Sibenik, Croatia – Quantum Racing stands on the cusp of their first 52 SUPER SERIES regatta in more than a year after posting a super consistent 1,3 on the penultimate day of the 2018 season opening Šibenik 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week.
The three-times circuit champions go into the final day with a nine-point lead over second-placed Sled. With their two second places, Takashi Okura’s posse of seasoned Kiwis on Sled matched Quantum Racing’s four points tally for the day to seize second position on the leaderboard from the world champions Platoon who slumped to a weighty 10th place in the second race.
This high level of consistency was especially elusive today on what transpired to be two different race tracks which both yielded fairly gentle sea breezes and very flat water. With Dean Barker steering, Quantum Racing have been good off the start line and so able to execute on the pre-race strategy.
Their race win in the first contest of the day unfolded as per the near perfect blueprint. Start well, take the better pressure on the early left before taking the best available lane across to the right where the topography of the island to the right of the course delivers a beneficial lift.
The Quantum Racing team got the layline to the windward mark just perfect, and slipped around ahead of Sled who had to shoot the mark to get around. A clutch of boats overstood in the lifting breeze. At the finish line it was Quantum Racing, Sled, Platoon.
After a small delay waiting for the wind to refresh and the course to be moved, Tony Rey and the afterguard on Provezza recognised the better wind pressure on the left. Starting off the pin end, the new red boat was able to lead all the way around and score their first win on a new boat, which has so far frustrated periodically with mechanical gremlins associated perhaps with this being their first regatta. Sled were able to overhaul Quantum Racing to earn their second second place in a row.
“We have a few older hands on board and that has settled the team down a little bit,” explained Don Cowie, mainsheet trimmer on the Sled. “We are quite confident in how the boat is going and when you are confident in how the boat is going it makes easier for the guys at the back. But Ray Davies and Adam Beashel and Andre our navigator all did a great job today.
“We are good mates and so we can give each other a bit of grief with nobody taking it personally. But we have sailed for a long time together, we have some good Kiwi guys but also guys like Robbie Naismith who has been around since Adam was a cowboy. Really it is a bit of a geriatric group really!”
Fellow Kiwi Barker is making a difference on the Quantum Racing, not least in the starting box.
“You are always kind of living on the edge here, knowing it could easily be different. We have to keep working hard, executing well and punching out good results. The venue is tricky and a great challenge for all the sailors and the standard of the fleet is very, very high,” says Quantum’s Barker.
Defending 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra are getting their challenge back on track after a bogey pair of double 10ths early in the regatta. Over the start line in the first race they recovered to a ‘counter’ seventh before delivering a fourth in the second race and so now lie fourth overall.
Regatta standings after four days, including seven races:
1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (4,1,8,1,4,1,3) 22 points
2. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (12,3,1,8,3,2,2) 31
3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4,3,5,7,3,10) 33
4. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (3,10,10,4,2,7,4) 40
5. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (2,7,5,3,10,6,8) 41
6. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (7,5,9,9,5,4,7) 46
7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9,4,7,12,9,1) 47
8. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,8,6,2,8,8,6) 47
9. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (6,12,2,12,1,10,9) 52
10. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (8,6,11,6,6,11,5) 53
11. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (10(+2 PEN),2,7,11,9,5,12) 58
12. XIO Hurakan (ITA) (Marco Serafini) (11,11,12,10,11,12,11) 78
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