Risk Management until the End

This Region of Sardinia Regatta is going to be about the careful balancing act of risk and reward.
Emirates Team New Zealand know what it takes to win in Cagliari. The shimmering waters of the Gulf of Cagliari were the scene of just one of the Kiwi team’s four successive regatta wins last year, en route to winning the 2009 Audi MedCup, but as they plot their course towards what they hope will be their second in a row, little will change in the team’s approach.
Even with a lead of 46.5 points over second placed Quantum Racing and up to 11 races left to complete the Audi MedCup season Dean Barker and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew know there is no room for complacency.
As they seek to execute with the same ruthless efficiency that they did last year, against a fleet which has never set a higher standard, the defending champions will stick to the same gameplan, consistency and conservation are as keynote now as they have been in Cascais, Marseille, Barcelona and Cartagena.
“We are just looking to sail smart and sail clean.” Emphasized tactician Ray Davies (NZL) after today's practice race.
The waters off the Region of Sardinia’s capital also hold fond memories for the Quantum Racing team under skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson (USA). This was where they won their first regatta together as a team in 2008, going on to secure the series title in Portimao, Portugal. And here, today, they have confirmed that they will campaign a new build Botin Carkeek design in 2011.
Here, too, the predominantly American team will also be doing their best to sail their own regatta. They have just over 20 points on Matador (ARG) and TeamOrigin (GBR), but Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis (SWE) team are also breathing down the necks of that duo, and any one of these three may seize any opportunity to drag the 2008 champions back into the pack.
“We are probably in the most difficult position than anybody here, we have ETNZ up ahead, and we have three boats packed in, who all want our position, so, probably this regatta should be, for us.” Said project manager Ed Reynolds today.
And as the season draws to its conclusion all ten 52 Series crews know that the final Audi MedCup regatta of 2010 will be the one they remember most readily, but hopefully for the right reasons.
Who can forget the extraordinary finale in 2009, on the horns of a buffeting Mistral when the windward mark was dragged, when top regatta trophy contenders let their prospects slip through unforced errors, and when simple gear failures in the strong winds, added an unwanted extra points ballast?
Even today’s practice race, contested in 6-11kts of sea breeze and flat waters - proved there will be surprises all the way until the finish. Although Britain’s TeamOrigin seemed to have done enough to win, Jose Cusi’s Bribon (ESP) – renowned as a light winds, flat water performer – stole victory when they found extra wind pressure down the right side of the final run.
Audi MedCup Circuit standings after 4 events available on www.medcup.org
52 Series Official Practice Race
1. Bribón (ESP)
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), +00:04
3. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), +00:14
4. Artemis (SWE), +00:17
5. Matador (ARG), +00:49
6. Quantum Racing (USA), +00:52
7. Luna Rossa (ITA), +01:01
8. Cristabella (GBR), +01:20
TeamOrigin (GBR), DNF
Synergy (RUS), DNF
Risk Management until the End Risk Management until the End Reviewed by Panos Douros on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 Rating: 5

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