Grand Prix Sailing

The Swedish goddess and British Gladiator strike first blow

Day 1 – 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre

  c Nico Martinez

 

Conditions in the Bay of Palma where light and shifty for the start of racing and the fleet had to wait an hour and twenty minutes before the postponement flag was lowered but the fleet was finally rewarded with a southerly breeze of 10 – 12 knots on the two race areas where the windward-leeward courses were set.

Niklas Zennström’s 72 footer RÁN delivered a star performance on the water by winning the day’s first test, followed by a second as the seabreeze faded. The Swedish boat, winner of the 29th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre in 2010, leads the overall classification after two races, followed by Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou, and New Yorker Bella Mente.

In the IRC 1 division, Tony Langley’s TP52 Gladiator (GBR) comfortably controlled the first race from beginning to end, after starting at the pin end leaving Jochen Schuemann skippered Audi All4one as well as Audi Azzurra with Argentinean Guillermo Parada at the helm, in his wake.  Audi All4One with Jordi Calafat calling tactics, managed to climb up the fleet to finish second, followed by Powerplay from the Cayman Islands in third.

 

The second race delivered a big swing of positions with the French 52 Paprec first to cross the finish line by a boat length from Audi Azzurra to claim the overall lead. Audi All4One finished in second, leaving them in the same position on the overall scoreboard after two races. Third overall is the British boat Gladiator who could only finish third in the second race.

The Spanish-Portuguese alliance onboard Swanderful was rewarded with a second and a first position in the first two races for the RI 1 division. Spanish VOR runner up Roberto Bermúdez de Castro is calling tactics onboard the Swan 52 owned by Portuguese José Caldeira.

Defending Champion Rats on Fire of Rafael Carbonell won the first race, but a third position in the second, leaves them second in the overall classification. Third and tied on seven points are the Roumanian boat Natalia and Spanish Grupo Clínico Luis Senís. Four out of the the top five classified are Swan designs.

The fleet’s one-design classes, the J-80’s and X-35’s, delivered tight and intense racing, specially the former, which was won by the Spanish boat Mapfre of Carlos Martínez.  The Finnish Samuli Leisti owned Audi Ultra leads the X-35 classification.

For full results visit:  www.prensarcnp.es/copa10/principal/index_uk.php

Weekend Roundup Monday 16 July

 

 

Williams comes through in Chicago

Reigning Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) was crowned the 2012 Chicago Match Cup winner after a 3-0 battle against Australian youngster Jordan Reece, which also closed the gap on Bjorn Hansen at the top of Alpari World Match Racing Tour leaderboard, the Swede having won the day’s Petit Final to take third.

For replays of the regatta  new.livestream.com/WorldMRT.

Alpari World Match Race Tour see: www.wmrt.com/live

 

 

Rán Racing snatch victory on last day

Rán Racing claimed the Royal Cup and their first overall victory in the inaugural 52 Super Series in a testing day’s racing at Palma, Mallorca on Saturday that victorious skipper Niklas Zennström described as being “as good as it gets”.

Zennstroms’s team surged to victory in a gusty northeaster at speeds in excess of 24 knots, finishing second across the line in the final race of the day to clinch the overall win.

World champions Quantum Racing finished second in the cup after they were forced to retire from the first of two races on Saturday, when they broke their headstay ram, headfoil and jib in the turbulent conditions.

For full results see: www.52superseries.com

 

 

 

Copa del Rey begins this week  in typical med condtions

The 31st edition of the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre kicks off today in the Bay of Palma with a fleet of 119 boats. Organised by the Real Club Náutico of Palma, the event’s racing schedule will run from Monday to Saturday, and will gather a total of 1.200 sailors in five categories competing in real and compensated time.

Regatta website:  www.prensarcnp.es/copa10/principal/index_uk.php

Rán Racing snatch Royal Cup victory in final race

 

 

Ran Racing win the Royal Cup – copyright: Xaume Olleros

 

Rán Racing have won the Royal Cup, their first overall victory in the 52 Super series, after finishing second in the final race of the four-day regatta where wind gusts in excess of 30 knots forced two teams to retire.

Audi Azzurra claimed line honours and 52 seconds later Rán finished in second place, followed by Quantum, Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, PowerPlay and Provezza.

It was a tough finish for Quantum Racing who led the Royal Cup from day one, but dropped to second in the opening race of the final day when they damaged their forestay and were forced to retire.

The team raced the clock to repair the damage and return to the start for the final race, but it wasn’t their day.

In an intense start to the final race of the Royal Cup the eight teams started clear in a choppy sea state with wind gusts in excess of 25 knots.

Azzurra battled the big breeze with the greatest success to reach to top mark first, followed nine seconds later by Quantum, All4One, Rán, Provezza, Gladiator, PowerPlay and Aquila, who retired shortly after.

The northeasty breeze built to excess of 28 knots as the teams raced against it to the second top mark rounding. Gladiator retired along the way. Azzurra rounded the final mark first, followed by Rán and Quantum.

The team’s revelled in the power-run to the finish with plenty of water awash over the deck as they played the swell. Azzurra crossed first, but the true victory was Ran’s.

 

Overall Results

1 SWE 5211 Ran  23pts

2 USA 52011 Quantum Racing 24pts

3 GER A40 Audi All4One 24pts

4 ITA 280 Audi Azzurra 27pts

5 CAY 52 Powerplay 41.4pts

6 GBR 11152l Gladiator 44pts

7 TUR 1212 Provezza 7 47pts

8 AUT 5200 Aquila 56pts

 

By Jacaranda Marketing

Gladiator and Audi All4One upset the leaders

 

 

 

Gladiator pulled off a major comeback to win their first race at the Royal Cup on Friday less than 24-hours after a collision forced their retirement, while world champions Quantum Racing are primed for the final day’s racing on Saturday with a six point lead.

Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One posted the best results of the day, finishing second in race one and claiming their first victory in race two to edge into third place overall.

Despite Quantum finishing third in both races they remain leaders in the Royal Cup on 12 points, followed by Rán Racing on 18, All4One, 19, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, 24, Gladiator, 30, PowerPlay 31.4, Provezza, 35 and Aquila, 40.

Gladiator’s crew were hopeful that the worst of their luck was behind them as they hit the water to race on the superstitious Friday the 13th, having been forced to retire from racing on Thursday after a damaging collision and suffering a costly spinnaker fumble on the first day of racing on Wednesday.

The team proved that that the third time can be a charm when they crossed the finish of race one in first place, 18 seconds ahead of All4One followed by Quantum Racing, Rán Racing, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, PowerPlay, Provezza and Aquila.

 

 

Owner/skipper Tony Langley said scoring the win was a testament to his shore crew’s repair effort and his sailing team’s skills. But the British businessman said there was still work to do.

“It’s always nice to get a bullet, but to be happy with the results we’ve got to be consistently in the top half of the fleet, we’re not there yet,’’ he said.

The sea breeze in Palma Bay was proving challenging as it swung 30 degrees, making conditions difficult for even the sharpest of tacticians in the second and final race of the day.

Local Palma sailor and Olympic gold medallist Jordi Calafat rose to the challenge, chartering a victorious path for his All4One crew to claim their first win at the Royal Cup.

PowerPlay posted their best result of the regatta to finish second, Quantum Racing finished third, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, Rán Racing, Provezza, Gladiator and Aquila.

Calafat played down having any assistance from a home-ground advantage. It was more a case of patience and improved teamwork, he said.

“I’ve sailed with (skipper) Jochen Schuemann a lot, and now we’re just starting to get our communication back, it’s improving day by day,’’ Calafat said.

The win bumped All4One to third place overall in the Royal Cup, pushing Audi Azzurra to fourth position.

Looking ahead to the final day’s racing, Quantum navigator Andy Horton said his team would approach it like any other; conservatively.

“Consistency is always the goal, we’re pretty conservative as a group,’’ he said.

“On a day like today it’s really difficult to do, it’s shifty and puffy so a lot of times you’ll find us playing the standard average, unless something is really obvious, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Horton commended substitute crewman Australian Chris Hosking, who stepped in last minute to replace trimmer Brett Jones after he injured his hand during a maneuver yesterday and was transferred mid-race to hospital.

The final day’s racing of the Royal Cup at Palma, Mallorca will start at 1100 local, 0900 UTC. The Royal Cup is the third of four regattas that make up the inaugural 52 Super Series.

Quantum lead the 52 Super Series, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, Rán Racing and Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One. Gladiator, PowerPlay, Provezza and Aquila are also competing, but their points are yet to be confirmed.

 

Ranking after 6 races

1. Quantum Racing 12pts

2. Rán Racing 18pts

3. Audi All4One 19pts

4. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 24pts

5. Gladiator 30pts

6. PowerPlay 31.4pts

7. Provezza 35pts

8. Aquila 40pts

 

By Jacaranda Marketing, photos supplied by Xaume Olleros

 

The story of the Finn class at the Olympic Games

 

1968 Finn class Olympic regatta in Acapulco

The Finn made its first appearance at the Olympic Games back in 1952. That year Paul Elvstrøm won the second of his four Gold medals on his way to setting a record that has, so far, stood for 52 years. More than five decades later Ben Ainslie stands on the brink of breaking that record, as he has broken so many other records in his 10 years in the class. If he does it would be one of the defining moments of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Finn is the oldest dinghy class that is being used at the 2012 Olympic Games. In fact this year marks its 60th anniversary of inclusion at the Games and is the 16th time it will be raced. Over those 60 years it has modernised and embraced new technologies but is fundamentally the same design.

But to go back to the very beginning…

The Olympics in 1952 were assigned to Helsinki, Finland and the Finish Yachting Association, who had been assigned the job of selecting the class for the Monotype, ran a competition for a new boat designed specifically for the Olympics which could also be used for sailing competitions in Scandinavia. The Finn was selected from a design entered by Swedish Olympian Rickard Sarby. Paul Elvstrøm swept the board to win by nearly 3,000 points from Charles Currey of Great Britain, who took Silver. Elvstrøm won four of the seven races in a fleet of 28 boats and set a standard which has never been equalled. In spite of badly injuring his hand before the sixth race, Sarby just managed to win the Bronze.

Elvstrøm – who won his first Gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in Torbay in the Firefly class – won because of his hiking technique, which he had developed practising in his own boat. Most of his competitors were rather sitting on the sidedeck instead of hiking on the sheer guard. In addition Elvstrøm attached a sort of traveller to his boat, which was not supplied by the organiser. Most competitors considered this alteration to be illegal but the Dane got away with it. However after the fifth race, when it was already for sure that he had won the Gold medal, Elvstrøm removed the device again, in order to calm the grumbles.

The Finn had proved to be such a great competitive boat in the 1952 Olympics that it was retained as the Monotype again for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Again Elvstrøm slaughtered the opposition, this time with five wins in his score. Going into the last race it looked as though the American John Marvin, who had never raced a Finn before, might topple the Belgian Andre Nelis since they were level on points. But Nelis pulled out all the stops and kept Marvin covered whilst notching up a second place himself.

For 1960 in Naples, there was a great increase to 35 Finns and Elvstrøm did it again. This time he only won three races and had to withdraw from the last through illness, but he was never lower than fifth in conditions which did not enable him to gain by his fantastic strength and endurance. This was the year that Russia arrived as a top sailing nation and in the Finns the Silver Medal was won by Alexandr Chuchelov. Nelis of Belgium took Bronze.

In Tokyo, Japan in 1964, for the first time the supplied hulls were fibreglass instead of wood. Germany was the leading nation in the Finn in 1964, and Willy Kuhweide, who was only selected at the last moment and despite a severe infection of the middle ear, led the fleet into the final race. Peter Barrett and Henning Wind stayed close to each other during that race and finished 7th and 10th, allowing Kuhweide to once again take line honours and Gold.

The 1968 Games were in Mexico with the sailing at Acapulco. Some picked Wind, who had just won the Finn Gold Cup while others favoured Kuhweide or Jörg Bruder, the Brazilian who had won the Pan American Games. Few felt that Valentin Mankin, the veteran Russian Finn sailor and an excellent heavy weather helmsman, had much of a chance in the light weather so typical of Acapulco. But Mankin surprised everyone with a week of almost flawless tactical racing. Never below seventh at any mark, he beat Hubert Raudaschl of Austria by almost 42 points. Fabio Albarelli of Italy won the Bronze.

Synonymous with strong winds and heavy weather sailing, no one was prepared for two weeks of mild weather and light winds at the 1972 Olympics in Kiel, Germany. Before the Olympics there was a controversy about the masts supplied by the organiser. Most of the competitors favoured the old wooden masts, which they were used to, and only a few had experience with the new aluminium masts they were forced to use. The competition ended with some big names down the scoreboard. Serge Maury of France won the Gold while Elias Hatzipavlis from Greece got Silver and Victor Potapov from Russia Bronze. The decisive race was the fifth, when only three boats finished within the time limit.

There was another change for the 1976 Olympics in Kingston, Ontario. As usual, the organisers supplied the hulls, but for the first time the sailors were allowed to bring their own sails and masts. Not until the weather mark of the last race was it clear where the medals would go. First around was Jochen Schümann from the German Democratic Republic with a tenacious cover on Andrei Balashov of the Soviet Union. Australian John Bertrand, the other contender for the gold was a distant 12th. Although later passed by two boats, Schümann finished ahead of the Russian and the Australian to assure his win. As striking as Schümann’s excellent performance was the poor showing of the pre-race favourites, David Howlett of England and Serge Maury of France.

The 1980 Olympics in Moscow, with the yachting events in Tallinn suffered from the boycott initiated by the United States. A number of potential winners were excluded from the start. Some of those who came, felt uncomfortable within the narrow limits of the strict organisation and performed poorly. The favourites: Jochen Schümann, Mark Neeleman, Lasse Hjortnäs, and Minski Fabris failed to collect the medals. Outsiders like Esko Rechardt took Gold and Wolfgang Mayrhofer the Silver in front of the only successful favourite Andrei Balashov, who won Bronze.

The Games suffered once again from a boycott at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, this time initiated by the USSR. So in Long Beach the favourites from the DDR, Poland and the USSR were excluded. In the Finn class the actual Olympic sailing was preceded by an undignified controversy after the US trials. John Bertrand was declared the representative only 24 hours before the first start. In that race he had a collision with the later Gold medal winner Russell Coutts from New Zealand and was disqualified. Disregarding the mental strain of the qualification battle and the disqualification in the first race, Bertrand was leading after the fifth and sixth race. In the last race however, he lost the Gold to Coutts, and Terry Neilson from Canada won the Bronze.

 

 

1988 Finn class Olympic regatta in Pusan

 

The 1988 Olympic Regatta was held in the Bay of Pusan in Korea. The final winner, José Luis Doreste, who had competed in both the 1976 and 1980 Olympics was disqualified in race 4 for a collision. The Silver medalist Peter Holmberg was PMS in race 4 and one of the favourites Lasse Hjortnäs broke his mast in race two after winning the first race. These events really opened up the racing. Eventually John Cutler won the last two races to take the Bronze. Larry Lemieux gave up a good position in the fifth race to rescue two Singapore 470 sailors from the water after one had lost contact with his boat and was awarded Pierre de Coubertin Medal for Sportsmanship for this feat. Once again the sailors had to use boats that were provided by the organisers.

Barcelona, Spain produced generally light to moderate conditions for the 1992 Olympics. The Finn fleet was the deepest ever and it was generally agreed that anyone in the first 15 could win the Gold and anyone of the first 22 could win a race. The final winner José Maria van der Ploeg never scored worse than sixth and didn’t have to sail the final race. The two favourites Eric Mergenthaler and Glenn Bourke performed poorly and finished 18th and 20th. Brian Ledbetter was one of the few consistent sailors and won the Silver medal, while Craig Monk, from New Zealand, won the last race to snatch the bronze away from Stuart Childerley. Prior to the regatta, the IFA conducted a two week training clinic for those countries desiring assistance.

1996 Olympic regatta in Savannah by Francois Richard

 

When the numerically stronger Laser was bidding for Olympic status many thought that it would replace the Finn as the Olympic singlehander for men. However this was not to be and in 1996 in Savannah there were two singlehanded dinghies for men. This worked well, as it meant that there was two boats for two different weight categories. The advance weather reports suggested a light wind regatta. However, this was not to be and thunderstorm activity resulted in some spectacular weather and strong winds. Poland’s first ever sailing medal was won by Mateusz Kusznierewicz with a race to spare, and this in spite of losing his watch early on in the series and using the clock on the starting boat instead. Sebastien Godefroid from Belgium took the Silver while relative Olympic veteran Roy Heiner took the Bronze on the last race.

In Sydney, Australia in 2000, Iain Percy won the first medal for Great Britain in the class since Charles Currey’s Silver in 1952. Sailing a very consistent series he had it all wrapped up before the final race. Luca Devoti’s Silver was one of the most unexpected medals of the Games, while Fredrik Lööf’s bronze had been a long time coming. For the first time ever the sailors had been allowed to bring their own hulls as well as rigs. Also of importance to the Finn sailors of the future, Ben Ainslie won his first Olympic Gold medal in the Laser class. Two years later he announced his switch to the Finn, where he has dominated for the last 10 years.

Ainslie started the 2004 Olympics in Athens with a low score and a disqualification after being protested for a port-starboard incident, but fought back with a string of top results to make a remarkable comeback. He led into the final race and stuck to Silver medalist Rafael Trujillo to assure his second Gold medal. Mateusz Kusznierewicz picked up his second Finn medal after winning the final race and taking Bronze.

 

Beijing 2008 Finn Class by Francois Richard

 

In 2008 in Qingdao, China, Ainslie won his third Olympic Gold after winning three races in generally very light winds and very strong tides. He also won the medal race in very strong winds, the first time that format had been used at the Olympics. Zach Railey was the surprise Silver medal winner but didn’t win a single race and neither did Guillaume Florent, who took the Bronze away from Daniel Birgmark on the medal race result, both sailors ending up with the same points.

Up to 1948 the type of boat used as the Monotype or singlehander was changed for each Olympic Games. With the introduction of the Finn in 1952 this problem was solved. The Finn was designed as an Olympic singlehander that could be sailed worldwide and aspiring Olympic sailors could practice and develop the required skills prior to the games. It has established strict class rules and regulations and because of this has proven to be a true Olympic class reflecting the Olympic spirit. The class inspires intense devotion from sailors and fans across the world. The Finn is a modern racing machine, a highly evolved piece of kit with an outstanding tradition and  an amazing culture. It has become a supreme ambassador for all that is great about Olympic sailing and has evolved into a modern classic that has produced some of the world’s best sailors.

Am extensive photo gallery of the Finn Class at the Olympic Games can be found on the class Facebook page at:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150953651332634.420654.110408332633&type=1

Much more on the Finn can be found in the anniversary book, Photo FINNish, available on Amazon.co.uk, and through the class website.

Past medalists

 

Year and venue
Gold
Silver
Bronze
1952, Helsinki, Finland
Paul Elvstrøm, Denmark
Charles Currey, Great Britain
Rickard Sarby, Sweden
1956, Melbourne, Australia
Paul Elvstrøm, Denmark
André Nelis, Belgium
John Marvin, United States
1960, Naples, Italy
Paul Elvstrøm, Denmark
Alexandr Chuchelov, USSR
André Nelis, Belgium
1964, Enoshima, Japan
Willy Kuhweide, Germany
Peter Barrett, United States
Henning Wind, Denmark
1968, Acapulco, Mexico
Valentin Mankin, USSR
Hubert Raudaschl, Austria
Fabio Albarelli, Italy
1972, Kiel, West Germany
Serge Maury, France
Elias Hatzipavlis, Greece
Victor Potapov, USSR
1976, Kingston, Canada
Jochen Schumann, DDR
Andrei Balashov, USSR
John Bertrand, Australia
1980, Tallinn, USSR
Esko Rechardt, Finland
Wolfgang Mayrhofer, Austria
Andrei Balashov, USSR
1984, Long Beach, USA
Russell Coutts, New Zealand
John Bertrand, United States
Terry Neilson, Canada
1988, Pusan, Korea
Jose Luis Doreste, Spain
Peter Holmberg, US Virgin Islands
John Cutler, New Zealand
1992, Barcelona, Spain
José Maria van der Ploeg, Spain
Brian Ledbetter, USA
Craig Monk, New Zealand
1996, Savannah, USA
Mateusz Kusnierewicz, Poland
Sebastien Godefroid, Belgium
Roy Heiner, Nertherlands
2000, Sydney, Australia
Iain Percy, Great Britain
Luca Devoti, Italy
Fredrik Lööf, Sweden
2004, Athens, Greece
Ben Ainslie, Great Britain
Rafael Trujillo, Spain
Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Poland
2008, Qingdao, China
Ben Ainslie, Great Britain
Zach Railey, USA
Guillaume Florent, France

 

* This text has been edited, abridged and amended from an article by David Leach, Richard Creagh-Osborne, Georg Siebeck and Robert Deaves and originally published in FINNLOG and FINNatics by the International Finn Association.

Spindrift Racing wins Atlantic sprint

 

©Thierry Martinez

 

Yann Guichard and his five crew on the MOD70 Spindrift Racing, crossed the finish line at 12:08:37 UTC to take overall victory in the inaugural Krys Ocean Race.

The French trimaran took 4 days 21 hours 8 minutes and 37 seconds to complete the 2950 miles course across the North Atlantic from New York to Brest in north west France via the Scilly Isles. Spindrift Racing sailed 3284 miles on the water making her average for the passage a rather impressive 28.04 knots.

Spindrift Racing finished around hour an half ahead of Sébastien Josse’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with the Michel Desjoyeaux-skippered Foncia another quarter of an hour behind second, after a blistering downwind drag race across the North Atlantic in which the wind rarely dropped below 20 knots…

At 38, Yann Guichard, the former Olympic Tornado catamaran sailor, who finished fourth in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has amassed considerable multihull experience offshore with the likes of Marc Guillemot, Bruno Peyron and Franck Cammas, before racing solo across the Atlantic in the 2010 Route du Rhum aboard the maxi-trimaran Gitana 11, as well as inshore on the Swiss lakes aboard Dona Bertarelli’s D35 Ladycat. He has also completed on the Extreme Sailing Series and is a helmsman/coach for the Peyron brother’s French potential America’s Cup contenders, Energy Team, with whom he has raced in the America’s Cup World Series.

On board with Guichard were his brother Jacques, Leo Lucet and three former Banque Populaire maxi-tri crew, Pascal Bidégorry, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant and Kevin Escoffier, who set the outright record for the Atlantic from New York to the Lizard in August 2009 with a time of 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes and 48 seconds.

On a boat twice the size of the MOD70s and leaving in the optimum weather conditions, Banque Populaire‘s average point to point speed was 32.94 knots, comparable to 25.03 knots for Spindrift Racing in the Krys Ocean Race.

Broken boats and broken fingers

Day 2 – 52 Super Series Royal Cup in Palma de Mallorca

 

Damaged boats, a disqualification and an injured crewman marked a dramatic second day’s racing at the 52 Super Series Royal Cup regatta in Palma, Mallorca on Thursday, which was dominated by world champions Quantum Racing.

Quantum claimed victory in the opening race of the day and remarkably maintained second place in race two despite offloading trimmer Brett Jones to their chase boat after he injured his hand in a maneuver mid-race.

Jones was taken ashore where an ambulance awaited and has since been treated for dislocated fingers. Meanwhile, the shorthanded crew held firm in second place to extend their overall lead in the Royal Cup from one point to three.

Rán Racing finished second and third in the day’s racing to remain second in the Royal Cup on nine points, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team on 15 points, who were disqualified in race one but claimed their first win of the regatta in race two.

In fourth place are Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, followed by Provezza, Gladiator, Aquila and PowerPlay.

 

The first race of the day set the stage for the dramatics that were to come, with a collision at the second windward mark rounding resulting in damage to Gladiator and PowerPlay.

Gladiator were leading the fleet when they failed to make the lay-line and found themselves maneuvering into the chasing pack and on a collision course with PowerPlay.

An on water jury found that Azzurra had failed to give Gladiator the appropriate room to avoid the collision and ruled that the Italian/Argentinian team perform a penalty turn.

PowerPlay limped to the finish with broken port stanchions and minor hull damage, and later retired from race two. Gladiator were forced to retire from both races with damage to their bow sprit and bob stay.

Gladiator and PowerPlay sought redress, which resulted in Azzurra being disqualified and the pair receiving an average points margin for the races they missed.

The drama continued in the second race when Quantum’s Brett Jones found himself living every trimmer’s worst nightmare. Quantum tactician Andy Horton said Jones was in the middle of swapping a jib sheet for a spinnaker sheet on a winch when trouble struck.

“His hand got caught between the two, it wasn’t a pretty sight, I’ve seen worse but this got about three fingers,’’ Horton said.

“It was long enough that we had to get three or four people forward to hold the sail by hand to get the line off of it. We hope Jonesy is OK, but right now we’re looking for someone to replace him for the rest of the regatta.”

The Royal Cup is the third regatta of four in the inaugural 52 Super Series. Quantum Racing continue to lead the series on 35.5 points, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, 47.5, and Rán Racing on 55.5 points.

 

 

Results after 4 races:

1. Quantum Racing 6pts

2. Rán Racing 9pts

3. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 15pts

4. Audi All4One 16pts

5. Provezza 22pts

6. Gladiator 24pts

7. Aquila 24pts

8. PowerPlay 26pts

 

The third day of the four-day Royal Cup continues on Friday at 1300 local, 1100 UTC. Follow all of the action at www.52superseries.com.

By Jacaranda Marketing, photos supplied by Xaume Olleros

Onboard with Ed Baird

 

 

Quantum Racing lead the 52 Super Series by only three points over Audi Azzurra with two regattas remaining in the series.

I was invited onboard the American flagged Quantum Racing for the first day of racing on a steamy hot summer day in the bay of Palma. Two races were scheduled and PRO Maria Trojilo forecast 10 – 12 knots of shifting breeze.

As we motored out to the startline, Quantum set up for some upwind practice with Gladiator and Powerplay, The main afterguard with a wealth of experience ranging from Americas Cup wins, world championships and Olympic medals, discussed the sail plan and options for the weather conditions. After checking the line angle and opting for their chosen sail plan the team assessed the options for the first upwind leg. Up the mast goes the wind spotter Tom Burnham with five minutes to go.

Race one started on schedule with 10 – 12 knots of breeze fluctuating in direction with little puffs all around the course. At this stage in the 52 Super Series with points very tight, focus onboard Quantum was on the two nearest rivals on the scoreboard Audi Azzurra and Rán Racing.

 

 

 

Tactician Andy Horton and navigator Juan Vila were keen to start at the pin end of the line and gain access to the left hand side of the racecourse. Skipper and helmsman, the double Americas Cup winner, Ed Baird expertly manouvered the TP52 dancing around the fleet and bouncing off Audi Azzurra to gain the pin end start.

The Swedish flagged Rán skippered by Niklas Zennström and German Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE, skippered by multiple Olympian Jochen Schuemann started at the committee boat end.

Quantum was able to accelerate away in clean air and tack onto port tack to head the fleet towards the first windward mark. Round we go with a 5 boat length lead over Audi Azzurra and ALL4ONE. The spinnaker is set and the afterguard call the wind angles downwind. Ed Baird guides Quantum Racing doing around 9 knots of boat speed as he covers the fleet of 8 teams gybing downwind.

 

 

At the leeward gate Quantum has extended the lead to around 200 meters on Audi Azzurra with Rán making gains.

The second windward/leeward lap is focused on covering the opponents and in particular, Audi Azzurra. As the remainder of the fleet battled for the lower placings the first race was job done for Quantum as she sailed over the finish to win by approximately 1m.

A quick break onboard to replenish liquids and sustenance before the sound signal is fired for race 2. Similar conditions prevailed with a touch more breeze up to 12 knots. This time onboard the tactician/strategists called for a start nearer the committee boat.

Ed Baird duly obliged positioning his boat to the right of the fleet starting with speed. The local breeze was still quite shifty and a number of tacking battles formed on leg one. It was  Rán who had gone left who came out top at the windward mark rounding a boat length ahead of Quantum Racing with Gladiator on our stern.

It became a game of chess as to who would gybe first, in the end the wind caller on Quantum called the gybe and we went first. As the fleet converged on the leeward gate Rán remained in the lead but Gladiator had gained on Quantum Racing rounding alternate gate marks.

However disaster onboard Gladiator as the British boat trawled their spinnaker in the water stalling the boat and losing several places. Meanwhile Audi Azzurra with a highly experienced afterguard of Guillermo Parada and Vasco Vascotto, was able to profit from Gladiators mistake and lay chase.

The decision onboard Quantum Racing was now to concentrate on keeping Audi Azzurra behind rather than attacking Rán. So all the way up the second windward leg Quantum put a cover on the Italians, tack for tack.

At the second windward mark rounding, Rán had around 30 seconds lead over Quantum Racing with Audi Azzurra another 30 seconds back in third. Another flawless spinnaker hoist from a well drilled team and staysails were deployed then furled simultaneously.

The final downwind leg was a game of cover your opponent with Niklas Zennstrom cruising to victory in race two and onboard Quantum Racing it was gybe every time Audi Azzurra does, to keep between them and the finish line.

As we cross the finish line everything was quite calm onboard Quantum, skipper Ed Baird simply smiled and turned to his crew to say, “Nice job guys”.

It was a typically professional fleet sailing display from the Quantum team who now take an early lead in the Royal Cup and extend their overall lead in the championship.

 Royal Cup results after two races

1 Quantum Racing (USA) 3pt
2 Rán (SWE) 4pt
3 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) 5pt
4 Audi Sailing Team by ALL4ONE (GER/FRA) 9pt
5 Gladiator (GBR) 12pt
6 Aquila (AUT) 13pt
7 Powerplay (CAY) 13pt
8 Provezza (TUR) 13pt

Fight for Royal Cup reign begins in Palma

Day 1 – 52 Super Series in Palma de Mallorca

 

Defending champions Quantum Racing proved why they are the team to beat in the 52 Super Series after winning a dramatic opening day’s racing in the Royal Cup at Palma, Mallorca where costly crew errors proved just how close the competition is.

Quantum Racing claimed a commanding victory in the opening race and second place in race two to finish on three points on the first day of the four-day regatta to extend their overall lead in the 52 Super Series from three points to five.

Rán Racing are second in the Royal Cup with four points, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team are third with five points, followed by Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, Gladiator, Aquila, PowerPlay and Provezza.

Quantum skipper and double America’s Cup champion Ed Baird said it was a tough day’s racing that was packed with plenty of wind shifts that came out of no where and put his crew’s recent lessons to the test.

“It was one of those races where the rich get richer, as soon as you were a little bit ahead everything became a little more obvious,’’ Baird said.

“We worked awfully hard all of last year, and this year, at trying to improve every little thing.

“It sounds so basic but the tacks, the gybes, they are better than they were three or four months ago. So are the starts, the straight line speed, the sails, the understanding of the mast and the communications, they’re all improving.”

 

It was a much tougher day’s racing for crews on board newcomer Provezza and British boat Gladiator, who suffered at the hands of errors that placed them second last and last respectively in race two.

Provezza struggled to come back after being recalled for jumping the start and Gladiator dropped from second to last when they lost their spinnaker overboard halfway through the race.

Gladiator skipper Tony Langley said his team’s severe penance for one error was a testament to the caliber of the class.

“It was all in the drop, we lost the string-line system and that was it,” he said. “At this level you cannot afford to make any mistakes.

“You make a small mistake and you’ll get spat out one place or two places, you make a medium mistake and you get spat out the back, but you make a mistake like this and you’re just completing the course for one point.”

Day two of the Royal Cup, hosted by Real Club Náutico de Palma, starts at 1300 local, 1100 UTC. Early predictions have teams expecting between 12 and 18 knots from the south-southwest.

For more details visit: www.52superseries.com

Royal Cup results after two races

1 Quantum Racing (USA) 3pt
2 Rán (SWE) 4pt
3 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) 5pt
4 Audi Sailing Team by ALL4ONE (GER/FRA) 9pt
5 Gladiator (GBR) 12pt
6 Aquila (AUT) 13pt
7 Powerplay (CAY) 13pt
8 Provezza (TUR) 13pt

By Jacaranda Marketing

52’s compete for Royal Cup in Palma

52 Super Series Royal Cup in Palma de Mallorca – 10-14 July 2012

Eight boats are lined up alongside the Real Club Nautico de Palma to race on equal terms for an historic sailing trophy, The Royal Cup, at the third regatta for the 52 SuperSeries.

Just as there were two boats new to the 52 SuperSeries circuit in Porto Cervo, Sardinia last month, so the momentum and interest continues to grow as the circuit reaches high summer, and a very popular racing venue, Palma.

And the 52 SuperSeries owners and organisers are pleased to be continually developing initiatives for the long term future of the circuit. In Palma there will be live fleet tracking complemented by audio commentary from the water.

The Royal Cup, or in full, the Royal Cup Challenge Trophy, was donated in 1995 by King Harald of Norway, Pasquale Landolfi, Willi Illbruck and Yannis Costopoulos to be used as a challenge trophy for IMS50 racing, which then was the world’s premier level rating class.

Among the famous boat and owner names inscribed on the massive trophy are: 1995 and 1996 Brava Q8, P. Landolfi in 1995 and 1996, Mean Machine, P. de Ridder in 1996, in 2000 Innovision 7, H. J. Eekhof and in 2001 Brava Q8, P. Landolfi.

“It seems appropriate and in the line of tradition to connect the cup once again to the best level rating racing. At this point in time this is without a doubt 52 racing.” comments Rob Weiland, the 52’s Class Manager.

The cup was created by Bvlgari and has been extensively refurbished by Nicolas Joyero, the company of Nicolas Pomar, who with his brother the driving force behind the Breitling Cup. This company has also created the 52 SuperSeries Trophy which will be unveiled in Palma.

The boats which will be new to the 52 SuperSeries will be the Austrian boat Aquila which was formerly the 2008 build Mutua Madrilena. It has remained in TP52 measurement trim and will be steered by Rene Mangold.

Provezza is a well known name in global sailing circles and now Turkish owner Ergin Imre brings his 52 which was previously the 2008 Vrolijk designed Desafio and then Cristabella. This boat will be steered by Britain’s Nick Rogers who won back to back 470 Olympic silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

Racing can be followed live with radio commentary on Virtual Eye. Visit the 52 Super Series website:  www.52superseries.com