s opening races.

Practice race in the TP52 Marseille Trophy. Marseille, 2 June 2008. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez / AUDI MedCup

“Twenty knots would be just fine for us. There is less chance for the tactician to get it wrong when the breeze is up.” grins Ray Davies (NZL), Mean Machine’s tactician, “But really, we are a good team and the crew work is generally very good, so we are happy in the breeze. We had a new mainsail on today which we were testing for when the wind is a little more down the range, but otherwise have not really done anything much to the boat.

It is not quite as busy on the start lines with a couple less boats and the start line was a little longer today. We will be out for a clean start tomorrow and to really let the boat do the work. There is nothing specific contributing to our speed, but we have good sails and good trimmers and generally a nice rig set up which is easy to tune. I don’t think there is anything in the hulls particularly because it is the same shape as others.”

Jochen Schuemann, Platoon Powered by Team Germany’s helm and skipper was not reading too much into their performance today:

“We have done some good work on the boat since Alicante, and have learned the right things about the boat. We obviously struggled to have the boat finished before the first event, and now we have settled in a little bit better, have done a little a bit of work on rig tuning, optimised a few things, but essentially learning the rake and sails is a major thing.

We are always optimists but I think we had the right strategy it was so clear which side was favoured today. We did all the right things and that made us look really good but in general lining up with the rest of the competition we have always been happy how we do. We have a good boat – we’ll see how it goes.”

James Spithill (AUS), tactician/strategist on USA 17:

“Like any new boat it takes a lot just to learn it and get the optimum out of it, the boys did a great job to get us here in such a tight time frame. My exact role is sitting on the side and hiking very hard and helping out when needed really, obviously Larry is going to drive, Russell is doing tactics so I will assist when needed. Larry did a great job in Austria driving and is doing so here .It should be fun and from what I hear we should have some good wind.

We want to get the boat performing as well as we can and get a good result but it is tough on the first regatta with a brand new tool but the only way to improve it is to race new boats so that is what we are going to do, and each day we will get a little bit better. We are just taking one event at a time will focus on this one event for the time being and see how we go.

The boats are a lot closer this season as the old boats are still very competitive- its going to be nice.”

Racing starts tomorrow (Tuesday) with the first of nine scheduled windward-leeward races.

Comments Off

Mean Machine is searching for sponsors

Posted on 23 May 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Mean Machine] The search is on for a sponsor for the team who took the Alicante Trophy and who currently lead the TP52 fleet in the European AUDI MedCup Circuit 2008

There are just 10 days to go until the second event in the MedCup Circuit kicks off, with Mean Machine and her international crew, lead by Peter de Ridder, starting as leaders.

The Mean Machine team has a history that spans back over 20 years, making it one of the oldest and most successful teams in the world of sailing. Despite winning the 2006 MedCup Circuit, stepping onto the third step of the podium at the 2007 TP52 World Championships, as well as at the 2008 Farr 40 World Championships, Mean Machine is still on the lookout for a sponsor.

De Ridder’s 25-plus strong crew are already preparing for the Marseille Trophy. The recently launched TP52 Mean Machine set course for Valencia following the Alicante win, in order to finish off the fine-tuning to the boat. Valencia was also en route to the famous Côte d’Azur where the mighty fleet of Transpac 52s are set to do battle once more.

The engines are getting warmed up and one thing’s for sure: Marseille is going to witness one of the fiercest examples of Mediterranean racing around. Mean Machine was one of the most widely covered teams in the Press in 2007, and now, as leaders of the AUDI MedCup Circuit 2008, the Mean Machines find themselves focusing on two objectives: to take another victory with their new TP52 in Marseille… and to continue with the search for a sponsor for the 2008 season.

Comments Off

Tags: ,

Mean Machine is searching for sponsors

Posted on 23 May 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Mean Machine] The search is on for a sponsor for the team who took the Alicante Trophy and who currently lead the TP52 fleet in the European AUDI MedCup Circuit 2008

There are just 10 days to go until the second event in the MedCup Circuit kicks off, with Mean Machine and her international crew, lead by Peter de Ridder, starting as leaders.

The Mean Machine team has a history that spans back over 20 years, making it one of the oldest and most successful teams in the world of sailing. Despite winning the 2006 MedCup Circuit, stepping onto the third step of the podium at the 2007 TP52 World Championships, as well as at the 2008 Farr 40 World Championships, Mean Machine is still on the lookout for a sponsor.

De Ridder’s 25-plus strong crew are already preparing for the Marseille Trophy. The recently launched TP52 Mean Machine set course for Valencia following the Alicante win, in order to finish off the fine-tuning to the boat. Valencia was also en route to the famous Côte d’Azur where the mighty fleet of Transpac 52s are set to do battle once more.

The engines are getting warmed up and one thing’s for sure: Marseille is going to witness one of the fiercest examples of Mediterranean racing around. Mean Machine was one of the most widely covered teams in the Press in 2007, and now, as leaders of the AUDI MedCup Circuit 2008, the Mean Machines find themselves focusing on two objectives: to take another victory with their new TP52 in Marseille… and to continue with the search for a sponsor for the 2008 season.

Comments Off

Mean Machine wins Alicante Trophy; Bribón dominates last race

Posted on 17 May 2008 by Valencia Sailing

It is a tough choice deciding who to congratulate after the last race of the Alicante Trophy. Should it be Mean Machine, winner of the event with five consecutive bullets, or Bribón, helmed by Dean Barker, that finished second, just a mere point behind, and sailed an excellent final race?

Although the final day of the event started with at least three teams, Mean Machine, Bribón and Quantum, being able to be crowned overall winners, it was hard to imagine they would end up so close. That is also the strength and beauty of the class, the fact it is impossible to take anything for granted, the ease with which a team falls from hero to zero, even if they sail well. A small tactical error can make a huge difference and that was the key point in Saturday’s one and only race.

Unlike the previous days, the starting gun was fired under blue and sunny skies and a southeastern breeze of around 8-9 knots. The weather forecast was calling for a significant right hand shift but reality turned out to be the opposite. No matter how well and fast they hit the starting line, the boats that opted for the right side of the course paid a hefty price, while the handful that sticked to the left gained handsomely.

Five teams went to the left at the start; Platoon, Bribón, AUDI Q8, CAM and ONO. CAM finally opted to tack to the right side shortly after start but the rest kept the stayed on the left and grabbed the four top spots. Bribón, helmed by Dean Barker and with the Spanish King aboard, lead from the beginning and managed to win with a comfortable advantage of 1 minute. An intense fight took place between AUDI Q8 and Platoon for the second and third place. AUDI Q8 finally prevailed by one second after a nail-biting photo finish.

The TP52 fleet will now meet again in Marseilles, starting June 2nd. The big novelty will surely be the arrival of BMW Oracle’s boat, with James Spithill on the helm, alternating with Larry Ellison.

Alicante Trophy – AUDI Medcup / Final standings after 8 races

Team
Races
Points
1
2
3
4
5
6A
6B
7
8
1
Mean Machine
7
16
5
1
1
1
1
1
8
41
2
Bribón
3
3
1
4
4
12
9
5
1
42
3
Quantum Racing
4
5
9
3
2
4
6
6
7
46
4
TAU Andalucia
1
1
6
9
9
3
5
9
12
55
5
Platoon
5
9
2
5
14
8
8
4
3
58
6
Artemis
12
11
4
10
7
2
2
2
10
60

7

Mutua Madrileña
2
4
8
8
3
6
12
13
3
65
8
Desafío
9
6
7
11
5
11
7
3
6
65
9
Matador
10
14
3
2
10
5
10
8
5
67
10
Cristabella
11
2
15
7
12
10
4
11
13
85
11
AUDI Q8
13
10
12
6
6
15
15
7
82
86
12
Caixa Galicia
15
7
11
13
8
7
3
14
11
89
13
ONO
8
12
10
12
11
9
11
12
4
89
14
CAM
6
8
16
14
15
14
13
16
15
117
15
RUSAL Synergy
14
13
13
16
16
13
14
15
16
130
16
Valars
16
15
14
15
13
16
16
10
17
132
17
AIFOS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
180
18
Bigamist
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
180
19
USA 17
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
180

Start of the last race of the Alicante Trophy. Left was the side to be. Bribón, Platoon, AUDI Q8 and ONO stuck to that side and finished the race in the exact same order. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Excellent start and race for Jochen Schuemann’s Platoon. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Initial stretch of the Alicante Trophy final race. The significant left wind shift penalized all boats that had chosen the right side of the course. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Bribón was leading the race at the first windward mark. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Platoon was second at the top mark and Quantum 5th. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Juan Kouyoumdjian, Team Origin’s designer, was at the windward mark, taking a close look at the TP52 fleet. It is believed the British America’s Cup challenger will have its own TP52 boat next year. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Having made the wrong tactical decision, Mean Machine and TAU Andalucia round the top mark 9th and 10th respectively. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Bribón increased their lead in the first run. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Throughout the race there was an intense fight between Platoon and AUDI Q8 for second place. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Desafío and Artemis round the leeward gate, 6th and 8th respectively. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Juan Carlos, King of Spain, at the helm of Bribón, rounding the 2nd windward mark. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

ONO, a boat that had a mediocre performance so far in the race, passed in front of Quantum at the 2nd windward mark and grabbed the 4th spot. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Quantum finished 5th in the race but held on to third overall. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Another boat that failed to live up to expectations was Artemis, here 11th in the 2nd windward mark, more than 3 minutes behind Bribón. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The TP52 fleet in the last downwind leg of the Alicante Trophy. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Jochen Schuemann steers Platoon to 3rd position. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

It’s an “AUDI” photo finish. AUDI Q8 beats Platoon by 1 second. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Comments (1)

Tags: ,

Mean Machine wins Alicante Trophy; Bribón dominates last race

Posted on 17 May 2008 by Valencia Sailing

It is a tough choice deciding who to congratulate after the last race of the Alicante Trophy. Should it be Mean Machine, winner of the event with five consecutive bullets, or Bribón, helmed by Dean Barker, that finished second, just a mere point behind, and sailed an excellent final race?

Although the final day of the event started with at least three teams, Mean Machine, Bribón and Quantum, being able to be crowned overall winners, it was hard to imagine they would end up so close. That is also the strength and beauty of the class, the fact it is impossible to take anything for granted, the ease with which a team falls from hero to zero, even if they sail well. A small tactical error can make a huge difference and that was the key point in Saturday’s one and only race.

Unlike the previous days, the starting gun was fired under blue and sunny skies and a southeastern breeze of around 8-9 knots. The weather forecast was calling for a significant right hand shift but reality turned out to be the opposite. No matter how well and fast they hit the starting line, the boats that opted for the right side of the course paid a hefty price, while the handful that sticked to the left gained handsomely.

Five teams went to the left at the start; Platoon, Bribón, AUDI Q8, CAM and ONO. CAM finally opted to tack to the right side shortly after start but the rest kept the stayed on the left and grabbed the four top spots. Bribón, helmed by Dean Barker and with the Spanish King aboard, lead from the beginning and managed to win with a comfortable advantage of 1 minute. An intense fight took place between AUDI Q8 and Platoon for the second and third place. AUDI Q8 finally prevailed by one second after a nail-biting photo finish.

The TP52 fleet will now meet again in Marseilles, starting June 2nd. The big novelty will surely be the arrival of BMW Oracle’s boat, with James Spithill on the helm, alternating with Larry Ellison.

Alicante Trophy – AUDI Medcup / Final standings after 8 races

Team
Races
Points
1
2
3
4
5
6A
6B
7
8
1
Mean Machine
7
16
5
1
1
1
1
1
8
41
2
Bribón
3
3
1
4
4
12
9
5
1
42
3
Quantum Racing
4
5
9
3
2
4
6
6
7
46
4
TAU Andalucia
1
1
6
9
9
3
5
9
12
55
5
Platoon
5
9
2
5
14
8
8
4
3
58
6
Artemis
12
11
4
10
7
2
2
2
10
60

7

Mutua Madrileña
2
4
8
8
3
6
12
13
3
65
8
Desafío
9
6
7
11
5
11
7
3
6
65
9
Matador
10
14
3
2
10
5
10
8
5
67
10
Cristabella
11
2
15
7
12
10
4
11
13
85
11
AUDI Q8
13
10
12
6
6
15
15
7
82
86
12
Caixa Galicia
15
7
11
13
8
7
3
14
11
89
13
ONO
8
12
10
12
11
9
11
12
4
89
14
CAM
6
8
16
14
15
14
13
16
15
117
15
RUSAL Synergy
14
13
13
16
16
13
14
15
16
130
16
Valars
16
15
14
15
13
16
16
10
17
132
17
AIFOS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
180
18
Bigamist
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
180
19
USA 17
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
180

Start of the last race of the Alicante Trophy. Left was the side to be. Bribón, Platoon, AUDI Q8 and ONO stuck to that side and finished the race in the exact same order. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Excellent start and race for Jochen Schuemann’s Platoon. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Initial stretch of the Alicante Trophy final race. The significant left wind shift penalized all boats that had chosen the right side of the course. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Bribón was leading the race at the first windward mark. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Platoon was second at the top mark and Quantum 5th. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Juan Kouyoumdjian, Team Origin’s designer, was at the windward mark, taking a close look at the TP52 fleet. It is believed the British America’s Cup challenger will have its own TP52 boat next year. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Having made the wrong tactical decision, Mean Machine and TAU Andalucia round the top mark 9th and 10th respectively. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Bribón increased their lead in the first run. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Throughout the race there was an intense fight between Platoon and AUDI Q8 for second place. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Desafío and Artemis round the leeward gate, 6th and 8th respectively. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Juan Carlos, King of Spain, at the helm of Bribón, rounding the 2nd windward mark. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

ONO, a boat that had a mediocre performance so far in the race, passed in front of Quantum at the 2nd windward mark and grabbed the 4th spot. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Quantum finished 5th in the race but held on to third overall. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Another boat that failed to live up to expectations was Artemis, here 11th in the 2nd windward mark, more than 3 minutes behind Bribón. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The TP52 fleet in the last downwind leg of the Alicante Trophy. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Jochen Schuemann steers Platoon to 3rd position. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

It’s an “AUDI” photo finish. AUDI Q8 beats Platoon by 1 second. Alicante, 17 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Comments (1)

Mean Machine dominates coastal race; leads overall

Posted on 15 May 2008 by Valencia Sailing

The winning streak continued for Peter de Ridder and his Mean Machine boat. Fresh from yesterday’s two victories, Mean Machine won Wednesday’s coastal race, after having crossed the scoring gate ahead of the fleet. Still, with Quantum Racing and TAU Andalucia just a couple of points behind them, the Alicante Torphy is open for grabs.

After a short-lived postponment ashore, the race committee had to go further to the south in order to find some stronger breeze. The starting gun was fired with just a half an hour delay and the 16 TP52 boats went off heading southeast towards the first mark. The right side of the course was the favorite one and Mean Machine, TAU Andalucia, Quantum and Artemis opted for it. In what was probably the worst tactical decision that cost them their leadership, Bribón decided to go furthest to the right, getting trapped in less pressure. Dean Barker tacked just twice in the first leg, resulting in a 14th place at the first windward mark. It was game over from that point for the then leader.

Mean Machine rounded the top mark first, closely followed by Quantum. Peter de Ridder’s boat was able to hold on to its lead while behind them, Artemis and TAU Andalucia were fighting with Quantum.

After rounding the leeward gate the TP52 fleet started a long upwind race to the island of Tabarca. Again the right paid off and the four leading boats sailed well, aided by the breeze that had picked up, reaching 12 knots. There were hardly any changes in the order they crossed the first scoring gate. When the fleet went behind the scenic island, Mean Machine had a third consecutive win in the pocket.

When the fleet reappeared and started a long downwind stretch to the “Butano” buoy nobody could expect what was about to happen. Half way through, the breeze started dropping and shifting noticeably and the problems sprang up for the tacticians. At the buoy, the race committee was signaling a 60 degree shift that would cause upheaval in the fleet.

The dying breeze was nowhere to be found except as close as possible to the coastline, unless of course you were Caixa Galicia. While Mean Machine, TAU Andalucia, Artemis and Quantum racing almost entered Alicante’s port in their search for the slightest puff, Caixa Galicia found more pressure as far as possible from it and managed to climb from 8th to finish 3rd. The rest of the fleet that chose to go in between stalled, especially Matador and AUDI Q8.

Alicante Trophy – AUDI MedCup / Provisional standings after 6 races

Team
Races
Points
1
2
3
4
5
6A
6B
1
Mean Machine
7
16
5
1
1
1
1
32
2
Quantum Racing
4
5
9
3
2
4
6
33
3
TAU Andalucia
1
1
6
9
9
3
5
34
4
Bribón
3
3
1
4
4
12
9
36

5

Mutua Madrileña
2
4
8
8
3
6
12
43
6
Artemis
12
11
4
10
7
2
2
48
7
Platoon
5
9
2
5
14
8
8
51
8
Matador
10
14
3
2
10
5
10
54
9
Desafío
9
6
7
11
5
11
7
56
10
Cristabella
11
2
15
7
12
10
4
61
11
Caixa Galicia
15
7
11
13
8
7
3
64
12
ONO
8
12
10
12
11
9
11
73
13
AUDI Q8
13
10
12
6
6
15
15
77
14
CAM
6
8
16
14
15
14
13
86
15
RUSAL Synergy
14
13
13
16
16
14
13
99
16
Valars
16
15
14
15
13
16
16
105
17
AIFOS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
140
18
Bigamist
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
140
19
USA 17
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
140

Start of the coastal race. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Start of the coastal race. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Probably the worst tactical decision of the day. Bribón tacks for the first time in the first beat after going too far to the right. It was impossible for Dean Barker and the Spanish boat to recover their mistake. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Mean Machine was already leading the race at the first windward mark, closely followed by Quantum. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Part of the fleet at the first windward mark. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Desafío at the first downwind leg. Once again the Spanish team had a mediocre performance. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

TAU Andalucia had an excellent downwind leg and rounded the leeward gate second. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Bribón and Cristabella round the leeward gate. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Terry Hutchinson’s Quantum Racing on her way to the Tabarca island. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

TAU Andalucia and Artemis in 3rd and 4th place on the way to the Tabarca island. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

During the upwind leg to the island of Tabarca, Artemis climbed to 2nd place. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Mutua Madrileña and Caixa Galicia round the Tabarca island 6th and 7th respectively. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Mean Machine, comfortably ahead of the the other yachts, sailing to victory. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Time to peel aboard Mean Machine as the breeze was dying down. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Quantum round the “Butano” buoy in order to start what was supposed to be the last upwind leg. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

In the last upwind leg of the race the fleet had to go as close to the coast as possible. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Smart tactics or luck? Caixa Galicia’s choice allowed her to climb to third position. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Mean MAchine crosses the finish line victorious. It was supposed to be downwind but a 110 degree wind shift made it different. Alicante, 15 May 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Comments Off







 

Sailing Calendar