Multiple Olympic champion Jochen Schumann is on a charge in Italy. After a patchy performance in the opening pair of regattas, two firsts and two thirds in the opening five races of the third not only consolidated the lead of the Franco-German All4One but confirmed that grit and grip have been applied in liberal quantities.
Caught in the Doldrums of changing weather fronts, it was late afternoon before race officer Maria Torrijo was confident enough to signal a start for the seven boats in the Audi MedCup off Cagliari, Sardinia.
It was always going to be the only race of the day, which may prove also to be the lull before a much more vigorous workout on Saturday as the strong breezes re-establish themselves.
Sch?mann now has a six-point lead over second-placed Ed Baird’s Quantum going possibly into a catch-up inshore race ahead of Saturday’s longer coastal race. Niklas Zennström’s Hamble-based Rán, sixth in the light stuff, also slipped to sixth overall.
Ashore, there was some manoeuvring ahead of a TP52 class meeting on Saturday to open discussions on what to do next season, not least whether the MedCup should become more of an Atlantic Cup.
Under consideration is the addition of La Rochelle to the regatta in Cascais, near Lisbon with maybe even some thought being given to taking the event to Audi’s home, Germany.
But the class’s opinion will count heavily and it will certainly want also to be in the Mediterranean, with Spain considered a must and the hope that Italy could be brought into play, perhaps in Sicily.
There are also conversations about how the two classes on the Audi circuit, the TP52 and the Soto 40, could play a part in attempts by the Royal Ocean Racing Club to bring the Admiral’s Cup back to life.
The RORC is likely to want to want to use its own IRC handicap system, rather than just have level rating one design boats, and there is the continuing conundrum of wanting to include the Fastnet Race for campaigners who tend to keep each regatta within a week.
The class is due to hold a presidential election in October, when the world championships will be staged in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, by which time an outline recommended programme for 2012 will have been produced.
Listen: Nacho Postigo looks to Audi MedCup future...