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AUDI Medcup – Cartagena Trophy – TP52 Practice day: Artemis wins race; Team Origin finishes sixth

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Valencia Sailing

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.

Matador is early over the line. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Team Origin’s afterguard in the first beat. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Team Origin rounds the top mark ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand and Synergy. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Team Origin in the first run of the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Andrew Simpson, strategist, checks upon the opponents in the first run of the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Julien Cressant, mastman, at the start of the second beat of the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Great recovery for Quantum in the second beat. . Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Warwick Fleury trimming the mainsail during the last run of the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Team Origin during the last run of the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Ed Smyth, navigator, and Iain Percy, tactician, grind during the last run of the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Not a good day in the office for Ben Ainslie. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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AUDI Medcup – Cartagena Trophy: TP52 Practice day

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Update 11:30am: The Team Origin dockout, initially scheduled at 11am, has been delayed by an hour since there is still very little breeze on the race course. After chatting with Ray Davies half an hour ago one gets the impression we won’t have the pleasure to watch any extraordinary action this week. The tactician of the world’s best monohull sailing team is expecting around 8 knots at 1pm. Wednesday will be a little bit better but his forecast calls for lighter breezes on Thursday and Friday.

Greetings from Cartagena where the penultimate event of the 2010 AUDI Medcup starts today with the TP52 practice race. We’ll be onboard Team Origin, trying to experiment with new angles in video and photography (if Ben Ainslie gives his approval, of course).

Emirates Team New Zealand comes to Cartagena in the overall lead with a very comfortable cushion over second-ranked Quantum Racing. Team Origin are sitting fourth and might be able to take advantage of the lighter breeze expected over the next few days. Last year, when the kiwis thrashed the rest of the fleet with 3 bullets, two seconds and a third, Cartagena offered them the best conditions they could have asked for. A breeze that topped 30 knots and big waves.

Today’s forecast is very different and the official forecast calls for a southwestern breeze around 10 knots.

The TP52 fleet getting ready for the practice race. Cartagena, 24 August 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Ben Ainslie’s blog

Posted on 19 July 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Ben Ainslie, 3-time Olympic gold medalist and skipper of the British America’s Cup challenger Team Origin, publishes, quite frequently, a blog on his website, talking about the issues that affect him on a more personal level. In his latest entry, called “Racing any Olympic class boat is a unique physical challenge”, Ainslie talks about the challenges he faces in preparing for the 2012 Olympics and his aim for a fourth consecutive gold medal, but also spares some thoughts in the current developments regarding the 34th America’s Cup.

According to Ainslie, there are some points in the Protocol proposed by BMW Oracle that need “clarification” in order to ensure that the Defender doesn’t have an advantage that would make the Cup “unwinnable”. Here’s what Ainslie says about Grant Simmer, the proposed Protocol, his recent victory in the World Match Racing Tour and the upcoming 1851 Cup in Cowes:

“There have been a few changes in the TEAMORIGIN camp over the past couple of months with Grant Simmer coming in as our new CEO while we’ve also received the proposed protocol document for the next America’s Cup. Grant has so much America’s Cup experience, this will be his eighth, and he held the roles of Design Co-ordinator, and lat er MD, of Alinghi winners of the Cup in 2003 and 2007. Team meetings with Grant feel a bit like you’re at the University of the America’s Cup! He’s had an immediate impact in terms of our decision making processes and he makes sure as many people as possible are involved in decision making so that even if you don’t agree with a decision you’ve had an input and can understand better why a decision has been made.

Grant’s experience comes into its own when deciding on our responses to the AC34 Proposed Protocol Document. I’m pleased the process is moving along but after three years of investing so much time, effort, energy and finance into TEAMORIGIN we have to make sure we’ll get a fair crack at the Cup. There would be no point doing the event if it was unwinnable and there are a few clauses in the document, which at the moment, need some further clarification to make sure we’re all competing on a level playing field.

So far the lines of communication between th e Defenders, BMW Oracle, and the rest of the teams have been good and hopefully these will stay open so we can all have an input into the final format. The document also proposes some wide-ranging changes about how future events are run, the boats, race management etc , which is positive, but we have make sure it remains about the sailing and doesn’t become unbalanced and end up only about the media, commercial opportunities and sponsorship.

We had more positive news a couple of weeks ago when Myself, Iain Percy, Christian Kamp, Magnus Augustson and Matt Cornwell had a great result for the team by winning the Stena Match Cup in Sweden which is part of the World Match Racing Tour. This was really positive progress as it was highly competitive, hopefully we can compete in at least two more WMRT events this year.

Finally TEAMORIGIN will be going head-to-head with BMW Oracle in the new 1851 Cup at Cowes Week, a really exciting one-off regatta which is a great oppo rtunity for our team to take on one of, if not the, top team in the World, on home waters but also raise the profile of the TEAMORIGIN brand on the Cowes Week stage.”

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Team Origin and BMW Oracle to race in 1851 Cup

Posted on 05 July 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Origin] The two hottest match racing skippers in the world, TEAMORIGIN’s Ben Ainslie, and BMW ORACLE Racing’s James Spithill, will lead their teams contesting the 1851 Cup.

Britain’s TEAMORIGIN will be the be first potential challenger for the next America’s Cup to race head-to-head with BMW ORACLE Racing, winners of the 33rd America’s Cup.

Competition will take place on the historic waters of the Solent and around the Isle of Wight upon which a race won by the New York yacht America gave rise to the America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in the international sport. The 1851 Cup celebrates this event. Racing will be held as close to West Cowes as possible to give spectators a close-up view, with a special race around the Isle of Wight also planned.

The racing schedule is:

· Match racing : up to three short match races per day on Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th August, starting from 14:30 onwards

· Round the Island race : Thursday 5th August both boats will go around the Island in a clockwise direction, replicating the direction of the yachts back in 1851

Aged 30, Australian James Spithill the youngest-ever America’s Cup skipper, will go into battle against Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie, aged 33, Skipper and Helmsman of TEAMORIGIN, four times Olympic medallist with 3 golds and 1 silver.

“This will be an incredible event which I am sure will capture the imagination of sports fans across the UK,” commented Ben Ainslie, TEAMORIGIN Skipper and Helmsman. “We relish the idea of taking on the Defenders in our home waters. We have a busy season in 2010 and The 1851 Cup is one that we are all particularly looking forward to.”

The teams will be based at the 1851 Marquee on Cowes Parade, adjacent to the Royal Yacht Squadron. There will be information and activities for public and guests daily.

The iconic America’s Cup will be on public display during the day. Members of each team will be on hand to sign posters, answer questions and talk about their passion for their sport and for winning the America’s Cup.

James Spithill, Skipper of BMW ORACLE Racing added: “Ben’s a mate and fantastic sailor. Having said that, we’re really looking forward to taking the fight to him and his guys. For our team, this is a key stepping stone from having been victorious challengers in February when we beat Alinghi, to becoming a unit that has to defend the 34th America’s Cup.”

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Quantum and Matador lead the TP52′s in Marseille

Posted on 17 June 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: AUDI Medcup] While many of their nearest rivals had an up and down day it was solid consistency which kept the green TP52 of the 2008 champions Quantum Racing at the top of the Audi MedCup Circuit’s Marseille Trophy regatta leaderboard today.

Out on the Rade Nord, a switch from yesterday’s southern arena, the breeze was equally hard to read and several teams results roller-coastered from one race to the next. Quantum Racing’s (USA) fifth and sixth keeps them ahead of Matador (ARG) only on tie-break as the Argentine TP52 had a taste of life at the both extremes.

Alberto Roemmers’ (ARG) crew sailed a strong first race, getting into slightly stronger wind to the right early on in the first beat to lead from first turn, winning by a handsome margin in the 5-9 knots of gentle SW’ly breeze. But in the second race they found themselves at the wrong side of a big shift and slumped from third at the first turn to end up tenth over the finish line. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) made their key gain as they rose from eight to second by profiting from that one shift. The Franco German team were tenth in the first race.

Quantum Racing still holds the top spot overall. Marseille, 17 June 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AUDI Medcup

Top scorers of the day were Ben Ainslie (GBR), Iain Percy (GBR) and the TeamOrigin who scored a third in the day’s first then convincingly won the second race to elevate themselves to third on the regatta standings.

Percy and strategist Santi Lange (ARG) showed an almost uncanny ability to read the pressure best, preserving their gains when they could, also proving that they seem to have put their Cascais speed issues behind them.

The leader board after five races is incredibly close. Only five points separate the top five boats. Quantum Racing are credited with the lead by virtue of their two victories yesterday, and TeamOrigin are only one point behind.

Quantum’s starting has been excellent. They had to dig deep and fight back when they fouled Bribón at the leeward gate of the second race, an incident which skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) put down to a momentary ‘brain fade’

But the coastal race’s 1.5 points bounty on tomorrow could prove decisive in this regatta and Quantum Racing go into it perhaps with an edge of confidence after winning the longer race here last year.

A last place in today’s seconds race cost Matador the top spot on the overall leaderboard. Marseille, 17 June 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AUDI Medcup

Quotes of the day

Terry Hutchinson (USA) skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA): “I had a brain fade at the leeward mark I was making sure that we did not run into the transom of Matador at the leeward mark and was sitting to leeward and when I stood about a length to the mark I saw Bribon coming in at pace. That was a brain fade but we did our 720 and got right back into. We took what was given to us.

It is tricky, trickier than normal Marseille. We are battling along. Probably the most positive thing is that our top mark deltas are fourths, we are rounding 4,1,1,4,4, and it is not easy conditions. We are starting well. Kevin and Greg are giving us really good information pre-start and we are getting off clean and the boat is going well.”

Francesco Bruni (ITA), tactician Matador (ARG): “We have had an up-and-down day where we have done very good things and very bad ones. We are a little bit angry with ourselves for the second leg in which we were third and we have made the mistake or staying in the middle with less wind than in the sides. Sometimes you need to bet for one side and risk a little instead of lowering the risk but reaming in the middle without pressure. We paid a lot for this mistake, we have paid seven points. Of course the regatta is still open, this is a much opener regatta than Cascais. I guess we have to keep fighting.”

Ian Walker (GBR), tactician Bribón (ESP): “It’s been very hard, but what’s good for us is I think our boat is competitive in light winds . Today we were the third best boat so we know we can do it better but we are racing with the best of them in light winds, so it’s much better than Cascais in stronger winds .”

Very good performance for Team Origin, with a 3rd and a 1st. Marseille, 17 June 2010. Photo copyright Ian Roman / AUDI Medcup

Marseille Trophy – TP52 Series – Overall – Day 2
1. Quantum Racing (USA), 8+1+1+5+6= 21 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3+3+4+1+10= 21
3. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+7+7+3+1= 22
4. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 2+9+2+10+2= 25
5. Bribón (ESP), 1+8+8+2+7= 26
6. Synergy (RUS), 9+2+6+7+4= 28
7. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 10+6+5+4+3= 28
8. Cristabella (GBR), 6+4+3+8+9= 30
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+5+10+9+5= 34
10. Artemis (SWE), 7+11(RAF)+9+6+8= 41
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)= 60

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Chaos on the start line compromises Team Origin

Posted on 23 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Origin] A tough break for TEAMORIGIN today when an over-enthusiastic spectator fleet crowded the start area and blocked the view of a tiny lobster pot buoy which caught around their keel. Sailing team member Craig Satterthwaite swam to clear the foul-up but the incident allowed Artemis to get away and take the race win.

TEAMORIGIN were up against the Swedish Artemis team today. The start warning signal was fired at 1500, the breeze was 5-7 knots, north easterly direction. Pre-start Artemis was aggressive and pursued the British boat away from the start line but TEAMORIGIN held their ground and both boats turned back to the start line. With one and a half minutes to go, the over-enthusiastic spectator fleet crowded the start box area and blocked the view of a small lobster pot buoy which TEAMORIGIN promptly caught around their keel. By the time Craig Satterthwaite went over the side to clear the tangle with a sharp knife the unfortunate incident had given Artemis the opportunity to clear out and lead off the start line.

TEAMORIGIN pushed hard up the beat to get back into this race and trailed the first windward mark by 17 seconds. The Brits did an immediate gybe set and were hot on the heels of their competitors to try and close the gap. Artemis managed to keep their air clear and rounded the left hand bottom gate still with a lead and in control of the race.

At the second top mark Artemis lead by 47 seconds, TEAMORIGIN did a really nice rounding and gave it a final push but it was not to be. A really frustrating race for Ben Ainslie and his crew as the pre-start issue really decided the fate of this race. Artemis took the race win by 45 seconds.

Quotes of the day:

Ben Ainslie, Skipper & Helmsman, “A real anti-climax today, it was a really busy start area with lots of spectator boats around, large and small and it was pretty hard to manoeuvre around them. We managed to avoid one of them and moving away from another we unfortunately caught a lobster pot. Craig Satterthwaite had to jump over the side with a knife to cut it clear and by the time we got it sorted, Artemis had a good lead.”

“The guys did a great job in keeping the race close and did a very nice manoeuvre around the second windward mark but the race result was decided by the unfortunate incident before the start.”

Craig Satterthwaite, Pit, who jumped over the side with a knife to clear the tangle: “The water is pretty cold! We had to wait until the boat slowed down so I could jump over the side, it was very clear so pretty easy to spot and cut free and the guys put a rope by the side so I could pull myself back in, not what we needed but at least we got it sorted quickly and calmly.”

David Carr, Runners/ Pit Assist, added: “What a nightmare, there were so many spectator boats and sirens going to try to get them to clear the area, we could cope with that as its part of the game but made it impossible to see a tiny white lobster pot marker buoy. The positive thing to take out of it was how quickly we got it sorted and how calm everyone remained afterwards and got straight back down to business – but for sure it was a tough break for us.”

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Mike Sanderson leaves Team Origin !!!

Posted on 18 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Origin] TEAMORIGIN announced today that Mike Sanderson has left the team following the decision by Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal, to restructure the organisation. This decision has been taken to ensure that the team functions as effectively and efficiently as possible, in order to improve the team’s performance and ultimately win the America’s Cup. Mike has been with the team since it was formed in 2007. He has made a huge contribution to establishing what has been a relatively new team and has worked hard to keep the team together over the last three years while the America’s Cup was in the courts. Sir Keith and the team wish Mike every success in the future.

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Tight at the top of the AUDI Medcup Portugal Trophy

Posted on 14 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: AUDI Medcup] TeamOrigin (GBR) go into Race 6 of the Portugal Trophy Cascais regatta with a lead of two points over Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) who are on equal points with Synergy (RUS). In the GP42 Series, Puerto Calero (ESP) leads after winning boath races on day 1.

Quantum Racing (USA) will still race today without skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) with tactician Adrian Stead (GBR) standing in as helm again. Hutchinson is under observation for his head knock which he sustained before racing yesterday but is expected to return for Saturday’s coastal race.

In the GP 42 class two wins yesterday for defending champions Puerto Calero (ESP) means they go into their third race with a two points lead.

The wind forecast for the day promises winds slightly lighter than yesterday, 13-20 knots from the North West.

Follow the leader… Cascais, 13 May 2010. Photo copyright Ainhoa Sanchez / AUDI Medcup

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