The trend was upwards for the Brits but dominant for the Americans in the opening regatta of the 2011 Audi MedCup as new skipper Ed Baird and the crew of Quantum posted five wins from nine starts.
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The debut by the Swedish-flagged but British campaigned Rán started uncomfortably for Niklas Zennström but he exited with a win in the coastal race followed by a second and a third in the final pair of inshore races. The late surge was not enough to lift Zennström from fifth overall, but it was a major boost to a team that has stepped up a gear.
All the other boats have professional crews, including helmsmen, but Zennström, best known for being one of the founders of the Skype internet communications company, is the only owner driver. He plans to put in 100 days racing this year, including 36 in the TP52 which is the weapon of choice for the Audi MedCup.
Quantum won both races on the final day to take the Cascais Trophy in exciting, breezy conditions. Bair and co. already had it in the bag with a race to spare, but the event is cumulative, every race in the five regattas counting towards the 2011 championship, so extra points could be valuable further down the line.
Not such a bright start in the Soto 40 class, which has joined the circuit, for British entry Ngoni, owned by Tony Buckingham. But there was consolation in the form of a win in the eighth race. The Soto 40 regatta was won by Spain’s Iberdrola, skippered by José Maria Torcida.