TP52 Super Series Miami  (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

(Tuesday 7th March, Miami) – Just as they led after the first day of racing in Key West in January, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew top the early leaderboard at the 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup for after a dramatic first day of TP52 racing in brisk SE’ly winds and big, disorderly waves off Miami Beach.Platoon’s victory in the second race, gained in the closing stages of a fast final run, credits them with the overall lead on tie break from the Roemmers family’s Azzurra, which posted two consistent second places.

“It was a really good start for us. We had good speed and we made some nice comebacks and in that last race on the last downwind it was down to just a few metres, so that was good. It was really great racing. But of course tomorrow is all different, new situations and new challenges, but it is good to start well.” owner-helm Müller-Spreer smiled on the dock of the Miami Beach Marina where the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet is hosted.

The 16-20kts winds and the unruly swell kicked up by the strong winds of the last few days punished small errors and placed a real premium on well-coordinated crew work. Azzurra in second place lead Quantum Racing who are one point behind in third. With Bora Gulari steering his first 52 SUPER SERIES races Quantum Racing won the first race but did not get the start they wanted in the second contest, taking fourth.

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

But the toughest challenge at this second regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES is that facing the Gladiator crew. Their new boat was hit by Sled during the second beat of Race 2, only the second race for Tony Langley’s team with their latest Gladiator, suffering a significant gash to their port topsides which eliminates the boat from further competition at the regatta.

The shore team and crew now aim to re-dress and step the mast on their previous Gladiator, which they aim to bring from West Palm Beach which is some 70 miles away, aiming to be ready for racing on Thursday. Sled suffered damage to the forefoot of their bow but hope to be back in action Wednesday.

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

Race 1: Gulari Shows His Mettle As Quantum Racing Opens With A Win
There may have been a new hand on the helm, but Quantum Racing carried forward the momentum from their impressive 2017 52 SUPER SERIES opening win at Quantum Key West Race Week six weeks ago.Bora Gulari, the team’s newest addition, moved from the strategist role to the helm for this event and showed that all his time sailing foiling moths and Olympic cataramans has prepared him well for driving these 52-foot thoroughbreds in some challenging conditions off Miami Beach.Quantum Racing was among a handful of boats, including Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and Tony Langley’s new Gladiator, which controlled the front row off the starting line.
Azzurra, with Guillermo Parada at the helm and Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, didn’t have quite the same freedom early in that first leg, but made the critical call to hit the left side on the top third of beat and so squeaked past Quantum Racing around the first mark.
Those two boats battled nip and tuck down the first run with Azzurra holding the lead and choosing the left side of the next leg. It was the right which paid better for Quantum Racing which was able to take over the lead when the boats converged again midway up the second beat.

Azzurra pushed Quantum Racing hard on the final run, closing to within a boat length, but the American team held on for the win. Platoon was third with Rán Racing fourth and Provezza rounding out the top five.

Race 2: Platoon Steals A March With Win, Leads Overall
With John Kostecki calling tactics and Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Jordi Calafat on strategy the Platoon team displayed poise under pressure to win Race 2 of the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup and grab the overall lead.From a four way final sprint to the finish line, the outcome of the second race was in the balance until the final metres. Platoon edged out Azzurra by only four second and were only six seconds ahead of Provezza.Miami Royal Cup. 52 SUPER SERIES. 
After Day 1, Two Races.
1 Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER) 3,1 4pts
2 Azzurra (ITA) (Roemmers Family, ARG) 2,2 4pts
3 Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos, USA) 1,4 5pts
4 Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre, TUR) 5,3 8pts
5 Rán Racing (SWE) (Niklas Zennström, SWE) 4,8 12pts
6 Alegre (GBR) (Andy Soriano, USA) 8,6 14pts
7 Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley, GBR) 7, RDG (7), 14pts
8 Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS) 10,5 15pts
9 Sorcha (GBR) (Peter Harrison, GBR) 9,7 16pts
10 Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura, USA) 6, 12 (DSQ) 18pts
11 Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) DNC 12, DNC 12 24pts

Quotes:
John Kostecki (USA) tactician Platoon (GER):

“[There were] some really big shifts and if you missed it you were out the back. In that second race, first beat, at times we looked like we were in last place. Sometimes we were in first place. It was quite shifty. We learned in the first race we really needed to attack the shifts and be a little more aggressive. We did that in that second race and it seemed to pay off. The waves made the crew work a challenge. You can definitely get thrown around and get your timing off because of the waves. So you play it a little conservatively at times, at least we did. The last race, it was close. On the final run we were pinned and we couldn’t jibe. Azzurra pinned us out all the way to the layline. Then they jibed away and we all of the sudden got a little header, so we kept going and extended away from them. That seemed to help us a little bit on the final jibe in. We were a minute or so separated [from Azzurra and Provezza] and they had to do an extra jibe and we were able to sail straight through the finish. It was close racing.”

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):

“I think we still made a couple of small mistakes. They are little, stupid mistakes but in the end they are what cost us a point and the lead. But we have to be happy. In the second race we were better, but still we gybed twenty second too late and so lost the chance to win that race. And so, overall, we have to be happy with two second and a share of the lead with Platoon. But on the other we need to clean up our way of sailing and not lose these kind of points. The level is so high every point is so important. The breeze was oscillating a lot. You work to what you think is the average for the day, still I think the right was generally better, with current and other things. It was exciting and I feel we positioned the boat quite nicely.

I am getting older and so don’t remember too much about different venues. I remember little things but I try to go out each day with a clear mind. I think we have sailed a lot here with the wind and 90 and 100 degrees but not so much 120 which we saw today. I clean all past from my head and just work with what I see and I go on the water with a plan, knowing how I want to sail.”

For full results, visit: http://bit.ly/2miZdMV
To watch the race again, visit http://bit.ly/2e6o3tR.

The 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup will take place from 7-11 March. Live commentary and boat tracking via the Virtual Eye is available Tuesday and Wednesday. 52 SUPER SERIES TV powered by Quantum Sails goes live THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY with live action streamed from the race course supported by tracking, commentary and comment from 15-minutes before racing starts each day. All available at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE and the the app.

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com 

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

TP52 Super Series Miami (Photo © Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

(Thursday 26th May, Scarlino) – Broad smiles around the Marina di Scarlino told the story of Races 3 and 4 for the 52 SUPER SERIES’ Scarlino Cup and without doubt the most contented crew were that of Ergin Imre’s Provezza. Not only did the Turkish flagged team win both races but they led at every mark, even the margins at times were mere metres. It was a nice early season payback to the hugely supportive and enthusiastic owner Imre who invested heavily through this last winter, ordering a new, stiffer rig and new foils and enhanced their sail programme in a clearly defined quest to stand on the podium at the end of this season.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

With the 9-13kts breeze round more to the south than Day 1 there was an acknowledged advantage on the left side of the upwind, closer to the beneficial influence of the land. Provezza executed their game plan to the letter, staking an early claim to the pin end of the start line and fighting to maintain that key spot.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Their lead at the top mark in the first race was more conclusive, in the second it was down to a matter of a half a boat length on Azzurra and Quantum Racing. But the Provezza team stayed cool through the day and enjoyed their success, well knowing that they had been fortunate to make it to the start line.

They broke a deflector during the pre-race warm up and had to send a crew member aloft for nearly 30 minutes to make a fix. In fact this mishap rather cleared their heads, admitted tactician Tony Rey later, and they could do little more than focus on fighting for the pin and delivering on their game plan.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Andy Beadsworth, the GBR Olympian who steers Provezza commented:

“We have done a lot of work over the winter. Ergin has committed a lot of resources to try and improve the boat with a new rig, new foils, a few changes to the positions of the foils. We have made a few sail design changes and hopefully these things are coming together and we will see a general trend of improvement. A day like to today makes everything worthwhile.”

The two race wins promote Provezza to second overall after four races of this opening regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES season four points behind Quantum Racing. If Provezza’s starts were pin sharp today Quantum Racing’s were not up to their usual high standards. They were fouled in the final minute of the second race and had to compromise on what they wanted to do. Second to last off the line they still battled to third by the windward mark. The first start was the better but they held fourth all the way around the track. Overall it was another consistent day for the Ed Baird skippered Quantum Racing, 4,3 giving them a lead of four points now, improved by one point on the morning’s standings.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Azzurra came back to the dock with smiles much more evident than their “nightmare” start to the season yesterday. A good second in the second race of the day finally ignited their grins. They had their best start of the series so far, next boat to windward of Provezza and held second all the way around. This contrasted sharply with their first start of the day when they were ejected from the pin end sandwich and had to take a penalty. The Azzurra team were fully 40 seconds late in starting as a consequence but pulled through to sixth, what Vasco Vascotto, the Azzurra tactician, later described as “a little miracle”.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Consistency has been the Quantum Racing metier so far, Terry Hutchinson so far proving the fleet’s professor of risk management. This is especially evident on the start line where, as Hutchinson points out, they will not compromise the security of the big picture game plan by pressing for a high risk start. Don’t mistake this playoff between prudence and high stakes gambling as not pushing hard at the start:

“When I open the door in the morning I start pushing!” Hutchinson says emphatically.

Meantime rival Vasco Vascotto reaffirmed that nothing changed in the way they sailed the Azzurra, the 2015 52 SUPER SERIES championship winners, from yesterday’s high scoring opening to today’s very obvious improvement:

“I said to the guys on the boat ‘we change nothing’ we sail how we know we can sail and just remember there will be many ups and downs this season, that is how close this fleet is.”

Racing continues Friday with the coastal race planned.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series – Scarlino Cup
Standings after four races:
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3) 11 pts
2 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1) 15 pts
3 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6) 16 pts
4 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4) 18 pts
5 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5) 20 pts
6 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2) 23 pts
7 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (6,1,9,8) 24 pts
8 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7) 24 pts
9 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9) 29 pts
10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10) 40 pts
11 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11) 44 pts

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Quotes:
Andy Beadsworth GBR, helm Provezza TUR:

“We recognised in the pre race line ups that the left was pretty strong. We had a panic before the start because we broke a deflector and so I say the shore crew did a greta job getting up there and lashing a new one in. They got us on the start. We worked hard on both starts to win the pin. The left came good and we were just half a length forward, and I mean only half a length. It was only that and that is that half boat length you are always looking for in tuning and training . That was what it was at the top mark.

We have done a lot of work over the winter. Ergin has committed a lot of resources to try and improve the boat with a new rig, new foils, a few changes to the positions of the foils. We have made a few sail design changes and hopefully these things are coming together and we will see a general trend of improvement. A day like to today makes everything worthwhile.”

 

Terry Hutchinson (USA), tactician Quantum Racing (USA):

“The first race we did not get a great start and had to clear and take some transoms and so to get back from that and get fourth was good. And in the second race at 50 seconds we got fouled and that really put us on the back foot and forced us away from where we wanted to go and so there to battle back to third was a solid day.

There are a lot of things still we can improve upon. The endgame is on Sunday and so we just try to keep ourselves in the hunt.

Everyone I think had the same strategy wanting to go left. Provezza I think footed off a little to leeward it was very subtle. The left came in strong at the top of the beat. I would have picked Azzurra winning the second race. We sailed in about 45 seconds of fluffiness and Provezza was rumbling on layline the whole time. They were just in the spot they needed to be to pin Azzurra from tacking. Certainly that was higher risk higher reward (for them). But in the big picture world I am plenty happy with how we sailed. Our executions of our starts were not to our standards and so there are a lot of things there we can make gains on, there are good things communication wise that I will get better on which will Ed get us away cleanly.

I am pushing the minute I get out the door in the morning. I think it is risk/reward, you are balancing the percentages. Yesterday first race of the year we came off the pin clean, it was high risk but it was open. We are never going to compromise our start to execute the big picture strategy. It is only one part of the race.”

Vasco Vascotto ITA, tactician Azzurra (ITA/ARG):

“I am happier for sure. Yesterday was a bit of a nightmare for sure. And then in the first race we had a penalty and so were last by a long way. Left was so strong that it was then hard to come back from there, but really we did a nice job from there. We made a little miracle. We had a nice start in the second race. Who won the pin won the race but it was very close. At the top mark it was just down to a few metres. Now we need to slow ourselves down a little, prepare well and relax. We are doing a good job, speed is good, crew work is good, the worst thing is the tactician. We are happy today because we know that we don’t have to change much. I said to the guys this morning ‘we don’t have to change anything, be ready to have some ups and some downs this season because the fleet is so competitive.”

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

(Wednesday 25th May – Scarlino, Tuscany) – There were few surprises on the long awaited first day of the new 2016 52 SUPER SERIES season. Along the race dock of Tuscan’s showcase Marina di Scarlino the nervous tension bubbled from early morning right through until dockout time. But the two light winds races adhered to the letter the widely expected plot line when Quantum Racing emerged with a small three points lead – smart, patient, percentage sailing being their Day 1 watchwords – and no fewer than four boats all log-jammed into a share of the same 7 points tally between second and sixth in the 11 boat fleet.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Quantum Racing’s tenacious tactician Terry Hutchinson may have expressed his concerns that their team was not quite at the high level of readiness he would have wanted, but the American flagged crew made key crucial gains, going forwards in both windward leeward races to score a first and third and so lie three points ahead of the four boat cluster.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

When they lost Alegre on the first run of the first race they fought hard to get back into the lead on the second run, so taking first blood for the season, leaving Andy Soriano’s team to second place. And in the second contest Quantum Racing showed their mettle when they chipped away to convert a fifth at the top of the first beat to a third on the finish line.

“It’s two down 48 to go” smiled Hutchinson ashore after racing. He considers they sailed little different today to how they did in yesterday’s practice race when they made a sixth.

“We had a great session this morning talking about the mistakes we made yesterday, and how we are continuing to do the high percentage things that we think are going to work. Yesterday [practice race], we felt like we did that, but we got absolutely nothing for it. But overall the boat is going quite well. We have quite a good setup.

 

tp52 superseries scarlino ph m ranchi (4)

Just as every team has expressed their pre-season belief that this will be an incredibly close season, the level being almost universally high, so there is an immediate, ringing endorsement with four boats – all you would consider as podium contenders for a regatta or at the end of the season – unerringly finishing Day 1 on the same points. Takashi Okura’s Sled won the second race and matched that to a sixth and are credited with second overall.

Platoon’s fifth in the first race is bolted to an excellent second behind Sled in the second race. Alegre showed great potential but might rue small losses for a 2,5 when it could have been a 1,3 had they converted their best positions in both races. Rán Racing, with Morgan Larson and Adam Beashel combining on tactics and strategy, proved to be one other team along with Quantum Racing which made important successive gains. They transformed an early fifth to a third in Race 1 and then a Mark 1 sixth to a finish line fourth in Race 2. Gains down the last run were a notable aspect of the Rán game.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Of course there is little of real solid substance to be extrapolated from Day 1 of a season which is likely to comprise somewhere around 25 days and perhaps 45 or 50 races which all count. In essence it just sets the ball rolling, buries the first day nerves – which were very evident in the way some teams sailed – and sets the 52 SUPER SERIES down to business in this fifth year of is existence.

The Scarlino race arena – new to this 52 SUPER SERIES circuit – delivered light, shifty breezes which were hard to read. Staying in the best strands of wind pressure and changing gears was vital.

Now with a full year of racing under their belts since the newest generation of boats were launched and prepped hurriedly for the Valencia opener 12months ago, suffice to say that Day 1 may not have yielded any big, toys out the pram upsets, no high octane drama but instead it served only to whet the appetite further for what promises to be a truly mouth watering 52 SUPER SERIES season.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 SUPER SERIES

Scarlino Cup, Standings after Day 1, 2 Races
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3) 4 pts
2 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (6,1) 7 pts
3 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2) 7 pts
4 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5) 7 pts
5 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4) 7 pts
6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9) 13 pts
7 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6) 15 pts
8 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7) 15 pts
9 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8) 15 pts
10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10) 20 pts
11 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11) 22 pts

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Terry Hutchinson (USA), tactician Quantum Racing (USA):

“It’s two down, 48 to go. It was a good day. We had a great session this morning talking about the mistakes we made yesterday, and how we are continuing to do the high percentage things that we think are going to work. Yesterday [practice race], we felt like we did that, but we got absolutely nothing for it. The boat was going quite well. We have quite a good setup. I think there was that and then there being a little bit of better pressure up the leeward left hand side going up the beat made for a good gain up the second beat where we were hanging on and defending.

Yes we were making gains but yesterday we went backwards. That’s the difference, but we didn’t sail any differently today than we did yesterday [practice race]. I think that we’re scratching the surface as a team about how we’re going to evolve. We had a great session on the boat this morning as well, on our way out, about things that we can go better. I’m very optimistic. The other unique feature is that now, we have a great training partner in Platoon, which is making for our ability to get faster through the water. We’re faster, as well, on shore. We debrief every morning and talk to those guys, I mean, they’re a great sailing team so there’s a lot of evolution that’s happening. It’s simply a matter of keeping it all pointing in the right direction.

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Hamish Pepper (NZL) strategist Sled (USA):

“We’re reasonably happy. It’s going to be a long season, so to start the first day with two ‘keepers’, we’ve got to be happy with that. It’s more important for us to be consistent overall than to win races, but it’s nice to win a race this early in the regatta. It just shows the work we’ve done over the winter to the boat, the boat’s going well, and the team’s going well. But it is certainly going to be a tight series, and that’s why we’re here sailing TP52s!”

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

52 Super Series (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Winners Quantum Racing  (Photo © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio/ 52 Super Series)

Winners Quantum Racing (Photo © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio/ 52 Super Series)

Quantum Racing may have won the premier class at the 34th Copa del Rey MAPFRE, TP52s for the third time in a row when they won the final race but tactician Terry Hutchinson considers today’s victory in the fourth regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES their hardest won and by far their most satisfying.

Victory in the Mediterranean’s showcase regatta was a real family affair this time. Son Dalton DeVos steered the first two days of the regatta before father Doug DeVos took over for the final days.

“That was by far the hardest Copa del Rey that we have won.” grinned Hutchinson on the dock at the Real Club Nautica de Palma, wiping the sweat from his forehead, “It is a rewarding day and a rewarding win.”

“As much as the DeVos family have given us over the eight years, what an awesome, awesome day for Quantum Racing. To do it with our inspirational leader Doug and his son Dalton doing the first two days of the regatta…..you would say we did not do it the easy way. And yet it is by far the most rewarding.”

Doug, one of the founding fathers and shareholders of the 52 SUPER SERIES, took over the helm on Thursday and made a shaky ninth and fifth, incurring a penalty on the first race, but came back strong thereafter winning today’s on race showdown when all the pressure was on, to seal the regatta title three points clear of Azzurra.

Quantum Racing’s first regatta win of the 2015 season was clinched by a 5,2,1,1 sequence. Indeed after their nine points aberration the 2014 52 SUPER SERIES champions amassed only nine points over the last four races.

Four boats were in the frame for the Copa del Rey title, Azzurra went afloat with a one point lead ahead of Quantum Racing and Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon, with Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec just one more point behind.

A delay preceded the sea breeze build. And when it came in it was shifty and fitful. A first start was annulled when a 35 degree shift skewed the start line.

But when the showdown race did get away, the 6-9kts breeze as far right as it has been all week, at 235 degrees, it was Quantum Racing who executed perfectly. They worked the right side of the course, avoiding the initial light patch to the right of the committee boat and stayed patient to earn the winning dividend, leading all the way around the course. Azzurra rounded the top mark in sixth after choosing the pin end, left side option. They then dropped two places on the run and recovered to fifth. The world champions finish runners up to Quantum Racing with Platoon finishing on the third step overeall, the German flagged team’s second podium in succession.

Once again one of the hallmarks of the Quantum Racing team was their ability to bounce back after a bad day.
Correspondingly Platoon had a day of two wins during the week but then finished 4,8,10. Azzurra may rue their wrong choice today but they leave Palma having extended their lead on the season long 52 SUPER SERIES championship by another point, heading to Cascais in September with 35 points of a margin. Tactician Vasco Vascotto remarked:
“It is also true that we started the event with a lead of 34 points on the circuit standings and we finish it with 35 so if we are crying today to finish second and have gained another point in the overall standings, I think our life would be nightmare.”

Final Standings 52 SUPER SERIES at 34th

Copa del Rey Mapfre, Palma de Mallorca

  1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,4,2,9,5,2,1,1) 27pts
  2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,5,3,4,6,5,5) 30pts
  3. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (6,3,3,1,1,4,8,10) 36pts
  4. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (10,5,1,4,2,3,2,11) 38pts
  5. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,2,6,5,10,9,3,7) 44pts
  6. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (5,7,8,2,9,5,4,4) 44pts
  7. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,11,10,6,11,1,9,6) 58pts
  8. Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (7,10,4,11,8,10,7,2) 59pts
  9. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,9,11,7,3,11,11,3) 63pts
  10. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (9,8,7,10,7,8,6,8) 63pts
  11. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (11,6,9,8,6,7,10,9) 66pts

52 SUPER SERIES Rankings, Top 6 overall after 4 Regattas

  1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) 140pts
  2. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) 175pts
  3. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) 188pts
  4. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) 189pts
  5. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) 199pts
  6. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) 204pts

Quotes:

Terry Hutchinson, USA, tactician Quantum Racing USA: “That was by far the hardest Copa del Rey that we have won. It is a rewarding day and a rewarding win. I think the guys were a bit down after the day we went 6,9. The first thing I said this morning when I got on the boat was I didn’t want the penalty which we incurred to be the deciding factor in our regatta. And I think probably one of the things which helped us the most was the fact that it became a one race day and there were four boats which could win the regatta. At that point we just had to execute our plan and trust that in the process of racing the boat well that we would be right. 
And we were.
Ado was confident in the right had side. We had two definitive moments in the race. The first one was lane conviction that the right was going to be favoured as the breeze was oscillating back and forth, that we extend for a minute on starboard and we always want to be the first boat going right. And Ado just encouraged patience. Once got the thumbs up from Ado that he was happy, we tacked an off we went . That was it. It was a matter of executing the manouvres and sailing smart. 
As much as the DeVos family have given us over the eight years, what an awesome, awesome day for Quantum Racing. To do it with our imspirational leader Doug and his son Dalton doing the first two days of the regatta, you would say we did not do it the easy way. And yet it is by far the most rewarding.”

Harm Müller-Spreer GER Platoon: “Their choice was the right side of the course, ours was the left and theirs worked out. Today was tricky. The first third of the upwind looked good for us, we could see no one underneath us. But then slowly the right side gained. And from then we just had to defend our third place. Azzurra came close they were going forwards and backwards and we had to keep Bronenosec behind us.”

Vasco Vascotto ITA tactician Azzurra: “Obviously it was just one race and unfortunately their four boats and somebody would win from the right, somebody would win from the left. We wanted to started on the pin, that is my favourite call but it did not play out this time. It is also true that we started the event with a lead of 34 points on the circuit standings and we finish it with 35 so if we are crying today to finish second and have gained another point in the overall standings, I think our life would be nightmare.”

Guillermo Parada ARG skipper-helm Azzurra:“It is a little bit disappointing to lose the lead on the final day after leading for the week. But thew objective of the week is to consolidate our lead on the circuit and we have done that. We did our best to win the Copa del Rey. And today some days you win some days you lose. We went into the final day of Porto Cervo trailing Quantum Racing by two points and came out winners by three. This time we went to the water leading by one and came back trailing by three. That is the way life is. You make your choices and you live with them. The good thing is we are making our own decisions and in control of our own destiny.”

 

Quantum Racing  (Photo by Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio/ 52 Super Series)

Quantum Racing (Photo by Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio/ 52 Super Series)

160TH NEW YORK YACHT CLUB ANNUAL REGATTA PRESENTED BY ROLEX

CARINA, Sail Number: USA 315, Owner/Skipper: Rives Potts, Class: IRC, Yacht Type: Custom 48, Home Port: Westbrook, CT, USA LAURA, Sail Number: KZ-5, Owner/Skipper: Kip Curren, Class: 12 Metre M/GP, Yacht Type: 12 Metre, Home Port: Warwick, RI, USA Off Beavertail lighthouse (Photo by Rolex / Danial Forster)

A record 189 teams competed in the 160th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex this weekend. The event is the oldest regatta in the country and was challenged by near-drifting conditions at times.  Nevertheless, the breezes cooperated better for the final day of racing and winners were named in 19 classes. Among the star-studded gathering of sailors was Australian John Bertrand sailing in Etchells class. He is best known for winning the America’s Cup here in 1983, breaking the New York Yacht Club’s hold on the trophy for 132 years.

Though light, shifty winds had an unusual stronghold on this year’s 160th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, most of the 189 teams competing knew how to take it all in stride. In particular, Doug and Dick DeVos, brothers from Grand Rapids, Mich., couldn’t have asked for a better Father’s Day gift than getting to sail with their sons, Dalton (22) and Ryan (age 23), respectively, on separate boats and against each other in the Melges 32 class.

160TH NEW YORK YACHT CLUB ARGO, Sail Number: USA 128, Owner/Skipper: Jason Carroll, Class: Melges 32, Yacht Type: Melges 32, Home Port: New York,  NY,  USA

ARGO, Sail Number: USA 128, Owner/Skipper: Jason Carroll, Class: Melges 32, Yacht Type: Melges 32, Home Port: New York, NY, USA (Photo by Rolex / Danial Forster)

“My brother and I grew up sailing with our father on his yacht Windquest,” said Dick DeVos, “and he always felt like he was working for us, because we were the ones pushing the program and he was the one sitting on the rail. Doug or I would be driving, and we thought ‘this is a pretty good deal!’” Laughing, DeVos added, “Now our sons have turned it around on us, and they’re driving; it doesn’t seem as good of a deal as it was when I was a kid…I might be the oldest guy on the rail of a Melges 32 at this point!”

After adding one race to the single races sailed on Friday and Saturday, Doug and Dalton DeVos finished with a second overall on Delta, while Dick and Ryan DeVos finished third with their boat Volpe. (Winning the class with all firsts was Argo, steered by Jason Carroll, who is a Melges 32 World Champion and two-time defending National Champion.)

30676_0_7_photo_NYYCAR14df_0735

(Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

“Sailing with Dad is a lot of fun,” said Dalton, the son of Doug DeVos. “Sometimes it’s hard with his work schedule to get all of us on the boat at the same time, but when we do, there’s nothing better. That was the whole point of starting the program, to sail together, and when we can sail with Uncle Dick and Ryan, as well, it makes it that much better. It’s a two-boat program.”

Another father-son team could be found sailing on Erbil Arkin’s Turkish entry Tempus Fugit. The 90-foot Spirit of Tradition yacht  Rob and his son Tom Humphries, who said the yacht “leans on history, but has its own DNA.”

And not to leave moms out of the picture, Terrapin, the Andrews 68 that finished eighth overall in Class 7 ORR (won by the Pearson 39 Simpatico), sails with pink jerseys, hats, and a bow painted on its hull, raising awareness for breast cancer research. Its owner Jon Litt explained: “For my 50th birthday, my crew asked me what I wanted from them and I suggested giving to cancer research rather than buying me something. (Litt’s mom has been battling breast cancer for 10 years.) They did better than that and launched a campaign in May to raise $50,000 for my 50th; in three weeks we have raised $54,000!”

“The weather has been challenging,” said James Madden, owner of the Swan 60 Stark Raving Mad, who counts this as his seventh Annual Regatta and today rose to second behind the Ker 43 Otra Vez in IRC 3 class, pushing yesterday’s leader Spookie back to fourth. “Friday was flukey (in the Around the Island Race, which doesn’t count toward the weekend series), and yesterday it was non-existent at times, so it was looking a lot better this morning. “

160TH NEW YORK YACHT CLUB CAOL ILA R, Sail Number: USA 66069, Owner/Skipper: Alex Schaerer, Class: IRC 1, Yacht Type: Mini Maxi, Home Port: Newport,  RI,  US

CAOL ILA R, Sail Number: USA 66069, Owner/Skipper: Alex Schaerer, Class: IRC 1, Yacht Type: Mini Maxi, Home Port: Newport, RI, US (Photo by Rolex / Danial Forster)

Sailors were greeted on the docks with a brisk northerly, but it didn’t hold steady throughout the day, resulting in another “glass-off” (as Madden called it) for boats in the ORR class and three PHRF classes sailing Navigators Courses in northern Narragansett Bay. But while many boats in those classes were not able to finish within their time limits, several boats in other classes made notable gains on the scoreboard after adding today’s single race to one sailed yesterday.

160TH NEW YORK YACHT CLUB BELLA MENTE, Sail Number: USA 45, Owner/Skipper: Hap Fauth, Class: IRC 1, Yacht Type: JV Mini Maxi, Home Port: Minneapolis,  MN,  USA

BELLA MENTE, Sail Number: USA 45, Owner/Skipper: Hap Fauth, Class: IRC 1, Yacht Type: JV Mini Maxi, Home Port: Minneapolis, MN, USA (Photo by Rolex / Danial Forster)

They included the Mini Maxi 72 Bella Mente, which displaced the 90-foot Rambler at the top of the scoreboard in IRC Class 1; The IRC 52 Hooligan, which picked off Interlodge and Sled to take first place overall in IRC 2; and the Sydney 43 Christopher Dragon, which replaced yesterday’s leader, the X-41 Pendragon, in IRC 4.

 

The Etchells class, which got in no races yesterday, left the docks early today, but still only completed one race, which left race winner Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis as the class winner.

In the end it was all about the experience, no matter who you were. “This is a sensational venue,” said Dick DeVos, “and there’s something special about Newport. I remember the first time I came here when 12 Metres were warming up for the America’s Cup. For me, as a kid growing up loving sailing, it was a sacred moment to come to Newport for the first time and be a part of this community that is so oriented to sailing.”

The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex is the oldest regatta in the country, and this year’s event has entered the history books as the largest Annual Regatta on record. Engraved overall trophies in each class were given at tonight’s (Sunday) Rolex Awards Party. Rolex also awards a timepiece to the overall winner (determined by the organizers) of Saturday’s and Sunday’s combined series of races, which officially constitutes the 160th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. This special prize, as well as the Great Corinthian Trophy for yacht club teams of three or more boats posting the best class finishes, will be awarded at the Annual Awards Dinner, held on November 13 at the New York Yacht Club’s main clubhouse in New York City.

160TH NEW YORK YACHT CLUB ANNUAL REGATTA PRESENTED BY ROLEX

CAOL ILA R, Sail Number: USA 60669 and Rambler (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

 

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography