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Friday, July 29, 2016

Quantum Racing Claims Victory In Puerto Portals

While Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the 52 Super Series season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche. A nailbiting finish to the final race when they pipped Provezza on the finish line by the length of their bowsprit, gave Bronenosec second overall on a tie-break with Azzurra.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Quantum Racing, led by Terry Hutchinson and Ed Baird, have now won all three 52 Super Series regattas this season. This was the first time that they have led from the first day to the last, even if after both the first and second days of racing they were tied with Bronenosec, then Azzurra. It is the second win back-to-back for owner-driver Doug DeVos who will now miss out on September’s TP52 World Championships due to business commitments.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
DeVos’s team won four races from the full programme sailed of ten races, including a victory in Wednesday’s tricky 15-mile coastal race. But, once again, it is their high level of consistency that contributed to their overall success. Their worst score was one fifth place but otherwise every results was inside the hard-driving tactician Terry Hutchinson’s target zone: four points or less from every race.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
When Azzurra misfired off the start line for the penultimate race and could only recover to sixth, the second place behind Bronenosec was enough to give Quantum Racing their magical “three in a row” for 2016’s regattas so far, adding to their wins in Scarlino and Porto Cervo. But when they finished second in the last race they extended their regatta winning margin to 12 points.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Overall Quantum Racing increased their lead at the top of the 52 Super Series standings to a very convincing margin but in the challenge for second to sixth there are just eleven points between Azzurra, Platoon, Rán Racing, Bronenosec and Provezza after three events.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“Every victory is really sweet” smiled the victorious owner-helm Doug DeVos, “but what is really fun is to go through the flow of the regatta and the ups and downs. After Day 2, which was not the best day for us and we were a little discouraged but we came back the next day and really kept ourselves going. This team keeps itself going with Terry’s leadership. But with this team everyone knows their responsibility and their role. They are very focused. They work well together. They take care of their job and each other. My job is great. I just get to be part of the team and to learn every day.”
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“Every day is an amazing experience with all the subtleties of it. Ed is saying ‘you might want to think of this’. It is amazing what they see that I don’t. So it has been fun to learn at these last two regattas. So for example it was how you exit the downwind gate. How you stay consistent in close quarters when you are tacking or gybing. Don’t turn the boat faster than you would normally. Stay on track and keep the boat going fast. That seems straightforward but it is hard to keep doing that all the time,” he added.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Azzurra gave their confidence a great boost ahead of their 2015 TP52 World Championships title defence by winning the final race of the regatta. The 2015 overall 52 Super Series title holders are probably coming to terms with the fact that Quantum Racing have leapt so far ahead this season so quickly, but they have found some more speed here but once more their regatta title challenge came unstuck with one seventh place and two sixth race finishes.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Guillermo Parada the Azzurra Skipper-Helm commented:

“It’s always nice to finish with a win for the whole team, not only for the boys on the boat, but also for the shore team. Our sail maker Michele Bella and sail designer Juan Garay have been working so hard for the last 10 days, really working night and day trying to modify our sails to help us go quicker. I think they really deserve an applause. Obviously finishing third when you’re tied for points for second isn’t nice but it is what it is. Bronenosec won four races so they deserved to beat us. But we have a lot of info and learned a lot and we still have some fine-tuning to do. So we want to get to the Worlds in the best possible shape.”
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
And Bronenosec head for Mahón, Menorca and the fourth regatta with their challenge for the second step on the season podium in much better shape.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We have exorcised the ghost of Porto Cervo where we did not sail very well. We addressed a lot of the issues and we have come here and won four races and taken silver on the podium, You have to be constantly reviewing things, how the fleet is racing what style of sailing is winning regattas," Ado Stead the Bronenosec tactician-strategist said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"Here there were nine exceptionally good boats. It is then very, very difficult to accept you are in ninth and you have to claw yourself up to eighth and that might make a difference at the end of the season. Our goal here was to get ourselves back to second place in the circuit. We have gone from 28 points back from second to ten now. We have lots to work on. As a team this was an awesome team performance,” he added.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
52 Super Series, 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week  Final Standings:

1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1,1,3,2,2) 24pts
2. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3,8,1,1,3) 36pts
3. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4,2,7,6,1) 36pts
4. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2,9,6,4,4) 43pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5,3,9,5,5) 51pts
6. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7,4,2,3,6) 57pts
7. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (3,2,8,6,4,9,7,5,8,9) 61pts
8. Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8,6,4,7,7) 69pts
9. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6,5,8,9,8) 73pts
10, Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS) 110pts

52 Super Series Media



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dockside Chatter - 52 Super Series - Puerto Portals - Day 4

Adrian Stead (GBR), Co -Tactician/Strategist Bronenosec (RUS):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We made a starting error in the first race. I made a communication error with Vladimir was not quite right and so we turned slightly differently to what I was expecting. So we made one practice launch before the start of the second race.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"We felt confident about how the breeze had built, how the waves had built and we got a good launch. We had great speed on starboard tack and held up well for the tack to the left. We were controlling the boats to the left and from there it was just a question of when we wanted to go. We could tack and cross Rán and once we did that it was a done deal. It is nice to finish the day with a win.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"We have a foot on the podium at the moment but with two more races tomorrow we need to keep working away. Our goal tomorrow, two good starts. We need to keep working on the communication, the starts, getting good launches off the line and see if we can end with a really good result.”

Adam Beashel (AUS) Strategist Rán Racing (SWE):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We had a great second race. In fact we could not pull off the start we were hoping for due to the incident with Sled. They were a bit too close to us to weather of us so there was a penalty on them and they had to get out of the way.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"We had to make the best of what we could do, going out to the right but the trim of the boat seemed to be working nicely for us and so we managed to get into our own little lane for a change. That worked for us, working clear air rather than being banged all over the race track like we have been these last two days or so.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"It is very tough in that fourth to sixth spots. The front guys are trying to push you back and the back guys are trying to close the gap. So we managed to get forwards of the fourth place that meant bigger gaps and therefore bigger smiles.”

Ian Moore (GBR/IRL) Navigator Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“It was a really pleasing day. The first win was good but the second race was really pleasing, we were in a tough position on the first beat and managed to turn that into a very credible third place. And so we are over the moon with that."
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"Nine points is good but that is very easy to see it evaporate. We have nine fantastically prepared and sailed boats here, all capable of winning races and so we will go into this last day the same as we have every day, try and get two good results. We don’t need to hit it out the park. We just need two good ones.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"It has been so interesting. At the beginning of the season I have to say we did not really know how it work out. First of all Doug is doing an amazing job steering the boat. He listens to Terry, concentrates on one thing and does it fantastically well. Ed has really stepped into the role of strategy and makes Terry’s job easier. Terry is helping Doug with the driving and Ed then knows exactly the right input to give to Terry at the right time. The boat is going well and that makes all the difference.”

52 Super Series Media

Quantum Is Rocking The Racing - 52 Super Series - Puerto Portals - Day 4

Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the 52 Super Series season after sailing to their fourth win of the 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week regatta today. They matched a third place to that victory – their third in a row – and so lead Azzurra by nine points into the final day.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec – favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Indeed today saw some Portals podium contenders pay dearly for being squeezed from that left end of the start line. Provezza had to take sterns in the first race after the gun and their shiny 1-3-2 sequence is stained by a ninth and a sixth today. Platoon’s third in the first race is paired to a ninth. Azzurra went second and then seventh, while Rán Racing’s 4,2 today was second best to Quantum’s 1,3.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Quantum Racing started mid line but had the speed and height away from the line to take an immediate lead. They could then hold on starboard until they wanted to go left, leading Azzurra around the windward mark. The Quantum Racing afterguard – Terry Hutchinson, Ed Baird and Ian Moore got the final approach the top mark just right, making a little extra gain on a final lift, to lead Platoon and Azzurra around the turn.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
At the leeward gate Platoon and Azzurra went to opposite marks. Vasco Vascotto’s choice of the left (looking upwind) earned a quick gain. Next time they converged they were able to bounce Harm Müller-Spreer’s team back to the right and when they came back a few minutes later Azzurra were clear ahead into second.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Quantum Racing were comfortably clear by the finish but with Azzurra second only added one point to their lead over the 2015 champions.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The 12-14 knot of sea breeze stayed solid for the second race but with the typical bumpy Palma chop building more. After a lacklustre start to the previous race (a miscommunication between Ado Stead and owner driver Vladimir Liubomirov contributing) the Russian-flagged team debriefed, and had one practice attempt before a winning start to Race 8.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
They were very quickly able to gain control of the left side of the course, holding those to their left up above the layline with Rán Racing below them taking second around the first windward mark. Quantum Racing worked hard for their well deserved third. Bronenosec’s win sees them third overall, three points behind Azzurra and three points ahead of Provezza.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We have a foot on the podium at the moment. But with two more races tomorrow we need to keep working away. Our goal tomorrow: two good starts. We need to keep working on the communication, the starts, getting good launches off the line and see if we can end with a really good result,” said Adrian Stead of Bronenosec,
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Azzurra looked good early on in Race 8 but were one of the left side group forced to overstand by Bronenosec. They had a penalty for infringing Gladiator. When it was completed they were last, ninth, but did manage to recover to seventh. As much as anything that weighty score enhanced Quantum’s regatta. Azzurra will rue their errors but their position merits neither champagne nor tears.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Quantum Racing remain super-consistent. This is shaping to be the first regatta of the season that they have led every day, even if they were tied on points initially with two different boats on the first two days. But theirs is such a well drilled, well oiled machine at this midpoint of the season.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“It has been so interesting. At the beginning of the season I have to say we did not really know how it would work out. First of all Doug is doing an amazing job steering the boat. He listens to Terry, concentrates on one thing and does it fantastically well. Ed has really stepped into the role of strategy and makes Terry’s job easier. Terry is helping Doug with the driving and Ed then knows exactly the right input to give to Terry at the right time. The boat is going well and that makes all the difference,” navigator Ian Moore said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The drive is always to be top three or four at the first mark. Otherwise life is difficult, as Adam Beashel the Rán Racing strategist explained about their second place today.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We managed to get into our own little lane for a change. That worked for us, working clear air rather than being banged all over the race track like we have been these last two days or so. It is very tough in the fourth-to-sixth spots. The front guys are trying to push you back and the back guys are trying to close the gap. So we managed to get forwards of the fourth place that meant bigger gaps and therefore bigger smiles,” Beashel said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
52 Super Series, 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week - Standings after Day 4, eight races sailed.

1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1,1,3) 20pts
2 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4,2,7) 29pts
3 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3,8,1) 32pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2,9,6) 35pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5,3,9) 41pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6,4,9,7,5) 44pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7,4,2) 48pts
8 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8,6,4) 55pts
9 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6,5,8) 56pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS,DNS,DNS, DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS) 88pts

52 Super Series Media

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Two Bullets For Quantum - 52 Super Series - Puerto Portals - Day 3

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.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“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," said Quantum Racing's tactician, Terry Hutchinson.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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 20 points tally with Azzurra.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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 16-17 knots during the early legs of the 15 miles two hours coastal sprint.

The first race of the day, Race 5 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. 
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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. 
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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. 
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
With two days of racing to go Quantum Racing lead by four points from Provezza and Azzurra.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“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,” said Tony Rey, Provezza's tactician.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"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,” he added.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
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

52 Super Series Media