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Audi Med CupTP52

First coastal of the season

Breezes are due to be up to 25 knots off Cabo Raso, the most northerly turning mark for the TP52 Series. Game on!
The first coastal race of the Audi MedCup season seems like it will be a race of two halves. After a short opening windward leeward, the course goes north west along the coast to Cabo Raso before turning for a long run then two down-and-back reaches into the river towards the city of Lisbon.
A variable mark will be set to determine how far the TP52 fleet goes up towards the city, but for certain there should be some picturesque images. Overall distance is around 38 miles. So the first windward-leeward section will be crucial, there will certainly be some tactical options on the leg up to Cabo Raso, but the course is expected to generall favour the right upwind, but by the time they pass offshore of Cascais on the downwind leg maybe the order will be pretty much settled.
After that it will be a boat-speed test with few passing lanes. But, as usual, the finish is right in off the entrance to the marina, right in front of the race village. Up by Cabo Raso the breeze is expected to hit more than 25 knots. The Cape is just by one of Europe's legendary surf spots Guincho, and in this breeze there should be some fast surfing conditions back from the Cape.
The GP42 Series will race two windward-leeward races. Skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA) will be back in action on Quantum Racing (USA), recovered from his head knock, but the 2008 champions have some work to do to start scaling the leaderboard, lying in sixth place.
They are nine points off a podium place at the moment and today's coastal race carries a points multiplier of 1.5.
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) lead the TP52 Series by three points over TeamOrigin (GBR).
For the British team it is their first ever coastal race, but they have twice America's Cup winner Juan Vila (ESP) as navigator. Juan also sailed previously with Artemis (SWE) two years ago. The weather forecast shows breeze to 22 knots, from between NNW and even east of north at times.

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