Luna Rossa sets pace at 52 SUPER SERIES

Published on June 20th, 2018

Zadar, Croatia (June 20, 2018) – Luna Rossa led the 52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup after making something of a dream start to the second regatta of the 2018 52 SUPER SERIES. The emblematic Italian team, racing just their second ever event as a TP52 team won the opening light-winds race – their first ever race win together – followed up with a second to lead the 11-boat fleet which is racing on the beautiful waters off Zadar for the first time.

While Luna Rossa were on impeccable form, making the best starts in the fleet as they delivered on their strategic choice of starting on the pin, left end of the line, and going left, their level of satisfaction at the end Day 1 of racing was matched – or probably even exceeded – by Tony Langley’s crew of Gladiator who lie second and Tina Plattner and the crew of Phoenix who lie third.

Disappointed to have seen their planned top-level cooperation with Ben Ainslie Racing dissolve unexpectedly pre-season, Langley made the choice to regroup and bring some younger sailors on to the team. They have worked hard, most recently doing three back-to-back Rhode Island races and regattas with the British businessman’s US-based TP52.

Younger up and coming sailors like Will Alloway and Matt Brushwood who sail on the INEOS Rebels UK GC32, and Brad Mclaughlin who was on the Gladiator shore team before spending a year with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s programme, are playing key roles on board Gladiator. Young Boat Captain Feargal Finlay has been promoted here to navigator while the super experienced Hamish Pepper is tactician.

Langley’s choice bore fruit today as they led Luna Rossa across the finish line to win the second race and so lie second overall.

Meantime, Tina Plattner did excellent work as the first woman helm in the six year history of the 52 SUPER SERIES, finishing third in the first race, her first ever contest in the 52 SUPER SERIES, which they followed up with a seventh to lie third overall.

Racing off Zadar city, breezes were only light, around seven-to-eight knots for the first contest, and just 10 kts at the start of the second heat. Luna Rossa led off the start line and so chased Ergin Imre’s crew on Provezza around the first top mark of Race 1.

Provezza had gone just slightly further to the left and so had a small lead over Luna Rossa down the first run. But Provezza suffered a failure with their drop line system and their spinnaker went into the water, dropping them all the way down the pack. As Luna Rossa ran away with their first ever win on the circuit – their previous best being third in the last race in Sibenik – Andy Soriano’s Alegre got second, and Phoenix third.

But it was the right that worked out best for Gladiator on the second race, just pipping Luna Rossa at the first turn. Luna Rossa’s start was a facsimile of their opening race. They were smart enough to consolidate early on, but Gladiator remained firm, holding a 50-metre advantage over the Luna Rossa on the second round.

Helm Francesco Bruni wore a huge smile after docking Luna Rossa:
“It was a magical day for us. We did just about everything perfectly. And of course we know that not every day can be like this one, so we enjoy the pleasure of it while it lasts. For the first time we had a clear strategy, we knew where we wanted to go and we had two fantastic starts. I think it was all playing well for us and it was a team result today. Tactics, strategy, boat handling: it was all working well. A lot of times we have made decisions that were wrong; this time we were right!”

And the good natured banter between owner Langley and navigator Finlay belied a huge measure of satisfaction, not least for the young navigator:
“To be on the boat and play a part in a day like today when the competition is the best in the world is great. To be racing against some of the guys out there for me is just great, but to get a race win is fantastic, really enjoyable. To be racing in the same race as Vasco Vascotto, Francesco Bruni and Jimmy Spithill is great but to have them chasing you down is fantastic. It was never over til we crossed the finish.”


A short Coastal Race is scheduled tomorrow followed by one Windward-Leeward race, or vice versa, depending on conditions. Racing is due to start at 13:00 CEST.

Overall standings after Day 1:
1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (1,2) 3 p.
2. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,1) 8 p.
3. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,7) 10 p.
4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (6,4) 10 p.
5. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,5) 10 p.
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (2,9) 11 p.
7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (11,3) 14 p.
8. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto / Pablo Roemmers) (4,10) 14 p.
9. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (9,6) 15 p.
10. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (8,8) 16 p.
11. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,11) 21 p.

52 SUPER SERIESResultsFacebook

The 52 SUPER SERIES is established as the world’s leading grand prix monohull yacht racing circuit. The 2018 season will mark the seventh season of the 52 SUPER SERIES which grew from the ashes of the TP52 MedCup which finished in 2011 when the principal sponsor withdrew.

2018 52 SUPER SERIES Calendar:
Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week – May 23-27 – Sibenik, Croatia
52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup – June 20-24 – Zadar, Croatia
Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 – July 17-21 – Cascais, Portugal
Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week – August 21-25 – Mallorca, Spain
52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week – September 18-22 – Valencia, Spain


comment banner

Tags: ,

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.