It may seem like Emirates Team New Zealand head to Sardinia with a simple matter of counting down the races and points to victory, while the smaller 42 footers have a real final battle brewing but he one thing which is for certain about the finale of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit is that the season which will draw to a close with the Region of Sardinia Trophy is that it has been the hardest, toughest fought one yet.
The fifth and final regatta of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit starts in just one week time on the waters off Cagliari, Sardinia’s flourishing historic capital city.
For the climax to this season the usual regatta schedule is advanced by one day.
So the official practice race for the 52’s is on Monday 20th September, with the final tussle for points starting on Tuesday 21st. The last 52 Coastal Race of the season is scheduled for Thursday 23 rd.
The 42’s start one day later with their official practice race and both series finish up for the season on Saturday 25th September, when the Audi MedCup Circuit champions of 2010 will be announced.
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) lead into the final regatta of the season with a lead of 46.5 points. Of course that lead is very tenable, but the 2009 champions have lead all the way through the season after winning the opening regatta in Cascais in Portugal. Only after Marseille did their overall lead shrink, but since Barcelona and Cartagena their lead has grown progressively. The Kiwi team won in Sardinia last year, emerging from an exciting, scrappy final day when the Mistral blew through in style.
Quantum Racing (USA), the 2008 champions, lie second and have a margin of just 19.5 points over Matador (ARG) and they are just one point ahead TeamOrigin (GBR). The British team are focused on finishing their first season on the Audi MedCup Circuit with a flourish, determined to land a podium place.
Spanish fight for the 42 Series
With only a seven point lead in the overall standings, Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) cannot rest easy and will have to watch their backs on the final home stretch towards the finish, especially after Murcia proved that no lead is safe in this class.
Two tie-breaks were needed to determine the podium finishers there, with AIRISSENTIAL (ITA) and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) having their best regattas to date, and defending champions Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) suffering some bad luck to set them back several points away from the lead.
This will be the third year in a row that the Audi MedCup Circuit has been hosted by Cagliari. The waters off the Sardinian capital have always delivered great conditions, part of the reason that Cagliari was hand picked as the preferred location for this season’s finale.
“Normally at the times we have been racing off Cagliari we would expect probably sea breeze conditions 70% of the time and Mistral maybe 30% of the time. In mid to late September when we will be there that equation is much more like an exciting 50% sea breeze and 40% Mistral. There really are very, very few places in the Mediterranean where we could hope for such reliable winds accompanied usually by flat water. It is a great race track.” Says Nacho Postigo (ESP), Audi MedCup Circuit Technical Director.
“Without doubt this has been the toughest season we have seen on the Audi MedCup Circuit. The racing has been nothing short of superb. Often we have seen just how easy is it to be last, with almost all of the boats having been last at one time. And we have even seen boats which were last in one regatta go on to win the next one, and vice versa.”
“And looking to the future all the indications are that next season will be every bit as exciting.”
The theme for the Circuit prizegiving which takes place on the evening of Saturday 25th is forecast to be in total contrast to last year’s event which celebrated the rich history of Cartagena. Rumours are circulating that this year’s event will be a stunning, futuristic, ultra modern affair...