Final practice day for the TP52's

With a low pressure centre due to settle to the north west of Lisbon it looks like slightly changeable conditions will be the order of the day for the official Practice Day for the TP52's at the Cascais Trophy, while most of the Soto 40 fleet are expected to go on the water for informal training.

The mood around the dockside off the Club Navale Cascais is a strange mix of quiet anticipation and, for many, deja vu. Did the winter really happen? Certainly time marched in and these incredible fleets are now poised to go racing for the first time.

Of the TP52's there are newcomers that are probably a little more on edge, ready to take on this new experience for the first time.

Ed Baird (USA) has big shoes to fill aboard the usually very consistent Quantum Racing (USA), where Terry Hutchinson (USA) kept the bar high from the start of the season to the very end.

And the two new teams Ran and Container, sisters built at Green Marine in Lymington, England are both richly endowed with talent and technology, but this will be their first time lining up on the Audi MedCup Circuit this week.

Baird (USA) America's Cup winning skipper of Quantum Racing (USA) confirms " The fleet will be racing together for the first tim e so we are anxious to find out how they are all performing. We expect strong wind conditions for the beginning of the day which will drop along the day. We will learn a lot of things, that's for sure".

And for the old hands it probably feels like business as usual, some who are getting into their seventh season, they will reminding themselves - as Vasco Vascotto did yesterday - that you are only as good as your next race.

The format for today is the standard one for Practice Day, two practice starts back to back from 1300hrs for the TP52's then the practice race starts for real. For the first time on the Circuit there will be on the water umpiring

At start time there will between 8 and 13kts of wind, with the trend being left and dropping, wind direction around 100-120 degrees. then by 1500hrs it will have built more offshore, more pressure to the right of the track. and by five in the afternoon a stormy squall will come through with a big right shift. and gusting up tp 25kts.