Russia's Synergy Sailing Team maintained their impressive record for making solid starts to this season's Audi MedCup Circuit regattas when they won the first race of the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy event.
In very light and fickle breezes, under the stark, rugged cliffs off Cartagena, tactician Rod Dawson (NZL), helm Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) and navigator Francesco Mongelli (ITA) conspired to make the most of a strong start, proving they have the speed in the very gentle airs to hold off the very competitive fleet.
Synergy lead from the first windward mark, ahead of Jose Cusi's Spanish boat Bribon. Both extended noticeably on the second beat when they gained from a right windshift and were comfortably clear of third placed Quantum Racing (USA) by the finish line.
For the Russian flagged team, who have made two crew changes for this regatta, one forced through injury to their bowman and one new trimmer as they sought better downwind speed, this was their third race win of the season, a victory which ensures they have never finished Race 1 of any regatta this season any worse than third place.
It was after 16:15 local time when racing finally got under way, after a long delay ashore. And in the end there was only just enough breeze, 5-7kts, to complete only the one contest.
In stark contrast to the majority of the racing over what has been a breezy season so far, it proved a difficult test for the afterguards especially attempting to read and react to the subtle changes on the water.
Markus Wieser (GER) and the crew of Container (GER), second placed for the season standings, found themselves on the wrong side of that pernicious wind shift and could only cross the finish line in seventh place.
Light winds are expected to prevail at least for the next couple of days.
Region of Murcia Trophy - Cartagena
Results after one race:
1. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 1 point
2. Bribón (ESP), 2 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 3 points
4. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR), 4 points
5. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5 points
6. RÁN (SWE), 6 points
7. Container (GER), 7 points