Two back to back wins sees the Russian boat Synergy leading the TP52 World Championships after three excellent races in a building sea breeze off Valencia today.
The crew are no strangers to winning races on the Audi MedCup Circuit and were podium challengers ten days ago in Sardinia, but today was the first time they had ever won two consecutive races at this level. They did so with a new helmsman, top Russian match racer Eugeniy Neugodnikov steering his first ever top level TP52 Series races, having only had a couple of days practice.
In a near perfect sea breeze which built from an early eight to 11 knots for the first race and peaked during an exciting third windward-leeward contest at 22 knots, the Russian crew which has a cosmopolitan afterguard in the shape of Kiwi regular tactician Rod Dawson and Italian navigator Francesco Mongelli opened with a modest fifth in the first race before their back to back bullets.
Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum Racing crew, with Farr 40 world championship winning owner Jim Richardson riding shotgun, won the first race and then posted a pair of third places, leaving the 2008 World Champions locked on the same points aggregate as the Russian regatta leaders.
Quantum Racing won the first race leading from the first windward mark to extend on each leg to cross ahead of Jochen Schuemann's Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) took second in the perfect sea breeze conditions of 8-10 kts.
Quantum Racing (USA) started well mid line and were well placed to steal the early jump on the fleet when they first gained with extra wind pressure and a small left shift early in the first beat. Defending world champions Matador (ARG) were not so fortunate starting off the pin end of the start line and had a little less breeze over the early part of the first beat, losing out on third to Artemis (SWE).
Synergy won the second race of the day in the brisker 15 to 18 kts sea breeze.
Although Quantum Racing lead at the first windward mark Synergy took the right side down the first run with a bear away set at the first top mark. The Russian team showing the good downwind speed that the Reichel Pugh design has often shown, leading at the leeward gate and were not challenged again. Matador took second with Quantum Racing third.
Synergy’s second win of the day, with the breeze built more, was almost a carbon copy of their previous victory, again starting mid line alongside and under Quantum Racing. This time it was Artemis which lead comfortably around the top mark, but Synergy were matching them through the leeward gate and went on to win, with Artemis second and Quantum Racing third.
TP52 World Championship
After Day 1
1. Synergy (RUS) - Eugeni Neugodnikov (RUS), 5+1+1= 7 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA) – Terry Hutchinson (USA), 1+3+3= 7
3. Artemis (SWE) – Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE), 3+5+2= 10
4. Matador (ARG) – Alberto Roemmers (ARG), 4+2+5= 11
5. Cristabella (GBR) – John Cutler (NZL), 6+4+4= 14
6. Bigamist 7 (POR) – Afonso Domingos (POR), 7+6+6= 19
7. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) – Jochen Schuemann (GER), 2+10(DSQ)+8= 20
8. Pace (GBR) – Johnny Vincent (GBR), 9+8+7= 24
9. Weapon of Choice (GBR) – Tony Langley (GBR), 8+7+9= 24