Practice Day in Glorious Cagliari Conditions

Strong winds have hampered the final training days, but today, Practice Race Day,  it is Cagliari at its best.

Cayard joins Artemis, De Angelis lines up with Audi Q8.

Winds to 30 knots over the last two days have limited training time on the waters off Cagliari but for the final day of informal practice prior to the start of the Region of Sardinia Trophy the brisk breezes have been close to ideal for the ten TP52 Series and five GP42 Series teams who will compete here.

The muscular winds, which peaked around 23 knots today, are expected to moderate in strength, resuming sea breeze conditions, but the race organisers fully expect to complete the full programme before racing ends on Saturday.

Emirates Team New Zealand, leaders of the Audi MedCup TP52 Series, and winners last month of the Marseille Trophy, are looking to the same successful recipe as worked well for them in France as the Circuit takes to the waters off Cagliari for the second successive year, but the Kiwi team know well the contribution that starting errors and gear failure on the part of their nearest rivals made to their winning margin.

While the top three teams ETNZ, Quantum Racing (USA) and Matador (ARG) are rigid in their personnel line ups on board for the moment, other teams have made changes. As planned Paul Cayard (USA) takes on the tactician’s duties on the Audi MedCup 2007 champions Artemis (SWE) in the absence of Russell Coutts (NZL). Francesco de Angelis Italy’s former Luna Rossa skipper is recruited to Riccardo Simoneschi’s Audi TP52 powered by Q8 (ITA). The fast rising Portuguese team on Bigamist 7 have Nacho Postigo (ESP) as navigator.

The official TP52 Practice Race takes place Monday with points racing resuming for the Audi MedCup TP52 Series on Tuesday. The coastal race, round the point into the Bay of Angels, is due on Thursday. The GP42 Series practice race is on Tuesday.