Germany opens slender lead in Audi MedCup

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A new leader, but with an oh-so slender margin, goes into the final race of the second Audi MedCup grand prix on Sunday praying for good conditions after Udo Schutz’s German yacht won the coastal race.

Scoring points and a half, that put them one and a half points ahead of the boat that has led all week, the American entry Quantum, now skippered by Ed Baird and probably not only the best prepared but most experienced and even best funded.

The Container afterguard of Markus Wieser, Hamish Pepper and Marc Lagesse, German, Kiwi and South African respectively, knows that the key to their rise and rise in performance is down to cutting errors, sailing the percentages, and trying to make sure they are in the top group when turning for the downwind legs.

”Every boat can win a race here and every boat can be last,” says Lagesse. “So there is no room for error because you will surely be punished. But we feel we have a slight edge downwind.”

Quantum needs to beat Container by two places in the final race if it is to add the Marseille trophy to the one it won at the opening regatta in Cascais, Portugal. That is certainly do-able.

In the wars on Friday, as Rán was black flag disqualified after a collision which required all-night repairs to its stern and a newly-fitted bowsprit to Tony Langley’s Gladiator, which has now won two races, the British boats found themselves in tandem again but this time at the back of the fleet.

Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán has moved from a high of second to sixth overall but, as a sister-ship to Container, knows it, to, can score well if it can complete the upwind legs well.