Coastal race balances fleet at 52 Super Series
Published on September 19th, 2014
Ibiza, Spain (September 19, 2014) – Just when it seemed like Quantum Racing had built themselves an unstoppable winning momentum in Ibiza, the 20 mile coastal race to Tagomago Island for the ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza proved a salutary reminder that risks on these coastal passages are often the most difficult to manage.
Quantum Racing made the wrong choice off the start line and despite having the best start in the fleet, they missed out on the early advantage on the right, inshore side of the initial opening short windward leg. Azzurra and Gladiator read it better and were first and second around the first turn, with Quantum Racing rounding fifth.
But it was further down the track in a really problematic transition zone between two opposing breezes, as the fleet approached the island turn which served up the opportunities for losses, and for gains.
It was here that Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Phoenix wriggled through the light winds areas to break into the best breeze to open a lead which proved unassailable. Try as they might there was no workable opportunity for Ed Baird and the Quantum Racing crew to get back into the podium places.
So, while Azzurra held on well to a well earned second, Quantum Racing could only make sixth leaving the crew frustrated and glum faced as they docked back in the Marina Ibiza. “Let’s put it this way, we will be glad to be back to the closed course, manageable variables of the windward-leeward track tomorrow.” Grimaced Ed Reynolds, the project director for the Quantum Racing team, “Sometimes these coastal races just rise up and bite you and it was just one of those kind of days.”
Their overall lead in the Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES is trimmed very slightly with two days of the season left, likely to be four or five more races, but the key change today was Azzurra vaulting back up to second, three points ahead of Rán Racing on the overall standings for the season.
It was Phoenix which recognised an opportunity and got themselves into a position to take advantage. They were seventh around the windward mark, gained a couple of places on the approach to the anti-clockwise turn around the high, rocky islet, but they had the advantage of seeing where the leaders were planted, trying to break into the established SW’ly breeze. Phoenix stuck close in to the shore, under the high cliffs and were able to keep their spinnaker drawing almost until they punched into the stronger breeze. And within minutes they went from struggling in one or two knots of wind, to a fulsome 12 or 13kts, fully stretched upwind.
While Gladiator lead to the island they had to settle for fourth place behind Phoenix, Azzurra and Provezza.
On the leaders table for the ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza Quantum Racing now have a margin of four points overall ahead of Azzurra with Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing now six points behind in third.
Standings: ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza
Overall after 6 races
Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,3,2,1,6) 15pts
Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6,2) 19pts
Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5,7) 26pts
Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura JPN) (4,1,6,3,4,DNF/9) 27pts
Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2,5) 28pts
Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3,4) 32pts
Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7,3) 33pts
Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8,1) 37pts
Overall BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES
Ran Racing 92pts