Coastal Day, twice the fun?

Coastals can be really good fun, but as they are scored at a midway gate and at the finish, a poor start or first beat can easily be the beginning of a tough day. This one is sailed at the lightest breeze we have seen sofar in Cagliari, around 10 knots and again the sun is there at full power.

At the scoring gate the situation is:

1) Mutua
2) Bribon
3) Caixa
4) Artemis
5) Quantum
6) Mean Machine

And Mutua Madrilena are first past the Capo d’Elia on the return reach and are first to furl away their Code Zero and set a gennaker. Bribon do the same with 4.5 miles to the last big turn. Rememeber, though, that the finish line is inside the Harbour waters and the breeze is going to be much lighter there.

Half a mile to the final turning mark and the breeze has headed and is quite gusty, Mutua Madrilena dousing their kite in a hurry and rolling out the Code sail again for the final sprint to the downwind turn which takes them about 2.5 miles to the harbour entrance.  

And at this penultimate mark it is Mutua Madrilena 80 metres ahead of Bribon, with Caixa Galicia looking comfortable for third, 150m behind Bribon. At nearly 1700hrs it has clouded over for the first time this week and it is quite hazy. Artemis round in fourth and have a race on their hands to hold off Quantum in fifth, Mean Machine in sixth still.    

And so the excitement builds in the neck and neck race between Quantum and Artemis as they race towards the last mark. If Quantum can beat Artemis it would increase their points cushion over Mean Machine to two rather than one. Artemis sailed a little higher on their Code Zero for a while as to leeward Quantum powered along under gennaker. It will be close between them and, now we are in the harbour, we can see there is a considerable lee to sail through even though the protective wall is no more than three metres high….

And at the finish in the harbour, finishing in the harbour under gennaker it is Mutua Marilena who take the honours, with the line no more than 400m of the pier head.     

Second is going to be Bribon finishing under Code Zero, one minute and 45 seconds, behind, Caixa Galicia hanging on to third at two minutes and 24 seconds, Quantum get fourth at 2 minutes and 40 seconds, fifth is Artemis at 2 minutes and 50 seconds, then Mean Machine at 3 minutes and 20 secs, timings approximate.  

Which results in an overall standing for the event:

1) Quantum 21 points
2) Mean Machine 23 points
3) Bribon 33 points

And MedCup overall:

1) Quantum 113
2) Bribon 113.2
3) Artemis 131

Mutua Madrilena and Bribon approach the first weather mark leading the Coastal Race of the Audi MedCup in Cagliari, Sardinia.
© Ian Roman/AUDI MEDCUP. Italy, Sardinia, Cagliari. 3/7/08