Sailing: Mean Machine wins Audi Medcup grand prix
Sunday 18 May 2008
In keeping with its Mean Machine name, Dutchman Peter de Ridder pippedSpain's King Juan Carlos by just one point to win the opening Audi Medcupgrand prix yesterday.
Only one of a possible three races was sailed in patchy winds which turnedto autumnal rain and it was won convincingly by the king along with NewZealand America's Cup skipper Dean Barker.
De Ridder was seven places behind, with some gnarly, veteran Kiwis of hisown in a very impressive crew, in eighth. But he had a big enough cushionfrom the previous seven scores, including five wins in a row, to hang on tothe trophy.
Third-placed Terry Hutchinson failed in his pre-regatta aim to beat Barker,for whom he was tactician aboard team new Zealand in last year's America'sCup 100 miles up the coast in Valencia, but most disappointed were PaulCayard, skipper of Spain's America's Cup team aboard El Desafio, 24 pointsadrift of de Ridder in eighth overall, and Britain's Hertfordshire-basedJohn Cook, 10th aboard his Cristabella.
While each of the six regattas in the series stands alone, the points areall carried forward, first to Marseille at the beginning of June andfinally to Portimao, Portugal in September.
De Ridder's dominance of a week which, last year, was gifted with strongwinds but this year tested tacticians and navigators with patchyconditions, is testimony both to campaign organisation and a crew line-upcrammed with experience. Like many others, the team has benefited from thehalt which legal action and the private battle between Ernesto Bertarelliand Larry Ellison has brought to the America's Cup.
All the other challenging teams have had to lay people off, releasing aflood of top crew to other events, not least what is still the most hotlycontested big boat circuit.
But tactician Ray Davies predicted that the rivals would soon catch up tocampaigb which, he said, had been rewarded for all its pre-season work andwas already operating at somewhere near maximum.
Ellison's own BMW Oracle team is expected to join in Marseille and awatching Mike Sanderson, director of sailing for Britain's originchallenge, said that the TP52 circuit was an option for next season.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Manchester United have two days to seal the transfer of the summer, Arsenal need to panic, Jose Mourinho right to blast Chelsea reluctance
Celtic supporters mock Fenerbahce fans' threatening 'knife' pictures with their own versions - featuring spoons and bananas
Swansea 2 Manchester United 1 player ratings: Was Andre Ayew the Swans' star man or did Bafetimbi Gomis steal the show?
Anthony Martial to Manchester United: United 'open talks' with £36m Monaco striker as Javier Hernandez joins Bayer Leverkusen
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up