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 )

 

 

 

 

TP52 Ran. winner of FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.maxranchi.com)

TP52 Ran. winner of FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi www.maxranchi.com)

Photos by Max Ranch  www.maxranchi.com

From the biggest and most competitive fleet yet, Niklas Zennström and the Rán Racing team won the first regatta title of the 2015 SUPER SERIES when they kept their focus under the weight of final day pressure.

With Zennström steering and tactician Morgan Larson and strategist Adam Beashel they achieved the required balance between proactive attack and consolidation to convert this morning’s six points margin to finish ahead of rivals Alegre, Andy Soriano’s series debutants.

Valencia’s Malvarrosa Beach race course delivered perfect conditions for the super Saturday showdown, one light seabreeze contest in 6-8kts and a breezier finale in 14-16kts to complete a maximum possible complement of 11 races.

Rán Racing laid the foundations of their title victory when started with three second places and a race win. Then they had to come right back on form after a wobbly three race Thursday when they added a weighty 22 points to their scorline. Showing considerable composure they made a necessary recovery in the first contest today, rising from ninth to sixth. And in the second race Rán did what they had to do, sticking close to their rivals to clinch their first regatta title since winning the TP52 World Championships in Miami in 2013.

The international team which races under Zennström’s Swedish flag finally broke their 2014 hoodo. Since they joined the circuit in 2011 Rán have won a regatta each year until last year when they won almost all the practice races. They add to regatta titles in 2011 Barcelona in their first year on the MedCup, Palma’s Royal Cup in 2102 the first year of the 52 SUPER SERIES and the world title in 2013. But last year they were the team which won almost all the practice races, often lead regattas but never quite sealed the deal. In is particularly pleasing for the tall Swede to come out on top of this regatta which confirms the 52 SUPER SERIES, of which he is one of the founding, visionary stakeholders, to be in robust health.

Zennström said:

Its fantastic to win this first regatta of the year with this bigger fleet. Its been a really tough week and we have been fighting hard so we are very pleased. We have been working really hard as a team, winning together and we have been learning about the new boat and Morgan Larson, Adam Beashel and Steve Hayles in the afterguard have done a really good job calling the right shots, we had good boat speed and good starts.

We haven’t had so much time to get up to speed with the boat, we just had a few days commissioning the boat so this was the first regatta, but Adam sailed with us at a few regattas last year and Morgan sailed with us in 2011 so we all know each other well.

There are 12 boats here which can win regattas, so the boat which wins this year is going to be a really good victory. All of these boats can win.
Niklas Zennström, owner-driver, Rán Racing

Reflecting on the growth of the circuit he said:

It’s amazing. In 2012 we were basically only four boats and now this is the best monohull racing in the world. We will get more and more boats and owners joining and racing at very high levels. The sailing this week has been amazing. It is such a good fleet.
Niklas Zennström, owner-driver, Rán Racing

Alegre, Andy Soriano’s programme, proved they have all the talent and hardware to win on the 52 SUPER SERIES. They lead after Thursday but then had their own bogey day Friday with an eighth and ninth. With tactician John Kostecki and strategist Kelvin Harrap placing the boat consistently well and no shortage of speed across the wind range, they highlight themselves as 52 SUPER SERIES overall contenders.

Soriano concluded:

I never thought that we would be in second position in this regatta and that we would win the first race of the 52 Super Series. I would be crazy to have thought that. I think we did a good job in the pre-season. We had a very good practice at PalmaVela where we competed with some good teams and gathered valuable information. Finally we had five days hard practice in Valencia before this regatta.

We only really made one mistake it was the fourth day because we weren’t fully focused and when you do something wrong in this fleet it is very expensive.
Andres Soriano, owner-driver, Alegre

The level of racing proved to be above and beyond most expectations. Runners up overall in 2014 Azzurra took time to get firing on all cylinders, finding tiny early mistakes too costly. But today the team of the Roemmers family which sails for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda finished on the perfect note on which to head to the next regatta on their own Costa Smeralda home waters. Two magical back to back wins brought the biggest smiles back to the Azzurra camp, proving they too are finding their mojo.

Race wins were shared among the top five finishers. Rán Racing, Alegre, Sled and Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec all won two apiece while Azzurra’s tally included three wins.

Takashi Okura’s quiet consistency on Sled sees them finish in third place, Azzurra finished just one point behind in fourth, tied on 54 points with hull sistership Bronenosec.

As predicted there is very, very little speed differences between the nine newly built and launched TP52s all from the design offices of Botin Partners and Judel/Vrolijk. Rán Racing is from the Vrolijk office, Alegre and third placed Sled from the Spanish Botin team.

A strong fleet is expected for the next regatta of the 2015 season on the Costa Smeralda in two weeks time.

 FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.maxranchi.com)

FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi www.maxranchi.com)

Ford Vignale Valencia Sailing Week 2015

Event Results & Overall Ranking

TEAM R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 Total
RÁN RACING 2 1 2 2 10 5 7 4 1 6 5 45
ALEGRE 1 3 1 5 2 9 2 8 9 5 3 48
SLED 7 11 3 3 3 1 11 1 3 3 7 53
AZZURRA 6 5 5 9 1 8 5 5 8 1 1 54
BRONENOSEC GAZPROM 8 6 6 1 9 6 1 6 5 4 2 54
QUANTUM RACING 4 7 8 6 6 11 3 3 10 2 8 68
PLATOON 3 8 11 4 7 2 12 7 7 10 4 75
PROVEZZA 5 2 7 8 8 7 6 12 2 7 12 76
INTERLODGE 10 4 4 10 11 12 4 2 4 12 6 79
PAPREC RECYCLAGE 9 10 12 12 4 3 9 11 12 9 10 101
GLADIATOR 11 9 9 7 12 4 10 10 11 8 11 102
XIO HURAKAN 12 12 10 11 5 10 8 9 6 11 9 103

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All Photos by Max Ranchi www.maxranchi.com

tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (10) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (9) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (8) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (7) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (6) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (5) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (4) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (3) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (2) tp52 bronenonsec lauch ph max ranchi (1) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (12) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (11) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (10) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (9) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (8) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (7) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (6) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (5) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (4) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (3) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (2) races 8 & 9 ph max ranchi (1) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (12) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (11)

TP52 Ran. winner of FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.maxranchi.com)

TP52 Ran. winner of FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi www.maxranchi.com)

tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (9)

 FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.maxranchi.com)

FORD VIGNALE VALENCIA SAILING WEEK (Photo by Max Ranchi www.maxranchi.com)

tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (7) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (6) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (5) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (4) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (3) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (2) tp52 superseries races 3 & 4 ph m ranchi (1) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (16) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (15) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (14) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (13) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (12) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (11) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (10) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (9) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (8) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (7) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (6) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (5) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (3) tp52 superseries race 1 & 2 ph m ranchi (2)

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

Auckland, New Zealand.

The new Provezza launched and has begun sail testing. Owner Ergin Imre and complete Provezza sailing team in Auckland take delivery of the boat. Andy Beadsworth still to join as he just finished the Caribbean 600 on TP52 Sorcha (2nd place overall in IRC and CSA).

Design Rolf Vrolijk, builder Mick Cookson, on site team project managers Chris Hosking and Tony Evans.

Congratulations to Ergin and team Provezza and good job Mick and the Cookson team, Chris and Tony! Enjoy the sailing.

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing.  (Photo © Max Ranchi   MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Provezza launch and sail testing. (Photo © Max Ranchi MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

Azzura leads in Porto Cervo by Max Ranchi

 

Azzurra made something close to the start they wanted at their home waters 52 SUPER SERIES regatta, the Audi Setteima del Boche, today.

They returned to the dock at Sardinia’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda just as the drizzling rain started, wearing big smiles after they scored a comfortable win in the breezy first race of the regatta and then took a second place to lead the season’s final event by two clear points.

While the Azzurra team, which has yet to finish a 2013 European regatta better than third overall, could enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, no one could mistake the frustration of Quantum Racing’s hard driven tactician Terry Hutchinson at their second and third place finishes today.

Quantum Racing in Porto Cervo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

The American crew, richly studded with America’s Cup winning talent, may be well ahead on the overall 52 SUPER SERIES standings but Hutchinson wants to finish their season unbeaten, winning all four trophy regattas, and with that perfect goal in mind, converting their two leading positions at both first windward marks into that second and third, was deeply frustrating for him.

“ I want to win the regatta.” Hutchinson emphasised, “ I want to put our stamp on the season.”

In the brisk Mistral conditions, the wind just north of west and between 14 and 25 kts, smooth, polished crew work was a premium asset. With rain showers moving through to the south of the island and dark clouds passing overhead, there were always changes in wind pressure and some bigger shifts to use to full effect.

In the first race, the breeziest of the two windward-leewards today, Quantum Racing made the best start and seemed to be cruising to a decent lead.

TP52 Super Series 2013 ( Photo by Max Ranchi)

But at the leeward gate second placed Azzurra picked the right hand gate mark and then worked the right side up the second upwind, earning a good lift to lead over Quantum Racing by the final windward mark which they held to the finish line.

Azzurra could not be faulted on their second start. Starting helmsman and strategist Francesco Bruni – racing his first 52 regatta this season – might this morning have claimed to be feeling a little ring rusty after his months in San Francisco on the Luna Rossa AC72, but Azzurra’s second start – on the pin with pace – was as sharp as any. But although they had a small early lead over Quantum Racing up the first minutes of the upwind, the circuit leaders did steadily ease out ahead to lead around the windward mark again.

This time it was on the second downwind that the big changes occurred, Rob Greenhalgh – tactician on Tony Langley’s Gladiator – chose to work left into better pressure and a nice shift. He admitted later that part of the reason was to stay clear of a cluster which had developed behind after Rán Racing blew up their gennaker, but they made a nice gain coming back with Azzurra to steal first and second across the line.

Gladiator at Porto Cervo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Langley’s Gladiator – once more burying the perception that theirs is something of a light winds specialist – paired a useful fifth to their race win and so lie third overall only one point behind Quantum Racing.  The circuit leaders Quantum Racing did have to make a small reshuffle of their crew today, substituting for a sick bowman.

Wednesday sees the first of two coastal races planned this week.

52 SUPER SERIES

Audi Settimana del Bocche 2013, Porto Cervo, ITA.

Standings after two races:

1 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers) (1,2) 3pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug DeVos) (2,3) 5pts

3 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley) (5,1) 6pts

4 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström) (4,4) 8pts

5 Provezza, TUR, (Ergin Imre) (6,5) 11pts

6 Interlodge, USA, (Austin Fragomen) (3,9) 12pts

7 Rio, USA, (Manouch Moshayedi) (7,6) 13pts

8 B2, ITA, (Michele Galli) (8,8) 16pts

9 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin) (DNF, 7) 17pts

B2 in TP52 Super Series( Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

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

“We went 2,3 but I am pretty angry as we went 1,1 at the two top marks and we turned them into a 2,3 and that is not acceptable for me. I expect more from myself and out of the guys we are working with to not miss anything. So when you get passed it is like a file going up and down my back, like a big cheese grater. In saying that our bowman was down sick today and Matt Cassidy slipped forward in the boat. We have an awesome group of professional sailors and all credit to them for doing really good work in difficult conditions. The positives are that we executed the starts we wanted, but we have some meat on the bone that we have to get better tomorrow.”

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):

“ It feels better than Palma. We sailed very well this time. It is nice to have Cecco back on board it makes a difference. He has such great experience. He was trying to get us foiling (laughs).

Francesco Bruni (ITA) strategist and starting helm Azzurra (ITA):

 It was great racing today. I am always amazed how close it is in the 52 SUPER SERIES, there are just metres in it between new boats and old boats. We picked some good shifts. Vasco did some good work. Upwind we were not so sure about the right, we picked the nice shift to the left on the downwind and when you do that in this fleet it is always a nice jump forwards.

It is a great feeling to be back. It is great to be sailing here, it is like sailing with my second family, racing on these waters in the Mistral.”

TP52 Super Series 2013 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Trophy Conde de Godó TP52 Winners Quantum Racing (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

The last day of the Conde de Godo Sailing Trophy has been crammed full with nervousness. The prevailing light wind indicated the worst but finally the fleet was able to race in appropriate conditions. The 40th Conde de Godo Sailing Trophy already has its winners: QUANTUM RACING (TP52), EARLY BIRD (Soto 40), ZHIK / NOVASAIL (J-80), OPEN SEASON (Wally), XSPAIN (ORC 2) FANYTAS (ORC 3) and RATS ON FIRE (ORC 1)

 

Bowman at start of Conde de Godo (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

Doug de Vos’ QUANTUM RACING, with Ed Baird as skipper, started today’s races knowing that only two points separated him from the leader, Alberto Roemmers’ AZZURA. The American team sailed a smart race which took him to win the regatta, while the Italian-Argentinean team (until then leader) ended in last place in the race, as he was falling to third place overall. Niklas’ Zennstrom’s RAN climbed to the second place of the podium in the Conde de Godo’s Sailing Trophy.

Ran (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

In the Soto 40 Class, Pedro Mendoça’s BIGAMIST and Herrik and Christian Najel’s EARLY BIRD started the last day tied up in points. The start was controlled by the German team, while the Portuguese got cornered in an unsuccessful start. This way EARLY BIRD won a comfortable overall victory.

The large J-80 fleet, with 14 boats in the water, proved the tough fight there was within the favorites, which were lots. Spaniard Carlos Martinez’s ZHIK / NOVASAIL, leader since day one, confirmed its great form winning by a margin of 16 points. Following Martinez’s team there was Javier Chacartegui’s HM HOTELS, José María Van der Ploeg’s FACTOR ENERGÍA and Pablo Benjumeda’s PUERTO SHERRY, who fought until the end. Van der Ploeg’s FACTOR ENERGIA, who broke a rudder on the first day and was forced to retire, made an incredible comeback which led him to the second place overall, followed by Javier Chacartegui ‘s HM Hotels in the podium.

Conde de Godo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

In the ORC category two units stood out: Javier Banderas’ XP38 X-SPAIN, who has won all the races sailed in ORC2 (5 out of 5) and Miquel Banus’ Dufour 34 FANYTAS in ORC3, which has also won all his races.

In ORC 1, the overall standings had a turn over after Christian Plump’s ELENA NOVA was disqualified from all races sailed. Once on shore and with the result from the protest that the Race Committee raised against ELENA NOVA, the victory of the Conde de Godo Sailing Trophy in ORC 1 went to Rafael Carbonell’s RATS ON FIRE. In the Wally class victory went clearly to British Mike Atkinson’s OPEN SEASON.

Bowwave (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

For results for all classes see http://www.trofeocondegodo.com/resultados2013/resultados_en_2013.php

Photos Courtesy of Max Ranchi  www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 fleet Conde do Godo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Artemis  (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Artemis (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

The defining feature of the third day of the regatta was a gusty and shifty southerly wind that varied from less than 10 knots at times to gusts of more than 20. After a bright morning, a band of cloud with showers on its leading edge was moving eastwards towards Cowes, with very light winds forecast to follow in its wake. As a result, relatively short courses were set to make good use of the day’s best winds.

Testing conditions
The Quarter Ton fleet started on a spinnaker reach, heading east from the Black Group line off the Royal Yacht Squadron. Yesterday’s winner, Louise Morton’s Espada, together with Eric Reynolds’  Magnum Evolution, were a couple of lengths ahead of the rest of the fleet at the gun. Lincoln Redding, Led Pritchard and Cat Southworth?s Whiskers was next, just ahead of Dutch boat Theo Bakker’s Freres-Sur-Mer.

Morton extended her lead on the first leg to Fastnet Insurance, but lost out to Whiskers and Olly Ophaus’s Cote on the following two laps around windward-leeward marks. “There were really fluky and tricky conditions,” said Morton, “but I had some really good brains on board, including Andrea Brewster, Nicky Macgregor and Mary Rooke. It was really helpful to have their expertise to spot wind shifts and identify which boats to cover”‘ Espada’s crew worked really hard to regain the lead on the last windward leg, and crossed the line nearly three minutes ahead of Cote to take their second win in three races

In the Sigma 33 class Allan Fraser’s Prospero of Hamble and Mark Watkins’ Spirit of Kudo led away from the start. Spirit of Kudo hoisted her spinnaker at the gun, losing a couple of lengths in doing so. Two minutes later Prospero also hoisted and soon every boat was flying a spinnaker. Prospero then pulled out a 10-length lead, with Stuart Brand and Emma Gage’s Ephesian, the winner on the first two days, a further 10 lengths behind in third.

Ephesian eventually overhauled both Prospero and Spirit of Kudo, but was denied a third win by Jeff Worboys’ Workout, which finished with a lead of almost three minutes. Prospero was third, finishing 81 seconds behind Ephesian.

One of the more crowded starts on the RYS Black Group line today was for the 31 yachts in IRC Class 6. Starting towards the northern end, Ed Browne and Nick Daniels’ First 32 Gravity Boots initially led the fleet away. A few lengths behind her was Simon Cory’s Cory Yachts 290 Icom Cool Blue, she already had the spinnaker up on the tight reach, but at this stage it was only filling intermittently.

Next was Ian Braham’s MG346 Enigma, again with her spinnaker hoisted, but unable to get it filled in the disturbed air around the fleet. Having extended her lead on the boats struggling with spinnakers, two minutes in Gravity Boots hoisted her kite, but it filled in a gust and she rounded up in a spectacular broach that allowed Icom Cool Blue to get past.

At the same time another boat, Mark Brown and Justin Leese’s Figaro Black Diamond, was quietly pulling through to leeward of the fleet. For a couple of minutes she and Icom Cool Blue were neck and neck, but then Black Diamond pulled ahead and continued to extend into a useful lead on the water.

She was ahead at the finish, taking line honours more than a minute and a half ahead of Enigma. However, on handicap Black Diamond was unable to save her time on either Enigma or on one of the lower-rated yachts in the fleet and the oldest yacht at the regatta, Sir Michael Briggs? Clyde 30 linear rater, Mikado, which dates from 1904.

Battle of the dayboats
White group competitors had another day of intense competition, with two classes standing out among the many close races. In the Flying 15 fleet Paralympic sailor Andrew Millband and Tony Hastings’  Fifty Fifty was the only boat to record two podium scores in the first two days of racing and today proved just as tight, with the first four boats just 63 seconds apart at the end of their two-hour race.

Mike Boll and Gil McCutcheon’s Ffuraha notched up their first win, finishing with a 47-second cushion ahead of Alex and Mike Tatlow’s Affore the Weak. Five seconds later Fifty Fifty was next across the line to take third place, with Nick Clarke’s Black finishing 11 seconds later to take fourth place.

In the Squib class start, Jim Holdstock and Ray Prime’s Jess looked clear ahead of the fleet on port at the outer end of the line, although Martin and Anne Harrison’s Hussar was also very well placed, as were Peter Wilson’s Crazy Diamond, and Duncan Grindley and Dave Ross in Surprise. A few boats tried spinnakers on the tight reach across the Solent to Lepe Spit, but quickly realised it was not a speed-enhancing decision.

Hussar rounded the first mark with a five-length lead over Jess at the start of a long downwind leg into the eastern Solent, sailing as close as possible to the north shore to gain relief from the ebb tide. “There was a Redwing that went aground twice in front of us,” says Harrison, “so we knew where the edge of the bank was. But even then we scraped the bottom and heeled hard over to get off.”

As soon as the boats behind saw this, the entire fleet headed for deeper water, simultaneously changing direction like a flock of birds. On the next leg, a windward one to East Knoll buoy, Hussar initially stayed slightly to the right hand side of the course and lost a couple of places to boats on the left. On the last windward leg to Seafarer Ale, Hussar stayed to the right, waiting for a big wind shift before tacking onto starboard. The strategy worked and she rounded the final mark, Seafarer Ale, with a 50-metre lead.

“It was really hard work, one of the hardest races I’ve done in a long time,” said Harrison. “The wind was all over the place, so we were always looking at the numbers [compass heading] and constantly trimming the sails. But it was very rewarding for us.”

Today was also a close race for many others in the class  six boats rounded the second mark simultaneously, and three boats  Jess, Chris Gear and Andy Faulks’ Osprey, and Kevin and Marney Gibson’s Satu  rounded the last mark together and were only 32 seconds apart at the finish. Places eight to twelve were then decided by just 51 seconds.

Report by Rupert Holmes