The long wait for wind on the Costa Smeralda at the Audi TP52 World Championship was rewarded with enough for just one late afternoon windward-leeward race.
A first win in the colours of new sponsor Paramount Park Murcia
(ESP) for the Spanish team headed up by Ignacio Triay promoted the crew to step clear at the top of a tight leaderboard with a margin of just one point ahead of Tony Langley's Gladiator
There can be few more pleasant surroundings than the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda to spend time waiting for a sea breeze to establish itself, but the race team made a good call to have the fleet out and ready for the Race 3 start which got away at 15:30 local time.
The late building thermal breeze proved to be difficult to read for the tacticians, keeping in the veins of pressure which pulsed down from the top of the course was key, whilst falling off the edge - out of the best breeze - either upwind or downwind meant losses.
Leaders after the first day, Gladiator
kept their title challenge on track when Chris Larson (USA) and crew salvaged a solid fourth place, passing Quantum Racing
down the final run.
Their fourth keeps the British Gladiator
crew in contention in second, whilst Quantum Racing's fifth today leaves them third overall, two points off the lead with a bigger day in prospect Thursday when one windward-leeward and the 1.5 points premium coastal race are scheduled.
After today's light breezes a change is in prospect Thursday with some pre-frontal weather likely through the scheduled coastal race, ahead of Friday's expected beefy Mistral winds.
"What is interesting now I think for the fleet is that you now have to look back to, I think Cagliari, in July for the last time we really sailed in strong breeze and so that will be a challenge for everyone to get back into that mode smoothly. For us it will be a case of spending some time looking at the different modes and settings which worked for us earlier in the season. It will be interesting, for sure,"
cautioned Triay who runs the championship leading Paramount Park Murcia which races for the Menorca based Club Náutico Ciutadella.
Once again the light winds placed a big premium on fast starting but the local team on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team
(ITA) compromised their race when they were over very early at the busy committee boat end of the start line, forced to re-start. But at the top of the first beat it was Paramount Park
which read the shifts at the top of the beat best and were able to lead round from RÁN, Quantum Racing
Able to sail the shifts and pressure from the front of the fleet, Paramount Park Murcia
were 21 seconds clear of Niklas Zennstrom's Barcelona Trophy winning RAN
. Second place pulled the Swedish flagged team up to fifth overall.
But with only two points separating the top three boats, Paramount Park Murcia
and Quantum Racing
, Thursday's high stakes racing could be key.
Audi TP52 World Championship
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Sardinia.
1. Paramount Park Murcia
(ESP) 4+2+1= 7 points
(GBR) 3+1+4= 8 points
3. Quantum Racing
(USA) 1+3+5= 9 points
(GER) 2+7+3= 12 points
(SWE) 6+5+2= 13 points
6. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team
(IT) 5+4+7= 16 points
7. Audi ALL4ONE
(GER) 7+6+6= 19 points