TeamOrigin and Puerto Calero lead the Portugal Trophy Cascais

After five races of the Portugal Trophy Cascais, the first regatta of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit, the British crew of TeamOrigin 1851 lead overall by two points ahead of defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand. In the GP42 Series, defending champion Puerto Calero starts their season with two winning guns to become the first leader of the season.

In a thrilling finish to the second race of the day, when the TP52 Series’ pair of four times Olympic medallists, Jochen Schuemann (GER) steering Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) and Ben Ainslie (GBR) steering TeamOrigin 1851 (GBR) duelled down the closing minutes of a fast, full throttle final run, it was the German boat which just pipped the British crew by only one second.

Added to their fourth place in the first race, Circuit newcomers TeamOrigin’s consistency was the result of smart tactical sailing in the puffy, and shifty NW’ly winds. In the first race the breeze averaged around 10-14 knots, but the second TP52 contest enjoyed the strongest winds of the regatta so far with gusts to 22-23 knots producing fast and exciting downwind sailing.

As befits a crew with seven Olympic medals and two America’s Cup wins between their afterguard, TeamOrigin’s starting was sharp today and they were then able to profit from the windshifts to gain places on both of today’s contests.

Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) took their second successive race victory when they managed to pass Quantum Racing (USA) near the top of the penultimate leg of Race 4.  With a fourth in the second race of the day, hard won after they were on the wrong side of a big wind shift inshore during the first upwind leg, the Kiwi team marched up the overall leaderboard from eighth after Wednesday’s first three race, to lie second.

TP52 Series Race 4.
With a maximum of 15 knots of breeze during the race Quantum Racing lead around the windward mark, gaining from their position on the left side of the course, starting close to the pin, left hand end of the start line.

After chasing Quantum Racing around the first windward mark and on the downwind leg, Emirates Team New Zealand were able to split a little further inshore, gaining from slightly more pressure and a favourable wind shift to be able to cross ahead of the 2008 Circuit winners. Dean Barker (NZL) and the New Zealand crew were able to extend slightly to win by 40 seconds, with the Russian flagged Synergy, steered this season by Karol Jablonski (POL) with Rod Dawson (NZL) calling tactics which finished third.

After skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) had to be taken off Quantum Racing due to a pre-start accident, tactician Adrian Stead stepped in to deputise. Hutchinson was taken to hospital but was reported to be well enough to watch the racing unfold live on the live TV feed. The Spanish boat Bribón did not start after they suffered broken battens.

TP52 Series Race 5
Jochen Schuemann and the Franco-German team on Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE scored their first victory on the circuit after profiting early from the wind shift to the right, inshore on the first upwind leg. While they lead around the first windward mark of ahead of Artemis (SWE), TeamOrigin were able to make a big gain on the second beat on that side of the course which brought them on to Artemis stern as they rounded the final buoy.

While Artemis hung on longest, more offshore on the final run, it was a battle to the finish line between Audi A1 powered by ALL4One and TeamOrigin, but the Franco-German crew just got the verdict by one single second, an incredibly close finish between two of the sport’s most accomplished modern day Olympic sailors.

The young team are back

The lack of participation in yesterday’s practice race did not seem to hurt the young Canarias team on Puerto Calero (ESP), as they sailed cleanly into the lead in the season’s first two races for the GP42 Series.

The 2009 GP42 Series champions displayed their characteristic strategy, staying out of trouble but sailing fast to help them take and then maintain their leads in both races.

“Except for the last start, I think we sailed flawlessly today,”
said skipper Jose Maria Ponce (ESP). “I’m very happy with the team, I didn’t expect to do so well so early in the event. Our tactician Gustavo Martinez was right on top of the difficult conditions we had today.

On his first day of Audi MedCup sailing, John Bassadone (GBR), owner/skipper os Peninsula Petroleum (GBR): “I have no words, it was so great. A mixture of excitement and anxiety, today was fantastic. The boats, the class, the competition, the race courses – all great. I can’t wait until tomorrow!”

Portugal Trophy, Cascais

TP52 Series
Overall – Day 2
1. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+9+2+4+2= 21 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 6+11+1+1+4= 23
3. Synergy (RUS), 8+1+6+3+5= 23    
4. Quantum Racing (USA), 1+5+8+2+10= 26
5. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 9+7+4+6+1= 27
6. Cristabella (GBR), 2+8+3+5+9= 27 points
7. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+7+8+3= 27  
8. Matador (ARG), 7+2+5+9+8= 31
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+3+9+10+6= 33  
10. Bigamist 7 (POR), 11+4+11+7+11= 44
11. Bribón (ESP), 10+10+10+12(DNC)+7= 49

GP42 Series
Overall – Day 1
1. Puerto Calero (ESP), 1+1= 2 points
2. Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP), 3+2= 5
3. Iberdrola (ESP), 2+5= 7
4. Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), 4+3= 7