Luna Rossa claims 52 SUPER SERIES win
Published on June 24th, 2018
Zadar, Croatia (June 24, 2018) – At just their second regatta together on the 52 SUPER SERIES, the Italian team on Luna Rossa today lifted the Zadar Royal Cup proving that the genesis of their America’s Cup sailing team is already gelling into a strong, racing unit.
Luna Rossa were sixth on their debut in Šibenik last month, short on time with their freshly launched TP52 and evidently still learning the dynamics of their on board communication. But on the beautiful waters off Croatia’s Dalmatian coast they looked a much more clinical, composed team sailing their Botin partners design which had improved upwind speed in the light airs to complement their already strong downwind abilities.
With Vasco Vascotto as tactician, Francesco Bruni steering and double America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill as strategist, the only non-native Italian on board, Luna Rossa showed composure under pressure today.
Starting the day with a three points margin and with a chance of becoming the first female helm to win a 52 SUPER SERIES Tina Plattners’ Phoenix faltered in the regatta’s penultimate race, slumping to an unfortunate 11th and so breaking a chain of solid, consistent results which already included two wins.
At the same time Luna Rossa moved up from third at the first windward mark to pass Azzurra for second. That gave the emblematic Italian crew a relatively straightforward opportunity to convert a six points lead to their first piece of major silverware together as a team.
Effervescent tactician Vasco Vascotto, showing the benefit of the Luna Rossa physical conditioning programme, was delighted with their trophy win.
“I’m a lucky guy, I have Francesco Bruni as our driver, James Spithill as strategist, Pietro Sibello on mainsheet, I’m very lucky to have these kind of guys so close to me. They help me a lot to make the decisions, so I think the long term, if we are smart enough to keep going this direction, we will have a great future together!”
After moving from Azzurra to Luna Rossa, Vascotto wins the Royal Cup for the second year in a row.
The Luna Rossa new generation programme has selected seven new young sailors on to their team, some on to the TP52 in the 52 SUPER SERIES. They are feeding off the experience of Bruni, Vascotto, Spithill and co., but in Zadar the triumphant team also included America’s Cup and Admiral’s Cup winning navigator Matteo Plazzi, who stepped in to the breech to replace injured Francesco Mongelli.
Plazzi won this Royal Cup with the One Tonner Brava Q8 in 1995 in Denmark and again in 1996 in Greece. Meanwhile Spithill was last victorious in the TP52 class in Marseille ten years ago this month with Larry Ellison’s Reichel Pugh designed USA 17 on which they only every raced one regatta.
It was a bittersweet finale for Tina Plattner. To have come so close to a fairytale debut in the class may have left the Phoenix crew under Ed Baird smarting momentarily after crossing that finish line in 11th. But to their credit they immediately regrouped and recaptured their previous form.
Not only did they finish with the huge satisfaction of second overall, holding off Sled on countback and crossing the last finish line ahead of rivals Luna Rossa, but helm Plattner made a text book lee bow tack on her rivals, racing neck and neck with Luna Rossa before they had to tack away.
“I made too many mistakes in the first race,” acknowledged Baird, “But Tina did a fantastic job. And at that moment as Luna Rossa tacked away I reminded her they are an America’s Cup team and she smiled.”
Tina Plattner revealed:
“When we came in on the boat today Ed said, ‘Tina, when I saw you last Friday if I had told you you would have come second what would you have said?’ I said ‘I would have laughed or walked away or given you a little smack on the side and said no way!’ It was definitely way beyond expectations. It’s been good fun it was an awesome fleet to sail in, there are some seriously good people out there.”
The final points table for the regatta shows not only a points tie between second placed Phoenix and Takashi Okura’s Sled, the USA flagged team which has Ray Davies as tactician taking third step on the podium for the second consecutive regatta, fourth placed Provezza share the same tally as fifth placed Platoon and – in sixth Quantum Racing end up just one point behind them.
The Šibenik winners Quantum Racing still leave Croatia with their 2018 52 SUPER SERIES lead at four points but the Rolex TP52 World Championships next month in Cascais returns the fleet to the Atlantic and a different set of regatta winners may emerge.
To view the photo gallery… click here.
Final 52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup Standings:
1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (1,2,5,3,7,7,2,5) 32 points
2. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,7,1,6,4,1,11,3) 36 p.
3. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (6,4,7,1,5,5,6,2) 36 p.
4. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,5,2,2,8,4,7,10) 43 p.
5. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (9,6,3,7,3,2,5,7) (2 penalti) 44 p.
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (2,9,9,4,1,10,9,1) 45 p.
7. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (4,10,10,9,9,3,3,4) 52 p.
8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (11,3,4,5,10,9,1,11) 54 p.
9. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,11,6,8,6,6,4,6) 57 p.
10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,1,11,11,2,DNF12,8,8) (2 penalti) 62 p.
11. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (8,8,8,10,11,8,10,9) 72 p.
2018 52 SUPER SERIES Overall Standings After Two Events:
1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 73 points
2. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 77 p.
3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 77 p.
4. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) 81 p.
5. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) 91 p.
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 96 p.
7. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) 98 p.
8. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) 103 p.
9. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 110 p.
10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) 128 p.
11. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) 136 p.
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
Source: 52 SUPER SERIES