Two hard earned wins for Quantum Racing elevates the team which is steered by owner Doug DeVos to a lead of four points ahead of Azzurra at the 52 Super Series’ Puerto Portals Sailing Week on the Bay of Palma.
The two teams which have shared all championship title wins over the first four years of the 52 Super Series, two apiece, started Wednesday locked on the same points aggregate. But Quantum Racing were on imperious form around the windward-leeward and coastal courses which were contested, winning both.
Azzurra’s improvements continued with a solid second and fourth today. But Ergin Imre’s Provezza went one point better, and was delighted to come away with five points for their day, a third and second which sees them second overall now, even if they share the 20pts tally with Azzurra.
A hot and very long day proved frustrating for some and pleasingly profitable for others. Once again it was the start line which was the most important factor and more often than not it was the ability to get left early which paid the first reward. The Bay of Palma’s southerly sea breeze – the Xaloc – provided great racing, particularly when it picked up to 16-17kts during the early legs of the 15 miles two hours coastal sprint.
The first race of the day, race five of the Puerto Portals Sailing Week, saw Azzurra start best on the committee boat end of the start line but Quantum Racing had the best speed off the gun. The two locked together to the left of the course with Bronenosec third. From a tight, compact start there were always going to be those which lost out immediately after the gun. Provezza and Platoon were just two of the top teams which had to take sterns to find clear air. While Quantum led all the way around the course, Azzurra second, Provezza engineered a nicely executed recovery from eighth at the first windward mark to finish third.
For all that the early stages of the regatta’s one coastal race looked like it would be an exciting blast around the Bay in a decent breeze, the notorious transition zone at Illetas – the rocky point to the west of Palma city – proved especially tricky. After starting beautifully off the pin end of the start line Tony Langley’s Gladiator led all the way around the first half of the course. But as the breeze faded and shifted right, heading the leaders approaching Illetas, Gladiator’s decision to gybe across Quantum Racing’s line left them to the right and unable to get back fast enough to protect their lead when kites had to be dropped in the header.
Quantum Racing stole the lead, extended out on the next long windward leg offshore into the old, stronger breeze and held their margin through the finish line which was set just off the entrance to the Marina del Portals. Provezza squeezed past Bronenosec to get second while Azzurra turned an early seventh place to a “counter” fourth.
With two days of racing to go Quantum Racing lead by four points from Provezza and Azzurra.
The 52 Super Series passed the theoretical half way point of the season today with 23 races now sailed and a scheduled 24 still to go. Quantum Racing have a good lead at the top of the overall standings but there are just seven points between second placed Platoon and fifth placed Rán Racing.
Tony Rey (USA) tactician Provezza (TUR):
“Racing on the Bay of Palma it is a left hand race track but you have to be clean. We got a little fortunate that the guys in front of us had to tack for clear air. It was one of these races where the windows open and you are just smart enough to step through them. So we were thrilled with that. It was a huge comeback for us. In the coastal race we even lost the electronics but our navigator, the wizard of Palma, Nacho Postigo, has such a good feel for things we did well.”
Terry Hutchinson (USA) Quantum Racing (USA):
“We did not feel we did our best work yesterday and though we did not do things much differently today we were just a bit crisper in all areas today. We executed two good starts. Gladiator had a glamour start in that second race followed by Provezza and Bronenosec. The coastal race was a hard race.
It has been interesting to see the change in Azzurra’s performance here. They are sailing quite a bit faster here. Bronenosec are going quite fast, Platoon are going well.”
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week
Standings after six races
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1) 16pts
2 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2) 20pts?
3 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4) 20pts
?4 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3) 23pts
?5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5) 29pts?
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6,4,9) 32pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7) 42pts?
8 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6) 43pts
?9 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8) 45pts
?10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS,DNS,DNS, DNS,DNS,DNS) 66pts
by 52 Super Series