Audi Medcup Carthagena

The fifth venue of the 2008 Audi MedCup – Carthagena, Spain – proved to be just as challenging as expected yesterday, with Platoon powered by Team Germany coming out on top to take the practice race win.

With between 9 and 11 knots of wind the Carthagena race course was affected by two wind systems: a gradient breeze from around 180 degrees and, closer inshore, a more northerly thermal pressure system from around 120 degrees. “It’s actually a very difficult place to go sailing in, there’s two winds – a gradient wind and a sea breeze – and it’s very subtle,” explained Matador’s navigator Steve Hayles. “Thierry [Pepponet, Matador’s tactician] and myself spent quite a lot of time before the start trying to fathom it out, and it wasn’t easy.”

Platoon’s first place was a timely present for Tim Kroger (GER), their mainsail grinder, who was celebrating his 44th birthday . “I think if we get our act together this week we can be on the podium again; the boat and team have the potential but you also need that little bit of luck to get the show rolling. We are quite confident but not overly so, as the competition is very tough, but today we had some good practice starts and good speed, so I think we have a good chance. We will certainly work very hard to make it happen.”

Ed Reynolds (USA), Project Manager of Quantum, the current Audi MedCup leaders, commented: “This of any of the events had us the most worried since it was such an unknown – trying to get weather data, or any historical perspective has been really tough, but I’m pretty sure everyone has been through the same thing. We came here thinking it would be a light air venue but now it looks like it may well be a breezy regatta right through to Friday which makes us feel a little better, especially in the situation we are in right now. A light flukey racecourse is just so nerve-racking! We would like some nice consistent breeze, see where the shifts fall and take it from there.”

Racing for the Region de Murcia Trophy starts today (25 August) at 1300 with up to three windward-leeward races scheduled.

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