Highs, lows at 52 SUPER SERIES

Published on September 28th, 2021

Menorca, Spain (September 28, 2021) – Andy Soriano’s Alegre hold the overnight lead after the first day of racing at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, comfortably winning the only race which could be contested due to very light, shifty and unsettled northerly breezes which kept tacticians and strategists on their toes until the finish line.

Phoenix, the Plattner family’s South African flagged team, made the best start and led at the top mark, but a consolidating lower risk move down the first run cost them the lead and they took third gun, also falling prey to an excellent recovery from Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec.

With Vasco Vascotto combining with Luna Rossa compatriot, 49er ace Pietro Sibello as strategist in an all Italian afterguard, the blue hulled Bronenosec made good gains on the second beat when the wind shifted left and they chased runaway Alegre across the finish line.

While the Alegre team – which has owner Soriano steering and Ado Stead and Nic Asher as afterguard – were pleased with their day’s work, able to extend out to be over 250 metres ahead of the second beat, the changeable, shifting breeze made it difficult to keep control of the advances from all sides. Like Phoenix, they too recognized the times to be conservative and bank their gains.

Sail GP

Phoenix’s tactician Ed Baird explained their thinking, gybing earlier down the first run conceding the lead to rivals Alegre.

“On the run all the boats behind were bringing down pressure and cutting off our lane and if we could have kept going straight maybe we would have gotten out of there. I have seen many times that the leader gets swallowed up and so I felt we just needed to get out when we could.”

“If you can finish in the top three or four over and over in this fleet you will win regattas and you are going to win the season. The goal is always to have your best finish but always remembering there is no drop race (no discards). What you don’t want is to go from first to sixth. We try to avoid that.”

But what worked today may not tomorrow as it looks to be a windier day of 15-20 knots with big waves, already coming from the NE.

Winners of the World Championship here in 2016, Quantum Racing made a disappointing opening to their regatta. Over the start line early, they were sandwiched momentarily between boats and it took time for them to be able to restart. They recovered two or three places in the middle of the race but found themselves on the wrong side of the bigger windshift and so start with an 11th.

Racing is planned for September 28 to October 2.

Day One Standings:

Series informationRace detailsFacebook

2021 52 SUPER SERIES (after one event)
1. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 22 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 23 pts
3. Phoenix (RSA) (Toni Norris) 26 pts
4. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 27 pts
5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 27 pts
6. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 28 pts
7. Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) 30 pts
8. Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) 37 pts
9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) 50 pts

2021 Schedule
July 13-17 – Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Mar (CANCELLED)
August 24-28 – Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week & TP52 20th Anniversary Invitational
September 28-October 2 – Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week
November 2-6 – Rolex TP52 World Championship RCNP

Following the cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, the abbreviated 2021 schedule will be the ninth edition of the 52 SUPER SERIES which was established as the world’s leading grand prix monohull yacht racing circuit.

Source: 52 Super Series

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