Monthly Archives: July 2013

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Quantum Racing extend after Coastal Race win

 

32 Copa del Rey de Vela

All Photos © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

52 Super Series – 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre in Palma de Malorca

 

Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing team moved two more points ahead of Rán Racing at the top of the standings for the 52 SUPER SERIES regatta at the 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre, their reward for winning a surprisingly challenging but nevertheless interesting 29 miles coastal race out of Palma.

In stiflingly Majorcan hot sunshine the Quantum Racing team remained cool and focused throughout, not least when the fleet compressed during a light airs zone by one of the leeward turns at Illetas. For their hard work and diligence they cashed in a bonus on the long downwind leg from Soll de Mallorca to the finish line off the entrance to the Palma harbour when the breeze moved nicely left for them and they were able to reach directly for the finish line, even popping the long awaited A3 reaching gennaker, to finish well clear of second placed Azzurra.

The American team skippered by Ed Baird, with Terry Hutchinson as tactician, has retained a score line all in the top three and now lead Rán Racing by three points.

Quantum Racing were able to build progressively from a good, solid start moving to the right early to challenge Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge which rounded the first mark – at the top of a conventional opening 2.5 miles windward leeward – in a close second.

A subsequent bigger windward leeward circuit saw the 9-12kts sea breeze holding well, but it was as the leaders erred towards the shore off the fleshpots of Palma Nova and Magalluf that the breeze lifted to allow noticeable gains and losses. And early gains were eroded when the wind eased right down at the downwind turning mark at Illetas.

Azzurra, working more offshore, lost out on the first of the longer beats, along with Rán Racing dropping into the lower half of the fleet. But both stuck to their task and took the shifts and pressure changes well to finish second and third. Interlodge, second around the first circuit, finished fourth with Provezza’s fifth keeping them in close contention for fourth overall, three points behind Rio.

Had the sea breeze remained settled throughout perhaps the race might have proven the soldier’s course, a concern which Azzurra trimmer Simon Fry admit worried him early in the piece.

 

32 Copa del Rey de Vela

 

“ It was shifty with the pressure up and down and having two or three more boats makes it more interesting.” Recalled Fry, “It was funny because after about 25 minutes I was worried this would be a soldier’s course with not many chances to pass, but it was a great course.”

The underlying westerly gradient, unusual at this time of year is proving stimulating, according to local ace Jordi Calafat, gold medal winning tactician on Quantum Racing:

“All three days of the King’s Cup so far have seen a different wind pattern to what we have seen for I don’t know how long, with this westerly gradient breeze. Even today there was only ever a very, very slight chance that the breeze would go left at the end of the day and it happened. It was a really difficult day.”

Calafat, who won the 31st Copa del Rey last year as tactician with Jochen Schuemann’s team, concluded.

 

32 Copa del Rey de Vela

 

 

Results: 52 Super Series at the 32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE
1 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug DeVos) (3,2,2,1,1) 9pts
2 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström) (1,1,1,6,3) 12pts
3 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers) (2,4,3,7,2) 18pts
4 Rio, USA, (Manouch Moshayedi) (6,3,5,3,6) 23pts
5 Provezza, TUR, (Ergin Imre) (4,7.5,4,4,5) 24.5pts
6 Interlodge, USA, (Austin Fraogmen) (5,7.5,6.5,5,4) 28pts
7 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley) (7,5,8,2,9) 31pts
8 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin) (9,6,6.5,8,8) 37.5pts
9 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team) (8,9,9,9,7) 42pts

 

32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE – Gaastra IRC 52 Class
1 Quantum Racing (3,2,2,1,1) 9pts
2 Rán Racing, SWE (1,1,1,5.5,3) 11.5pts
3 Azzurra, ITA (2,4,3,7,2) 18pts
4 Rio, USA (6,3,5,3,7) 24pts
5 Provezza, TUR (5,9,4.4,5) 27pts
6 Interlodge, USA (4,8,6.5,5.5,4) 28pts
7 Gladiator, GBR (8,5,8,2,9) 32pts
8 Aquila, AUT (7,7,9,8,6) 37pts
9 Paprec, FRA (9,6,6.5,9,8) 38.5pts

 
Quotes:

 

Jordi Calafat (ESP) strategist Quantum Racing (USA): “All three days of the King’s Cup so far have seen a different wind pattern to what we have seen for I don’t know how long, with this westerly gradient breeze. Even today there was only ever a very, very slight chance that the breeze would go left at the end of the day and it happened. It was a really difficult day. That final shift was one of the less predicted scenarios but we do have the advantage here that the Mini Maxi’s start ahead of us so we can keep an eye on them. But it was a difficult race because there was the compression on the second run and that made it very tight again in between the fleet. But in the end the last 20 minutes were comfortable, reaching along. The key was to keep it calm and tight when the compression happened. The normal thing was to extend on the leg up to Andratx because you were going into the stronger breeze and there was a hole at the Illetas mark. We were very scared at the start of the last run in case there was a compression like that last one.
Our goal is to get to the last two days with options to win. Your best days have to be at the end. We can always get better but I think we are sailing very solid racing.”

Simon Fry (GBR) trimmer Azzurra (ITA): “Half way through the race we would have settled for a second. At the start the day we were pushing hard for the win to close the gap on Quantum Racing, but overall we are pretty happy with second for the day.  It was shifty with the pressure up and down and having two or three more boats makes it more interesting. It was funny because after about 25 minutes I was worried this would be a soldier’s course with not many chances to pass, but it was a great course.
And the funny thing is that with the allowance for the A3 then Quantum, Rán Racing and ourselves even got the A3’s on for the finish.”

Niklas Zennström (SWE), owner-helm Rán Racing (SWE): It was a long day in very hot sun. But it was an interesting coastal race with a lot of opportunities to pass people and be passed. The course here was pretty fun it was much better than Ibiza, it gives a good mix. The first beat we were not so good but hanging in there in fourth, and then worked our way up and a lot of the time we were third. We had a good fight with Azzurra, Provezza and Rio and ended up third. We lost Azzurra on the last run. But the King’s Cup is very much one we want to win, we have won it here before. We are in contention and will just continue to chip away. We are close to Quantum Racing but they continue to sail well. It is going to be hard.”

 

By 52 Super Series media, www.52superseries.com

 

 

Spanish and British teams win the chocolates

 

420 Worlds finals1

 All photos © Jose Jordan

 

 

420 World Championships at Real Club Nautico Valencia

 

 

A thrilling final day of racing at the 2013 420 World and Ladies World Championships in Valencia, Spain ended with Spain’s Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones winning the 420 World Championship title and Great Britain’s Annabel Cattermole/Bryony Bennett-Lloyd sealing victory in the 420 Ladies World Championship in Valencia, Spain.

The day was intense and exciting as teams’ patience and nerves were tested waiting for the breeze to fill in. Postponed ashore racing eventually got underway at 1500 hours, with the building breeze reaching around 12 knots.

 

420 Worlds Finals

 

420 Open Fleet

The surprise of the day was undoubtedly the victory in the 420 Open fleet by Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones, who managed to close the gap separating them from the first placed team going into the day and recent ISAF Youth World Champions Tiago Britto/Kneipp Andrei from Brazil.

The Spanish pair literally snatched victory from Brito/Kneipp who had led the series until race 11, by sailing the race of their lives, with the Brazilians back in 28th.

Britto/Kneipp have excelled here in Valencia, heading up the 420 Open fleet after each day’s racing, and seemed certain to seal gold. But the World Championship crown slipped away from them after two days of mixed results gave them no margin to put another foot wrong in today’s two races. And that they did, scoring a 12, 28, compared to the 15,5 scoreline of the Spanish.

 

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Still glory days though, with Britto/Kneipp securing the silver medal and the John Merricks Trophy as the best under-18 team.

A delighted Antich said, “We are very proud to be champions of the world because we have spent many years working to get it. The consistency has helped us to be ahead always.”

“It was a pretty tough race but we worked all the way and now we get the result,” added Terrones.

Sebastien Simon/Pierre Rhimbault were also in the battle for gold, but a bit of a shocker for the pair gave them their worst two races of the series to finish in third and be awarded bronze medals.

 

420 Worlds Val jj

 

Italy’s Matteo Pilati/Michele Cecchin won the William Sanchez Trophy for the best under-16 crew after their 8th overall on the leaderboard.

The Huck Scott Memorial Trophy, awarded to the youngest crew at the 420 Worlds, was presented to the Austrian team of George Steinhaler/Patrick Christa.

Having had to wait for the breeze to fill in, the time limit cut-off meant it was not possible to hold the final race 12 for the silver and bronze fleets. At the Closing Ceremony, the top finishers in each fleet, Hippolite Macheti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA) and Taylor Balogh/Samuel Lee (NZL) respectively, were presented with trophies.

Open fleet full results

 

yandy95908

 

420 Ladies fleet

Great Britain’s Annabel Cattermole/Bryony Bennett-Lloyd exceeded their expectations and secured gold. It was only after the qualifying stage of the Championship that the pair became realistic contenders, as their consistent scoreline stood out, with only two finishes outside the top 10.

“It feels incredible, I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet but I think it will get there eventually – it just doesn’t feel quite real that we have actually won and are World Champions,” expressed Cattermole.

“Going into the final race of the regatta we knew we needed a top ten to win and a top 20 to finish on the podium, so we entered the race like we have done all the other races, try to sail like we have been doing and do what we have been doing. We got a clear start which was good and had a good run up the first beat with lots of clean air with options to do what we wanted and to sail as quick as we wanted,” explained Cattermole.

 

420 Worlds Finals2

 

There is no break for Bennett-Lloyd who will be charging over to La Rochelle, France to sail a 470 for the first time, as stand-in crew for Anna Burnet at the 470 World Championships, which gets underway on 5 August.

The British pair also won the John Merricks Trophy for the best under-18 crew.

Singapore’s Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew secured the silver medal and rounded out their Championship bid in style by winning the final race. A great outcome for this pair, who finished in fourth at last year’s Ladies Worlds.

Bronze goes to Italy’s Sara Scotto di Vettimo/Vittoria Barbiero, who sailed a very consistent series with 5 top three results.

The William Sanchez Trophy for the best under-16 crew was presented to Spain’s Manuela Huidobro/Lucia Bustrillo. Silvia Mas/Nuria Miró, Spain’s reigning National 420 Champions, won the 420 Ladies silver fleet.

Ladies fleet full results

 

420W Worlds finals

 

Francis Mouvet Trophy

A successful top overall nation defence for Spain, who retain the Francis Mouvet Trophy they won in 2011 after a dominant performance from the results of Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones, José Maria Ruiz/Fernando Davila and Paula Barceló/Margarita Alba.

A stunning week of racing at the 2013 420 World Championships in Valencia, Spain with 374 sailors from 27 nations enjoying 6 days for racing hosted by the Real Club Náutico Valencia.

 

By Luissa Smith, International 420 Class Association

 

www.420sailing.org/worlds.

 

Quantum Racing step clear despite Rán Racing run of wins

 

32 Copa del Rey de Vela

All Photos © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

 

52 Super Series – 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre at Palma de Mallorca

 

With a victory in the third and final race of the day for the 52 Super Series at the 32nd Copa del Rey on the Bay of Palma when Rán Racing’s unbeaten sequence was halted by a sixth place, Quantum Racing seize the overall regatta lead by a single point.

Niklas Zennström’s team had already completed one very impressive recovery – getting back from an OCS at the start of the second race to win in the last 100 metres after rounding the first top mark ninth and hold on to their winning sequence. But they were unable to climb through the fleet as efficiently in the subsequent contest and so the American flagged team, which has already won overall in Barcelona and Ibiza, now top the Palma regatta leaderboard.

It was a very long, hot day on the water as the race officers brought the regatta back to schedule by setting three races to take advantage of the return to Palma’s usual sea breeze conditions.

While the SSW’ly held out long enough there were sufficient shifts and changes in pressure to ensure that the track was far from the ‘one way’ route that this popular venue has a reputation for, and there were ample opportunities to exploit a differing range of tactics.

Quantum Racing’s 2,2,1 was the strongest aggregate for the day, but after seeing Rán Racing’s first two wins today, the 52 Super Series leaders might have considered the gods were minded to side with the World Champions, not least when Zennström’s team rallied from ninth at the first top mark of the second race today, to pass the leeward gate second hard, on the heels of Azzurra, before going on to win at the death.

By comparison Rán Racing’s first win today was relatively conventional, leading off the start line to be able to keep Rio and Rán Racing in check all the way around the course. Azzurra fought back from being OCS to finish fourth while Quantum Racing just eased past Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio on the second beat for second.

Azzurra lead the second race but dropped to third as they engaged with Quantum Racing on the last run and left the door ajar for Rán Racing to squeeze in for their second win of the day.

Quantum Racing stuck with their convictions to the left of the first beat in the final race today and were rewarded with a handy lead ahead of Tony Langley’s Gladiator, while Rio picked up their second third place of the day to lie fourth, just one point behind Azzurra, the defending 2012 52 Super Series champions.

Results: 52 Super Series
1 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug DeVos) (3,2,2,1) 8pts
2 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström) (1,1,1,6) 9pts
3 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers) (2,4,3,7) 16pts
4 Rio, USA, (Manouch Moshayedi) (6,3,5,3) 17pts
5 Provezza, TUR, (Ergin Imre) (4,7.5,4,4) 19.5pts
6 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley) (7,5,8,2) 22pts
7 Interlodge, USA, (Austin Fraogmen) (5,7.5,6,5) 23.5pts
8 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin) (9,6,7,8) 30pts
9 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team) (8,9,9,9) 35pts

32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE – Gaastra IRC 52 Class
1 Quantum Racing (3,2,2,1) 8pts
2 Rán Racing, (1,1,1,5.5) 8.5pts
3 Azzurra, (2,4,3,7) 16pts
4 Rio, (6,3,5,3) 17pts
5 Provezza, (5,9,4.4) 22pts
6 Gladiator, (8,5,8,2) 23pts
7 Interlodge, (4,8,6.5,5.5) 24pts
8 Paprec, (9,6,6.5,9) 30.5pts
9 Aquila, (7,7,9,8) 31pts

Terry Hutchinson (USA), tactician Quantum Racing (USA):  “We did quite good work today, Ed (Baird), Warwick (Fleury), Jonesy (Brett Jones) and Lorenzo (Mazza) had the boat going really nicely through the water. The middle race was a bit of a disappointment because we had a 50 metre lead at the last top mark but lost it to Rán Racing – who have just been on fire – on the last run.  But we sailed a nice bounce back race then, the guys nailed the start and we stuck to our guns. Everyone kept taking a step out to the right to the pressure line, but we were happy with the middle and the upper left and low and behold it worked. We had a nice lead at the top.
It is hard to stay focused on a long hot day like that, that is the most challenging part of the day. Some of us are straight off a Farr 40 regatta in the USA and we might be feeling a little bit if jet lag at this stage but in the same breath there is so much to play for then it is not that hard to stay focused. The nice thing about sailing with really good people is they keep cracking the whip on you.”

Dee Smith (USA) tactician Rio (USA): “We had a pretty good, steady day. The course gave us lots of options, it wasn’t left it wasn’t right. It was a bit of both and we were able to pick a few shifts and the boat is going better and better every day. It was more a day of survival than of doing great work. We are pretty happy, the more you sail together the better you get. We had a long way to go but we are getting there.”

Jon Gunderson (NZL) trimmer Rán Racing (SWE): “We kicked off with another win which we were pretty happy about. We got some lucky breaks, maybe getting some of the luck we feel we did not get in Ibiza. We had to scrap pretty hard for that second win when we over the line. We made a pretty good comeback up the first beat which got us back into the game. On the last run in the last exchange we got on top and we crossed in front to win. We saw some breeze out to left but it was a little bit of the roll of the dice – we felt we are due some luck – and then we kept it tight and we saw an opportunity when Quantum Racing and Azzurra were locked together and got a shift and that was all it took.
Instantly up that first beat of the final race we had a good start and more or less where we wanted to go but it just did not pan out the way we thought it would.
It is a long, long regatta so we are not thinking about the points at all at the moment. It is important not to be out of it at this stage, but a point off the lead is good at this stage. We are in the hunt, the objective is always to go into the last day in the hunt, and so we are there right now.” 

 

By 52 Super Series media

 

 

Rán Racing at their best on Bay of Palma

 

CdR D1 Ran xo

Photo © Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

 

52 Super Series – 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre at Palma de Mallorca

 

The challenges came in different forms for some of the top 52’s on the first day of the 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre on the Bay of Palma, Mallorca, but it was Niklas Zennström’s crew on Rán Racing which won the one and only race for the Gaastra IRC Class.
The unusual NE’ly wind direction had several navigators and tacticians searching their memory banks to recall the best strategy for what ultimately proved to be an excellent opening contest for Spain’s showcase annual regatta.

While Rán Racing’s tactician Adrian Stead and strategist/trimmer Andy Hemmings read it well, guiding Rán Racing to a very comfortable win, by some two and a half minutes ahead of a tightly matched group, second placed Azzurra started badly after a series of mishaps spiralled to leave them out of sorts, last off the start line.

Azzurra overcame their own pre-race troubles and fight back through the fleet. An engine malfunction and radio problems had left them slightly short of their usual preparation regime.

Ergin Imre’s Provezza lead to the first mark, hung on to second around most of the course and only slipped to fourth, one second behind 52 Super Series leader Quantum Racing, despite racing with no electronics and with a stand in, late substitute bowman.

“ We were sailing blind, like the old days.” smiled Provezza’s tactician Tony Rey, “ In spite of that we had a great first round. We lead until we got swallowed up by Rán Racing who were a little better at boat handling at the top. We just tried to keep it close but as it got lighter towards the end we lost to Azzurra but the end result we lost to Azzurra by a few seconds and beat Quantum Racing by a second or two at the most, so it was great racing.” 
“We like it when it is shifty and the fact that we had no instruments at all in a sense it makes you better sailors, you have to work harder to be smarter.”

After a disappointing regatta earlier this month in Ibiza, the current world champions Rán Racing were back on form. They were quick to recognise the stronger wind pressure to the right on the long first upwind, which meant they chased Provezza hard around the windward mark and were able to overhaul them thanks to a slightly better gennaker set.

Provezza maintained second until the last minutes of the final run. As the breeze started to fade Azzurra held to the left, inshore for longer and were able to pip the Turkish flagged team who then lost third to Quantum Racing but one tantalising second.

Rán Racing’s winning navigator Jules Salter explained:
“It was a very different wind direction to normal. In fact I have never sailed here in that direction before. And Ado (Adrian Stead, tactician) was picking his brains to try and remember a time like this from before. But between him and Andy Hemmings they did a very good job in finding us the best breeze and getting us up the track.
Ultimately it was recognising there was a bit more wind pressure on the right and that was about using the windshifts well to get over there. It was quite a long beat, a bit longer than we are used to in the 52 fleet so far this season, so you really had to dig in and be there for the whole of the beat and it came good for us in the end.”

 

Results, Race 1: 52 Super Series

1 Rán Racing, SWE, (N Zennström)
2 Azzurra, ITA, (A Roemmers)
3 Quantum Racing, USA, (D DeVos)
4 Provezza, TUR, (E Imre)
5 Interlodge, USA, (A Fragomen)
6 Rio, USA, (M Moshayedi)
7 Gladiator, GBR, (T Langley)
8 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team)
9 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin)

 
32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre – Gaastra IRC 52 Class Race 1

1 Rán Racing, SWE, (N Zennström)
2 Azzurra, ITA, (A Roemmers)
3 Quantum Racing, USA, (D DeVos)
4 Interlodge, USA, (A Fragomen)
5 Provezza, TUR, (E Imre)
6 Rio, USA, (M Moshayedi)
7 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team)
8 Gladiator, GBR, (T Langley)
9 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin)

 

Jules Salter (GBR), navigator, Rán Racing (SWE): “ It was a really nice race we had today. It was quite puffy and shifty with diffrences in pressure across the track. It was a very different wind direction to normal. In fact I have never sailed here in that direction before. And Ado (Adrian Stead, tactician) was picking his brains to try and remember a time like this from before. But between him and Andy Hemmings they did a very good job in finding us the best breeze and getting us up the track.
Ultimately it was recognising there was a bit more wind pressure on the right and that was about using the windshifts well to get over there. It was quite a long beat, a bit longer than we are used to in the 52 fleet so far this season, so you really had to dig in and be there for the whole of the beat and it came good for us in the end.
It was tight down the first run with Provezza and a group of boats but we managed to wriggle our way clear. We were leading up the second beat and were able to extend then.”
“Ibiza is gone now. We always like to look forwards, but is always nice to start a regatta with a first place.
“I think it might become a bit more regular for the rest of the week. Tomorrow might be a bit of a transition from the NE’ly gradient to a good strong sea breeze tomorrow.”

Tony Rey (USA), tactician Provezza (TUR): “We had a really good day. It started off with a bit of a challenge. Our bowman who has been with us for a few years is in the hospital with an infection and so we picked up a local guy who was dynamite, thank goodness. And we had no electronics all day. We were sailing blind, like the old days. In spite of that we had a great first round. We lead until we got swallowed up by Rán Racing who were a little better at boat handling at the top. We just tried to keep it close but as it got lighter towards the end we lost to Azzurra but the end result we lost to Azzurra by a few seconds and beat Quantum Racing by a second or two at the most, so it was great racing. For us our eyes are more on some of the other boats out here, so it was good to have some of the top boats behind us. We like it when it is shifty and the fact that we had no instruments at all in a sense it makes you better sailors, you have to work harder to be smarter.”

Guillermo Parada (ARG), skipper-helm Azzurra (ITA): “We are pleased, not just with the result but also with the way things went today. We had a little problem before the start and so we were very late at the line and at the back. We were working hard for the whole race then. The boat speed was very good and our owner Alberto Roemmers did a very good job steering upwind and Vasco picked up some shifts and so in the end we had a very good reward. We are pleased with second considering where we were off the start line. That gives us confidence for the rest of the week.
We thought there was more time to go, we were just a bit late because of some problems. There was a problem with the gear box on the engine. We were far away from the line and the radio was not working very well as we were a bit far away so there was a bit of confusion. The net result was we did not have a good start.”

 

By 52 Super Series, www.52superseries.com

 

Emirates Team New Zealand advance to Louis Vuitton Final

 

LVC RR5 LR v NZ cb

 Photo c Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa Challenge

 

 

Louis Vuitton Cup – Round Robin 5 at San Francisco

 

 

Emirates Team New Zealand today won its ninth consecutive race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, cementing its status as the top team in the challengers’ series.

Later in the day skipper Dean Barker announced his team would exercise its right to advance to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final, scheduled to begin Aug17. Emirates Team New Zealand earned that right by winning the round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Emirates Team New Zealand will race either Artemis Racing or Luna Rossa Challenge. Those two teams will race the Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinal, scheduled Aug. 6-15.

Barker said the team considered racing the semifinals, but in the end opted to advance development program of Aotearoa, the team’s AC72.

“We thought hard about doing the semifinals to get more racing and more starting, to get more race time under our belts,” Barker said. “But we also have a fairly large amount of work to do to our boat, a lot of changes and modifications intended to improve the performance.

“That takes time, so we will take the next period to make changes and we look forward to lining up against whoever we will race in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final,” Barker said.

Barker said his team has informed Artemis Racing that it won’t be on the start line for their scheduled match on Tuesday, but it’s unlikely Artemis Racing would participate. Artemis Racing skipper Iain Percy said his team is still targeting the Aug 6 start of the semifinals for their first live race.

“We’ve had great support from all of the teams, and it’s nice to see the camaraderie from everyone,” said Percy. “But in terms of racing before the semis, that might be one step too far. You never say never, but one thing that’s important to us is to keep our focus on safety. We suffered a horrendous accident and we need to take baby steps and progress at our own speed. It’s fantastic being on the racecourse practicing, just getting out there and seeing the boats and having a look at the start sequences is all good practice, but we don’t want to run before we can walk.”

Percy said that when Artemis Racing lines up against Luna Rossa Challenge they know they’ll be facing a team that’s well practiced. Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena expects to be racing a competitor that’s been hardened through a tough period.

“We’re fully respectful of Artemis Racing; it’s full of talented guys and sailors,” Sirena said. “In their first day of sailing they were able to foil and do way more than what we did on Day 1 with our AC72. We need to appreciate the effort they’ve put in the past few months, I’m pretty sure it’s been a tough period for them. It was a pleasure for us to see them sailing in the Bay.”

 
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Tom Cruise put through his paces (black helmet grinding) onboard ETNZ – photo c Chris Cameron / ETNZ

 

 

Tom Cruise requests ‘fly by’ onboard Emirates Team New Zealand

 

Actor Tom Cruise watched Emirates Team New Zealand’s final race of the Louis Vuitton Cup round robins in San Francisco.

Cruise and son Connor watched from a chase boat and once Dean Barker and race crew had won (by a margin on 3min 21sec) they climbed on board the AC72 for a brisk workout on the winches and then some light work on the helm.

 

 

ETNZ Tom Cruise gmr

Tom and Connor join the kiwi flight team –  photo c Gilles-Martin Raget

 

To catch up on all the news see: www.americascup.com

 

 

 

Third Act win for Leigh McMillan at the Wave

 

Ex40 Porto win ml

The Wave, Muscat skipper Leigh McMillan celebrates their win – All photos © Mark Lloyd / www.lloydimages.com

 

 

Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Porto

 

 

Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Porto has delivered the ultimate challenge in Stadium Racing for the eight international teams competing this week, with a narrow river, high walls, strong tides, big rocks and gusty winds to contend with.

After 30 races it came down to the wire between The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi in the final double pointer with just three points separating two of the most experienced teams on the circuit. Impeccable boat handling from McMillan and a win in the final race – their tenth of the Act – ultimately saw the Omani flagged team claim a deserved win who have been unflappable this week having led the charge since race eight.

Porto is the third Act win this season for McMillan and his crew Peter Greenhalgh, Hashim al Rashidi, Musab al Hadi and Ed Smyth following victories in Oman and Qingdao which significantly leaves them tied on points with Alinghi at the top of the overall Series leaderboard. An ecstatic McMillan, whose celebratory cheers could be heard from the shore, talked through his race winning tactics:

“Alinghi were right there behind us on the first lap. We had the conversation as to whether we should just cover them the whole race, but we saw the pressure was looking better, we let them split and it worked out better for us and we extended our lead, and from there on we didn’t have to worry about them for the rest of the race. We managed to get a good start, managed to get our noses out and that’s what it came down to in that last race.”

Morgan Larson, who has taken the helm from regular skipper and owner Ernesto Bertarelli this week, kept the pressure on The Wave, Muscat until the end, and although understandably disappointed not to have won the Act, Larson has already shifted his focus to the next stop of the global tour in Cardiff, Wales. 

“We like putting pressure on The Wave, Muscat and unfortunately it didn’t pay off for us here in Porto. It’s been a great place to sail and the team have worked really well together, I can’t ask any more from what the guys are doing. Alinghi are a great team and it’s really nice to be part of it. It really could have gone either way today. In Cardiff we will have to do a better job.”

Always in contention and pushing the top teams hard was Pierre Pennec, who returned to the Series at the helm of Realteam for this Act. Pennec – who is known to be one of the most daring sailors in the Series – has lost none of his edge, and pushed the Realteam Extreme 40 hard around the course to help the team to their first ever podium position.

“Our objective for this event was to reach the podium, so it was a great result for the team! The most important factor is the crew engagement, good communication onboard and technically we progressed a lot over the week which is really good looking ahead to the future of the team. It’s great to be back racing in the circuit, and from today anything is possible!”.

The battle mid-fleet was equally as tense between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing Team who went into the final double-pointer tied on points. The Danish managed to muster a third place in the final race where the Austrians couldn’t do better then eighth, leaving SAP Extreme Sailing Team in fourth overall, as Jes Gram Hansen, the team’s co-skipper and helm explained:

“We have been more or less tied up with Red Bull Sailing Team all week. It’s tough to be consistent on this racecourse so we are happy that we can battle with Red Bull who are very experienced on this circuit and that we can beat them. It has been a really challenging week – you can have a game plan here in Porto but you need to be able to make some quick changes to it! We really like this racecourse.”

The fresh faces on the circuit ROFF Cascais Sailing Team and Team Tilt have had the ultimate Stadium Racing baptism of fire in Porto, with both teams steadily improving throughout the week and showing that at times they can mix it up with the more experienced players in the top half of the fleet. The local boys ROFF Cascais Sailing Team were spurred on by the home support today and have relished their first Extreme 40 foray with skipper Antonio Mello saying after racing:

“It was an amazing experience with really great racing and we just enjoyed it a lot. It will be difficult to go back to our normal sailing now! We are really happy with the performance we gave here. We had some very good starts throughout the whole day and although conditions were difficult at times, we still finished races in the top three and in the double points race we finished second which was very good for us and also for our home crowd.”

The Kiwi contingent on GAC Pindar took a while to find their feet in the challenging Portuguese stadium, but saved their best to last managing a win in the final day, wrapping up the Act in sixth place.

Porto has earned itself a reputation as a stadium like no other with challenging sailing, crowds and the competitors of the Neil Pryde Racing Series keeping the on-water action coming. With four Acts complete and four Acts to go, the Series is at its halfway stage and next heads to the Welsh capital Cardiff over the August bank holiday weekend where they will be hosted by the Cardiff Harbour Festival, 23-26 August.

 

Act 5 standings after Day 4, 30 races:

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 248 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Ben Lezin, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 235 points
3rd Realteam (SUI) Pierre Pennec, Bryan Mettraux, Nils Palmieri, Cédric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 223 points
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 214 points
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Graeme Spence 204 points
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston, Shaun Mason 173 points
7th ROFF Cascais Sailing Team (POR) António Mello, Bernardo Freitas, João Mello, Ricardo Schedel, João Matos Rosa 156 points
8th Team Tilt (SUI) Lucien Cujean, Jocelyn Keller, Jeremy Bachelin, Thomas Mermod, Lionel Vaucher 156 points

 

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings after Act 5:

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 36 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 36 points
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 30 points
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 27 points
5th Realteam (SUI) 22 points
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) 21 points
7th Team X Invitational 17 points
8th Team Korea (KOR) 16 points

 

By Extreme Sailing Series, www.extremesailingseries.com

 

 

Thunderstorms cancel medal race to decide the medals

 

yandy95619 All photos © Laurens Morel / www.saltycolours.com

 

 

Nacra 17 World Championship at The Hague

 

 

On Saturday July 27 2013 at 15:30 hrs it was finally clear that Billy Besson and Marie Riou from France were the first ever Nacra 17 World Champions. After another long day of waiting, the thunderstorm left The Hague without any breeze and the Race Committee had no choice but cancelling the decisive Medal Race. The British pairing of Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond take silver, followed by Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger from Switzerland.

In the morning, the weather looked promising with a nice breeze, but the radar showed a different picture. A thunderstorm with strong winds was approaching The Hague, so all sailors had to stay ashore. After the rain and squalls, it cleared up a bit, but the breeze died completely.

 

yandy95621

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) claim gold

 

The latest starting time according to the Sailing Instructions was 16 :00 hrs and boats needed at least thirty minutes to get there, so the practical cut time was 15:30 hrs. That was when Billy Besson knew he had won his second World title within one month. Now he is not only world’s best F18 helm of 2013, but also in the new Olympic mixed multihull class.

“Wow, that feels good”, he said. “This week was very complicated with light winds and a strong current. It was difficult for everybody.” 

The French duo lost some points yesterday, which closed the gap between them and the Britons to three points. However, Besson and Riou were ready for the golden battle. Besson:

“We worked out a strategy.” They both start laughing: “Marie was a world champion match racing before, so our plan was simple. We were very focused and confident.”

Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond from Team GBR already secured a silver medal and had needed to beat Besson/Riou with two boats between them to take gold. They did not get the chance. Saxton admitting to ‘chomping at the bit’ to go racing on Saturday, to try and overcome the narrow three-point margin that the French had.

“I’m massively pleased at winning a medal. The sport’s all about winning medals in a few years’ time in Rio, so to prove we can get a medal here is pretty cool,” said the 23-year-old helmsman Saxton.

 

 

yandy95615

Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) settle for silver

 

Diamond: “We’ve had conditions that we weren’t really expecting – a lot of tide, and lighter winds than maybe we were all expecting but it’s really helpful for it to be something similar to Rio. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do, but this is definitely a good step on the way. The fleet’s improving so fast so just keeping moving forwards is going to be the most important thing.”

They have an Olympic class sailing background in the 470 and Laser Radial, teamed up on the Nacra 17 at the beginning of this year and immediately bring home the bronze medal. Buhler:

“This feels very nice. It has been a long time since I had such a good result in sailing. I cannot even remember. We have a long way to go from here to Rio, but we are looking forward to keep working and improving.”

“We were not lucky with the weather, but we cannot control that. We are all sailors and like to race, but we have been waiting a lot this week. It was for sure tough on the mind, but we are happy with the result.”

 

yandy95620

Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI)  take bronze

The cancellation of the Medal Race was especially disappointing for Renee Groeneveld and Carel Begemann from the Netherlands, who where not far from a podium finish. Now they remain fourth overall, one point behind the Swiss team. Groeneveld:

“That is annoying. We haven’t shown our best sailing this week. It was fighting and waiting. Especially in the beginning we missed some points, due to small mistakes. Fortunately we were still close to the top. In the end the wind was so shifty that the entire gold fleet scored fluctuating results. You just had to keep going and never give up. Eventually, we could not catch the front runners, but we did not have very bad scorings either. When we came off the water yesterday, we saw that we were still fifth overall and after the protest hearings fourth with a good chance of winning bronze. So, we would have really liked to race today.”

 

Top 10 Nacra 17 Worlds, with no medal race:

1. FRA 43 – Besson/Riou, 20 points
2. GBR 60 – Saxton/Diamond, 23 points
3. SUI 41 – Buhler/Brugger, 43 points
4. NED 44 – Groeneveld/Begemann, 44 points
5. FRA 65 – Vaireaux/Audinet, 48 points
6. AUS 36 – Waterhouse/Darmanin, 50 points
7. NED 46 – Delnooz/De Koning, 51 points
8. ITA 37 – Bissaro/Sicouri, 52 points
9. NZL 102 – Jones/Saunders, 56 points
10. AUT 35 – Zajac/Frank, 58 points

 

Top 5 silver fleet after 8 races, including 1 discard:

1. ITA 55 – Salva/Bianchi, 56 points
2. DEN 17 – Christensen/Gaebler, 72 points
3. ESP 20 – Llaargues Masachs/Escude Lavit, 75 points
4. USA 172 – Daniel/Straeter, 89 points
5. AUS 57 – McKnight/Curtis, 103 points

 

The Nacra 17 World Championships are organized by the Foundation Nacra Events, The Dutch Sailing Federation (Watersportverbond) and Sailing Management International with support of (partners) City of The Hague, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and Nacra Sailing International.

 

For full results see www.nacra17worlds.com.

 

By Marjolein Brandt

 

 

All smiles on the podium despite no final days racing

 

Finn Euros win rd All photos – c Robert Deaves

 

Finn European Championship at Warnemünde, Germany

 

 

Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) has won the 2013 Finn European Championships in Warnemünde, Germany after all racing on the final day was cancelled with the wind failing to stabilise over four knots. Ed Wright (GBR) takes the silver and Andrew Murdoch the bronze.

The sailors have played a waiting game all week and the final day was no different. The forecast cloud cover did not materialise but the race course was largely windless nonetheless, with searingly hot sunshine at least offering the promise of something later in the day. An early one hour postponement was replaced by an open postponement as the first signs of the developing sea breeze appeared on the race course. With an ultimate deadline for 15.00 hrs to start any racing, for both the medal race and the final race, time was not on the sailor’s side, especially considering that all week the sea breeze hadn’t stabilised until around 15.00 hrs each day.

And that was how it played out. The fleet race was cancelled at 13.30 hrs, the medal race was cancelled at 14.00 hrs, and the sea breeze arrived slighty later although still very light compared to previous days. This left the results standing from Friday. The week had ended how it began, with no racing taking place.

In taking the title, Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) wins his first major championship in the Finn class. He was clearly the best sailor here this week and fully deserves to lift the trophy. In spite of two breakages which cost him valuable points he kept his usual cool and consistency to remain in control and win the last two races.

He said, “The week was quite hard but I like these sort of conditions, and I took advantage of it and sailed really conservative and good races all the time. Straight from the beginning I was trying to be conservative and not make big mistakes and that paid off in the beginning of the regatta and I just continued like that. My boatspeed was really good so I didn’t want to mess around too much, and looking back the worst first mark rounding was fourth place so that was extremely good and I am very proud of that.”

“We’ve been working really, really hard during the winter in Valencia, so all this training is now paying off. Myself and Luca Devoti and all the rest of the team, the physio, the fitness coach, I think they are all pretty happy now, and so am I.”

“And it of course been already exactly 10 years since I won my Laser European title in Split in 2003, so after 10 years it sounds a lot of time, but it passed very quickly, and that result in the Laser gave me a lot of confidence, along with the Olympic medals, so I hope this result gives me more strength to get even more results in the next three years.”

Ed Wright has been on top form this week, and even though his coach this week, Paul Hobson (GBR) would like to take some of the credit, Wright has been putting in the hours at his Garda training base and deserves this medal as much as anyone here.

He said, “I am very happy to have come away with the silver. It was a pretty tricky week with a lot of light winds and some medium stuff. Downwind in a couple of races was really great out there. The waves can be amazing, especially in the Finn. Vasco sailed slightly better with good starts and probably was a bit faster throughout the week., especially downwind. The venue was wonderful, the organisation was good and the race committee did a great job and overall I am pretty happy going into the worlds in three weeks time in Tallinn, so I am excited for that.”

For third placed Andrew Murdoch (NZL) this event is only his third major Finn regatta and, along with Josh Junior (NZL) in fifth, are the sailors on perhaps the fastest learning curve at the moment, so it is probably when, not if, one of them will take a major win. It has been a long time since New Zealand has been a world leading Finn nation, but perhaps those times are just around the corner once again.

He said, “Obviously I am really happy to get the bronze in my first season in the Finn and it’s actually better than I have done in the Laser Europeans, so really happy with that and now looking forward to the build up to Tallinn and the Finn Gold Cup and see how it goes there.”

 

Finn Jun Euros win rd

 

In the Juniors Peter McCoy (GBR) has led the 16 boat fleet all week. After finishing just outside the medals at the 2013 Silver Cup a few weeks back, this week has proven he can handle the extra challenge of the senior fleet. Jake Lilley (AUS) closed the gap in the last few days, but could not reduce the points gap enough to pass McCoy. Lennart Luttkus (GER) takes the host’s country’s only medal at this event with the junior bronze.

McCoy said, “It’s been a tough week but I am really happy to come away with the junior European title. It feels good after the juniors worlds coming just outside the medals in fourth. Jake sailed a really good event and put the pressure on towards the end of the racing but I am happy to come away with it at the end, it was close racing.”

The new European Champion, Vasilij Zbogar placed sixth in the London 2012 Olympics after finishing as runner up at the 2012 Finn Europeans. He is the key sailor at Luca’s Devoti’s Dinghy Academy in Valencia, which the Finn Class is supporting through limited campaign funding for eligible sailors. He has been training hard there since the end of 2012 and this result is clear evidence of the value of the integrated training programme that has been set up there.

In addition, Alican Kaynar (TUR) in tenth, Zsombor Berecz (HUN) in 14th, Frederico Melo (POR) in 22nd, and at his first Finn regatta, 18 year old Joe McMillan (AUS) in 61st, are also part of the Dinghy Academy team here, coached by Devoti. All have clearly benefited from Devoti’s coaching and the training regime.

At the prizegiving on Saturday evening in sunny Warnemünde, Vasilij Zbogar lifted the Finn European Championship title for 2013. Everyone is sure there is a lot more to come from this talented sailor.

The sailors now have a brief respite before gathering again in a few weeks time Tallinn, Estonia for the Finn Gold Cup from 23-31 August.

 

Top 10 main fleet after 8 races:

1. SLO 573, Vasilij Zbogar, 24pts
2. GBR 11, Ed Wright, 31pts
3. NZL 16, Andrew Murdoch, 48pts
4. NED 842, Pieter-Jan Postma, 50pts
5. NZL 24, Josh Junior, 54pts
6. CRO 524, Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, 63pts
7. SWE 33, Max Salminen, 72pts
9. FRA 1112, Jonathan Lobert, 73pts
9. FRA 29, Thomas Le Breton, 66pts
10. TUR 21, Alican Kaynar, 59pts

Junior top 3

1. GBR 29, Peter McCoy, 176pts (23rd overall)
2. AUS 41, Jake Lilley, 193pts (25th overall)
3. GER 64, Lennart Luttkus, 285pts (39th overall)

See full results and event website

 

By Robert Deaves, International Finn Association

 

 

King Cammas reigns supreme on the Tour

 

TdF de Voile jml

 

Tour de France à la Voile 2013 – Marseille in-port races

 

 

The wind howled into Marseille to mark the last day of scored racing in the 2013 Tour de France a la Voile. After three in-port races, two first place finishes went to Groupama 34, confirming their supremacy over Courrier Dunkerque 3, who claimed second place overall. Britain Crédit Mutuel Elite claimed the third seat on the podium. Normandy captured first overall among a top-flight cast of amateur entries.

37 races and 22 first place finishes for Franck Cammas’ crew: the green boat dominated the 36th edition of the Tour. “I’m not good at appreciation,” admitted the skipper, finally relaxed after being thrown into the water by his seven crewmates. “But they know the respect that we have between us. This respect is felt, it is not said.”

A jaw-dropping 107 points behind Groupama 34, Daniel Souben (Courrier Dunkerque) is happy with second place, and caught somewhere between stunned and impressed with the Tour winner. “It was a tough, beautiful tour with very good conditions. Sure, we’re frustrated that we didn’t beat Groupama because we came to try and win the Tour. But they won by sailing an impeccable, consistent race. Congratulations to them.”

In third place overall, Bretagne Crédit Mutuel Elite – long poised to capture second place overall- was overtaken by Daniel Souben yesterday during the La Seyne – Marseille offshore leg. Bretagne Credit Mutual finished 4th, 9th and 2nd in today’s in-port races, setting Troussel’s crew 12 points behind Courrier Dunkerque 3.

Race favorite Sodebo, led by Thomas Coville, finished 4th overall, one step below the winners podium. The young team from Normandy led by Benoit Charon, captured first place overall amongst the amateur rankings, 39 points ahead of the German entry, Iskareen.

The 36th Tour de France a la Voile was backed in full force by each city it visited. More than 53,000 people came to visit the race village in Dieppe in three days. To really conclude the 2013 edition though, a pro-am race is scheduled tomorrow in Marseille. Racing starts at 2:00pm.

 

Overall ranking after 37 races provisional:

1. GROUPAMA 34, CAMMAS Franck 1328 pts
2. COURRIER DUNKERQUE 3, SOUBEN Daniel 1221 pts
3. BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ELITE, TROUSSEL Nicolas 1209 pts
4. SODEBO, COVILLE Thomas 1199.7pts
5. TEAM OMANSAIL, POULIGNY Cédric 1152 pts
6. TOULON PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE – COYCH, BERNAZ Jean-Baptiste 1067 pts
7. VILLE DE GENEVE – CARREFOUR ADDICTIONS, METTRAUX Elodie-Jane et GROUX Nicolas 1051 pts
8. NANTES – SAINT NAZAIRE – E.LECLERC, DOUGUET Corentin 1026 pts
9. NORMANDIE, CHOQUENET Baptiste 964 pts
10. ISKAREEN, DITTMERS Christiane et BRUHNS Sönke 925 pts
11. MARTINIQUE – BE.BRUSSELS, WOLTERS Delphine et MOURES Matthieu 902 pts
12. BIENNE – VOILE – SRS, PETER Luzius et KUNZ François 813 pts

 

Offshore ranking after 9 races provisional:

1. GROUPAMA 34, CAMMAS Franck 649 pts
2. BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL ELITE, TROUSSEL Nicolas 628 pts
3. SODEBO, COVILLE Thomas 609.7pts

Technical ranking after 28 races, provisional:

1. GROUPAMA 34, CAMMAS Franck 679 pts
2. COURRIER DUNKERQUE 3, SOUBEN Daniel 614 pts
3. TEAM OMANSAIL, Cédric Pouligny 600 pts

Amateur ranking after 37 races, provisional:

1. NORMANDIE, CHOQUENET Baptiste 964 pts
2. ISKAREEN, DITTMERS Christiane et BRUHNS Sönke 925 pts
3. MARTINIQUE – BE.BRUSSELS, WOLTERS Delphine et MOURES Matthieu 902 pts
4. BIENNE – VOILE – SRS, PETER Luzius et KUNZ François 813 pts

 

By ASO Sailing News, www.tourvoile.fr

 

52 Super Series returns to Palma for the Copa del Rey Mapfre

 

aquila1Austrian boat Aquila rejoins the series in Palma – photo c Xaume Olleros 

 

By comparison to the first ever visit of the 52 Super Series to Ibiza earlier this month, the world’s leading pure performance monohull class moves now to what many of the crews might consider the ‘reassuringly familiar’ waters off Palma, Mallorca where nine 52 teams will compete in the highly regarded 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre regatta next week.

On the heels of the news that a promising future is being mapped out for the coming years, the fleet for Spain’s ever popular showcase regatta is the biggest yet this season.  The fleet is augmented in Palma by the Austrian 52 Aquila (ex Mutua Madrilena) which races on the series for the first time this season and brings the number of nations represented by boats to seven.

Ibiza, with its light winds, proved challenging and some teams left the island frustrated at their inability to get a real handle on the conditions there. And so the return to the regular, reliable sea breeze conditions in high summer Mallorca should restore a measure of confidence to the teams which felt they underperformed in Ibiza.

Series leaders Quantum Racing set the bar high in Ibiza when they added victory in the Royal Cup Marina Ibiza to their win in Barcelona in May. The American flagged team which is skippered by America’s Cup winner Ed Baird, with Terry Hutchinson as tactician, are unbeaten in Europe so far this season and their Olympic gold and America’s Cup winner Jordi Calafat – who won the 52’s Copa del Rey last year as tactician – is back on the home waters he cut his teeth on. But, even so, their continued supremacy is far from guaranteed in Palma.

 

Bouncing back

Defending 52 Super Series champions Azzurra had four bad races in Ibiza, ‘only’ making third overall whilst World Champions Rán Racing, winners of the Royal Cup in Palma last year, did not reach their best level of consistency. Both should be back to their best at the Copa del Rey whilst Tony Langley’s British flagged Gladiator had their best ever finish in Ibiza finishing runners up to Quantum Racing and threaten to be in the mix again.

Quantum Racing have won both regattas so far in the Mediterranean, project director Ed Reynolds cautions that he is sure his team is still getting stronger all the time:

“A lot of how we configured the boat and the team was looking to Palma where we like the idea that there will be more boats on the start line than we have seen so far this season on the 52 Super Series, so we are looking forward to it. I am very comfortable with our decision makers on board and we were very happy with the changes we made which meant we had a new gear in the lighter airs set up. I know the guys are very excited about the boat speed and the decision making dynamic is still getting better.”

“But in saying that it Palma it is easy to oversimplify what is needed to win. Winning the preferred side is as tricky as anything.”  concludes Reynolds.

 

The Azzurra crew, lead by skipper-helm Guillermo Parada, are back on waters they know well and should be racing more in the wind range that their boat is optimised for:

Bruno Zirilli, Azzurra’s navigator explains: “In Ibiza we knew that such a light breeze would penalize us more than the other boats and on top of that we found the chop complicated things even further. However, we did the best we could and did find some good solutions to our setup, as evidenced by the victory in the last race, which also gives us a good impetus as we look forward to the Copa del Rey. We all know the race course in Palma well and we like it, conditions are generally better suited to our boat and we have always performed well. We will go on the water each day with the intention of sailing as well as we can, without too many worries.”

Historically, as a crew (Matador) they have won the both the TP52 world championship and the Copa del Rey before here. Representing the iconic Azzurra team colours of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda which first raced in the America’s Cup in Newport RI exactly thirty years ago this month adds a further layer of pride for the Azzurra crew.

 

World champions Rán Racing underperformed in Ibiza, finishing off the podium:

“We just did not get to grips with the venue very well and our speed was not fantastic.” confesses Tim Powell, Rán Racing’s project manager. “We certainly missed an opportunity to get a better result than we did. But Palma is a venue we all know well. I think we learn from our mistakes and while its important not to dwell on the past, on the bad days you focus on what’s happened.”

“But, other than Ibiza, we have made a good progression at each regatta, so many different aspects have improved. We all believe as a group that we have what it takes to be challenging for the top step on the podium at the end of the regatta. That is the goal we set out to achieve together and we all believe we can do it.”

“We will put in some solid practice at the weekend, checking in some new sails and doing more starting practice as with nine or 10 boats the start line is that bit busier. We look to lock into the venue early, looking at the forecasts, for example to discern if we are expecting a ‘normal’ Palma or something more funky.”

 

Now at the third of their four European regattas this season the 52’s compete as a standalone class at the prestigious 120 boat event. Racing starts on Monday with up to 10 windward-leeward races expected before racing concludes Saturday. On Wednesday the coastal race will give a chance for the 52’s to stretch their legs on a more open, longer race track.

Live action racing can be followed each day on www.52superseries.com

 

By 52 Super Series media

 

 

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