On form Alegre dominate in Menorca
Not since Quantum Key West Race Week in 2014 has a 52 SUPER SERIES team opened a regatta with three back-to-back race wins, but Andy Soriano’s Alegre team matched the record of Quantum Racing today when they took both winning guns in breezy conditions at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week to complement their first day victory Tuesday.
With Ado Stead and Nic Asher combining on tactics and strategy and owner Soriano driving Alegre fast in the short, steep, awkward swell they led at every mark today and both times were overall 100 metres clear of the second boat, earning themselves a ten points lead at the top of the regatta standings.
After winning in gentle, 5-7kts airs on Tuesday, Alegre twice crossed the fleet early on the first windward legs and were never passed thereafter.
Stead who has won TP52 world titles with Rán Racing and Quantum Racing and has been on the circuits since 2006 commented,”We are sailing with a lot of confidence. We are happy how we are going as a team. We are making sure to control the fleet and we are going well. Yesterday in the light stuff the boat was going well because the comms were good when it was tricky. We were changing gears well and Andy was doing a great job steering in the light stuff and then today when the sea was building as the day went on. Downwind was hard because the shifts made getting down the waves right or wrong and so that was tough. We had great team-work.”
He summarised their approach today, “We went out today knowing there would be plenty of opportunities with 16-17kts of breeze a little very shifty and a bit of a seaway and under the influence of the cape, so we identified we needed good starts and to be able to sail the shifts. At the top of the beats the breeze was shifting around 15-18 degrees and so there were always opportunities to make gains and losses.”
Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week day 2 – photo © Max Ranchi / www.maxranchi.com
While Alegre have kept an immaculate clean sheet, Doug De Vos’ Quantum Racing deserve credit for a pair of strong recoveries today after two poor starts found them towards the back of the queue at both first mark roundings. But they chipped away on each successive leg and recovered two fourth places.
So too Bronenosec had an up and down day. In the first race they were rightly closed out at the committee boat end of the start line by the French crew on Paprec. The Russian team were give two extra penalty points for causing a collision requiring a minor repair to the French boat.
“We went where we shouldn’t have. We thought there was a gap left but they did what they should have and closed the door on us. We are sorry.” said Bruno Zirilli, the Italian navigator on Bronenosec.
After collecting 14 points for their misdemeanour Bronenosec bounced back with a good second in the second race but it is Hasso Plattner’s more consistent Phoenix who lie second on 13pts tied with Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon.
Breezes are forecast to stay in the same range for Thursday around 15kts or perhaps a little more.
Standings after three races Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week:
1. Alegre (GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (1,1,1) 3 pts
2. Phoenix (RSA) (Toni Norris) (3,7,3) 13 pts
3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (4,3,6) 13 pts
4. Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,DNF14,2) 18 pts
5. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (8,2,8) 18 pts
6. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (11,4,4) 19 pts
7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,8,7) 20 pts
8. Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) (7,10,5) 22 pts
9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (6,9,9) 24 pts
10. THA72 (THA) (Tom y Kevin Whitcraft) (10,5,10) 25 pts
11. 11 Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithugeunin) (9,6,11) 26 pts
More information and full results at www.52superseries.com
by 52 Super Series