Valencia, Spain (September 18, 2018) – Displaying a notable speed edge in the light 6-10 knot breeze conditions, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon leads the 52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week after the first two races.
Although they finish the first day tied on points with Azzurra, and Platoon won the first race, it was the manner in which the German-flagged team sailed back through the fleet on the second race – coming back from a poor start, rising from 11th to finish fourth – which suggests they may prove to be the crew to beat at this final regatta of the season. Platoon are key rivals to Azzurra for second step on the circuit podium.
The Italian-Argentine team, which have just a few days left in their tenure as overall champions of 2017, lie second overall behind Quantum Racing on the circuit leaderboard and have five points of a lead over third-placed Platoon.
After today’s racing – ending all square between the top two teams of the day – there may be no change in that points difference between the two, but now Azzurra certainly know they have a fight on their hands, and their best form of defence against Platoon is to attack, to go out and try and win each race.
“Winning this event would be a good bonus, and is the easiest way to secure the second position,” notes Azzurra help Guillermo Parada (ARG). “IF at some stage we need to decide between (the event and season standings), we would obviously hedge towards the season positions. But we need to wait a couple days, consider the options and reevaluate. For now the goal for this regatta is to do everything in our hands to consolidate this position.”
Azzurra lead off the start line of the first race, working the preferred left side of the upwind along with Platoon. But at the first windward turn, Azzurra tacked just under the lay line and slowed to get around the turn. The mistake cost them as Platoon rolled over the top of them at speed at the mark and went on to win Race 1.
Circuit leaders Quantum Racing started the day with an almost certainly unassailable 31pt season’s lead, but they were on the wrong side of the first beat, dropped to 10th by the leeward turn and recovered to eighth.
At their most potent after a bad result, Quantum Racing did not make the same mistake twice and started nicely off the left end of the start line along with Luna Rossa. Appropriately the two America’s Cup teams enjoyed a close head-to-head at the front of the fleet with Luna Rossa holding on to their early lead right through to the finish.
Platoon got their time on distance badly wrong at the start of the second race and were left flat-footed at the gun. But they took places on each leg, seemingly at will, to recover to fourth, ensuring they are the overall leaders of the regatta.
Platoon’s America’s Cup winning trimmer Ross Halcrow noted: “We started behind everyone. But we kept calm and just focused and let JK (John Kostecki) do his thing. We are going pretty well in these conditions, we are well suited to the lighter breeze. And JK and Jordi (Calafat) are working really well.”
Luna Rossa moved up the circuit standings to fourth today, leapfrogging Sled, which dropped to a weighty tenth in the second race, the Italian America’s Cup team scoring seven points for the day.
Day One Results (2 races)
1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4) 5 p.
2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (2,3) 5 p.
3. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (6,1) 7 p.
4. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,6) 9 p.
5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,5) 9 p.
6. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (8,2) 10 p.
7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,10) 15 p.
8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,9) 16 p.
9. Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (11,7) 18 p.
10. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,8) 18 p.
11. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (9,11+ 2 penalti) 22 p
52 SUPER SERIES – Event details – Facebook
Racing at the Valencia 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week is planned for September 18 to 22 with all of the action broadcast live with commentary and expert analysis throughout each race. Shows start 15 minutes before racing is due to begin. Details here: http://www.52superseries.com/live
The 52 SUPER SERIES is established as the world’s leading grand prix monohull yacht racing circuit. The 2018 season will mark the seventh season of the 52 SUPER SERIES which grew from the ashes of the TP52 MedCup which finished in 2011 when the principal sponsor withdrew.
2018 52 SUPER SERIES Calendar:
Sibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week – May 23-27 – Sibenik, Croatia
52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup – June 20-24 – Zadar, Croatia
Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018 – July 17-21 – Cascais, Portugal
Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week – August 21-25 – Mallorca, Spain
52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week – September 18-22 – Valencia, Spain
Source: 52 SUPER SERIES