Nothing in it at TP52 World Champs

Published on November 3rd, 2021

Mallorca, Spain (November 3, 2021) – Takashi Okura’s Sled crew with six times America’s Cup winner Murray Jones on the helm and Italian ace Francesco Bruni calling tactics, won themselves a share of the overall lead of the Rolex TP52 World Championships on the Bay of Palma today after two of the most challenging but exciting races of recent years.

In the chase for the World Championship title, they now share the same 15 points tally as the Plattner family’s Phoenix which followed up a golden, two bullets first day with a weighty sixth and seventh today. Phoenix actually still lead on tie break by virtue of those two opening day wins.

But Sled’s six points aggregate for the second day of racing – they paired a race win to their fifth in the first of today’s pair of windward leewards – sees them also hold the overall 2021 52 SUPER SERIES lead, up by one point over four times champions Quantum Racing.

With only three scheduled days of racing left of the 2021 season, it could not be closer. Chasing Sled and Quantum Racing now in third are Phoenix which are three points off the series lead.

In the very shifty, offshore breeze which varied in strength between eight and 18 knots over the course of the two races, it seemed no lead was safe to the finish line. There were some very useful recoveries promoted by the clever use of the bigger puffs on the downwind legs especially.

Platoon, Phoenix, Alegre, and Bronenosec perhaps rode the mental rollercoaster most. The South African flagged Phoenix were flat footed off the first start and rounded the first mark deep in ninth, recovering to sixth at the line.

On the second race, if the regatta leaders then found themselves on the wrong side of the opening beat on the second race, they sailed an excellent first run to pass through the first leeward gate in third, chasing Quantum Racing and Platoon.

But in phase of play that was typical of the day, though the mean windspeed at the bottom of the second beat was 12 or 13 knots, the breeze swirled, dropped, puffed up and shifted with brain curdling rapidity for a few funky minutes.

With the changes in pressure, the lead group compacted right up and regrouped. Sled broke clear and Bronenosec found their way back into the top three, Vladimir Liubomirov’s team leading Sled round the final windward mark.

The immaculate white hulled US flagged Sled stayed right of Bronenosec down the last run to take victory. Having dropped five places apiece in that unsettled mixed breeze, Phoenix then pipped Platoon on the finish line for seventh to Platoon’s eighth.

As is often the case, Quantum Racing’s astute risk management, achieved under high levels of stress, ensured they earned a third and a fourth place that for all the world must have felt like a pair of victories for Doug De Vos’ team lead by Terry Hutchinson.

“It was an incredible day; we were up and down,” noted Jones on Sled. “We had two really good starts but even so we didn’t get to the top mark very well in either race the breeze was flipping all around the place.

“Overall it was all about trying to stay in the pressure as well as the shift and I think the pressure was probably more important than the shift. It was about looking ahead and working out where was going to be the next pressure.

“There were 15 degree shifts so it was a big deal if you got pressure and a shift. There were big gains. And was for the circuit standings we were surprised to see at the end of today how we shape up but there’s still a long way to go.”

Racing is planned for November 2-6.


Series informationRace detailsFacebook

Worlds – Day Two Results
1. Phoenix (1,1,6,7) 15 points.
2. Sled (7,2,5,1) 15 points.
3. Quantum Racing (4,5,3,4) 16 points.
4. Platoon (3,3,4,8) 18 points.
5. Bronenosec Gazprom (2,8,9,2) 21 points.
6. Alegre (5,9,1,10) 25 points.
7. Interlodge (9,4,7,5) 25 points.
8. Provezza (10,7,2,9) 28 points.
9. Code Zero (6,6,10,6) 28 points.
10. Gladiator (8,10,8,3) 29 points.

2021 52 SUPER SERIES Results (after Day Two)
1. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 59 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 60 pts
3. Phoenix (RSA) (Toni Norris) 62 pts
4. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 63 pts
5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 68 pts
6. Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) 72 pts
7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 85 pts
8. Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) 96 pts
9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) 113 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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