With a second and first on the final day of racing at the Audi TP52 World Championship off the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Ed Baird and the crew of Quantum Racing lifted their third world TP52 world title from four challenges.
They added to worlds wins in 2008 in Lanzarote and defended the title they won last year Valencia.
Emerging with a four points margin over Germany's Container
, the American flagged Quantum
team complete the same 'double' as they did in 2008, winning both the Audi MedCup Circuit title as well as the World Championship.
With tactician Adrian Stead (GBR) combining with new navigator Francesco Mongelli (ITA) Quantum Racing
were consistent across the very different wind conditions, from the very light sub 10kts conditions of the first three days of racing to a useful fourth in the strong early morning Mistral of Friday, to their final flourish in today's moderate 7-11kts.
In paying tribute to team owner Doug De Vos, who was on hand to enjoy their success, Quantum Racing's inspirational project manager Ed Reynolds, architect behind each of their wins, commented, "Each of these world titles has been about a quintessential team performance, with two different teams of different characteristics and styles with no major, standout star names in either but unified in the level of results, and that is really down to Doug De Vos for putting the resources to give us good solid teams."
Tactician Stead who called the shots successfully last season in Valencia, smiled, "It is a great way to finish the season. We had a tense Audi MedCup, we have been really pleased with the way that we have sailed here against boats which have been in their conditions in the form of Gladiator and Paramount Park. Everyone has been pushing pretty hard."
Udo Schuetz' Container
with skipper-helm Markus Wieser (GER) and his crew, augmented at this regatta by Kiwi mainsheet trimmer Don Cowie, came out on the final day with their strongest finishes of the late season.
Their 2,1,2 over the last three races of the season a secured them second place overall and shook off some of the disappointment of their lacklustre finishes in Cartagena and Barcelona.
Wieser attributed a large measure of their success to completely changing their rig set up under the advice of Cowie who won the Audi MedCup Circuit title twice as mainsheet trimmer with Emirates Team New Zealand. Wieser said, "We are happy that it finished up like this, it was a long season and the last two regattas we hard with no boatspeed. But here we changed everything, a complete new set up with Don Cowie, and we had boat speed again and could be more aggressive in the way we sailed. We were so slow in Cartagena. But second here is good."
Tony Langley's British crew on Gladiator
, surprise early leaders of these world championship, held on to third place overall with their third place in what proved to be the final race, completing the podium by virtue of a better tie-break than the Spanish Paramount Park Murcia.
Langley commended the approach of their tactician, Melges 32 world title winning Chris Larson, "What was great was the attitude he came with. He came to me and said 'I really think we can win this' and that mental attitude was really refreshing and we really set out to try and do that. So that was a big change really. Nacho (Postigo) stepped in and did a really nice job with us too."
Three different boats lead the world championship over different days, but Quantum Racing
were on solid form in the light-moderate conditions and today's leftover sloppy seas. The breeze was shifting up to 30 degrees and there were big changes in wind pressure, between 5 and 11kts. Although there was breeze mid to later afternoon it proved too unsettled to run a third race, leaving Quantum Racing to enjoy their celebrations.
Container won the first race after starting close to the right hand committee boat end of the start line, showing good speed in the testing conditions Quantum Racing were unable to catch them with Audi Azzurra Sailing Team taking third.
In the second race Container led at the top windward mark with a beautiful layline call from the top left of the course by navigator Marc Lagesse (RSA) and tactician Hamish Pepper (NZL) until the leeward gate when Quantum Racing took the right hand gate mark and split to the right and gained 1 minute and 17 secs on Container on the second beat.
For Gladiator, third in the final race proved critical as it gave them the superior tie break over Ignacio Triay (ESP) and the Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) crew. Langley wins the Owner-Driver trophy.
Audi TP52 World Championship,
Yacht Club Costa Smerelda, Sardinia
1. Quantum Racing (USA) 1+3+5+1+4+2+1= 17 points
2. Container (GER) 2+7+3+4+2+1+2= 21 points
3. Gladiator (GBR) 3+1+4+2+6+5+3= 24 points
4. Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) 4+2+1+3+5+4+5= 24 points
5. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (IT) 5+4+7+6+1+3+7= 33 points
6. RÁN (SWE) 6+5+2+5+ 8 (DNF)+6+6= 38 points
7. Audi ALL4ONE (GER/FRA) 7+6+6+7+3+7+4= 40 points