A shifty place to sail, exiting but tough

The remarkable ‘never say die’ team spirit aboard Alberto Roemmers’ Matador (ARG), complemented by some smart calls from Thierry Peponnet and a healthy dose of sheer downwind speed all contributed to the key gain of four places on the final run of the last race today which means the Argentinan boat will enter the last day of the Region of Murcia Trophy Regatta with a slender two points advantage over Jose Cusi’s Bribón.

Another three challenging windward-leeward races on the testing Cartagena race track in 13-19 knots of NE and E’ly breezes saw three different winners, Inaki Castaner’s ONO, Matador and Bribón, all 2006 or 2007 build boats. Once again it proved an arena which favoured those prepared to stick to their convictions, with wind shifts variously benefiting both sides of the course area. A big shift during the first race of the day, with the breeze moving 35-40 degrees to the right, proved terminal to the hopes to those who were caught on the wrong side of it.

Matador’s skipper Guillermo Parada (ARG), said:
“When we get into our own bit of water and clear of the fleet a bit we know that we are very fast downwind and seem always able to get places, we have good sails and good crew work. Thierry is very good and this is our second event with him. We do a lot of research and prepared a good strategy before each race here and try to stick to it with a clear plan.”
“In general the boats, at the fifth generation, are very closely matched. The gains to be made by new boats here are small.”

“We will have a new boat for next year but really mainly because our owner wants to have a boat at home in South America too, so it is a good chance for us to make some small changes from things we have learned with this boat.”

Terry Hutchinson (USA), skipper-helmsman of Quantum Racing:
“Its disappointing. The last race is particularly painful becasue the guys are working their tails off and everyone is putting in 101% . We haven’t sailed this boat in these conditions a lot, I think I have to look at our technique, re-evaluate our sails and setup looking at Matador and Artemis very fast downwind. We have to evaluate all we are doing and continuing our game rate on an upwards curve. It’s a test of our will, we’ve had some knocks in the past and we bounced back, so we have to take some knocks now we will get up swinging!”

Region of Murcia Trophy Regatta
Standings after eight races, Boat Name, Nationality, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, Total points
1. Matador ARG (2,6,6,5,3,1,6,1,6, 35)
2. Bribón ESP (1,3,9,3,5,4,4,8,1, 37)
3. Quantum Racing USA (5,1,4,8,4,6,2,6,8, 44)
4.El Desafio ESP (9,4,3,1,7,5,7,4,4, 44)
5. Platoon powered by T. Germany GER (11,2,1,15DNF,2,2,8,5,2, 48)
6. Mutua Madrileña ESP (6,5, 2, 2,1,3,14,2,15 RAF, 50)
7. Artemis SWE (3,9,5,4,6,8,5,10,3, 63)
8. Caixa Galicia ESP (4,10,7,6,13,7,3,9,9, 67)
9. Audi Q8 ITA (8,7,8,7,8,10,11,3,7, 68)
10. ONO ESP (10,11,13,12,10,11,1,12,11, 9

Circuito Audi MedCup 2008
Standings after 43 races, Alicante, Marseille, Cagliari, Mallorca and Cartagena
1. Quantum Racing USA 205
2. Bribón ESP 246,2
3. Artemis SWE 254
4. Matador ARG 273
5. Platoon by Team Germany GER 290
6. Mutua Madrileña ESP 318,4
7. El Desafío ESP 345
8. CxG Corporación Caixa Galicia ESP 395,6
9. Mean Machine MON 413
10. Audi Q8 ITA 425

Mutua Madrilena cuts it too fine at the weather mark during Race 8 of the AUDI Medcup in Cartagena.
© Ian Roman/AUDI MEDCUP. CARTHAGENA-SPAIN. 28/08/08. Region of Murcia Trophy. Day 4 Race 6