Levant coastal race challenge for the 52 Series


With the arrival of the brisk NE’ly Levant life becomes no simpler or straightforward than the light SW’ly sea-breeze which has marked the first three racing days at the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy regatta. The stronger offshore breeze is set to top 20kts, will be gusty and shifty especially close to the shore.


For the 52 Series it is their high scoring coastal race, carrying a 1.5points multiplier for the course which should be around 30miles.
The 40 Series are planning two windward-leeward races and, like the TP52’s they should finish in the Cartagena harbour where a huge welcome is expected this Saturday afternoon. The city has become very passionate for the Audi MedCup Circuit and even last night the docksides were thronged as the weekend arrived.
For Bribon (ESP) they go afloat with a two points lead in the Trophy regatta on to a course they know well, but as the tactician off their main rivals Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) Francesco Bruni noted this morning, the standard is so high and small mistakes are magnified immensely:

“… day you feel like a superstar and the next you feel like an idiot.”

So for Bribon there is the chance to extend their lead if they can post a good result and stay ahead of their Italian rivals.

Meantime Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA) have to start climbing again. After a 6,6,4,7 run the only way is up for the 2008 Audi MedCup champions. Terry Hutchinson (USA), longstanding skipper-helm, is paying the Circuit a visit today with his family, visiting from Valencia and has certainly had some words of encouragement for the team.
in the Soto 40’s Ngoni (GBR) have a five points margin in the regatta over the Spanish duo Iberdrola Team and NH Resorts.

Marcel Van Triest (NED) navigator Bribon (ESP):

“The breeze has gone around to the Levant direction, the NE and ENE a bit fresher, it will be good strong conditions, 17-21 kts gusting to 25kts, blustery with this offshore breeze and that will make this coastal course interesting because there will be left hand breeze coming out of the harbour and right hand breeze coming round the headlands, so you have to make some big choices: go left trying to find the lefty or right trying to find the lefty and big holes under the cliffs. We have all done this course a few times and there are loads of opportunities. It is not over until it over.”
“ There is no more pressure than normal when you are leading, it is sailing, you go out and do your job the very best you can and that’s it.”

Francesco Bruni (ITA), Tactician, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):

“Today´s an important day because we are all very close in terms of points in this trophy. We couldn´t ask for a better start this week, but as I said yesterday we have to keep sailing well and not make mistakes. It´s all about not making mistakes. The fleet is so good and close that one day you feel like a superstar and the next you feel like an idiot, we all have good days and bad days, it has happened to everyone. Bribón sailing is been really solid, they are doing a very, very good job”.

Iñaki Castañer (ESP), Skipper, NH Resorts (ESP):

“Yesterday was a bad day for us, we didn´t sail well. We did some good starts but our mast was not well tuned-up and we struggled in terms of speed. We are motivated for today´s race, we hope to get a 100% performance from the boat today. The trophy´s still open, there are three races left and we are tied with Iberdrola and 5 points shy from the leader. Anything can happen. It´s not that Iberdrola is sailing well, the key is that the rest of the boats are sailing better and are better prepared now“.

A few words with  Terry Hutchinson (USA)

Tell us what you are doing here in Cartagena?

I just moved to Valencia with my family, so this is the perfect opportunity to come down and say hello to the extended family and check it all out. It’s been nerve racking watching it on the Internet and the guys are fighting a good fight, so we keep wishing them well ‘from afar’ and hopefully they will keep plugging along. I am also here to support them.

It has been a difficult week so far for the team.

It swings and roundabouts. Everybody has to keep in mind that there has been a lot of changes on the boat and the three years that we had together leading up to this. It takes time to build a solid foundation with any team and the departure of some of the guys on the boat created an opportunity for new people to come onboard, race the boat and expose them to Quantum, so from that side it’s all really good. But it takes time to build a very good team and I am confident that they are going to be successful.

Do you miss the Circuit?

Oh yeah! How can you not miss it! But with every change, there is a new opportunity.

Can you tell us more about what you are doing now.

I am the skipper of Artemis Racing and we are training towards the 34th Americas Cup. So we have just completed our first AC45 regatta in Cascais where we had moderate results. We finished 2nd in the fleet racing and 3rd in the Match Racing portions but BMW Oracle and Emerates Team New Zealand are of a very high standard right now and we have a little catching up to do, which is good. Much like Quantum Racing we are building a new team within Artemis Racing as well, so I am nothing but optamistic.

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About the author


Norberto Moreau is co-founder of the Allied Management Ltd Consulting Group (Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties, Events and Online Services.
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