The local favourites delivered a convincing win as the Spanish yacht Bribón won the Murcia Trophy, fourth in the series of five which makes up the Audi MedCup. The 52-footer had just two results outside the top three in the nine races.
In sloppy and patchy conditions off Cartagena the Spanish held off a challenge from an improving Azzurra team from Italy and the American yacht Quantum, though by a bit of a distance, improved to third place after a torrid week.
It all bodes well for the final regatta in the MedCup series in Barcelona next month which is where King Juan Carlos will officially retire from yacht racing after
This the 15th Bribón, the first being bought in 1972 by José Cusi when Juan Carlos bought a sistership which he named Shere Khan. But Bribón II was a joint venture and they have been in partnership ever since.
A heat of the moment attempt in the last race to protect his lead saw Niklas Zennström in the Hamble-based Rán mis-time an attempt to hold off an attack from Ed Baird in Quantum. The penalty took him from first to last, finishing sixth, and last overall on the week,
Winners like nothing better than winning and Kevin Sproul, at the helm of Tony Buckingham’s Soto 40 Ngoni made no mistakes when logging his fifth second in the final race to add to three firsts in the prvious seven to take the silverware in the second of the two classes contesting the MedCup series.
“I think we have momentum and have definitely been improving every regatta,” said Sproul afterwards. “We are pretty happy and we know we are fast. Tony will back on the helm in Barcelona but I have talked to him on the telephone and he is very pleased we have won this regatta.”
Ngoni’s win brought to an end the three-regatta success of Jose Maria Torcida in Spain’s Iberdrola, one of the teams that has already confirmed it will be back next year in a class that has made its European circuit debut this year.
Another team hoping to be back after dipping its toe into the competition is from Australia. Manager Tim Long commented: “This was always going to be an important fact-finding mission for the team. The boys have fallen in love with the boat and are determined to do whatever it takes to be back for the whole of the 2012 season.”