The Untouchables? Quantum Racing is Back on their Game in 2016
(Friday 16th September, Menorca) – As a team which is much more used to winning Quantum Racing had some tough moments in 2015 when they were overshadowed by Azzurra. But the TP52 class’s most successful team are back on song this season, more so than ever in Menorca, racing at their very, very best.As the 2016 52 World Championship regatta passed its theoretical mid-point today, Doug DeVos’ American-flagged crew already have the title by the scruff of the neck and look firm favourites to run away with another world championship win at Sunday’s prizegiving in Mahón.
After six races Quantum Racing have accumulated only ten points.
Their worst race finish so far is the third place that they gained in Race 6, losing second to Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing because their bow pulpit had failed and the Quantum crew could not fully hike.
With Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, Ed Baird steering, and Ian Moore as navigator Quantum took three points from Day 1, three points from Day 2 and now just four more points from today after winning the first race.
In pursuit of the seemingly untouchable Quantum, Rán Racing had one of their best days of the year so far to match Quantum’s daily score with two second places. But it is Ergin Imre’s Provezza which holds second place, separated from Rán on countback only by virtue of a gun to gun win in Race 6, today’s second windward-leeward.
Menorca delivered two great races today. The first was raced in the south-westerly breeze which has prevailed so far. But the NW’ly pushed through for the second race, requiring the course area to be changed, offering a whole new array of tactical choices on a brand new arena.
Quantum Racing and Rán Racing broke away early in the first beat of the first race of the day, Race 5 of the series. Quantum Racing started closer to the middle of the line and were able to impose themselves early, while Rán went more to the right, inshore and profited. On the first run Peter Harrison’s Sorcha made a great gain down the offshore side of the leg, jumping up to third. Unfortunately they were penalised for an infringement during a very compact group at the finish, dropping to 11th. Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec made a great recovery to steal third with Provezza fourth.
A big, heading shift on the first downwind forced the first attempt at Race 6 to be abandoned. But the delay, as the course area was moved several miles, was rewarded with an exciting second race where boatspeeds topped 20kts and the head to head drag race off the start line which went on for several minutes was one of the most exciting periods of the season so far.
Cognisant of how the new breeze would bend down the race course, Provezza executed their game plan to perfection, hooking into the left lift early to lead all the way around the course, surging away from Quantum Racing at the first kite hoist.
The hard tactical racing was a great chance for consistency for some. The young team on Paprec posted two fifth places and lie eighth overall. Bronenosec halted their miserable run of races here so far with a third and fourth today.
The plan to run a coastal on Saturday has been changed to a schedule requiring two more windward-leewards with a warning signal for the first one at 1200hrs.
52 World Championship – Mahón, Menorca
Standings after Day 3, six races sailed
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1,1,2,1,3) 10pts
2 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7,3,6,4,1) 27pts
3 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2,2,10,2,2) 27pts
4 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10,7,1,6,7) 32pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3,5,7,12,8) 40pts
6 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4,10,4,8,11) 41pts
7 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,9,11,3,4) 43pts
8 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF/13,8,9,5,5) 43pts
9 Alegre, GBR (Andy Soriano USA) (7,5,6,8,9,12) 47pts
10 Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6,4,12,11,6) 51pts
11 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11,12,3,7,9) 53pts
12 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9,11,5,10,10) 55pts
Ed Baird (USA) skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA):
“It has been magical so far. Everything Terry has gotten us to do has worked out and so I just try to keep up with driving the boat. Unfortunately we had a bit of a breakdown on the second race, we broke the bow pulpit on one side and could not hike upwind on the second leg. Rán were able to catch up to us and get around us. But the positioning of Terry and the teamwork of the guys has been fantastic. It is working. All we ever try to do is realise that yesterday is yesterday and tomorrow is tomorrow when we can do a little better. It does not matter if you had a good day or a bad day tomorrow you just try to do that little bit better. So far it is working. We have a lot of racing to go and there are a lot of good teams putting pressure on where we are. But it is magic.”
Nacho Postigo (ESP) navigator Provezza (TUR):
“We had a good idea of what the wind would do after the big change, and so we had a plan and we stuck to it. There was a transition between the SW’ly and the NW’ly wrapping around the island. And when the NW’ly was in normally it does a left bend around the island. We are up to second overall, tied with Rán Racing and so the fight through the final two days with be interesting.
I think this is the one of the best places to race because there is no single track. And there are plenty of opportunities to gain and to lose. So it is not only boatspeed and finding the best side. It is about being awake and focused on what is happening. It is a very good place to race. Some are reading it very well, and some not so well.”
The 52 World Championship will take place in Mahón, Menorca from 14th-18th September. Tomorrow, racing will start at 12:00 CEST every day, with live coverage for the remainder of the regatta. You can catch all the action atwww.52SUPERSERIES.com or via the app.