Battle begins amid Spanish splendor
Published on May 23rd, 2022
The 2022 52 SUPER SERIES begins on the beautiful ría de Vigo off Baiona where the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit is visiting for the very first time in its ten year history. Located just above the Portuguese border on the Atlantic, there will be no relaxing at this noted tourist town.
With nine teams in Spain for the starter on May 24-28, Quantum Racing’s navigator Michele Ivaldi believes the first three days could see brisk N’ly winds which should challenge all aspects of the crews’ teamwork right from the very first races of the season.
“The weather will characterized by the Azores High pressure coming towards us and then sliding up towards the Bay of Biscay and so we will have a Northerly gradient going to NE’ly and going to N’ly going to NW’ly gradient, pretty decent strength the next two or three days, so 15-20kts, and then as the high moves north to Biscay it will be lighter for the last two days, a lot lighter with potentially some sea breeze.”
And while the new racing waters will be a challenge to decipher, all of the crews are loving the beautiful scenery, the clear waters and lush, verdant coastline and stunning beaches on this rugged NW corner of Spain.
“This is really one of the most beautiful places I have sailed,” noted Phoenix’s tactician Tom Slingsby. “It is stunning coastline with big mountains, there are beautiful islands with crystal clear water and beautiful beaches. If we ever got a day off we would go and explore the beaches but that is not the way it works!
“The race track is definitely challenging and tricky. I think it is really going to be a place of backing your judgment, either the left or right hand side could work. But you really have to dig into that side. There seems to be a little bit of a transition zone in the middle. You have to really work your side and use the geographical shifts either side and if you get caught in the middle then you could be in a bit of trouble.”
The 2021 champions, Takashi Okura’s Sled, have their talismanic owner-driver back on the helm and are ready to start their title defense. Don Cowie, project manager and mainsheet trimmer, does not see an easy road for a two-peat.
“I think the fleet has got so much depth you would be a pretty arrogant person to go out there and think ‘we are going to finish in the top two,’ But we would like to finish on the podium but most of all just to not have bad regattas, but we are certainly not here puffing our chests out because we are the world champs.”
52 SUPER SERIES 2022 Schedule
May 23-28 – BAIONA 52 SUPER SERIES SAILING WEEK – Baiona, Spain
June 20-25 – ROLEX TP52 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CASCAIS – Cascais, Portugal
July 21-26 – PUERTO PORTALS 52 SUPER SERIES SAILING WEEK – Puerto Portals, Mallorca
September 26-October 1 – SCARLINO 52 SUPER SERIES SAILING WEEK – Scarlino, Italy
October 24-29 – BARCELONA 52 SUPER SERIES SAILING WEEK – Barcelona, Spain
Source: 52 Super Series