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Emerging with a sixth from a scrappy, difficult final race which was contested in conflicting breezes Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the Marseille Trophy by 14 points, the biggest regatta winning margin on the Audi MedCup Circuit since Mean Machine won in Portimao in 2007.
Winning four races and never finishing worse than sixth in the ten races here, the Kiwi team skippered by Dean Barker (NZL) with past MedCup winner Ray Davies (NZL) as tactician move 16 points clear at the head of the Audi MedCup TP52 Series standings ahead of defending Circuit champions Quantum Racing (USA).
Four winning guns for Emirates Team New Zealand were supported by a consistent string of scores, reflecting as much their fortitude as a team, able to come back better from their occasional visits to the lower depths of the fleet. Typical of that, they pulled back to sixth today from eighth in a final race which was afflicted by two very different, breezes tussling for supremacy on either side of the course.
But in their de-brief the Kiwi circuit leaders will consider that their current leading margin belies how close the racing has been here, and in Alicante and reflects Quantum Racing's two premature starts, and third placed Matador's headfoil failure in the coastal race. They have no room for complacency.
* In today's final day of racing in the GP42 Series, a large 8-point spread between series leader Roma 2 (ITA) and runner-up Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) was going to make it hard for the Italian team to lose the regatta. There would have to have been two races with Roma getting last place and Canarias first place in both for Roma to lose.
And as unlikely as that would have seemed, at the bottom gate rounding of today's first race that's precisely what was happening, as a huge hole in the wind accompanied by a significant shift in direction completely reshuffled the positions in this highly-competitive fleet.
Caser-Endesa (ESP), being last around the top mark having been over early at the start, got vaulted into vying for the lead with Canarias, and Roma and Airis (ITA) both got shot out the back to having to fight Swing (JPN) for fifth.
Yet despite this and yet another big shift and drop in pressure on the last run to the finish, Canarias kept their cool, covered the fleet, and coasted to their third win in the series.
When asked about how he felt about the competitiveness of this class, Cian, winner at last week's Korea Match Cup and a regular on the World Match Racing Tour, said "The class is very difficult, you cannot let your guard down. All the teams are getting better and better, so we expect a real fight in the next stage at Cagliari." -- Dobbs Davis
Next up: Region of Sardinia Trophy, 20 - 25 July
Audi MedCup Circuit 2009 Marseille Trophy
TP52 Series Overall (10 races)
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 27.5 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA), 41.5
3. Matador (ARG), 47.5
4. Bigamist (POR), 55.5
5. Bribon (ESP), 62.5
GP42 Series
Overall (9 races)
1. Roma (ITA), 17 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 23
3. Caser-Endesa (ESP), 27
4. Turismo Madrid (ESP), 35
5. Airis (ITA), 38

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