British-based team rival locals at the Audi MedCup in Barcelona


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The Independent Online

The gloves are off after the opening quartet of races for the Barcelona Trophy in the Audi MedCup series with the British-based Rán going head to head with the local favourite Bribón.

Niklas Zennström made it a palindromic first and a second to add to his second and a first to lead the event for the second day but by just two points as José Curi, in his swan song regatta made it a 1,3,3,1.

It means that Zennström has moved up to fifth overall for the season, overtaking the Synergy team from Russia, but he is 19 points behind the Container team from Germany, skippered by Markus Wieser. As this is the last of the five regattas in the 2011 series, another place is a tall order.

As is an overall win for Bribón, which is 12 points behind the overall leader from America, Quantum skippered by Ed Baird.

But Bribón is only half a point behind second-placed Azzurra from Porto Cervo, Italy, which is showing at times brilliance, at times erratic performance.

“These are the sort of guys who can five the answer before you ask the question,” said Morgan Larson, who has replaced Gavin Brady as tactician on Rán. “And the (lighter, flat water) conditions are good for us.

“You would never pass up today’s results, but one bad start or error could mean big damage. So, we are not at the stage to start thinking about the final result or any silverware.”

In three races to find the seedings for the match race section of the America’s Cup World Series regatta in Plymouth, two were won by Terry Hutchinson’s Swedish-flagged Artemis Challenge and one by Team Korea, with British Olympic medallist Chris Draper at the helm.

Most consistent of the eight teams so far has been Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker.

Naples became the second Italian city to sigh up for world series regattas, the first in April 2012, the second in May 2013, with Venice performing the same role in May 2012 and April 2013.