British squad finishes in frustrating third place

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The Independent Online

A string of top class performances from Britain’s America’s Cup squad was frustratingly undermined by a couple of poor results which turned a first into a third at the end of the Murcia CAM Trophy regatta in the Audi MedCup.

Skipper Ben Ainslie could only rue events which denied him the silverware, especially being third by just half a point to the Argentinian team, Matador, but there was no stopping the defending champions and 2010 series leader, Emirates Team New Zealand.

The final day did not start well, Origin in a back of the pack struggle which left them seventh. But the second race of the day saw Ainslie back in command, leading most of the way to beat the Russian team Synergy by an emphatic 57 seconds only for a ninth in the final race of the day to hammer home the need for consistency.

For the first six races Origin was never lower than third, but then came a coastal race which scored points and a half. Last place, compounded by having a hydraulic ram blow up, put them out of contention to take the trophy except for a protest against leaders ETNZ by the 2008 champions Quantum, skippered by Terry Hutchinson.

This has been Origin’s best week in what was always bound to be a tough series. Learning how to squeeze the most out of a new boat in what was for most of the crew a new class always takes time. The modifications have worked, the sail design development has been important and the teamwork has continually improved, all of which are core constituents in the development of any team, especially one with aspirations to challenge for the America’s Cup.

The French Volvo Race crew in Groupama duly smashed the record for sailing non-stop in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, finishing off Cowes. Franck Cammas and crew covered the 1,800 miles in 5d 21h 26m 55s knocking 14h 3m 8s off the time set by Dee Caffari and Sam Davies in the Open 60 Aviva in 2006.

Second was the rival Spanish Volvo Open 70 Telefonica, skippered by the Olympic gold and silver Olympic medallist Iker Martinez, who had started with a 20-minute advantage as Groupama had to make hasty repairs to damage collision while still on its mooring.

Audi MedCup Circuit

Caja Mediterráneo Region of Murcia Trophy

TP52 Series

Overall Standings

Pos. / Country Team / PTS

1 NZL Emirates Team New Zealand 35.5

2 ARG Matador 45

3 GBR TeamOrigin 1851 46.5

4 USA Quantum Racing 53.5

5 SWE Artemis 64

6 RUS Synergy 68.5

7 ITA Luna Rossa 69

8 ESP Bribón 70

9 GER / FRA Audi A1 Powered By ALL4ONE 78

10 POR Bigamist 78.5

11 GBR Cristabella 85.5

GP42 Series

Overall Standings

Pos. / Country Team / PTS

1 ESP Madrid - Caser Seguros 23

2 ESP Iberdrola 27

3 GBR Peninsula Petroleum 27

4 ESP Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 29

5 ITA Airisessential 29

Audi MedCup Circuit

After 4 Events (Cascais, Marseille, Barcelona, Cartagena)

TP52 Series

Overall Standings

Pos. / Country Team / PTS

1 NZL Emirates Team New Zealand 133

2 USA Quantum Racing 179.5

3 ARG Matador 199

4 GBR TeamOrigin 1851 200

5 SWE Artemis 207

6 RUS Synergy 241

7 GER / FRA Audi A1 Powered By All4one 243

8 ESP Bribón 251.5

9 GBR Cristabella 256

10 ITA Luna Rossa 264

11 POR Bigamist 314.5

GP42 Series

Overall Standings

Pos. / Country Team / PTS

1 ESP Madrid - Caser Seguros 73

2 ESP Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 80

3 ESP Iberdrola 88

4 ITA Airisessential 120

5 GBR Peninsula Petroleum 128