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

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

(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
Quotes:

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.

 

TP52 World Championship Race Days 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race Days 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 World Championship Race 5 and 6 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

(Wednesday 14th September, Menorca) – Quantum Racing did what they do best today to earn the early lead at the 52 World Championship in Menorca. They kept cool heads, sailed smooth and clean, and worked through the fleet to finish second in the championship after the first race (behind Azzurra), and then won the second race, pipping Rán Racing on the finish line to lead by five points.

Conditions improved across the two races culminating in a fast, enjoyable tussle through the Second heat in building seas and 18-22kts of breeze and sunshine. In the brisk conditions it was as important to stay out of trouble – to avoid mechanical breakdowns – as it was to sail fast, smart and consistent.

Quantum Racing came back from a positively lacklustre start to the championship, flatfooted off the start line, and worked hard to get second behind Azzurra. The defending champions Azzurra led from the first run and consolidated on the final run to keep Quantum Racing under wraps to the finish line. But Azzurra suffered in the second race, losing contact with Quantum Racing early on, they had a winch pedestal problem and then tore a kite to pair a weighty 10th to their first.

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-2

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

In the windy, wavy conditions Provezza shredded a kite near the leeward mark after leading round the first circuit and Paprec had to retire from the second heat after breaking their backstay. This was especially tough for the French crew which had just finished third in the first race.

Tony Langley’s Gladiator led the first race which started in 11-13kts of SW’ly breeze, and a difficult, leftover, sloppy sea. The confused, steep waves and chop were out of proportion to the modest early breeze and made it especially hard for helms and trimmers to work to their best. Gladiator did not manage to gybe early enough at the top mark, being held to the right of the downwind by the French. With a big shift to the right Azzurra profited from their early gybe set at the top mark and took the lead. Quantum Racing took places on each leg and were attacking hard at Azzurra by the finish. Paprec took third and Gladiator fourth.

The breeze had built for the second race. Ergin Imré’s Provezza and Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing were well placed to the right of the first upwind with the Turkish boat just leading Rán at the first turn. Rán stayed right (looking downwind) on the final run leaving Quantum Racing to the left, closer to the shore and the geographical header which allowed them to get passed the black hulled Rán just on the finish line.

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-3

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

Quantum Racing’s skipper Baird confessed:

“I did not do a good job of getting us off the starting line. But the team really rallied up and made some good manoeuvres and some good tactical calls to get us around. Terry [Hutchinson] picked us some really strong positions around the track and got us back in the game. There are a lot of good teams and you just don’t get a good start every race. And today was my day for that.”

Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew sailed a consistent day with their 5,3 to lie second on countback against Langley’s Gladiator and their 4,4.

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-5

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

Quantum Racing’s skipper Baird confessed:

“I did not do a good job of getting us off the starting line. But the team really rallied up and made some good manoeuvres and some good tactical calls to get us around. Terry [Hutchinson] picked us some really strong positions around the track and got us back in the game. There are a lot of good teams and you just don’t get a good start every race. And today was my day for that.”

Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew sailed a consistent day with their 5,3 to lie second on countback against Langley’s Gladiator and their 4,4.

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-6

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

52 World Championship – Mahon, Menorca
Standings after Day 1, Two Races
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1) 3pts
2 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3) 8pts
3 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4) 8pts
4 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10) 11pts
5 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2) 11pts
6 Alegre, GBR (Andy Soriano USA) (7,5) 12pts
7 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7) 13pts
8 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF13) 16pts
9 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8) 16pts
10 Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6) 18pts
11 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9) 19pts
12 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11)  22pts
Quotes:
Ian Walker (GBR) tactician Gladiator (GBR):

“The first race we should really have done better than that. We lead around the top mark and did not have a good enough spinnaker set and then could not gybe because of Paprec. So that was disappointing but we did well to hang on to fourth. Second race we did well in the end because we had an absolutely shocking start. We picked boats off. We were in phase the whole race. One or two boats did not tack on us which was a first, making a world of difference. And the boat goes better when there is some wind. I think the wheels – it becomes an advantage, or less of a disadvantage when the wind is up, the Vrolijk hull shape I think is better uprange than downrange. And I think we sail it better in the breeze, maybe we have more learn to in the light. There are a number of reasons but at least we can compete when there is more breeze.

I am absolutely loving Menorca. I think everyone is friendly. The pace of life is a little slower. It is beautiful. The sailing is good. And gimme anywhere we don’t have to just smash a corner!”

Ed Baird (USA) skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA):

“I did not do a good job of getting us off the starting line. But the team really rallied up and made some good manoeuvres and some good tactical calls to get us around. Terry [Hutchinson] picked us some really strong positions around the track and got us back in the game. There are a lot of good teams and you just don’t get a good start every race. And today was my day for that.”

Tony Rey (USA) tactician Provezza (TUR):

“We broke the kite in the second race in the worst possible place, approaching the leeward gate. It was a windy, wavy day and we quickly went from hero to zero. The good news is that we saved a few points. We were second to last at the leeward gate but got up to seventh and that is good in this fleet.”

Paul Cayard (USA) skipper-helm Phoenix (USA):

“We had a good day. I love how close the competition is. We made a big mistake at the leeward mark in the second race which was a shame because it was going well up until then. But we learn from it and we will be better tomorrow. We have a great team with sailors from big programmes – America’s Cup and so on. Most of us have some experience in this class but not for some years. And so we are just coming into the group which has been sailing against each other for a while, at least all this season. It is matter of inches, metres, seconds. We dealt with the pile up and the weather mark quite well, for example. There is a lot of opportunity out there but Quantum Racing just show us how to do it. They sail smooth and clean and stay out of trouble and just chip away.”

The 52 World Championship will take place in Mahón, Menorca from 14th-18th September. Racing starts at 12:30 CEST every day, with live coverage on the final three days. You can catch all the action at www.52SUPERSERIES.com or via the app.

 

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-7

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com  )

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

 

 

 

Team Azzurra Win Valencia Cup  (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

Team Azzurra Win Valencia Cup (Photo by Xaume Olleros/Superseries)

 

At the end Audi Azzurra Sailing Team glided serenely across the finish line of the one final race of the season in a gentle sea breeze and perfect September sunshine off Valencia to secure the overall 52 Super Series title.

When they started Race 8 of the Audi Valencia Cup, all that the team which races under the flag of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda had to do was simply cross that last finish line in any place to ensure the season-long title was theirs.

In so doing they also won the Audi Valencia Cup, counting five first places, a second, third and fifth. Their only regatta win of the four this season, Barcelona, Sardinia, Palma and Valencia, was achieved by a margin of seven points ahead of Jochen Schuemann’s Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One.

Niklas Zennström, the newly elected president of the TP52 class, steered Rán to a win this final contest of the season. With Quantum Racing finishing third, that was enough to give Zennström’s crew third step on the Audi Valencia Cup podium, and also third overall for the season.

The celebrations may have started early for the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, having virtually wrapped up the title yesterday, but after seven years of trying the emotions and jubilation overflowed on the dock in front of the emblematic Veles e Vents building.

 

“We are very proud.” Grinned tactician Vasco Vascotto, “ It was a huge challenge, the standard is so high and so we are happy for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for the Roemmers family (boat owners), for everybody involved it is such an important result.”

“But we need to start working tomorrow again, because I am sure that next year it will be harder and the teams will be ready to beat us. This is still a sport and so we have to always think not only how we won this year, but also how we lost in the past.”

 

Simon Fry, the British trimmer on board the winning Audi Azzurra Sailing team summarised:

“I think the team has really endorsed the ‘leave nothing to chance’ philosophy. I think we have just been a little more diligent. I think the boat preparation has been excellent. And I think that on top of that we had the human element of a really, really steely focus. It was ‘the time has come, we have to deliver’. We have had the hardware in the past and failed to deliver. So there was a bit of personal pressure on, and a bit of peer pressure, this was the year we had to deliver.”

Day 2 Valencia 52 Superseries (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

Day 2 Valencia 52 Superseries Marina Real Juan Carlos I, Puerto de Valencia, (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

For Quantum Racing, the American flagged team which won the class title in 2008 and 20011, letting the 52 Super Series slip from their grasp at the last regatta is a bitter pill to swallow, but skipper Ed Baird stated they will learn from the experience:

“ Every race is a practice race for the next one. You have to learn from every mistake you have made and add it to your bank of knowledge for the next. And we certainly have learned a lot this week.”

The 52 Super Series concluded its inaugural season with three different boats winning regattas, Quantum Racing, Rán and Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. The programme for next season’s 52 Super Series is already in place, starting in January in Key West.

Audi Valencia Cup

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 15pts

2 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One 22pts

3 Rán 25pts

4 Quantum Racing 26pts

5 Gladiator 32pts

52 Super Series final results

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team ITA 74.5pts

2 Quantum Racing  USA 79.5pts

3 Rán Racing  SWE 94.5pts

4 Gladiator GBR 125pts

5 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One GER 132.5 pts

2013 Calendar

US 52 Super Series

Quantum Key West Race Week: January 20-25th

52 World Championships, Miami, March 5-9th

52 Super Series

Trofeo Conde de Godo, Barcelona, May 23-26th

Royal Cup, Ibiza, July 2-6th

Copa del Rey, Palma Mallorca, July 29th – Aug 3rd

Audi Week of the Straits, Porto Cervo, Sardinia September 10-14th

Quotes:

Vasco Vascotto, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team
“We are very proud. It was a huge challenge, the standard is so high and so we are happy for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for the Roemmers family, for everybody it is an important result. And we need to start working tomorrow again, because I am sure that next year it will be harder and the teams will be ready to beat us. This is still a sport and so we have to always think not only how we won this year, but also how we lost in the past. It means a lot to me. This is part of my heart. We are still a young team in the sailing circles and we want to win more together. I have won other things but this is important to win because the team have been trying so hard for so long.”

Ed Baird, Quantum Racing: 
“Obviously we are disappointed. We never want to drop boats, we never want to do that. We are still learning and trying our hardest and I have full faith in the group here. One of the things that has gone on all week, is that despite how frustrating it has been to make decisions that seemed like they were the ones, and then have them go wrong, the group was always very positive and always fighting. I appreciate that from a team.

Adrian Stead, Rán Racing:
“We sailed the boat really well, we changed gears really well in the conditions. I think it was shifty enough and puffy enough that as long as you could be under the right breeze at the right time for longest, that gave you the speed and the advantage. We have come a long way. We have improved. We were weak in the light stuff an have improved there.”

Stephane Kandler, Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One:
“We are very happy with our season, we started late and with only little means. So we are quite happy to get two podiums over the season and won the Copa del Rey. So we are pleased to have done the season. Congratulations for the season to Azzurra who did a great job.”

Tony Langley, owner-driver Gladiator:
“It has been a good season for us. I am quite happy with the way things have gone and with the progress we have made. We had better results in Porto Cervo but we have been sailing the boat quite well. The other guys are coming after us now. We were tacked on three times today. We are doing things fairly right now.” 

“Today we had good start, a bad shift, and then we were back in it again. And in the end we finish by taking a scalp off a team with a few gold medals between them and that’s great, that’s quite something.” “We are packing everything up now and heading to the US for the first events of next season. We are already really looking forwards to Key West and Miami.”

VALENCIA, SPAIN. 2012. Day four of Audi Valencia Cup of 52 Superseries on September 22, 2012 at Marina Real Juan Carlos I, Puerto de Valencia, in Valencia, Spain (photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

 

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN. 2012. Day four of Copa del Rey of 52 Superseries on july 19, 2012 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN. 2012. Day four of Copa del Rey of 52 Superseries on july 19, 2012 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

The overall lead of the Copa del Rey IRC 1 division hangs in the hands of the International Jury on Thursday, after a collision between longstanding regatta leaders Audi Azzurra and provisional leaders Audi All4One resulted in counter protests. The pair protested each other after their boats collided during an incident that relates to buoy room during a crucial race on day four of the six-day regatta at Palma, Mallorca.

The pair was neck-and-neck on the approach to the mark when All4One narrowly passed on the inside of Azzurra and their yachts collided. The Italian/Argentinean team paid a penance, a 720 turn, and dropped from first to fifth.

At the race’s end each team notified race management of their intention to protest the other. The protest will be heard by the International Jury at the Real Club de Náutico later tonight.

The outcome could cause a major shakeup of the overall leaderboard on what was otherwise a victorious day for Audi All4One.

The team scored back-to-back wins thanks to the powerhouse partnership of America’s Cup and Olympic gold medallists Jochen Schüemann and Jordi Calafat, who proved invincible.

It is the third line honours win in two days for the on-form team, having won Wednesday’s coastal race.

The trifecta of victories provisionally moves the team to the top of the overall leaderboard on 19 points, edging them to a three point lead over longstanding leaders Audi Azzurra Racing Team with just two-days racing remaining.

But, with a protest pending and more racing to come All4One strategist Pascal Rambeau said it was too early to take too much confidence from the victories.

“There is still a long way, four races to go,’’ he said. “We have to take it one race at a time and stay focused and keep the momentum we have. It is competitive racing, today proves that.”

It should have been a day of celebration for Azzurra, as July 19 marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the first Azzurra yacht. Instead the team were commiserating their worst results yet, sixth and fifth on corrected time.

The bad form could see Azzurra lose the lead they have held for two-days and slip from a 5.5 point lead, to three point deficit in second place.

Provisionally Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One are the Copa del Rey IRC 1 leaders on 19 points, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team on 22, Gladiator, 24.5, PowerPlay, 27.5 and Paprec Recyclage, 29.

More than 1,100 sailors are competing on board about 119 yachts, across seven divisions in the 31st Copa del Rey.  A maximum of 12 races will be contested across the six-day regatta that concludes on Saturday July 21. Copa del Rey does not count towards the overall 52 Super Series.

The penultimate day of racing will begin on Friday at 1300 local, 1100 UTC.

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN. 2012. Day four of Copa del Rey of 52 Superseries on july 19, 2012 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN. 2012. Day four of Copa del Rey of 52 Superseries on july 19, 2012 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (Photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)

 

Rán Racing claimed the Royal Cup and their first overall victory in the inaugural 52 Super Series in a testing day’s racing at Palma, Mallorca on Saturday that victorious skipper Niklas Zennström described as being “as good as it gets”.

Zennstroms’s team surged to victory in a 30-plus northeaster at speeds in excess of 24 knots, finishing second across the line in the final race of the day to clinch the overall win.

World champions Quantum Racing finished second in the cup after they were forced to retire from the first of two races on Saturday, when they broke their headstay ram, headfoil and jib in the near gale force conditions.

The team’s shore crew sent an urgent dispatch of supplies to effect on water repairs between the two races. The crew successfully raced the clock and returned Quantum to the second race, but it just wasn’t their day.

Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One rounded out the Royal Cup’s podium, a result that pleased four-time Olympic medallist and twice America’s Cup winner skipper Jochen Schümann despite having entered the final race with a one-point lead.

 

Having won the first race today, All4One entered the final race at the top of the leaderboard with a total of 20 points, while both Quantum and Rán were just one point behind on 21.

Each team had crunched the numbers and knew exactly where they needed to place to clinch the coveted Royal Cup Challenge Trophy, but only Rán were able to execute their plan with success.

Zennström said the conditions in Palma Bay were challenging but very rewarding.

“These conditions are fantastic, you’re going downwind doing 24 knots, you’re doing nine knots upwind and still you’re doing boat on boat racing,” he said.

“Crossing the finish line and seeing Quantum ahead of All4One was just awesome, it’s as good as it gets. Quantum are really the class act, beating them today was really, really awesome. They’re hard to beat and that makes winning even sweeter.”

It was more a bittersweet day for Quantum’s crew, having entered the final day’s racing with a six point buffer and a lead they had held since the four day regatta started on Wednesday.

Tactician Andy Horton said the crew knew that their chances of clinging to their lead was compromised the minute they heard a massive “bang” when their headstay ram broke and they saw their jib tear in the opening nine minutes of the day’s first race.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,’’ Horton said. “But this is a great group of guys, there wasn’t anything said, it was just a freak accident. This is tight racing. You have to be good enough to win despite something like this happening.”

There was a surprise of a different kind for the crew on board Audi All4One, who exceeded even their own expectations to score third in the Royal Cup.

Schümann said being the “underdogs” helped his crew race under the radar, uninfluenced by the other teams’ intentions.

“We’re quite happy, finishing third is more than we expected coming here, but that’s what we dreamed of,’’ he said. “This is our first regatta together as a team. We really enjoy racing together and I think when you see the results getting better and better that reflects it.”

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team finished fourth in the Royal Cup, followed by PowerPlay, Gladiator, Provezza and Aquila.

In the overall 52 Super Series Quantum Racing leads with 53.5 points, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, 59.5, Rán Racing, 69.5, Gladiator, 93, Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, 111.5, PowerPlay, 121.2, Provezza, 131.5, Aquila, 140.5 and Paprec, 150.5.

The teams are now turning their sights on 31st Copa del Rey where eight 52 teams will have a chance to race their grand prix yachts in a highly competitive event that won’t count towards the 52 Super Series points.

The next 52 Super Series point scoring event is the Valencia Cup, from September 19-22.

Ranking

  1. Rán Racing 23pts
  2. Quantum Racing 24pts
  3. Audi All4One 24pts
  4. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 27pts
  5. PowerPlay 41.4pts
  6. Gladiator 44pts
  7. Provezza 47pts
  8. Aquila 56pts

 

TP52s in Royal Cup 2012 Palma, Mallorca ( Photo  © Jacaranda Marketing )

TP52s in Royal Cup 2012 Palma, Mallorca ( Photo © Jacaranda Marketing )

Defending champions Quantum Racing proved why they are the team to beat in the 52 Super Series after winning a dramatic opening day’s racing in the Royal Cup at Palma, Mallorca where costly crew errors proved just how close the competition is.

Quantum Racing claimed a commanding victory in the opening race and second place in race two to finish on three points on the first day of the four-day regatta to extend their overall lead in the 52 Super Series from three points to five.

Rán Racing are second in the Royal Cup with four points, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team are third with five points, followed by Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, Gladiator, Aquila, PowerPlay and Provezza.

Quantum skipper and double America’s Cup champion Ed Baird said it was a tough day’s racing that was packed with plenty of wind shifts that came out of no where and put his crew’s recent lessons to the test.

“It was one of those races where the rich get richer, as soon as you were a little bit ahead everything became a little more obvious,’’ Baird said.

“We worked awfully hard all of last year, and this year, at trying to improve every little thing.

“It sounds so basic but the tacks, the gybes, they are better than they were three or four months ago. So are the starts, the straight line speed, the sails, the understanding of the mast and the communications, they’re all improving.”

It was a much tougher day’s racing for crews on board newcomer Provezza and British boat Gladiator, who suffered at the hands of errors that placed them second last and last respectively in race two.

Provezza struggled to come back after being recalled for jumping the start and Gladiator dropped from second to last when they lost their spinnaker overboard halfway through the race.

Gladiator skipper Tony Langley said his team’s severe penance for one error was a testament to the caliber of the class.

“It was all in the drop, we lost the string-line system and that was it,” he said. “At this level you cannot afford to make any mistakes.

“You make a small mistake and you’ll get spat out one place or two places, you make a medium mistake and you get spat out the back, but you make a mistake like this and you’re just completing the course for one point.”

Day two of the Royal Cup, hosted by Real Club Náutico de Palma, starts at 1300 local, 1100 UTC. Early predictions have teams expecting between 12 and 18 knots from the south-southwest.