After a popular win at the Copa del Rey, their home club’s European showcase regatta two weeks ago in Palma, Mallorca, Jose Cusi’s Bribon crew built from that momentum to win the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit’s fourth regatta of the season, the Region of Murcia-Cartagena.
Unmatched consistency on a very difficult race area ensured that the Spanish crew secured the 52 Series regatta title of the first Spanish regatta of the season as long as they finished
Such regularity was only slightly exceeded in the Soto 40 Class where the British crew of Ngoni overhauled the Spanish favourites on Iberdrola Team, who came to Cartagena unbeaten on the Audi MedCup Circuit this season, to win the 40 Series’ Region of Murcia Trophy even before they had contested their one race today.
Bribon clinched their first Trophy Regatta win since triumphing here in 2008 when they staged a remarkable recovery from last at the first mark of the first of two races today. After choosing the wrong side of the first leg, double Olympic medallist Ross MacDonald (CAN) guided them down the right side of the first downwind and by the first leeward gate they had a slender lead. Finishing second to Synergy (RUS) meant the Spanish team only needed to start the final race to lift the trophy.
They finished the nine race series with a winning margin of three points over Italy’s Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. The team skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) collect their second runners up position after last month finishing behind Audi ALL4ONE (FRA/GER) in Cagliari.
The remarkable team spirit which underpins this Spanish programme, owned by Jose Cusi but which has had HRH Juan Carlos as its skipper and patron for more than 40 years, was certainly a key factor in winning on a rugged, unfashionable stretch of water which is especially testing due to the way the winds are influenced by the high cliffs, valleys and headlands which mark out the race course area.
Helmed by Gonazalo Aurajo (ESP), who joined the team last year, some core members of the Bribon crew have sailed together for around 10 years. Several times during racing they were able to squeeze keynote results from difficult positions, sometimes even on the final wave or final puff of wind.
“For so many years we’ve been fighting, fighting alongside each other with this crew, and sothey deserve this for all the hard work they´ve done for such a long time. I personally want to dedicate the victory to them, because it´s tough to keep the chemistry and a good atmosphere when you are not getting the best results. That´s why this goes to them. As a team, we´d like to dedicate the Trophy to our owner, José Cusí, because unfortunately he couldn´t be here with us today and share with us such beautiful moments”. Smiled Ignasi Triay (ESP) project manager and trimmer of Bribon.
The win of Bribon, a 2009 launched Rolf Vrolijk design which was the oldest boat in the fleet, now means that different crews have won each of the four regattas this season after Quantum Racing in Cascais, Portugal, Container in Marseille, France and Audi ALL4ONE in Cagliari, Italy.
Making up the podium in third, Quantum Racing (USA) suffered a breakdown with their primary winch in both races today which compromised them, but having arrived in Cartagena with a lead of seven points over Container (GER), the Circuit leaders’ leave with a fight on their hands.
With three weighty sixth places finishes this week counterbalancing their Coastal Race win and just one second place, their margin is halved to 3.5 points as the Circuit heads to an exciting finale in Barcelona next month.
Now the only team to have finished on the podium at each regatta this season, back to back second places for Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, promotes the team which is skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) to now lie second ahead of Udo Schutze’s Container which finished fifth.
For the British crew of Ngoni, their win was missed by owner Tony Buckingham who will be back on the helm in Barcelona, but their triumph is a result of a well run programme which saw Ngoni as the second Soto 40 in Europe, training early season alongside the benchmark Iberdrola Team. Despite four changes of crew line up since Cagliari last month, the British team gelled quickly, were fast in the lighter conditions and showed every sign they can be equally competitive in Barcelona.
Iberdrola Sailing Team finished second in Cartagena but have built their Circuit lead by two points here to 28 points.
Results after nine races:
- Bribón (ESP), 25 points
- Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 28 points
- Quantum Racing (USA), 38,5 points
- Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR), 39,5 points
- Container (GER), 43 points
- Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 43,5 points
- RÁN (SUE), 48,5 points
- Gladiator (GBR), 85,5 points
Photo Credit: Ian Roman/Audi MedCup
– PR –