Quantum Racing sealed the 2016 52 Super Series title when they crossed the finish line of the fourth race of the EGNOS 52 Super Series Cascais Cup winning the overall season with two days of racing still to be completed.
The American-flagged team has won four out of four regattas this season. And when they crossed the finish line in third late this afternoon with Azzurra in eighth, they now share the same points tally as the leaders of this final regatta this season.
Hard driving tactician Terry Hutchinson acknowledged that their outstanding string of regatta wins this season owes a lot to the pain and frustration felt one year ago when they finished second overall to Azzurra in the chase for the 2015 title.
“I think it took us getting smacked around a little bit last year to understand that we had got to get back to basics.” the visibly relieved Hutchinson smiled, “We had to get back to hard work and due diligence, and to making sure that we put every possible amount of effort forward to be successful.”
The 2016 title is Quantum Racing’s third since the 52 Super Series started out in 2012, adding to their series wins in 2013 and 2014.
“It’s been awesome, such a solid team effort all along.” Hutchinson continued, “For me, this was by far the most rewarding season we have ever had because we’ve shared the helmsman role between Ed [Baird] and Doug [DeVos], and it’s just been a solid team effort all season long.”
Quantum Racing will keep their celebrations on ice, reserved for Saturday night’s glamorous prize-giving. Meanwhile, they brought their clean sweep of all five regatta titles within closer reach when they returned a typical solid pair of two thirds from the testing windward-leewards. As erstwhile regatta leaders Azzurra sailed to a second and an eighth the two are now locked together on 12pts with two days of racing left.
A delay to racing was rewarded with two competitive races, where opportunities for gains and losses were always available in the shifting W’ly to NW’ly breezes which varied from seven to 10 knots.
Azzurra sailed the first beat of Race 3 best and led around the top mark with Bronenosec second. Quantum Racing were hard on their heels but lost slightly at the windward mark when they found themselves shy of the final layline, having to shoot the turn downspeed. Bronenosec gained on the right on the first downwind to lead at the leeward gate holding on to win ahead of Azzurra with Quantum Racing third.
The breeze was slightly further right for Race 4 meaning the course was closer to the shore. Bronenosec led at the top mark from Quantum Racing and Sled. But on the second, final run tactician John Kostecki and strategist Jordi Calafat held Platoon out to the right of the downwind and made a gain from fourth to first.
Azzurra and Quantum Racing are now tied on 12 points, Takashi Okura’s Sled are third also posting a six point day, sailing to fourth and second and Platoon move to fourth overall for the regatta.
The tussle for third step on the 52 Super Series podium sees Rán Racing holding a four points lead over Provezza now. Platoon lie fifth and are now just nine points behind Provezza.
Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
“It’s been awesome, such a solid team effort all along. For me, this was by far the most rewarding season we have ever had because we’ve shared the helmsman role between Ed and Doug, and it’s just been a solid team effort all season long. I think it took us getting smacked around a little bit last year to understand that we’ve got to get back to basics. We had to get back to hard work and due diligence, and making sure that we put every possible amount of effort forward to be successful.
We’ve made some hard decisions in the winter. Brett Jones got off the boat to bring James Dagg on board, to have Brett focus on designing our sails, and he did spectacular work. Since I’ve been sailing, I don’t think I’ve ever sailed a TP52 that’s been that step ahead like we have been. And it was awesome to do it with two different helmsmen.
So the changes we made at the end of last year were really good steps forward. But now, we’re 12 weeks away from the first 2017 regatta.
But more importantly, we’ve got to see this one out. We had a great last race, so now we’re tied on points with Azzurra, and now we’ve got to go out and have two more days of solid mental toughness.
Our sail programme is really good. The conceptions of how it worked once the mainsail is up and how Dagg wants the jibs to look. They were nice gains through the off season so to speak. The guys have worked hard on the structures in the sails, making sure that we have the right layouts and fibre content. All of it is a step in the right direction. We had a couple of meetings here to discuss where our baselines are, and how we move forward from here.
2017 is going to present new challenges for us. If you look at pictures of the entire fleet sailing, everyone has gravitated towards our sail set ups and our sail shapes. That in itself means that next season, the fleet is going to be closer and better. So we’re going to have to apply the same logic.
When you compete against guys as good as Vasco Vascotto, you’ve got to wake up mentally tough, because otherwise they are going to beat on you. It’s without question the hardest part. There are so many good sailors here, you look across our fleet, and from top to bottom there are so many good sailors, and so to think that you don’t have to be anything but tough all the time is a mistake. Just when you want to let your guard down, you get kicked in the teeth.”
EGNOS 52 Super Series Cascais Cup
Standings after Day 3, four races.
1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8) 12 pts
2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3) 12 pts
3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2) 14 pts
4 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1) 20 pts
5 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4) 21 pts
6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6) 22 pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5) 23 pts
8 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9) 30 pts
9 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7) 32 pts
10 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10) 34 pts
52 Super Series – Overall Standings
1. Quantum Racing, 125 pts
2. Azzurra, 192 pts
3. Rán Racing, 214 pts
4. Provezza, 218 pts
5. Platoon, 227 pts
6. Bronenosec Gazprom, 231 pts
7. Alegre, 257 pts
8. Sled, 258 pts
9. Gladiator, 313 pts
10. Paprec Recyclage, 408.2
by 52 Super Series