Keelboat Regattas

Ideal conditions for pre Championship invitational race

 

 

2017 Gemmill Homes Flying Fifteen 55th Australian National 

Championship at Esperance Bay Yacht Club, WA 

 

Esperance delivered ideal conditions for a genteel introduction to the Gemmill Homes 55th Flying Fifteen Australian National Championship.

A mostly sunny day with a moderate breeze of 12 – 15 knots and relatively flat seas (according to locals, they are described as ripples!) to others they are waves!.

A slightly flustered race committee boat skipper (Kiwi) had a bad start to the day turning the start boat key to the sound of silence. After a short delay, a number of jump leads and some burly local help the committee boat was able to get out to the course for an on time start.

 

 

After one general recall, race officer John Taylor (JT) raised a U flag which seemed to do the trick with a big sag in the middle of the start line for the second go. The course was a windward/leeward followed by a triangle and an upwind to the finish providing a range of sailing angles and a number of place changes throughout the fleet.

However Nick and Janet Jerwood sailing (Ineffable) got a good start and tacked into an early lead at the top mark. The South of Perth YC sailors extended their lead on every leg to lead by a country mile by the last leg to the finish. They finished just under a minute ahead of the chasing pack.

“We got a good start and took a few shifts off the line, got ahead and managed to stay there so we were quite fortunate with a comfortable race after a good start.”  Nick Jerwood

 

 

Philippa Packer and Dean McAullay sailing (Absolutely Ffabulous) worked their way into second place with Philippa letting out a (woop) of satisfaction as they crossed the line but the fight for third was only decided in the last few tacks. Places 3 – 6 were split by 10 seconds. The (Glamour Buoys) Greg Leaversush and Peter Barblett crossed the distance of a dental floss ahead of fourth placed Greg Tonnison and Mark Lovelady (Spot the Difference) with Ron Packer and Steve Ward (Affrodisiac) finishing fifth.

Locals David Swan (Swanny) and Matt Elliot finished 8th sailing a brand new boat (Phar Lap) launched hours earlier in a christening ceremony on the EBYC lawn. Rounding off the top 10 was Alan Bax and Simon Childs from Hayling Island SC in the UK, sailing Fforever Young.

 

 

Nick Jerwood after racing at the bar:

We got down to Esperance a couple of days early to practice and the weather was quite harsh but after that we got two good days of sailing.” Apparently Janet really enjoyed some wild reaches!

“We are fairly comfortable with most breezes but obviously we might struggle against the big guys if it gets above 25kts.”

The rest of the fleet can only pray it blows!

 

 

The whole fleet enjoyed a big New Years Eve bash overlooking the tranquil waters of Esperance Bay and an early day off to recover on New Years Day. The first days racing is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local time) start on Monday 2nd January with a long range forecast of increasing winds and a bit more bumpy seas (or larger ripples as they say at EBYC)!

 

Invitational Race for the Uffa Fox Trophy

1 AUS3986 Ineffable Nick – Jerwood / Janet Jerwood (SoPYC)

2 AUS3775 Absolutely Ffabulous – Philippa Packer / Dean McAullay (RFBYC)

3 AUS3992 Glamour Buoys – Greg Leaversuch / Peter Barblett (RFBYC)

4 AUS3743 Spot the Difference – Greg Tonnison / Mark Lovelady (SoPYC)

5 AUS3619 Affrodisiac – Ron Packer / Steve Ward (RFBYC)

6 AUS3989 Ffast Lane 4 – John Wilson / Matthew Summers (SoPYC)

7 AUS3859 Tuffan Up – David Yu / Chris Nelson (SoPYC)

8 AUS4053 Phar Lap – David Swan / Matt Elliot (EBYC)

9 AUS3879 Aussie Way – Kim Peaker / Neil White (SoPYC)

10 GBR4047 Fforever Young – Alan Bax / Simon Childs (HISC UK)

 

For full results see: : http://www.sportspage.com.au/yacht_clubs/ebyc/ffnats/Result_20161231.htm

There is a full schedule of social events for friends and families. More details are available from: www.ebyc.com.au and www.ffiwa.com and the Facebook site: www.facebook.com/FFIWA

The organising authority of the 2017 Gemmill Homes Flying Fifteen 55th Australian National Championship is Esperance Bay Yacht Club (Inc), in conjunction with Flying Fifteen International Australia (Inc).

Sponsors include Gemmill Homes, Westpac Agribusiness, Cliffs, South Coast Insurance Brokers, Southern Ports Authority, Brahma, Ferngrove and Southeast Petroleum.

by Jonny Fullerton of Grand Prix Sailing

 

 

Eclectic mix of competitors head to Esperance

 

 

2017 Gemmill Homes Flying Fifteen 55th Australian National 

Championship at Esperance Bay Yacht Club 

 

Esperance Bay Yacht Club are hosting the International Flying Fifteen 55th Australian National Championships from Friday 30th December 2016 to Thursday 5th January 2017.

The popular Western Australian venue held the memorable International Flying Fifteen World Championships in 1999 and boasts aqua marine waters, good solid sea breezes and a social scene with a reputation!

41 entries include interstate competitors from Victoria and Queensland and one top team all the way from the UK. An eclectic mix of competitors include world champions, a good mix of male and female sailors and all ages ranging from 17 years to 87 years!

 

 

Former world champion Alan Bax and crew Simon Childs have come all the way from the UK to enjoy some competitive warm water sailing (no doubt in training for the Worlds in Napier, New Zealand in March 2017). But (Baxxy) will surely have his hands full with a number of strong WA teams including another former world championship pairing, Nick & Janet Jerwood and the exuberant glamour buoys, Greg Leaversuch & Peter Barblett and a mixed pairing of Philippa Packer, crewed by former world champ and current RFBYC commodore, Dean McAullay.

Other strong contenders include Ron Packer, crewed by Steve Ward, (builder of the 1983 AC winning Australia ll), former national champions, Ashley Smith & Adam Kingston from Queensland, amongst a strong continent from Royal Freshwater Bay YC and South of Perth YC.

Knowledge of the local waters will likely favour some of the local teams which are represented by a broad range of age groups from the youngest pairing of JJ Wallace (18yrs) & Sam Gardner (21yrs) all the way up to the local icon of the fleet Nils Blumann (82yrs) and his crew Gary Warman. Nils is a former FFI commodore and recipient of the Uffa Fox medal and once sailed a Flying Fifteen from Esperance to Perth, some 560 nm by sea! Also a number of the stories regarding social events seem to be linked to Nils for some reason!!

 

 

Another veteran of the FF scene is Bill Shand (a mere 87yrs) who will be driving across the Nullarbor from Melbourne to compete in his umpteenth championship.

Racing takes place in Open, Silver and Classic categories. An invitational race is scheduled for Sat 31 Dec, followed by a lay day on Sun Jan 1st to enjoy some of the local scenic delights and tastes of Esperance before racing commences on Mon 2 Jan through to  Thu 5 Jan.

There is a full schedule of social events for friends and families. More details are available from: www.ebyc.com.au and www.ffiwa.com and the Facebook site: www.facebook.com/FFIWA

The organising authority of the 2017 Gemmill Homes Flying Fifteen 55th Australian National Championship is Esperance Bay Yacht Club (Inc), in conjunction with Flying Fifteen International Australia (Inc).

Sponsors include Gemmill Homes, Agribusiness, Cliffs, South Coast Insurance Brokers, Southern Ports Authority, Brahma, Ferngrove and Southeast Petroleum.

It is guaranteed to be an event not to miss!!

by Jonny Fullerton of Grand Prix Sailing

 

 

Team Aqua wins Valletta Cup by a point 

 

 

rc44s-valetta-fleet-ms

 

 

Team Ceeref wins Championship by a point

 

Again a RC44 season has concluded with impossibly close results: Chris Bake’s Team Aqua won the RC44 Valletta Cup by a point from Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref, but with a two point advantage going into this final event, Team Ceeref claimed the overall RC44 Fleet Racing Championship title for 2016 by a point from Team Aqua.

The final day of the RC44 Valletta Cup brought sun, but the wind off Malta never filled in sufficiently to allow the final races to be sailed, despite the 10 boat fleet venturing out on to the water. As a result Saturday’s positions stand.

“This is a great event,” said the RC44 Valletta Cup’s victor, Chris Bake. “Conditions were tough, but we did really well and Friday obviously was a huge day.” On day two of fleet racing, Team Aqua won three out of three races. “Yesterday was challenging and today unfortunately there was no wind,” he continued.

 

 

val-team-aqua

Team Aqua – photo c Martinez Studio

 

 

Team Aqua tactician, New Zealander Cameron Appleton added: “We started strong and finished strong. We had to come here and win this to have a chance and hope that Ceeref – maybe – made some mistakes. But they didn’t.”

Being the longest-standing teams in the RC44 class, it is appropriate that Team Aqua and Team Ceeref should dominate the fleet racing in this 10th anniversary season for the Russell Coutts one designs. As Team Nika managed in 2015, so this year Team Ceeref scored the coveted ‘double’: Victory in the season’s championship as well as the World Championship, this year held in Sotogrande, Spain.

On the dockside, Team Ceeref’s Igor Lah was encouraged to take a victor’s plunge into the water of the Excelsior Marina by his competitor Chris Bake. Of his reaction to winning, Lah said: “Wet! It was a fantastic season and all the other teams are also really great. It was hard, but our team work was excellent. All the guys were brilliant – they did their jobs and this is the result. We didn’t expect it – our goal was only the Worlds, so this is the cream on the cake.”

 

val-ceeref-ms

Team Ceeref – photo c Martinez Studio

 

Of Team Ceeref’s strengths, tactician Adrian Stead observed: “This is Igor’s tenth season in the RC44 class and he knows the boat really well. He steers the boat very well. This week has been painful for him in the waves, because he has a knee operation in two weeks, but he has coped really well with it.

“The boat is going really well with Jon Gundersen and Dirk de Ridder on the speed side and our coaching has been excellent. We feel like we are getting the best out of the boat. We are not the team with the biggest budget, but we make sure we spend it wisely.”

Relative newcomer Alexander Novoselov finished third in the RC44 Valletta Cup on his Katusha with American Andy Horton calling tactics. “I am very happy with the result,” said Novoselov. “We have been fighting well and working hard. We were very close to the leaders.”

However this was not enough to get Katusha on to the 2016 championship podium. This was taken by Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing, which also claimed the 2016 RC44 Match Racing Championship title earlier in the week.

Torbjörn Törnqvist commented: “We performed when it mattered, which was good to see and we’ve definitely made a step forward from the previous season. It’s always sad when the season comes to an end, but I’m looking forward to the event in Marstrand next year.” Sadly the Russian teams, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team and Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika didn’t manage to repeat the impressive consistency they demonstrated in 2015, when they won the RC44 Match Racing and Fleet Racing titles respectively, although Team Nika claimed this season’s RC44 Portsmouth Cup.

This was also true of John Bassadone’s usually impeccable Peninsula Petroleum, which only reached the podium once this year, finishing second at their home regatta in Sotogrande.

Just four points separated the fourth to seven placed boats at the final season’s tally, demonstrating how close the racing was even in the mid-fleet and how vital it was to achieve a good result here in Malta.

Nico Poons’ Charisma was unable to repeat its success from last season here in Malta, while Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing, showed better consistency and finished within 10 points of fifth place.

At to the end of the RC44’s 10th anniversary year, Chris Bake observed: “The boats and the way we are sailing is nothing like 10 years ago. We have all stepped up our programs hugely. The skill level on board all the boats is huge and if you look at the points separations, both in the match racing and the fleet racing, it is a very competitive environment. That said, it comes down to the team, the set-up and consistency. Not all the owners have huge experience, but with the right boat and the right set-up you can really have a lot of fun.”

 

 

RC44 Valletta Cup – Fleet Racing Results

1 Team Aqua – 35pts

2 Team Ceeref – 36pts

3 Katusha – 38pts

4 Artemis Racing – 43pts

5 Bronenosec Sailing Team – 51pts

6 Artemis Racing Youth – 55pts

7 Perninsula Petroleum – 57pts

8 Team Nika – 58pts

9 Charisma – 60pts

9 Aleph Racing – 63pts

 

 

RC44 Fleet Racing Championship Results (5 regattas – 1 discard)

1 Team Ceeref – 9pts

2 Team Aqua – 10pts

3 Artemis Racing – 14pts

4 Katusha – 17pts

5 Bronenosec Sailing Team – 18pts

6 Peninsula Petroleum – 19pts

7 Team Nika – 20pts

8 Artemis Racing Youth – 28pts

9 Charisma – 34pts

10 Aleph Racing – 38pts

11 Black Water – 40pts

 

www.rc44.com

 

 

RC44 Match Racing Tour decided in last breath

 

RC44 VALLETTA CUP

 

In its tensest conclusion ever, the RC44 Match Racing Championship today came down to the very last race of the very last flight, victory ultimately falling the way of Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing.

Match racing at the RC44 Valletta Cup took place in a 10-14 knot southeasterly in the magnificent setting of the Maltese capital’s Grand Harbour, surrounded by the ancient fortified city’s towering ramparts.

All RC44 events begin with a day of match racing, points from which are accumulated across the season. Going into this final match racing day of 2016, it also couldn’t have been tighter on points, with Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika tied in the lead with Artemis Racing.

Bronenosec Sailing Team, Team Ceeref and Team Aqua were all tied, three points behind the frontrunners.

Team Nika, the 2015 RC44 World Champion and Fleet Racing Champion, got off to a strong start today dispatching Aleph Racing and Katusha, before picking up an easy win against Team Ceeref which suffered a terminal spinnaker halyard tangle while rounding the leeward gate. However the Russian team’s winning streak came to an end when it lost its flight four match against Chris Bake’s Team Aqua.

Meanwhile after being on a bye for race one, Artemis Racing dispatched Bronenosec Sailing Team, Peninsula Petroleum and Charisima. Going into the final match race of the season, this left the Swedes tied with Team Nika. The final race would decide the 2016 Championship.

In this Artemis Racing led off the start line, maintained her advantage through a tacking duel up the first beat and rounded the top mark ahead, before a spinnaker sheet issue on the downwind allowed Team Nika to gain the upper hand.

Artemis Racing helmsman, Francesco Bruni explained: “We had a problem with the old spinnaker sheet having a knot in it. Then we overcomplicated things at the gate and made a bad drop, so we were a little bit on the back foot.”

The two boats split at the gate and Artemis Racing picked up a favourable shift that had brought them back into the game by the next cross. Here the experience of the Swedish crew paid, as Team Nika tactician Ed Baird explained:

“We went to lee bow them and it was a little slow. They did a nice job of keeping their speed and then ducked us at the last moment to become the leeward boat. Under the new rules we had to tack away and that put them into the lead again.”

From there Artemis Racing defended well to finish narrowly ahead of Team Nika and to claim the 2016 RC44 Match Racing Championship title. Bruni commented:

“It was great to have such a close match with Team Nika in the last race. It was really intense, like how match racing should be: Very close, lead changes all the time, really good fun. Vladimir and the Team Nika crew did a really good job. They sailed well until the end.”

Having hoped to follow up his success in 2015 with the Match Racing Championship title this year, Team Nika’s owner Vladimir Proshikin came ashore not in the best of spirits.

“I am so depressed, feeling pain,” he admitted. “We made one quite basic mistake when we were ahead. I had to tack lee bow and I didn’t. It was stupid and it could have changed the outcome. It was one mistake and he [Bruni] didn’t allow me to make any mistakes.” He added: “Had I not wanted to win so badly, I would have had a lot of fun…”

With Team Nika second overall, an outstanding day for Team Aqua – joint top scorer today with Artemis Racing – allowed Chris Bake’s team to claim the third spot on the 2016 RC44 Match Racing Championship podium.

With the wind blowing more across Grand Harbour than down it, the start box was shallow and required teams to reappraise their pre-start manoeuvres, perhaps benefitting the more experienced crews. As Cameron Appleton, who helmed Team Aqua today observed:

“There was a lot more reverse circling and picking your time and a lot more shut outs at the committee boat just due to the limited space. So it was a whole different pre-start mind-set and strategy, but we always had a good game plan and were able to execute.”

Today was not only the last day of match racing in the 2016 for the RC44s. Going forward the decision has been made to change to an entirely fleet racing regatta format from next season on.

 

RC44 Valletta Cup – Match Race Results:

Artemis Racing 4-0

Team Aqua 4-0

Team Nika 3-2

Bronenosec Sailing Team 3-2

Artemis Racing Youth 2-2

Team Ceeref 2-2

Charisma 2-3

Peninsula Petroleum 2-3

Katusha 1-4

Aleph Racing 0-5

 

For more information about the RC44 Valletta Cup and racing progress please visit www.yachtingevents.com.mt and www.rc44.com

 

 

New format announced for 2017 RC44 Championship Tour

 

rc44-class-scene

 

 

A decade since its launch the RC44 Championship Tour will take on a new racing format for the 2017 season. Adding the highly competitive match racing day, that previously kicked off each regatta, into the practice racing in favour of four days of high intensity fleet racing.

“The bang-bang nature of match racing does a lot to hone the communications and boat handling for the owners and crews in tight situations,” explains Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio. “It will still play an important part in the practice racing, but the new format will now allow the teams to fully focus on their fleet racing game.”

With three to four races per day over a four-day regatta, the RC44 Championship Tour offers the fleet more racing each season than any other owner driven racing circuit.

“The match racing is part of the heritage of the Class and something we are keen to keep in the format of racing. But adding it into the practice day means less pressure on the owners, one less day each regatta which is more manageable with our schedules, but still the same number of races over the season,” added Chris Bake, owner of Team Aqua, who has competed in the Class since 2007.

The 2017 season will comprise of five European events. Starting in Sotogrande, Spain (27 – 30 April), the fleet will return to the iconic Sardinian sailing mecca of Porto Cervo, Italy (29 June – 2 July), before moving onto to the Marstrand, Sweden for the 2017 RC44 World Championship (9 – 13 August).

After three seasons with the fleet Nico Poons, owner of Monaco based team Charisma, commented:

“Next year’s calendar looks good; I’m looking forward to the world championship event in Marstrand. The wilder conditions, with the strong breeze and big sea, really brings out the best in the design of these boats.”

“I don’t know if there is something in the snaps or the heavy breeze, but we always seem to perform well in Sweden,” added Bake with a smile.

The penultimate regatta of the season will be held in the sailor’s favourite stop, Cascais, Portugal (28 September – 1 October), with the season finale in November to be announced in the coming weeks.

“The key aspects that first attracted me to this class still holds true – it’s one-design, it’s a team boat and because of the one-design rule it all comes down to skill to differentiate you from your competitor.

“If you are in sync, this class is immediately gratifying, there is nothing else quite like it. The one-design rule is closely managed so leading the fleet is all the feedback you need. Just look at the points, it’s ridiculous how close the racing is,” Bake concluded.

Still to come the final event of the 2016 RC44 Championship Tour is set to take place in Valletta, Malta next month, 23 – 27 November, where the season match and fleet racing champion will be crowned.

The RC44 Valletta Cup is followed by The Yacht Racing Forum, the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing, from the 28-29 November in Malta.

 

2017 RC44 Championship Tour

April 27 – 30 RC44 Sotogrande Cup 2017, Spain

June 29 – July 2 RC44 Porto Cervo Cup, Italy

August 9 – 13 RC44 Marstrand World Championship, Sweden

September 28 – October 1 RC44 Cascais Cup, Portugal

November 23 – 26 to be confirmed

 

 

Quantum Racing Crowned 2016 Champions

 

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

52 Super Series – Cascais

 

Winners of four of the five regattas this season, Quantum Racing were crowned 2016 52 Super Series champions in Cascais, Portugal on Saturday evening. The American-flagged team – who has also won the circuit in 2013 and 2014 – secured their third 52 Super Series title on Thursday with two days to spare, finishing Saturday with an overall aggregate of 140 points after 45 races contested in Scarlino (Tuscany), Porto Cervo (Sardinia), Puerto Portals (Mallorca), Mahón (Menorca) and Cascais (Portugal).

But last year’s champions Azzurra denied Quantum Racing their coveted clean sweep of all five titles. When they won the final race of the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup in bright Autumnal sunshine and 11-14kts southerly breezes, Azzurra won the Cascais Cup and finish second overall for the season, 59 points behind Quantum Racing.

Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing Team take third step on the season’s podium after a nervous final day showdown against Ergin Imre’s Provezza and Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon. Rán Racing fought back spectacularly from a penalty at the final mark that dumped them into last place, but quickly rallied to a critical fifth place, which ensured they take third for the season. Just as last year’s battle for third overall was decided on the last race of the season, so it was again on the same waters in Portugal. Rán finish on 241pts, Platoon on 245pts, Provezza on 248pts and Bronenosec on 251pts.

On Friday, Provezza had earned a tentative grip of third place but a bitterly disappointing run of 9,9,9 from their last three races saw them crumple to fifth overall on the season’s standings, losing out to Platoon who had brought in John Kostecki as tactician for their final push.

Quantum Racing have set an exceptional level from the start of the season. They served notice of their intentions when they won the pre-season warm up regatta Gaastra Palma Vela. Four different teams led at the opening regatta in Scarlino, Tuscany but it was Quantum Racing who prevailed. Doug DeVos’s team won the 52 World Championship title in Mahón, Menorca in September also. Between last season and this season, Quantum Racing had won six regattas on the hop. But the resurgent Azzurra team were back to their imperious best in Cascais where they won four of the eight races and held the overall title winners to second, eight points behind.

There has been no dark magic nor no reliably boat speed silver bullet for the Quantum Racing crew. Their success has been down to the unrelenting daily grind, seeking perfection on and off the water by the entire team, at regattas and between events.

It has been widely acknowledged by many members of the Quantum Racing crew – not least Terry Hutchinson – that the catalyst for this never ending pursuit was finishing second overall to Azzurra last year.

Similarly when he stood on the dock in the Marina de Cascais, relieved and contented at their final day regatta win, Azzurra’s skipper Guillermo Parada in turn paid tribute to the high benchmark set by Quantum Racing that forced them to up their game. Azzurra made significant gains since mid season, July in Puerto Portals and since then won nine of the last 18 races.

With the top two teams now seemingly on equal terms, a mouth watering opening to the 2017 season is already anticipated in Key West, USA in just twelve weeks time.

The key difference has always been Quantum Racing’s ability to grind out rock solid sequences of top-fours, or at worst top-fives, avoiding the weighty ballast of double digit scores from the basement of the fleet. This year has been the most competitive yet with 13 different boats competing. Ed Reynolds, the long serving Quantum Racing boss who has been at every single TP52 event since 2005 explained:

“The biggest thing that we focussed on this season was never crashing down to a big number in a race.

Everybody seems to focus on two boat testing, trying to be the fastest boat, but more often than not, we’re not the fastest boat out there. But we’re never the slowest boat. Trying to develop sails that are good for racing, and not just to win tuning setups has given us a lot of awareness.

You always hear about shifting gears on boats, well, we really focussed on our first, second and third gear. Getting off the line or when you get into trouble, when you have fine lines or really thin lanes, you have to have a completely different setup than when you’ve got the bow out, sending the boat.

Probably the biggest thing we saw this year was that we were never slow. We weren’t always the fastest boat on the course, and a lot of the other boats were set up to win races. If you look back on our history, we don’t win many races, but we rarely get out of the top four.”

The final day of the season will remain one of the most memorable of the year. Azzurra went into the final race with a lead of three points. They sailed an impeccable first beat – beating bow to bow with Quantum Racing, striving for the smallest advantage. At the top mark Azzurra were just ahead of Sled. Quantum Racing slid to a sixth place finish, their worst result of the regatta.

The overall podium for the Cascais Cup is composed of the same three teams as in 2015. Last year Azzurra clinched the circuit title when Quantum Racing won the Cascais Cup. Both times Takashi Okura’s Sled have finished third at this regatta.

Niklas Zennström was delighted at Rán’s third overall for the season, also lifting the top owner-driver award.

“It was a pretty stressful day. But it also shows how tight the class is this year and I think we had Provezza, Platoon and Bronenosec. Third place overall is the most important thing for us because its also about us being able to race against the best in the world, against Azzurra and Quantum and some of the other really good pro drivers. And so to be third overall for the season trumps being best owner driver.

It was pretty tight, we got a penalty. Then you say ‘shit we’re last’ but you just have to keep fighting. It’s all about fighting til the last second.”

Provezza’s Tony Rey was disappointed to drop so much on the last day:

“We had a great season but today was a tragedy, there’s no sugar coating it. We started off the day in fourth, just a couple of points behind. Bit by bit we closed on Rán over the last two events and ended up as close as you can get. But we couldn’t get it done this afternoon. We bled points throughout the season doing different things here and there and it all came down to today and we couldn’t get it done. But that’s sport and you just have to live with it. We’ve learned an enormous amount, we joke that we’re tired of learning and we just want to go win now.”

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

Final Standings after day 5 (8 races):

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8,1,2,3,1) 19 pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3,5,3,1,6) 27 pts

3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2,2,8,5,2) 31 pts

4 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1,6,7,2,3) 38 pts

5 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4,4,1,7,8) 41 pts

6 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5,9,5,8,5) 50 pts

7 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6,3,9,9,9)  52 pts

8 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7,10,6,6,4) 58 pts

9 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9,8,10,4,7) 59 pts

10 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10,7,4,10,10) 65 pts

 

Final Overall Standings after 5 regattas:

1  Quantum Racing, 140 pts

2  Azzurra, 199 pts

3  Rán Racing, 241 pts

4  Platoon, 245pts

5  Provezza, 248 pts

6  Bronenosec Gazprom, 251 pts

7  Sled, 275 pts

8  Alegre, 283 pts

9  Gladiator, 342 pts

 

www.52superseries.com

Azzurra stop the runaway train

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup

 

The chances of Azzurra halting the regatta winning run of 2016 champions Quantum Racing were given a boost when the team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda sailed to a first and second place in modest breezes beating their American rivals twice.

Azzurra now lead Quantum Racing into the final day of the last regatta of the season by five points. But their tactician Vasco Vascotto considers that their positive progress, having closed the performance gap on the circuit’s benchmark team is more exciting for him than the prospect of winning their first event of a season, which has so far been dominated by Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing.

“It’s very nice for us to feel like all the work we’re doing is taking us in the right direction. For me, that’s the most important thing. This is an important event, and Cascais is a wonderful place, but the most important thing for us is to know that with the next season being just around the corner now we know that our benchmark that is Quantum Racing are not too far away and that we’re going in the right direction.

I’m proud of what we are doing, and it looks as if everything is perfect.

No, actually not perfect, just better.”

The race arena for the penultimate day’s racing was moved east, slightly more towards Lisbon city, in the search for stronger pressure. The resulting race course was complex, with a reduction in wind strength towards the top mark and a right hand shift in the top third of the track. Downwind legs gave a growing advantage to the leaders who worked progressively into stronger breeze.

Vascotto proved particularly adept at reading the breeze. On the first run he held Azzurra closer to the shore and rolled down in extra, heading pressure that allowed them to sail round early leaders Sled. Quantum Racing were bounced by Phoenix early in the beat and finished fifth. Provezza’s third to Rán Racing’s ninth saw the two contenders for third overall for the season swap positions, Ergin Imre’s team getting a taste of third overall.

The breeze remained settled and the course marks fixed for the next race. Bronenosec followed the same strategy as worked nicely for Azzurra in the previous heat. As they made their final tack for the windward mark to claim the lead they left Quantum Racing trailing in their dirty air exhaust fumes.

Slowed momentarily they were rolled by Azzurra which had the luxury of bringing their bow down very slightly on approach accelerating to second place. Vladimir Liubomirov’s crew took their second win of the regatta to move up to fourth on the event standings. Azzurra’s second earned them one more point going into the final day.

The duel for third overall saw Rán Racing seize back third place when they finished fifth to Provezza’s bogey ninth. Just as there was in Cascais last year, the third place battle goes to the wire, Rán leading Provezza by just two tiny points.

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

 

Standings after day 4 (6 races)

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8,1,2) 15 pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3,5,3) 20 pts

3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2,2,8) 24 pts

4 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4,4,1) 26 pts

5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1,6,7) 33 pts

6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6,3,9) 34 pts

7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5,9,5) 37 pts

8 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10,7,4) 45 pts

9 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7,10,6) 48 pts

10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9,8,10) 48 pts

 

Season overall standings

1 Quantum Racing, 133 pts

2 Azzurra, 195 pts

3 Rán Racing, 228 pts

4 Provezza, 230 pts

5 Bronenosec Gazprom, 236 pts

6 Platoon, 240pts

7 Sled, 268 pts

8 Alegre, 273 pts

9 Gladiator, 331 pts

10 Paprec Recyclage, 430.2 pts

 

The Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE or via the app.

Quantum Racing seal 2016 52 Super Series title

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup

 

 

Quantum Racing sealed the 2016 52 Super Series title when they crossed the finish line of the fourth race of the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup winning the overall season with two days of racing still to be completed.

The American-flagged team has won four out of four regattas this season. And when they crossed the finish line in third late this afternoon with Azzurra in eighth, they now share the same points tally as the leaders of this final regatta this season.

Hard driving tactician Terry Hutchinson acknowledged that their outstanding string of regatta wins this season owes a lot to the pain and frustration felt one year ago when they finished second overall to Azzurra in the chase for the 2015 title.

“I think it took us getting smacked around a little bit last year to understand that we had got to get back to basics.” the visibly relieved Hutchinson smiled, “We had to get back to hard work and due diligence, and to making sure that we put every possible amount of effort forward to be successful.”

The 2016 title is Quantum Racing’s third since the 52 Super Series started out in 2012, adding to their series wins in 2013 and 2014.

“It’s been awesome, such a solid team effort all along.” Hutchinson continued, “For me, this was by far the most rewarding season we have ever had because we’ve shared the helmsman role between Ed [Baird] and Doug [DeVos], and it’s just been a solid team effort all season long.”

Quantum Racing will keep their celebrations on ice, reserved for Saturday night’s glamorous prize-giving. Meanwhile, they brought their clean sweep of all five regatta titles within closer reach when they returned a typical solid pair of two thirds from the testing windward-leewards. As erstwhile regatta leaders Azzurra sailed to a second and an eighth the two are now locked together on 12pts with two days of racing left.

A delay to racing was rewarded with two competitive races, where opportunities for gains and losses were always available in the shifting W’ly to NW’ly breezes which varied from seven to 10 knots.

Azzurra sailed the first beat of Race 3 best and led around the top mark with Bronenosec second. Quantum Racing were hard on their heels but lost slightly at the windward mark when they found themselves shy of the final layline, having to shoot the turn downspeed. Bronenosec gained on the right on the first downwind to lead at the leeward gate holding on to win ahead of Azzurra with Quantum Racing third.

The breeze was slightly further right for Race 4 meaning the course was closer to the shore. Bronenosec led at the top mark from Quantum Racing and Sled. But on the second, final run tactician John Kostecki and strategist Jordi Calafat held Platoon out to the right of the downwind and made a gain from fourth to first.

Azzurra and Quantum Racing are now tied on 12 points, Takashi Okura’s Sled are third also posting a six point day, sailing to fourth and second and Platoon move to fourth overall for the regatta.

The tussle for third step on the 52 Super Series podium sees Rán Racing holding a four points lead over Provezza now. Platoon lie fifth and are now just nine points behind Provezza.

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

Standings after Day 3, four races

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8) 12 pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3) 12 pts

3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2) 14 pts

4 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1) 20 pts

5 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4) 21 pts

6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6) 22 pts

7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5) 23 pts

8 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9) 30 pts

9 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7) 32 pts

10 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10) 34 pts

 

52 Super Series – Overall Standings

1. Quantum Racing, 125 pts

2. Azzurra, 192 pts

3. Rán Racing, 214 pts

4. Provezza, 218 pts

5. Platoon, 227 pts

6. Bronenosec Gazprom, 231 pts

7. Alegre, 257 pts

8. Sled, 258 pts

9. Gladiator, 313 pts

10. Paprec Recyclage, 408.2

 

The Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE or via the app.

 

Racing abandoned in squalls

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

After a long delay waiting for the breeze to build and settle racing at the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup had to be abandoned on day two after one upwind and part of a downwind. A big, heavy rain squall blew through, bringing a shift in the wind direction of 100 degrees, upending the race course.

The race officer quickly made the decision to abandon the contest. A further wait was finally ended when it became obvious that the leaden, dark rain clouds were continuing to play havoc with the breeze for the foreseeable future.

If conditions allow then the race management team will try to complete three races Thursday and Friday.

www.52superseries.com

A fistful of wins – Azzurra lead in Cascais

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

 

Egnos 52 Super Series in Cascais

 

Quantum Racing may be inching their way inexorably towards the 2016 52 Super Series title, making steady progress towards their end game with a fourth and a second on the opening day, but the 2015 champions Azzurra are in no way giving up without a fight.

Their “gaucho spirit” is alive and kicking as the Roemmers’ family team made the best possible start to the season’s finale – the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup – winning both opening races. They led at each and every mark in the gentle Southerly breezes to build a four point lead over second-placed Quantum Racing who has Doug DeVos steering.

After a modest start to the season when Quantum Racing came out of the blocks fast, Azzurra’s hard work in late July and August now seems to be rewarded. Their two bullets mean they have won five of the last six races sailed on the 52 Super Series, now visibly having the speed and height to capitalise on Vasco Vascotto’s astute tactics. This contrasts sharply with the early regattas when, as skipper Guilermo Parada admitted, they were being forced into taking big risks to try and win races or hold on to Quantum Racing.

“We made a lot of changes all the way through the boat trying to find more speed, everywhere. We found some issues we had and we are addressing them.” Parada explained on the dock in Marina de Cascais, Portugal. He added:

“We are happy with the way the boat is going now and if we continue like this then we will be able to finish strong this season and set a good baseline for next season.

In Palma we worked really, really hard and in a way sacrificed a little of the result at that regatta to try different things. We made lots of changes every day, before and after every race. Sometimes at ten minutes before the start we were trying things. We put apart the results a little there and Copa del Rey we discovered a lot of things too. We put these things all together and were more competitive in Menorca and hopefully we can carry this on for now and for the future.

The biggest gain is we can hold lanes upwind and change modes. Downwind we never felt we had a problem. Upwind we found we only had one mode and could not hold lanes. In this kind of fleet that was too expensive. So we had to take too many risks and mostly they did not work.”

Azzurra led off the pin end of the start line of Race 1 and were in better wind pressure early, able to lead Takashi Okura’s Sled around the top mark with Ergin Imre’s Provezza in third. There were few passing chances around the course and that was the order across the finish line. Quantum Racing were pressing hard on Provezza’s stern at the finish line.

Azzurra started off the windward end of the line in the second race, which was contested in six to 10 knots of breeze. Quantum Racing did well at the top of the first beat and came around second.

A big shift to the right at the top of the second beat offered a lifeline to Rán Racing, rising to third across the finish line. Gladiator, calling on Ian Walker’s long experience of Cascais – where he lived and trained with Abu Dhabi Volvo Ocean Race Team – went hard left down the last run and pulled up to fifth.

In the battle for third overall for the season it was a good day for Provezza. Their three, four for the day not only sees them third overall at the regatta but has closed Rán’s lead to just two points.

 

EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup

 

 

Standings after Day 1

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1) 2pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2) 6pts

3 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4) 7pts

4 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6) 8pts

5 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3) 10pts

6 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5) 11pts

7 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7) 12pts

8 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8) 16pts

9. Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9) 18pts

10. Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10) 20pts

 

The Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at

www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE or via the app.