Quantum Racing Strengthens Lead at 52 Super Series
Published on July 28th, 2016
Puerto Portals, Spain (July 28, 2016) – Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the 52 SUPER SERIES season after sailing to their fourth win of the 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week regatta today. They matched a third place to that victory – their third in a row – and so lead Azzurra by nine points into the final day.
The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec – favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling.
Indeed today saw some Portals podium contenders pay dearly for being squeezed from that left end of the start line. Provezza had to take sterns in the first race after the gun and their shiny 1-3-2 sequence is stained by a ninth and a sixth today. Platoon’s third in the first race is paired to a ninth. Azzurra went second and then seventh, while Rán Racing’s 4,2 today was second best to Quantum’s 1,3.
Quantum Racing started mid line but had the speed and height away from the line to take an immediate lead. They could then hold on starboard until they wanted to go left, leading Azzurra around the windward mark. The Quantum Racing afterguard – Terry Hutchinson, Ed Baird and Ian Moore got the final approach the top mark just right, making a little extra gain on a final lift, to lead Platoon and Azzurra around the turn. At the leeward gate Platoon and Azzurra went to opposite marks. Vasco Vascotto’s choice of the left (looking upwind) earned a quick gain. Next time they converged they were able to bounce Harm Müller-Spreer’s team back to the right and when they came back a few minutes later Azzurra were clear ahead into second.
Quantum Racing were comfortably clear by the finish but with Azzurra second only added one point to their lead over the 2015 champions.
The 12-14kts sea breeze stayed solid for the second race but with the typical bumpy Palma chop building more. After a lacklustre start to the previous race (a miscommunication between Ado Stead and owner driver Vladimir Liubomirov contributing) the Russian-flagged team debriefed, and had one practice attempt before a winning start to Race 8. They were very quickly able to gain control of the left side of the course, holding those to their left up above the layline with Rán Racing below them taking second around the first windward mark. Quantum Racing worked hard for their well deserved third. Bronenosec’s win sees them third overall, three points behind Azzurra and three points ahead of Provezza.
“We have a foot on the podium at the moment.” Said Adrian Stead of Bronenosec, “But with two more races tomorrow we need to keep working away. Our goal tomorrow: two good starts. We need to keep working on the communication, the starts, getting good launches off the line and see if we can end with a really good result.”
Azzurra looked good early on in Race 8 but were one of the left side group forced to overstand by Bronenosec. They had a penalty for infringing Gladiator. When it was completed they were last, ninth, but did manage to recover to seventh. As much as anything that weighty score enhanced Quantum’s regatta. Azzurra will rue their errors but their position merits neither champagne nor tears.
Quantum Racing remain super-consistent. This is shaping to be the first regatta of the season that they have led every day, even if they were tied on points initially with two different boats on the first two days. But theirs is such a well drilled, well oiled machine at this midpoint of the season, as navigator Ian Moore notes:
“It has been so interesting. At the beginning of the season I have to say we did not really know how it would work out. First of all Doug is doing an amazing job steering the boat. He listens to Terry, concentrates on one thing and does it fantastically well. Ed has really stepped into the role of strategy and makes Terry’s job easier. Terry is helping Doug with the driving and Ed then knows exactly the right input to give to Terry at the right time. The boat is going well and that makes all the difference.”
The drive is always to be top three or four at the first mark. Otherwise life is difficult, as Adam Beashel the Rán Racing strategist explains their second place today:
“We managed to get into our own little lane for a change. That worked for us, working clear air rather than being banged all over the race track like we have been these last two days or so. It is very tough in the fourth-to-sixth spots. The front guys are trying to push you back and the back guys are trying to close the gap. So we managed to get forwards of the fourth place that meant bigger gaps and therefore bigger smiles.”
Racing concludes tomorrow.
Standings after Day 4 (8 races)
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1,1,3) 20pts
2 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4,2,7) 29pts
3 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3,8,1) 32pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2,9,6) 35pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5,3,9) 41pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6,4,9,7,5) 44pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7,4,2) 48pts
8 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8,6,4) 55pts
9 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6,5,8) 56pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS,DNS,DNS, DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS) 88pts
Adrian Stead (GBR), co-tactician/strategist Bronenosec (RUS):
“We made a starting error in the first race. I made a communication error with Vladimir was not quite right and so we turned slightly differently to what I was expecting. So we made one practice launch before the start of the second race. We felt confident about how the breeze had built, how the waves had built and we got a good launch. We had great speed on starboard tack and held up well for the tack to the left. We were controlling the boats to the left and from there it was just a question of when we wanted to go. We could tack and cross Rán and once we did that it was a done deal. It is nice to finish the day with a win. We have a foot on the podium at the moment but with two more races tomorrow we need to keep working away. Our goal tomorrow, two good starts. We need to keep working on the communication, the starts, getting good launches off the line and see if we can end with a really good result.”
Adam Beashel (AUS) strategist Rán Racing (SWE):
“We had a great second race. In fact we could not pull off the start we were hoping for due to the incident with Sled. They were a bit too close to us to weather of us so there was a penalty on them and they had to get out of the way. We had to make the best of what we could do, going out to the right but the trim of the boat seemed to be working nicely for us and so we managed to get into our own little lane for a change. That worked for us, working clear air rather than being banged all over the race track like we have been these last two days or so. It is very tough in that fourth to sixth spots. The front guys are trying to push you back and the back guys are trying to close the gap. So we managed to get forwards of the fourth place that meant bigger gaps and therefore bigger smiles.”
Ian Moore (GBR/IRL) navigator Quantum Racing (USA):
“It was a really pleasing day. The first win was good but the second race was really pleasing, we were in a tough position on the first beat and managed to turn that into a very credible third place. And so we are over the moon with that. Nine points is good but that is very easy to see it evaporate. We have nine fantastically prepared and sailed boats here, all capable of winning races and so we will go into this last day the same as we have every day, try and get two good results. We don’t need to hit it out the park. We just need two good ones. It has been so interesting. At the beginning of the season I have to say we did not really know how it work out. First of all Doug is doing an amazing job steering the boat. He listens to Terry, concentrates on one thing and does it fantastically well. Ed has really stepped into the role of strategy and makes Terry’s job easier. Terry is helping Doug with the driving and Ed then knows exactly the right input to give to Terry at the right time. The boat is going well and that makes all the difference.”
2016 52 SUPER SERIES Calendar
52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino Cup
Scarlino, YCS, May 25 – 29.
Settimana delle Bocche
Porto Cervo, YCCS, June 28 – July 2
52 SUPER SERIES Portals Sailing Week
Puerto Portals, CRPP, July 25 – 29
TP52 World Championship
Mahon, CMM, September 14 – 18
52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup
Cascais , CNC, October 11 – 15.
Source: 52 Super Series