Sun, Sea Breeze, the Battle goes on
Sea breeze, known locally as the Embat, is blowing nicely at 215-220 degrees and blowing at 10-12 knots. Look up the course and we can see darker water, and a few white horses on the course area.
Rounding order leeward mark is Mean Machine, Bribon, Audi Q8, Mutua Madrilena, Matador, Quantum, Platoon, El Desafio, Artemis, Caixa Galicia, Cristabella, Tau Ceramica Andalucia, Rusal and Valars.
And Bribon, with the King on board, give the Spanish fans what they are looking for, as they cross half a boat length ahead of Mean Machine at the windward mark, rounding first, second is Mean Machine, third is Audi Q8, Artemis, Desafio, Mutua, Platoon, ONO, Quantum losing out on that left side this time.
The last run to the finish, Mean Machine gybe set and are further left looking downwind, Bribon stuck with a conventional bear away, Mean Machine look to have gained but it will be close. Will the Mean Team spoil the King’s day?
Coming to the finish it is close between Bribon and Mean Machine but Bribon staying cool. The King steered the dog leg at the top mark. Mean Machine had a small problem with their jib at the top mark, but it is Bribon taking victory in Race 4 with Mean Machine second.
A close battle for third, very exciting, but Audi Q8 get it, with Mutua Madrilena in fourth, Artemis fifth, El Desafio sixth, Platoon seventh and Quantum eighth, Matador ninth. A big group going for the next three places and so we leave that one to the finish boats.
H.R.H. Juan Carlos I, at the helm of BRIBON .
© Th.Martinez/AUDI MEDCUP.
Great start, really exciting and very precise, careful conrol needed at the boat end of the line where Mean Machine, Quantum and Artemis all lined up, no real shenanigans, just a fantastic object lesson in close quarters control and time on distance acceleration. Quantum and Mean Machine got away best, Mean Machine first to peel to the right with Quantum seconds later. Bribon were on the pin again and the moment the right looks better, but like we said before the early gain on this course is on the right, the left pays further up the beat.
And this last four or five minutes of the beat highlights the variance across this race course. Out to the left with good pressure but sailing low on starboard are Mutua Marilena preparing to hook into the left shift on port to the mark, while half a mile to windward we have Mean Machine, Quantum and others 15 degrees higher on starboard and just about on the layline. It is not easy.
At the windward mark it is bow number 04 again, the charcoal grey flames on the bow of Mean Machine leading around the mark about 50 metres ahead of Audi Q8 with Platoon third, Quantum Racing fourth, Tau fifth, Artemis sixth, Mutua seventh, El Desafio eighth and Matador ninth. Mutua, Desafio and Matador all overlapped, Mutua nearest the mark.
Breeze is building to its mid afternoon peak at 14-15 knots. The gate is, once again, quite small and tight at the leeward turn. Mean Machine turning on to the second beat, Quantum going round second 50 seconds behind, Mutua Madrilena third and Audi Q8 dropping to ninth on that run. Artemis again consistent in fifth just behind EL Desafio, sixth ONO, seventh Cristabella, eighth Tau Ceramica, tenth Bribon, eleventh Platoon, twelve Valars, thirteen Matador, fourteen Caixa Galicia, fifteen Rusal Synergy.
The right hand shift is quite pronounced again and, looking down the track from where we are at the windward mark you could draw a line down the course where it exists. Coming in to the mark Mean Machine and Quantum Racing are just above that line and are nearly 10 degrees higher than boats on boats 100 metres to leeward. Mean Machine have done the spreader leg and 75m of the run before Quantum Racing round the WW2 mark, Desafio round third, Artemis, Platoon, Mutua Madrilena, Cristabella, Bribon, ONO,Tau Ceramica, Matador, Audi Q8, Valars, Caixa Galicia, Rusal Synergy.
And at the finish of Race 5 it is Mean Machine, Quantum, then Desafio, Cristabella, Mutua Madrilena, Platoon, Matador, Audi Q8, Caixa Galicia, Artemis, Bribon, ONO, Valars, Rusal, Tau Ceramica Andalucia. Next warning signal is 1615hrs.
Amazing fight back by the Mean Team, now back in a MedCup 3rd overall, a long uphill struggle from their Marseille coastal disaster. Another good sight is Audi Q8 mixing in with the top teams today. It can be really demoralising for the confidence to struggle for a clear lane in mid fleet most of the time.
Another great start, Mutua Madrilena and Platoon were recalled, Mean Machine were alone at the leeward, left hand end of the line and it was very busy at the Committee Boat. Quantum Racing made a really good, safe start with Terry Hutchinson launching off the line with great speed.
Quantum Racing round the leeward gate in first place, Matador is second, third Tau Andalucia, fourth is Audi Q8, fifth ONO, sixth Artemis, seventh Cristabella, eighth Mean Machine, ninth Desafio, tenth Rusal Synergy, Platoon are eleventh, Mutua Madrilena twelfth, Caixa Galicia thirteenth, Valars fourteenth and Bribon fifteenth.
Final windward mark of the day and it looks like Quantum will lead down the last run, with a good lead over Matador in second set to secure a result which will help their regatta standing here, they are well clear of Tau Ceramica in fourth, Audi Q8 fifth, Artemis getting round in sixth one boat length back on Audi Q8, the silver and grey boats look exceptional in this warm late afternoon Mediterannean sun light. Platoon round after Artemis, Cristabella, Mutua Madrilena, ONO, Rusal, Desafio, Mean Machine well down in this race but with a protest flag out, Valars, Caixa Galicia and Bribon still fifteenth.
Matador win Race 6, 2 Quantum Racing, 3 is Audi Q8 on the finish line, from Artemis, 5 is Mutua Madrilena 6 Platoon 7 Tau Ceramica Andalucia 8 Mean Machine 9 Rusal Synergy 10 ONO 11 Cristabella 12 Caixa Galicia 13 Bribon 14 Desafio 15 Valars. Another good one for Audi Q8!!
After 6 races it is Mean Machine 17, Matador 24, Quantum 27 for the Breitling Trophy. And Overall MedCup Quantum 156, Artemis 175, Mean Machine 175. Exiting stuff.
© Th.Martinez/AUDI MEDCUP.