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Matador pips Quantum on final day in Palma

By a few seconds here and a boat length there the defending TP52 world champions Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum crew were beaten on countback on the final day in Palma to see the Albert Roemmers’ Argentinian boat Matador make up for what, at times, has been a frustrating season and take the title.

Both boats ended on 23 points after the regatta was cut to just seven races by light winds, both had two wins, but Matador had three thirds to trump Quantum’s two thirds and a fifth. Hutchinson was also second when defending the Audi MedCup circuit title to a rampant Team New Zealand .

In third place overall in Palma was Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis, which swaps its TG52 armoury for America’s Cup racing in Nice next month, where Britain’s Team Origin, skippered by Ben Ainslie, will be on parade.

Ainslie’s lunchtime duties yesterday centred on the final of the Argo-sponsored Bermuda Gold Cup on the match race tour.

Ainslie, with three Olympic golds and a silver, is a frightening predator in any boat park. He knocked out the reigning world champion Ian Williams in their semi-final and went on to beat New Zealand ’s Adam Minoprio 3-1 in the final.

He now follows Nice with a trip to Malaysia for the Monsoon Cup. Ainslie is too far behind to take the 2009 tour, but could still influence the showdown between Minoprio and Australia ’s Torvar Mirsky.

With one day to go in the final iShares Cup regatta of 2009, better 10-knot winds in Almeria , Spain , powered six races in front of a crowd estimated at 30,000. They proved fruitful for the overall series leader, Oman Red, helmed by Olympic bronze medallist Chris Draper.

With three wins, a second, a third, and a fourth, they are protecting a position which saw them coming into the final foray equal on points with France ’s Yann Guichard on Gitana. The title is now Oman Red’s to lose.