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13 September 2011, 10:01 pm
RAN Set The Pace In Barcelona
Fleet In Action

Audi MedCup - Round 5
Barcelona, Spain

Niklas Zennström's team on RÁN had their best day yet on the windward-leeward courses of the Audi MedCup Circuit when they scored a second and first place to lead after the first day of racing at the Conde de Godo City of Barcelona Trophy Regatta.
While it was something of a red letter day for the black hulled RÁN with its signature gold keel bulb, so too there was a strong start to the season's finale for the Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA).

The American flagged team worked hard for a well earned third in the first race of the day, which was contested in the light 7-9kts of south westerly sea breeze, and then bolstered that score with a good second to lie third.

But the key for the Quantum Racing which lead the season standings by just 3.5pts when they went afloat is as much that they stepped five points more ahead of their main title rivals Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) who posted two fifth places, and six points more on Container (GER).

The crew of Bribon (ESP) continued their winning momentum after last month's triumphs in Cartagena and at the Copa del Rey, when they made the best possible start with victory in the first windward-leeward, holding off RÁN to the finish with Quantum Racing taking third.

Tactician Ross MacDonald (CAN), Olympic bronze medallist in 1992, and navigator Marcel Van Triest (NED) conspired to place Bribon on the favoured right, inshore side of the first upwind after starting on the right hand end of the start line. They were able to lead at each mark.

In the second heat with the breeze having built slightly at 7-11kts and clocking slightly more to the right, it was the on the first run when RÁN stayed further offshore, to the right downwind, where Zennström's team were able to prosper, taking the lead at the leeward gate. Jochen Schuemann's Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE looked to have built themselves a useful position when they rounded the top mark in second, but they had to peel to a replacement kite downwind after suffering a small tear, but it was at the second windward turn that they slid down the fleet after their mainsheet just skidded over the buoy, requiring them to take a penalty turn.

RÁN never ceded their lead, holding off Quantum Racing, to the line. Zennström's team showed good speed upwind and downwind, the owner-helm relishing the fact there is no pressure on them and a lot of confidence among their team unit after their recent successes offshore.

"I think that we came here with a different mindset that we did before, after the Mini Maxi championships we were really happy with how we performed and that boosted our confidence. This is the last event and our crew is going to fight to improve and try to have a good time racing. I also think that we were not so stressed coming into this event and that´s important,"
Zennström confirmed as he came ashore

The regatta standings are tight at the top with RAN leading by a single point over Bribon and Quantum Racing just one point further back. The three top boats today already have small cushion on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which landed a pair of fifth places today.

Conde de Godó - City of Barcelona Trohpy
52 Series?
Results after two races

1. RAN (SUE), 2+1=3 points
2. Bribón ( ESP), 1+3=4 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 3+2=5 points
4. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5+5=10 points
5. Container (GER), 4+7=11 points
6. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 8+4=12 points
7. Gladiator (GBR), 7+6=13 points
8. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR), 6+8=14 points
Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
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