Photos © Guilain Grenier / Nespresso Cup
Indio strengthen their position to claim the Nespresso Cup Trophy
The battle lines have been drawn for the final day of racing for the Nespresso Cup tomorrow after today’s penultimate day produced only one race in the light conditions of Portofino. Andrea Recordati’s INDIO scored another victory to claim three wins from the three races so far in the Overall Division, and strengthen their position at the top of the Nespresso Cup overall leaderboard ahead of Y3K and Magic Carpet2. “At the first cross we were behind Y3K but we kept going on the left-side and it was good so we took the lead on the first leg which we maintained to the end,” said Carlo Torre, INDIO’s yacht manager.
The race committee of the Yacht Club Italiano postponed the start of the race to allow the wind to increase, getting the windward/ leeward race underway at 12h20 in around 5-6 knots of south-easterly breeze. But the light conditions remained testing for the Wally crews and, in particular, the tacticians who were constantly looking for the shifts and pressure to gain an advantage as Y3K skipper Claus-Peter Offen explained: “We were the very first boat out at the start, we went to the right side but the left side was favoured so INDIO profited from a bit more breeze. It was very, very tricky indeed, and on the second windward leg Magic Carpet2 suffered a bit on the wrong side and we passed inside. It was very close sailing.”
For Magic Carpet2 their third place was a disappointment which now puts them one point behind their main opponent Y3K: “The conditions weren’t ideal for us against the two larger Wallys,” explained Jochen Schüman, tactician and Nespresso Cup Race Ambassador. “The gamble on the second upwind leg dropped us to third which was hard – no real mistake, just less breeze in different spots so Y3K got passed us. We’re not very happy but we didn’t know how to do better.”
In the Performance Division, Lauro Buoro’s all-Italian team on INTI claimed today’s victory against Philippe Ligier’s all-French team on Ryokan 2 but with only one point separating the two Wally’s, this contest is far from over: “It’s going to be tough tomorrow because if the forecast is even lighter than today, we are pretty tight with Ryokan 2,” said tactician, Alberto Barovier. “We have to control them and ensure no one gets in between.” The crew of Kenora, the largest competing Wally at 32.72m, competing in the Performance Division enjoyed today’s race to overhaul Dark Shadow for third place.
Whilst INDIO has what seems an unassailable lead going into the final day of the Nespresso Cup, the strategies of Y3K and Magic Carpet2 are clear as they contest to be on the podium in the Overall Division: “In these circumstances we have to concentrate to defend our second position from our main opponent Magic Carpet2 who is just 1 point behind and that can change quickly,” concluded Offen.
Although these professional and Corinthian teams know it is never over until it’s over as INDIO’s Carlo Torre pointed out: “We have a good margin in terms of points with three wins but obviously it’s easy with light and shifty winds that you can pass easily from first to last. All the boats have good tacticians, always searching for the good spot. We cannot be conservative, we have to attack.”
Grant Dalton, Managing Director of Emirates Team New Zealand, arrived in Portofino today to join the Nespresso Cup Ambassadors Francesco de Angelis, Loick Peyron, Samantha Davies and Jochen Schüman. Emirates Team New Zealand officially confirmed that the Kiwi syndicate would be challenging for the 34th America’s Cup supported by Nespresso. “Emirates Team New Zealand is a passionate kind of culture. We do our racing for simply only one reason and we believe we are reasonably good at it; we have got a brand that is almost a market leader now in the sport,” said Dalton. “And I think you can say the same things about Nespresso. They are absolutely market leaders and they are growing quickly. The single thing that sticks in my mind, from the very first contact I had, is that culturally they are similar type of people-focused company, aiming at quality and service and that is the same as us. We are actually in a service industry trying to service the sponsors, service the media and service our core fan base.”
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Results after Day 2: (3 races)
1st Indio 1-1-1 = 3pts
2nd Y3K 3-2-2 = 7pts
3rd Magic Carpet2 2-3-3 = 8pts
4th Dark Shardow (P) 4-4-4 = 12pts
5th Esense (P) DNS-DNS-DNS = 18pts
1st Inti 1-2-1 = 4pts
2nd Ryokan 2 2-1-2 = 5pts
3rd Kenora 3-4-3 = 10pts
4th Dark Shadow 4-3-4 = 11pts
5th Esense DNS-DNS-DNS = 18pts