Sunday, June 19, 2011

What The Winners Said at Audi MedCup

Photo: Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup
Markus Wieser (GER) skipper-helm Container (GER): 
Photo: Ian Roman/Audi MedCup
“When we started sailing in Cascais we said a top three, podium result would be great for us and we got second. We came here to Marseille and we also thought a top three would be great, so winning is a great surprise for us. We are new to the class and I sailed the boat for the first time in Cascais, but it all comes down to the great team and the owner. He gave me the chance to sail with the guys I wanted to sail with. We have a great tactician, we have Hartwell Jordan who is running the boat, the sail programme so we are set up very well. And so it really comes down to the team. We all won together, and it is great victory for us and for Germany. We have a nice combination. I have known Hamish for many, many years. We sailed together on the match-race circuit and with Hartwell the mainsail trimmer we sailed together for many years, so it is a nice combination. I picked the guys to fit nicely together and we have fun sailing together. If you have fun you can sail very well together. 

"On the long distance race yesterday we had a fight coming from behind. And we won the race because we were just fighting all the time and it is just nice sailing with these guys. After the second day we were in sixth position but the gap between us was just six points and so we always knew that if we can have a good day we would be back in the game. Consistency is so very important, even with eight boats you have to fight for every place and never give up. So our fighting mentality helped us come back. 

"Our team is working very well in the light stuff and the strong breeze so the next regatta in Cagliari will be good. I think that Quantum, us and Audi Azzurra Sailing Team have a slight advantage. There was not much between us an Quantum. We did beat Quantum five races in a row and so we played the shifts a little better. But if you are on the up you feel strong and if you are not doing so well it is hard to fight back. If one team is on a high it is really hard to beat them. We have been on a high the last three days so it was difficult for Quantum to catch us. Out boat speed became better and better. We are learning every day and we are still catching up. I think it is very level between us, Quantum and Azzurra.”

Hamish Pepper (NZL) tactician Container (GER):
Photo: Ian Roman/Audi MedCup
“It is a bit of a shame we did not get to sail today. We would have had an exciting race with Quantum Racing and the other boats would have been fighting it out for third I'm sure. We are thrilled. We are new to the Circuit and so it is great to get a win. We are getting to know the boat better and learning the modes, targets and speeds. The boat seems to be very good downwind, we gained a lot downwind when the breeze got up downwind. Markus and the guys did a great job trimming. And we managed to get the pressure at the right time.

"It is always important to win regattas, it is a nice feeling. The shore team put so much time into the boat, they work very long hours and so for us to go on the water and be able to pull it off is great. And for Udo to be here it is great.

"The level is always good. Quantum Racing is a good boat, Azzurra is good and Synergy, and RAN have a good crew. Even Gladiator won a couple of races and showed they are a good boat and a good team. It is always tricky. It is tough, always tough.

"This is a totally different venue to Cascais. It is a tactical venue. There are lots of things going on with pressure, lots of opportunities, shifts and geographical effects. It is a tough regatta to do well in.
We are here having fun and we enjoy going sailing. There are a lot of friends on board and that is fun sailing. When you are having fun sailing it seems to go well. It is fun sailing with Markus.
I was a bit tired after the Olympic regatta so it is nice to get the body back in order here."

Ed Baird (USA), Skipper, Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup
“We are disappointed because we would´ve liked to have a chance to go out there today and get some points back, but the weather is the weather. Container sailed really well this week, especially in the last three or four races, they deserved to win. Basically, we stretched our lead from a lot of the teams and only lost to them. We are happy so far. Now we have to wait for the next opportunity to race everybody in Italy.”

Ed Reynolds (USA) project manager Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: Francesco Ferri_Borlenghi Studio/Audi MedCup
“The important thing is that we only lost 1.5 points in the overall since Cascais, that is all. This was like last year where the Kiwis dominated in Cascais and came here and got fourth. This was a really tough, tough regatta and Container did a really good job to end up where they did. I am really proud of our guys too, it was amazingly tough. We felt we survived and it could easily, easily have been ten points worse off. Debrief? We think that marginal surfing conditions are maybe not really a strong point of the boat, or whether we need more technique. We had never sailed in these conditions so there was a lot of learning going on. We are going to make some more changes.

"I think our boat is very strong upwind. There are some areas downwind; it could be the sail choice, could be the technique. That is one of the things we will work on for next time. Container – I don’t want to take away from the skill of the crew – have it figured out but the boat looks really quick downwind. We are hoping for steadier breeze in Cagliari and just to get some time to let the big horse get out and run for a while. We won in Cagliari three years ago, had a really bad regatta two years and we were in the hunt last time.

"It is very different dynamic without Terry (Hutchinson). This is good working through an adversity together. It has been fun because it has been pointed and the discussions are good and so I do think we will come away from here as a stronger team. For everybody here it is a change. This event everyone was so close together.

"For us we never come to a regatta to win it, it is always about the series. And so from that standpoint each event is a race in a regatta, in the big scheme of things. We were not naïve enough to think we were going to come here and run the table. This is the closest the series has been since I have been doing the MedCup. We just got on a roll in Cascais and the expectations were high and pretty big, but I don’t think anyone on our team was believing that.”

Tony Langley (GBR) owner-driver Gladiator (GBR):
Photo: Stefano Gattini_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup 
“We exceeded all our expectations this time out. It was fantastic. I made a few changes after Palma Vela and signed Chris Main a week ago and his experience has been invaluable, that was a late thing. And that was the missing ingredient. He asked me what I wanted him to and I said I want you to roll the dice. He said to be prepared to be last in every race. I said that if we are going to be a last in every race then just make sure it's not a procession to the last. I said roll the dice and if we come out in the top half then don’t roll it again, and if we come out in the bottom half then roll it again if you can.

"It is all a challenge. For me it is all about steering the boat myself. We had a very long coastal race. The first hour and a half we were the second boat and then the third boat, then fourth and after an hour and half I was pretty pleased with that. And I don’t think it is any coincidence that the two last boats were owner-drivers, in uprange conditions. I can drive at a reasonable level at 12-14 knots, but uprange is where the pros are still driving at 98% after four hours and I am down to 80%."

Audi MedCup Media Team

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