Quantum dominates on second day of the Sardinia Trophy
Picking themselves up, dusting themselves down, and starting all over again, the American team Quantum banged in a second and a first on the second day of the Sardinia Trophy, the third of five regattas in the Audi MedCup series.
Stung by two sixth places on the opening day, there was much agitated debriefing and analysis overnight and the boat left the dock well ahead of the others with skipper Ed Baird and British tactician Adrian Stead determined to re-establish some sort of supremacy.
The breeze had been forecast to turn a bit soggy, but, although down on the previous day’s bluster, was still lively and needed sharp assessment to pick the mainly left hand favoured side of the course.
Stead and Baird covered all the bases, but could not pass the Russians in sistership Synergy in the first race, while the one-two glory of the first day came to an abrupt end as Germany’s Container, helmed by Markus Wieser, bombed to seventh in the first race of the day and had to fight hard for a fourth in the second race.
In a fleet which can see fortunes swing violently, Niklas Zennström’s Hamble-based Rán fought its way back to be fourth in the first race, but could manage only sixth in the second. “At what is not the halfway stagevof the 2011 series everyone is now going at the same speed,” said Rán tactician Gavin Brady. “So everyone can have a god race; it’s a question of how bad are the bad ones.”
All of which meant that a more tightly sailed Franco-German All4One, skippered by Jochen Sch?mann, moved to the top of the table, Container slipped to second, Quantum climbed to third and Rán dropped from third to fifth.
Opening their Sardinia campaigns were the Soto 40 class with Tony Buckingham carrying the flag for Britain. The South American-bred 40 from Argentina has replaced the more expensive GP42 which formerly was part of the Audi circuit and only four of the opening fleet of five are on the start line off Cagliari, but the technical director, Nacho Postigo, is confident there could be up to 12 next year.
Buckingham, a man with a mixed military and business background, says: "It’s fantastic. I love the boat to pieces. It’s very technical to sail, but downwind it is electric, much more fun than the Farr 40s. We are definitely going to give it a couple of seasons and there is nothing to compare in terms of bang for buck.”
He does not think it likely that he would compete in a fleet in the UK, where he also has a rather under-used Jersey-based Melges 32 and enjoys shooting and fly fishing. Nor does he want to see an owner-driver rule. “I want the class to be totally open, I don’t believe in an owner-drive rule, it should be a free-for-all,” he says.
It is typical of Buckingham’s buccaneer style. The boat is named Ngoni “after a central African tribe of marauders. I just liked the name. It is short and to the point,” he says.
But, as a man who has organised everything from armies to oil and diamond exploration, Buckingham has ever-watchful eyes on the difficult economic times which could affect the class. “After all, it is always the toys that are the first to go. But we need a spectrum of people to race this class and the sport in general needs consolidation.”
He researched the boat on the net and YouTube and decided “there was more fun than the average bear should be allowed.”
A pair of competitive thirds on a boat which has been converted from his more usual wheel to tiller steering were still enjoyable despite one spectacular wipeout on a downwind leg.
They also echoed down the years his third in the Tour de France a la Voile in 2000, in which he also sailed, in a boat called Easy Oars, with his current tactician, Kevin Sproul. That race was won by Adrian Stead in Barlo Plastics.
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month