The Mistral won the day but Germany’s Container won the regatta. The infamous strong NW’ly wind, kicking up big, awkward seas on the course area and at the entrance to Marseille harbour, meant the one final showdown race scheduled could not be run today leaving Udo Schuetz’s Container team victorious in the 52 Series Marseille Trophy, and Spain’s Ibedrola Team winning the 40 Series Marseille Trophy.
The Markus Wieser (GER) skippered crew become the first German flagged team ever to win a regatta on the Audi MedCup Circuit, a victory for renowned owner Schuetz, formerly successful sportscar racer who won the 1993 Admiral’s Cup with a three boat German team. The veteran owner arrived to be on board for the finale today, but was thwarted by the brisk Mistral.
Ironically, so late was the inception of the Container TP52 programme that this was originally supposed to be their first regatta in the class. But, with a very experienced crew – a hard core evolving their two year Container STP65 programme – and assured tactics they proved furiously consistent in Portugal.
In France over eight races they beat the world champions and Cascais Trophy winners Quantum Racing (USA) five times on the hop. Yesterday their first ever win in the class was a vital victory over the 35 miles, high points value coastal race, to emerge this afternoon just 1.5pts clear of the America’s Cup winning skipper-helm Ed Baird and crew of Quantum Racing who took second.
If the Container team were visibly pleased with their regatta win, so too Quantum Racing were not overly disappointed to emerge from a very testing, tactical regatta during which the breezes proved extremely difficult to read. If the Cascais menu was strictly upscale ‘formule’, Marseille’s wind strengths delivered the full à la carte menu from 6kts to 26kts often with shifts of 15-30 degrees, big variations in pressure, and different breezes on either flank of the windward-leeward tracks.
All five of the Soto 40 crews would have loved a Mistral powered decider today, not least the sharp shooting South American guns on Patagonia by Negra, skippered by Uruguayan Nicolas Gonzalez, whose two wins from yesterday’s three races had got them to within three points of Jose Maria ‘Pichu’ Torcida’s Iberdrola.
But the strong winds stymied that too and Iberdrola Team, who won the Marseille Trophy here last year, also extend their lead in the Audi MedCup Circuit 40 Series from 10 points after Cascais to be 18 points ahead of Patagonia.
Across the eight races off Marseille, six different TP52’s won individual races including two for British owner Tony Langley and his Gladiator crew on their Audi MedCup Circuit debut, matching Quantum Racing’s tally of two wins. And both Audi Sailing Team powered by All4ONE (FRA/GER) and Container won their first races of the season.
Final Results after 8 races
- Container (GER), 7+3+4+6+2+3+2+1,5= 28,5 points
- Quantum Racing (USA), 4+1+1+8+3+4+3+6= 30
- Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 1+7+3+7+5+5+6+3= 37
- Bribón (ESP), 3+2+6+5+8+1+4+9= 38
- Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 2+4+7+2+6+6+5+7,5= 39,5
- Ràn (SUE), 5+5+2+4+4+2+9 (DSQ)+10,5= 41,5 points
- Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (EUR), 6+6+8+3+7+8+1+4,5= 43,5
- Gladiator (GBR), 8+8+5+1+1+7+9 (DNF)+12=47
Results after 2 events
- Quantum Racing (USA), 19 + 30= 49 points
- Container (GER), 31,5 + 28,5= 60 points
- Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 32,5 + 37= 69,5 points
- Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 37 + 39,5= 76,5 points
- Ràn (SUE), 5+5+2+4+4+2+9 (DSQ) 40,5 + 41,5= 82 points
- Bribón (ESP), 47,5 + 38= 85,5 points
- Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR) 58 + 43,5=101,5 points
- Gladiator (GBR), 85,5 + 47= 132,5 points
Photo Credit: Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi – Ian Roman / Audi MedCup