A polished performance from Paul Cayard and the crew of Artemis won them their second consecutive coastal race and promotes them to the top of the overall leaderboard of the TP52 Series at the Portugal Trophy off Portimao.
Cayard attributes some of their success to date at this regatta to always remaining open minded about this venue, not bowing to preconceptions set from two previous TP52 MedCup events off this Algarve resort.
Artemis lead the Portugal Trophy regatta by 1.5 points going into the final weekend, though they are mindful that they had a bad final day at the Region of Sardinia Trophy which sank their chances of winning the regatta, but Cayard says they will take no special precautions or lessons from Cagliari into the last two days of racing here:
“We know what it was there was down to a matter of metres.” Cayard re-affirms, ” Every time we came into the top mark we were three metres away from being able to tack under someone and get round the mark in third and instead we were ducking three or four boats. That is how close this fleet is. Often on the first beat it is a matter of metres. That's what got us these sevenths and eighths and then we had a problem with the pumping penalty and fouled someone, so on the last day we did just about everything wrong on that last day.”
“I think, though, if you look at the overall picture over the two regattas we have had eight days of sailing and we have had seven very good ones. And so, as a team, we are building a lot of consistency and strength and so we just stay focussed.”
There 27 mile, eight leg course, up to the west of Portimao to a turning mark under the cliffs at the Pointe de Piedade followed by a long run and reach down to turn for home at the equally commanding Praia Carvoeira cliffs, just to the east of Portimao's Arade river.
The finish line, half a mile up the narrow river off the Marina of Portimao, saw Artemis coast across the line in the evening sunshine to the delight of a large spectator fleet and the hundreds of holidaymakers on the adjacent beaches.
The race followed a strangely similar plot line to Cagliari.
Once more Matador (ARG) lead early on but made the wrong sail choice, as did Emirates Team New Zealand, both separating a little too high from Artemis (SWE) on the long reach down the outside of the bay.
Cayard and crew were always able to capitalise – despite racing without wind instruments – regularly rewarded for their persistence as they climbed from seventh at the first turning mark to take the winning gun, with ETNZ, also second, just as they were in Cagliari.
“We are just having a good regatta. We are sailing really open minded. There are a lot of preconceptions about this venue for a lot of us who have sailed here the past two times. It's been a very different venue to the past two times, so we have capitalised a lot on doing things that aren't ‘normal' for here. We are leaders by one inch, and Team New Zealand are going to be tough.” Cayard concluded.
Caser-Endesa's Day in the GP42 Series
In the GP42's being consistent and error-free reaped huge rewards, as the Caser-Endesa (ESP) team demonstrated with their impressive 2-1 score today. With the breeze a little more varied in strength, those who could choose their paths for clear air and pressure upwind and down would win in the numerous chess games played in this tight class.
Race 1 saw Roma 2 (ITA), skippered by Paolo Cian (ITA), leading nearly all the way around the track having benefited by finding slightly more pressure early and defending their lead. But Endesa, helmed by Juan Luiz Paez (ESP), was pushing them hard the whole time, even briefly managing to round inside and ahead at the bottom gate.
With a slight drop in pressure in Race 2, it was Endesa this time taking and defending an early lead, despite furious attacks made by Roma (ITA) and even Airis (ITA), driven by Cameron Appleton (NZL), who got right into the action for the first time in the Series. However, the fight was always on for the second through fourth places on the runs, as numerous tactical attacks and lanes of pressure kept re-shuffling the order amongst Airis, Roma, and even Turismo Madrid (ESP), driven by Jose Maria van der Ploeg.
Even in the final 100 meters of this race the order changed twice, with Madrid just able to squeeze ahead of Airis by 3 seconds, Roma by 10 seconds, and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) by 13 seconds.
These results have had profound effects on not just the regatta standings, with Endesa now in the lead by 1 point, but in the overall standings as well, with Puerto Calero now overtaken by Roma also by just a point.
Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
Overall – Day 3
1. Artemis (SWE), 3+4+2+2+4+1.5= 16.5 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 2+3+6+3+1+3= 18 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 1+1+4+8+3+6= 23 points
4. Bigamist (POR), 5+5+1+1+8+7.5= 27.5 points
5. Matador (ARG), 4+11(DSQ)+7+4+5+4.5= 35.5 point
Overall – Day 2
1. Caser Endesa (ESP), 3+1+3+2+1= 10 points
2. Roma (ITA), 2+2+2+1+4= 11 points
3. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 1+3+1+5+5= 15 points
4. Turismo Madrid (ESP), 4+5+4+3+2= 18 points
5. Airis (ITA), 5+4+5+4+3= 21 points
Complete results: http://2009.medcup.org/results
Quotes of the day:
Guilermo Parada (ARG) skipper-helm Matador (ARG):
” We've been first till the fifth mark and then we had two sail choices and we chose the one we thought was better. Emirates were behind us and they chose the same as us so every thing was ok. But Artemis chose the other one and it payed off. Artemis passed us and when we changed from one sail to the other. Emirates made a better change and passed us. That's what happened. We thought the wind was going to shift to one side, and it went to the other way.”
Ray Davies (NZL), tactician Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
” On the reach Matador and us chose to go to code zeros and Artemis went for the H3 (reaching gennaker) and they got separation and they were a little bit faster with that. We and matador hold on but Matador rounded in the outside of us so that's where things changed.”
Juan Luiz Paez (ESP) helm Caser -Endesa (ESP):
“It's been a very positive day for us but there's still a lot of work to do. There are four races left out of the nine scheduled, but we are still happy because we feel stronger every time, especially if you compare us to how we started the season in Alicante.”