Row erupts over Artemis Barcelona win

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The Independent Online

A furious row was underway tonight after a brilliant display of downwind speed and boat handling by the American Paul Cayard and his Artemis team from Sweden appeared to have won the Barcelona grand prix of the Audi MedCup.

But the Argentinian team Matador, with Mariano Parada as skipper, lodged a protest claiming their boat had been impeded by Artemis and the matter was referred to an international jury. They threw it out. The cup went to Artemis.

Left with everything to do on the final leg after the current champions Emirates Team New Zealand had sailed into a position to snatch a trophy supplied by its new Volvo round the world race sponsor, Camper, Cayard and tactician Cameron Appleton produced a storming finish which also would have pipped Britain’s Ben Ainslie and Team Origin out of second place, except Origin took a voluntary penalty which dropped them to 10th.

The race winner was the king of Spain’s Bribon, which pleased the local crowd, all the attention ashore and afloat was on whether a competition which is becoming tighter and tighter at the top would once again test the previously seeming invincibility of what is still a battle-hardened and impressive Kiwi outfit.

It did and the Kiwis were not helped by the drag of a plastic bag round the rudder for over half the race..

Life remains an up and down affair for Origin, whose founder and backer Sir Keith Mills was on board to enjoy some exhilarating conditions. Origin finished the regatta 6th overall. The penalty cost them two places. After three of the five Audi MedCup regattas Origin is 5th overall, which accounts for their uncompromising self-criticism.

The second British boat, Cristabella finished 5th in Barcelona after a couple of top results from helmsman Tim Powell and tactician John Cutler, but lie 8th going into the final pair of regattas.

Origin’s patchy performance is blamed by some on a boat which has yet to show the edge they hoped for, by others on the time it takes, even for a team so talented, to serve an apprenticeship in what is the top big boat series in the world. Hopes are high that Audi is close to renewing its support.

TNZ still has a commanding lead after the first three regattas as Terry Hutchinson’s Quantum failed to maintain an early charge. With Cartagena, Spain, and Cagliari, Sardinia, left to play, it has a 28.5-point cushion, but it is believed that the boat has been sold to Australia. With so many potential America’s Cup challengers in the Audi MedCup fleet, much rests on any announcement which the holders of the Cup, the San Francisco-based BMW Oracle, makes about its proposed regatta programme for the next two years and, even more importantly, the type of boat it will designate for its defence.

Podcast: Paul Cayard ponders a multihull future

Results following the Audi MedCup in Barcelona:

TP52 Series - Overall Standings from the Camper Regatta, Conde de Godó Trophy - Barcelona

Pos. Country Team PTS

1 SWE Artemis 33

2 NZL Emirates Team New Zealand 35

3 USA Quantum Racing 44

4 ESP Bribón 58

5 GBR Cristabella 62

6 GBR TeamOrigin 1851 63

7 ARG Matador 67

8 POR Bigamist 70

9 ITA Luna Rossa 73

10 RUS Synergy 73

11 GER / FRA Audi A1 Powered By All4one 84

GP42 Series - Overall Standings

Pos. Country Team PTS

1 ESP Madrid - Caser Seguros 14

2 ESP Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 19

3 ESP Iberdrola 26

4 GBR Peninsula Petroleum 37

5 ITA Airisessential 39

Overall standings after three events (Cascais, Marseille, Barcelona)

TP52 Series - Overall Standings

Pos. Country Team PTS

1 NZL Emirates Team New Zealand 97,5

2 USA Quantum Racing 126

3 SWE Artemis 143

4 GBR TeamOrigin 1851 153.5

5 ARG Matador 154

6 GER / FRA Audi A1 Powered By All4one 165

7 GBR Cristabella 170,5

8 RUS Synergy 172,5

9 ESP Bribón 181,5

10 ITA Luna Rossa 195

11 POR Bigamist 236

GP42 Series - Overall Standings

Pos. Country Team PTS

1 ESP Madrid - Caser Seguros 50

2 ESP Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 50

3 ESP Iberdrola 61

4 ITA Airisessential 91

5 GBR Peninsula Petroleum 101