(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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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
- Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,4,2,9,5,2,1,1) 27pts
- Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,5,3,4,6,5,5) 30pts
- Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (6,3,3,1,1,4,8,10) 36pts
- Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (10,5,1,4,2,3,2,11) 38pts
- Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,2,6,5,10,9,3,7) 44pts
- Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (5,7,8,2,9,5,4,4) 44pts
- Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,11,10,6,11,1,9,6) 58pts
- Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (7,10,4,11,8,10,7,2) 59pts
- Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,9,11,7,3,11,11,3) 63pts
- Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (9,8,7,10,7,8,6,8) 63pts
- Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (11,6,9,8,6,7,10,9) 66pts
52 SUPER SERIES Rankings, Top 6 overall after 4 Regattas
- Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) 140pts
- Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) 175pts
- Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) 188pts
- Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) 189pts
- Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) 199pts
- Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) 204pts
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.”
The cold and windy conditions prevailed for the last day of the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup. Four beautiful races took place today; they led to the elimination of one team after the other from contention for the fleet race and overall titles.
Igor Lah’s Ceeref was the first and biggest casualty of the day, going from second overall to eight. “Just a day of hell, summarised tactician Rod Davis. The team’s worse moment occurred when they collided with Paul Cayard’s Katusha during a tacking dual. Ceeref got two points penalty whilst Katusha had to stop racing in order to change their crash bow. They got redress from the Jury.
Many teams broached, ripped their spinnakers or suffered in a way or another. Team Sea Dubai, who got some brilliant results today – a 2nd and a 1st – lost it all because of two DNF’s due to a spinnaker problem and a man overboard during the last race; an incident that occurred as the team was controlling its third place overall against Artemis and that cost four places in the overall ranking!
The wind was blowing quite hard throughout the day, at 18 knots with gusts up to 25 that put great emphasis on crew work and tactical decisions.
BMW ORACLE Racing, who was fifth overall this morning, started the day with a 1st and a 2nd. On the other hand, No Way Back couldn’t do any better than 4th and 6th. With both Team Aqua and Artemis failing to obtain consistent results, the final race would definitely be between those two teams.
Both of them started the last race at the pin end of the line, with BMW ORACLE Racing controlling No Way Back. The American team reached the top mark ahead of its opponent, and chose the worse side of the course during the run, letting the Dutch team grab the lead within this personal race (John Kostecki’s 17 had a huge lead over the rest of the pack).
Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts then opted for the left of the course during the second beat whilst Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies went to the right. The American’s choice was the right one. The american team then controlled No Way Back until the arrival, crossing the line in third, two places ahead of its opponent.
Winner of the fleet regatta and second of the match race event earlier in the week, BMW ORACLE Racing conquers the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup – the combined fleet / match race ranking ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua.
The next regatta will take place in Valencia on July 27 – August 1.
Pieter Heerema, helmsman, No Way Back: “Everything was open ahead of the last race; unfortunately we were a bit out of phase. I am happy with our result but not pleased with the way we got there. It was all a bit messy. Of course the conditions were difficult but we should be able to master this. Altogether I have loved this event. I just found that the weather was unfair with the venue.
Terry Hutchinson, tactician, Artemis: “This was a tough day for the helmsmen and it also required a great team effort to succeed. There were massive wind shifts but at the end of the day it didn’t really matter if you went right or left; you just had to be in phase with the shifts. This morning Torbjorn told us to make the best of it and have fun. That’s what we did; I feel very privileged to have an owner like him.
Chris Bake, helmsman, Team Aqua: “It has been very challenging few days. Today we struggled during the first two races and then I started to feel settled. I am pleased that Team Aqua won the match; it was difficult for me to arrive and settle in immediately, I took me a little while.
René Mangold, helmsman, AEZ RC44 Sailing Team: “We were sailing with two new people and we struggled because of this: we couldn’t look out of the boat. We definitely need more practice and we will do this in the future.
Fleet race, final results after eight races: Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results, points (no discard)
1) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 8, 6, 2, 41, 2, 4, 3 – 30 points
2) Team No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 10, 1, 4, 1, 4, 6, 2, 5 – 33 points
3) Artemis, Torbjor Tornqvist / Martin Hestbaek, 3, 5, 8, 2, 5, 5, 6, 4 – 38 points
4) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 2, 3, 9, 5, 6, 9, 3, 2 – 39 points
5) 17, Anders Myralf 4, 7, 6, 7, 9, 1, 7, 1 – 42 points
6) Katusha, Guennadi Timtchenko, 6, 8, 1, 8, 3, 4, 7 (RDG), 5,3 (RDG) – 42,3 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, Harm Muller Spreer, 7, 4, 3, 6, 2, 11 (DNF), 1, 11(DNF) – 45 points
8) CEEREF, Igor Lah, 5, 2, 7, 3, 7, 8, 10, 8 – 50 points
9) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 1, 10, 5, 9, 8, 7, 5, 7 – 52 points
10) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, René Mangold, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 3, 9, 6 – 66 points
RC 44 Copenhagen Cup – Overall Ranking: (ranking, name of team, match race, fleet race, points)
1) BMW ORACLE Racing, 2, 1 – 3 points
2) Team Aqua, 1, 4 – 5 points
3) No Way Back, 4, 2 – 6 points
4) Artemis, 3, 3 – 6 points
5) 17, 5, 5 – 10 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, 7, 7 – 14 points
7) Ceeref, 6, 8 – 14 points
8) Katusha, 9, 6 – 15 points
9) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, 8, 10 – 18 points
10) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 10, 9 – 19 points
The second regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2010 will begin on Thursday, April 29, on Lake Traunsee, in Austria. James Spithill, Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison make their come back on the circuit; they will sail against Ray Davies, Paul Cayard, Rod Davis, Markus Wieser, Terry Hutchinson, Cameron Appleton, Christian Binder and many more of the world’s best sailors… Tough job for the bookmakers!
Recent winner of the America’s Cup at the helm of BMW ORACLE Racing, James « Jimmy » Spithill is the skipper of a new team called RC 44 Challenge. His crew is made up of a combination of America’s Cup sailors – such as John Kostecki – and genuine amateurs, as required by the Class rules. RC 44 Challenge will with no doubt immediately become one of the favourites of the event. “I am really looking forward to returning to the RC 44 Class”, says Spithill. “It attracts the world’s best sailors from both match racing and fleet racing, plus the boats are incredibly rewarding to sail and certainly one of the reasons I’m back. We have a fantastic team. John Kostecki will be tactician and Joey Newton trimming, both who raced on the BOR 90 trimaran.”
Other new faces involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup include Harm Müller Spreer, who will be Team Sea Dubai’s fleet race helmsman. Owner of the well known TP 52 Platoon, Harm Müller Spreer is a successful Dragon sailor; he became European champion in 2004, finished second at the 2005 worlds and is a triple Gold Cup winner.
Russell Coutts is also back on the circuit for the first time since last year’s Portoroz Cup. Larry Ellison will steer BMW ORACLE Racing during the fleet races whilst Coutts will be at the helm on Thursday and Friday for the match race.
Finally, Team Austria, the local team headed by René Mangold, will be keen to perform in front of its public. The Austrians managed to win two fleet races in Dubai earlier in the season. “We have improved a lot but we need more continuity”, comments Christian Binder, the team’s match race helmsman and tactician.
The teams involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup (fleet race / match race helmsman):
Team No Way Back (Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies)
Artemis (Torbjorn Tornqvist / Terry Hutchinson)
CEEREF (Igor Lah / Rod Davis)
BMW ORACLE Racing (Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts)
Team Aqua (Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton)
Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (Daniel Calero / José Maria Ponce)
Katusha (Paul Cayard)
Team Sea Dubai (Harm Muller Spreer / Markus Wieser)
Team Austria (René Mangold / Christian Binder)
RC 44 Challenge (Ian Vickers / James Spithill)