Just as they did last year Emirates Team New Zealand clinched their second successive Audi MedCup Circuit win with two racing days of the 2010 season to spare.
After Thursday’s coastal race the supreme Kiwis under skipper-helm Dean Barker had built themselves an unbeatable lead and in the end, after today’s one final blustery race in a Mistral of more than 28 knots off Cagliari, Sardinia the champions rounded out their second victorious season to finish 48.5 points ahead of Quantum Racing (USA) who finish runners-up, as they also did last season..
The Kiwi 2010 champions, become the first team ever in the six year history of the circuit to win back-to-back MedCup Circuit champion titles. They won the top regatta trophy in Cascais, were fourth in Marseille, second in Barcelona, triumphed in Murcia and finished third on countback here in Cagliari.
Emirates Team New Zealand set themselves on course for overall victory from the outset of the season in breezy Cascais, Portugal in May where they established an initial lead of 20 points, winning three races as well as the key coastal race there.
When last season they streaked to win four in a row of 2009’s five regattas, unmatched consistency has underpinned their victory again this season.
They won ten of this 2010 season’s 44 52 Series races. Last year they won 14 races from 43 starts. Skipper Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand’s skipper -helm highlighted today how much harder this season has been for them to prevail overall.
Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the Quantum Racing (USA) crew finish second overall for the season, just five points ahead of Matador.
When they seized the lead on the second beat of today’s race the world champions seemed to have pulled themselves up to within touching distance of second place on the Circuit.
With incumbents Quantum Racing five boats behind it might then have gone down to a match race for second, but as they hoisted their kite for the final run it exploded and they were left sitting for minutes while four boats passed them.
They only just managed to get a new spinnaker filling to stay ahead of their green and black hulled adversaries. With a win in the final race of the season Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE finish second at this season’s finale, just as they also did in Portugal in May.
Madrid-Caser Seguros dominate the 42s
Overall victory for the season in the 42 Series was achieved with a day to spare by Jose Maria van der Ploeg (ESP)’s Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP).
Yesterday they ensured they could not be beaten for the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit title and today made it three in a row winning three of the season’s five regattas outright in Barcelona, Murcia and the Region of Sardinia Trophy.
The road to victory in the 42 Series had some bumps for overall winners Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP), with the series runners-up and defending 2009 season champions Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) easily winning in Cascais with a huge 10 point margin.
And in performing well in the lighter air races other teams like Iberdrola (ESP) and AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA) were always poised to pounce, while Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) suffered bad luck in the first two stages with a broken masthead crane.
But the teamwork came together for skipper Jose Maria van der Ploeg (ESP) and helmsman Paolo Cian (ITA), with their excellent speed, boathandling and tactical potential becoming apparent by their first stage win in Barcelona, and just accelerating after this.
“The team has been improving at every stage,” said an ecstatic van der Ploeg, “And now we are at the maximum, exactly where we wanted to be.”
The next 52 Series event is the world championships for the class which runs 5th to 9th October in Valencia, Spain.
The 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit starts in May next year.
Region of Sardinia Trophy
1. Matador (ARG), 2+8+2+1+5+1+1,5+5= 25,5 points
2. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 5+1+5+6+3+11(DNF)+6+1= 38
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 8+2+1+10+2+3+9+3= 38
4. Synergy (RUS), 6+5+3+4+1+5+7,5+7= 38,5
5. Quantum Racing (USA), 9+3+7+2+6+4+3+6= 40
6. TeamOrigin (GBR), 7+4+4+8+4+2+10,5+2= 41,5
7. Bribón (ESP), 1+9+8+3+8+3(RDG)+8(RDG)+5,3(RDG)= 45,3
8. Artemis (SWE), 3+6+10+5+9+8+4,5+4= 49,5
9. Cristabella (GBR), 4+10+6+9+7+6+12+8= 62
10. Luna Rossa (ITA), 10+7+9+7+10+7+13,5+9= 74,5
11. Bigamist (POR), 12+12+12+12+12+12+18+12= 102 (DNC)
1. Madrid – Caser Seguros (ESP), 1+2+1+1+1+1+1= 8 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 4+1+3+2+2+3+2= 17
3. Península Petroleum (GBR), 3+3+4+4+3+2+3= 22
4. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 2+4+2+3+4+4+4= 23
5. Iberdrola (ESP), 6+6+6+6+6+6+6= 42 (DNC)
2010 Audi MedCup Circuit
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 31,5+31+35+35,5+38= 171 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA), 59,5+22,5+44+53,5+40= 219,5
3. Matador (ARG), 60+27+67+45+25,5= 224,5
4. TeamOrigin (GBR), 59,5+31+63+46,5+41,5= 241,5
5. Artemis (SWE), 57+53+33+64+49,5= 256,5
6. Synergy (RUS), 64+35,5+73+68,5+38,5= 279,5
7. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 51,5+29,5+84+78+38= 281
8. Bribón (ESP), 88+41+58+70+45,3= 296,5
9. Cristabella (GBR), 65+43,5+62+85,5+62= 318
10. Luna Rossa (ITA), 77,5+44,5+73+69+74,5= 338,5
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 88+78+70+78,5+102= 416,5
1. Madrid – Caser Seguros (ESP), 24+12+14+23+8= 81 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 14+17+19+29+17= 97
3. Iberdrola (ESP), 25+10+26+27+42= 130
4. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 37+15+39+29+23=143
5. Península Petroleum (GBR), 40+24+37+27+22= 150
Photo Credit : Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi – Ainhoa Sanchez / Audi MedCup – Region of Sardinia Trophy
– PR –