(Tuesday 7th March, Miami) – Just as they led after the first day of racing in Key West in January, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew top the early leaderboard at the 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup for after a dramatic first day of TP52 racing in brisk SE’ly winds and big, disorderly waves off Miami Beach.Platoon’s victory in the second race, gained in the closing stages of a fast final run, credits them with the overall lead on tie break from the Roemmers family’s Azzurra, which posted two consistent second places.
“It was a really good start for us. We had good speed and we made some nice comebacks and in that last race on the last downwind it was down to just a few metres, so that was good. It was really great racing. But of course tomorrow is all different, new situations and new challenges, but it is good to start well.” owner-helm Müller-Spreer smiled on the dock of the Miami Beach Marina where the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet is hosted.
The 16-20kts winds and the unruly swell kicked up by the strong winds of the last few days punished small errors and placed a real premium on well-coordinated crew work. Azzurra in second place lead Quantum Racing who are one point behind in third. With Bora Gulari steering his first 52 SUPER SERIES races Quantum Racing won the first race but did not get the start they wanted in the second contest, taking fourth.
But the toughest challenge at this second regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES is that facing the Gladiator crew. Their new boat was hit by Sled during the second beat of Race 2, only the second race for Tony Langley’s team with their latest Gladiator, suffering a significant gash to their port topsides which eliminates the boat from further competition at the regatta.
The shore team and crew now aim to re-dress and step the mast on their previous Gladiator, which they aim to bring from West Palm Beach which is some 70 miles away, aiming to be ready for racing on Thursday. Sled suffered damage to the forefoot of their bow but hope to be back in action Wednesday.
Race 1: Gulari Shows His Mettle As Quantum Racing Opens With A Win
There may have been a new hand on the helm, but Quantum Racing carried forward the momentum from their impressive 2017 52 SUPER SERIES opening win at Quantum Key West Race Week six weeks ago.Bora Gulari, the team’s newest addition, moved from the strategist role to the helm for this event and showed that all his time sailing foiling moths and Olympic cataramans has prepared him well for driving these 52-foot thoroughbreds in some challenging conditions off Miami Beach.Quantum Racing was among a handful of boats, including Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and Tony Langley’s new Gladiator, which controlled the front row off the starting line.
Azzurra, with Guillermo Parada at the helm and Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, didn’t have quite the same freedom early in that first leg, but made the critical call to hit the left side on the top third of beat and so squeaked past Quantum Racing around the first mark.
Those two boats battled nip and tuck down the first run with Azzurra holding the lead and choosing the left side of the next leg. It was the right which paid better for Quantum Racing which was able to take over the lead when the boats converged again midway up the second beat.
Azzurra pushed Quantum Racing hard on the final run, closing to within a boat length, but the American team held on for the win. Platoon was third with Rán Racing fourth and Provezza rounding out the top five.
Race 2: Platoon Steals A March With Win, Leads Overall
With John Kostecki calling tactics and Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Jordi Calafat on strategy the Platoon team displayed poise under pressure to win Race 2 of the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup and grab the overall lead.From a four way final sprint to the finish line, the outcome of the second race was in the balance until the final metres. Platoon edged out Azzurra by only four second and were only six seconds ahead of Provezza.Miami Royal Cup. 52 SUPER SERIES.
After Day 1, Two Races.
1 Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER) 3,1 4pts
2 Azzurra (ITA) (Roemmers Family, ARG) 2,2 4pts
3 Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos, USA) 1,4 5pts
4 Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre, TUR) 5,3 8pts
5 Rán Racing (SWE) (Niklas Zennström, SWE) 4,8 12pts
6 Alegre (GBR) (Andy Soriano, USA) 8,6 14pts
7 Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley, GBR) 7, RDG (7), 14pts
8 Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS) 10,5 15pts
9 Sorcha (GBR) (Peter Harrison, GBR) 9,7 16pts
10 Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura, USA) 6, 12 (DSQ) 18pts
11 Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) DNC 12, DNC 12 24pts
John Kostecki (USA) tactician Platoon (GER):
“[There were] some really big shifts and if you missed it you were out the back. In that second race, first beat, at times we looked like we were in last place. Sometimes we were in first place. It was quite shifty. We learned in the first race we really needed to attack the shifts and be a little more aggressive. We did that in that second race and it seemed to pay off. The waves made the crew work a challenge. You can definitely get thrown around and get your timing off because of the waves. So you play it a little conservatively at times, at least we did. The last race, it was close. On the final run we were pinned and we couldn’t jibe. Azzurra pinned us out all the way to the layline. Then they jibed away and we all of the sudden got a little header, so we kept going and extended away from them. That seemed to help us a little bit on the final jibe in. We were a minute or so separated [from Azzurra and Provezza] and they had to do an extra jibe and we were able to sail straight through the finish. It was close racing.”
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):
“I think we still made a couple of small mistakes. They are little, stupid mistakes but in the end they are what cost us a point and the lead. But we have to be happy. In the second race we were better, but still we gybed twenty second too late and so lost the chance to win that race. And so, overall, we have to be happy with two second and a share of the lead with Platoon. But on the other we need to clean up our way of sailing and not lose these kind of points. The level is so high every point is so important. The breeze was oscillating a lot. You work to what you think is the average for the day, still I think the right was generally better, with current and other things. It was exciting and I feel we positioned the boat quite nicely.
I am getting older and so don’t remember too much about different venues. I remember little things but I try to go out each day with a clear mind. I think we have sailed a lot here with the wind and 90 and 100 degrees but not so much 120 which we saw today. I clean all past from my head and just work with what I see and I go on the water with a plan, knowing how I want to sail.”
The 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup will take place from 7-11 March. Live commentary and boat tracking via the Virtual Eye is available Tuesday and Wednesday. 52 SUPER SERIES TV powered by Quantum Sails goes live THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY with live action streamed from the race course supported by tracking, commentary and comment from 15-minutes before racing starts each day. All available at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE and the the app.
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.
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.
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 2015
Event Results & Overall Ranking
All Photos by Max Ranchi www.maxranchi.com
HRM King Felipe skippered “Aifos” in the second of the two races held today in the class Gaastra IRC 1. Three classes sailed today a coastal race and five sailed two windward/leeward races. The overall provisional leaders at the end of this third racing day received the Enlace trophies, as winners of the regatta halfway point.
Today was the midpoint of the 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE, which is being held until Saturday. The classes Gaastra IRC 0, Gazprom Swan 60 and Barclays 52Super Series sailed a 29 nautical miles coastal race around the bay of Palma. All other classes added two more races to their scoring boards. The rankings offer different scenarios: two classes have new leaders (one-designs Nespresso X-35 and Herbalife J80), four have ties between the second and third place, and only three seem to have a clear leader. The best teams of the week received an award today.
The wind was kind again to the fleet, blowing from the south-southwest and speed of between 10 and 13 knots, and peaks up to 15 knots.
Gaastra IRC 0
The Gaastra IRC 0 fleet completed its coastal race in just over three hours. The fastest was Hap Fauth’s American “Bella Mente”, who fought an intense duel with Andres Soriano’s British “Alegre”. There was only a 36 seconds difference at the finish line. Third was George Sakellaris’ “Shockwave”, who maintains the overall lead in the class with 10 points. In the fight for second place, there is a tie between Roberto Tomasini’s “Robertissima III” (fourth today) and “Bella Mente”, both with 14 points. Tomorrow they will sail again a windward / leeward race.
Gaastra IRC 1
Giuseppe Parodi’s “Hurakan” continues to lead with iron fist the class Gaastra IRC 1. He won both races today and is already seven points ahead of “Team Vision Future” (3-3 today) and ten ahead of René Mangold’s “Aquila” (2-2). In the second race of the day, HRM King Felipe VI joined “Aifos” as skipper, which after three days is in fifth place overall. The King is expected to return tomorrow to skipper the Spanish Army’s TP52 in both races scheduled for the Class Gaastra IRC 1.
Gazprom Swan 60
In the battle for the Gazprom Swan 60 world championship, “Bronenosec” seems to be catching up and won today’s coastal race, his second consecutive win. Second was Boris Gusev’s “Spirit of Europe”, followed by Lorenzo Bortolotti’s “Windward”. Vladimir Liubomirov’s team leads the overall classification seven points ahead of “Petite Flamme” (fourth today), and 11 ahead of “Tsaar Peter” (sixth today).
Barclays 52 Super Series
Swedish Niklas Zennström’s “Rán” is recovering today from an irregular start of the week, winning the coastal race 43 seconds ahead of Brazilian Eduardo de Souza’s “Phoenix”. Third was British Tony Langley’s “Gladiator”. “Rán” is the fifth winner out of five races in the Barclays 52 Super Series. Despite its discreet sixth place in today’s race, “Quantum Racing” retains its lead, now five points ahead of the tie between “Rán” and “Azzurra”.
BMW 1 ORC
Double victory for Manuel Doreste’s “Rats on Fire” in the class BMW ORC 1, who has won five races out of six. Last year’s winner makes up for yesterday’s seventh place, and now leads 14 points ahead of the tie between Christian Plump’s “Elena Nova” (2-2 today) and Hendrik Brandis’ “Earlybird” (3-3). The category is dominated by the Swan 45 teams, which after six races have taken over the top four positions.
BMW ORC 2
The class BMW ORC 2 seems a replica of the class BMW ORC 1: five out of six victories for the leader and tie on points in the second place. “Movistar” skippered by Pedro Campos is not slowing down, and won both races today. In the fight for the second places, Teo Matheu’s “Airlan Aermec” suffers from his results today (4-5) and is overtaken by Lluis Blanchar’s “Varador 2000” (2-2). Good day also for Felix Comas’ “Pinyol Vermell” (3-3).
In the class Nespresso X-35 today’s victories went to Dani Cuevas’ “Puerto Deportivo Benalmádena” and Alessandro Solerio’s “Lelagain”. Today’s good results allow the Italian boat to stand as the new class leader, one point ahead of his rival. Javier Sanz’s “Red Eléctrica de España”, who docked out at the top of the scoring board, lost its lead due to the eight place in the first race today, but recovered well with a second on the next race and is third overall.
Flawless day for José María Torcida’s “Noticia”. The Spaniard won both races today and snatches the lead to Javier Padrón’s “Herbalife”, who had a rough day (8-5). Third on the podium is the defending champion, Hugo Rocha’s “New Territories”, who finished fourth in both races today.
The social program continues
The Nespresso Brunch this morning received the visit of Spanish actor and top model Andres Velencoso. Former Irish cyclist Stephen Roche, winner of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, was also in the RCNP and sailed onboard TP52 “Gladiator” to sail the Barclays 52 Super Series coastal race.
The Sailor’s Tent hosted a new performance by Alex Caro and Sote de Lino, with their musical entertainment at the tastings offered to the sailors at the Real Club Náutico de Palma at the end of the day.
The Enlace Trophies in the midpoint
Today the Enlace Trophies were awarded to the leaders of each class at the end of the first three days of racing. “Shockwave”, “Hurakan”, “Quantum Racing”, “Bronenosec”, “Rats on Fire”, “Movistar”, “Lelagain” and “Noticia” received the trophy for leading their classes in this halfway point of the regatta.
Tomorrow’s racing schedule is a coastal race for the classes Gaastra IRC1, BMW ORC 1 and BMW ORC 2. All other classes will sail windward-leeward races. The one-design classes Nespresso X-35 and Herbalife J80 may discard their worst result if they sail their eighth race tomorrow. The first race of the day will start at 13h00.
The 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE is organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and will take place from August 2nd to the 9th, 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”