It will be something of a tight schedule for those moving swiftly from the final Audi MedCup Circuit regatta of the season, the Region of Sardinia Trophy - which finished last Saturday in Cagliari Â travelling directly across the Mediterranean to Valencia for the TP52 World Championships which start racing one week today, Tuesday 5th October.
The TP52 World Championship have a very different flavour, a unique atmosphere. That is not to say that any team drops their guard or relaxes any more when they are on the Worlds race course.
But ashore the mood is a little more relaxed than through the high octane five months long Audi MedCup season; there is a chance to reflect and to look forward, but also for some crews the World Championship present a great opportunity for the owner to come and step in to the hot seat and enjoy steering his own boat. The world championships offer a special owner-driver trophy.
The short transition time may fall in the favour of the current world champions. Matador (ARG) won a fiercely contested title in Palma a year ago. With owner Alberto Roemmers Jr. on the helm, they squeezed out the 2008 TP52 world title winners Quantum Racing (USA) but it went to countback, the two finishing on the same points tally.
This time it is Matador who arrive in Valencia with a winning momentum. They conclusively triumphed at the final event of the Audi MedCup Circuit season, the Region of Sardinia Trophy, the outstanding performer over the latter stages of the season, also finishing second in Cartagena, Murcia.
Quantum Racing (USA), world title winners in 2008, will be among their main rivals as will 2007 world title winners Artemis (SWE). Owner Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) was back steering Artemis in Cagliari and the Artemis team will be out to help deliver a trophy after missing out on an Audi MedCup season podium finish.
Up to ten races are scheduled with racing due to start Tuesday 5th October. Up to three races may be sailed each day with a coastal race on Thursday October 7th. While the race arena will be well known to many sailors who participated in the lead up to the 32nd AmericaÂs Cup, the winds in early October can be more complicated than the Cup diet of sea breezes. Typically over the week we might see some of a very strong, offshore breeze, some light sea breezes and/or a very strong NEÂly breeze which kicks up a nasty choppy swell.
One key contender which will miss out is Jose CusÃÂs BribÃ³n (ESP), which was damaged in a collision in Cagliari. This is a bitter blow not least because BribÃ³n lead into the final day in Palma last year. Â
Two British TP52Âs join the fleet Pace (ex Patches) which will have Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) as tactician with TeamOriginÂs Kelvin Harrap (NZL) as strategist, and Weapon of Choice ex Matador 2007 which raced in Palma last year.
The TP52 World Championship will benefit from the excellent AmericaÂs Cup standard facilities.Â The regatta will be based in the Marina Real Juan Carlos I, run from the Veles e Vents Building.
Simon Fry (GBR), trimmer Matador (ARG):
ÂAs a crew we are really looking forward to the worlds. Junior (Alberto Roemmers Jr) did a great job last season when we won, and is up for it again. The way we have been sailing I am pretty sure we can be in there, in the mix. The boat is certainly going very well in the nine to 12.5 knots range which we might see in Valencia. We certainly aim to retain the title but Quantum and Artemis will be tough to beat for sure. Our key will be trying to keep it very clean. That may be stating the obvious but we had to do a penalty in Cagliari, so it will be key not to get into unnecessary situations..Â
Nacho Postigo (ESP), Technical Director of World Sailing Management:
ÂPersonally I think that many sailors are looking forward to being back in Valencia when so many of them lived there through the AmericaÂs Cup. It will be good to be in familiar surroundings but with the prospect of some very challenging conditions. And as a Spanish sailor, it makes me proud to be having the world championships in Spain.Â
Jorge Gisbert, General Director of Consorcio Valencia 2007:
"The Marina Real Juan Carlos I prepares to welcome the TP52 World Championship. Again a top level sailing event has chosen our waters and our infrastructure to host their regatta. From the Valencia Town Hall, the Consorcio Valencia 2007, the Real Club NÃ¡utico de Valencia and World Sailing Management, we will try to organise the best possible world championship which will take place in the Marina and which we hope Valencians will enjoy. This brings to a close what has been an exceptional year in terms of sports for the Marina Real Juan Carlos I, which has included the organisation of the America's Cup, an RC44 event, an RSX Master Series regatta and a Spanish Team Championship."
- Weapon of Choice (GBR)
- Cristabella (GBR)
- Synergy (RUS)
- Artemis (SWE)
- Bigamist (POR)
- Pace (GBR)
- Quantum Racing (USA)
- Matador (ARG)
- Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER)