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Friday, September 19, 2014

What The Sailors Said - 52 Super Series - Day 3

Eduardo de Souza Ramos (BRA) Owner-Driver Phoenix (BRA):
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We were very lucky. On the way back we had the boat nearest the coast and just took the wind before the other boats and we passed from fourth to first. Then it was just a question of covering Azzurra and Gladiator to the finish. But it is super to win, a great feeling for this team. With the level of the fleet that we have here, to win a race is like winning a world championship. It is very, very nice. We like Ibiza very much.”

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) Tactician Azzurra (ITA): 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We are very very happy to have always stayed in the top two of that race. It was very difficult, very very tricky and so we are pleased to have gained some points on Rán and on Sled and on Quantum and now we are a little closer for the last two days for Ibiza. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"The transition was expected but not for such a long time. At a certain point you were thinking maybe the old wind was not there any more, but it was just moving back to the west a little. The guys behind were trying options, somebody goes left, somebody goes right and you cannot cover them all. You need to take your decisions. And our guys did a fantastic job, hoisting the right sails all the time and staying relaxed. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"It was a good race. More than that we are happy because we worked hard to be able to improve our performance here. I think through the last three or four days we have been sailing faster and we are proud of that.”

Ed Reynolds (USA) Project Director Quantum Racing (USA): 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“It was a tough, tough day for us. We are much more comfortable closed course racing because we are better able to control what is happening on the race course and that is the strength of our team. These races sometimes you are the beneficiary and sometimes you are not. I don’t think you will see a lot of crying on our boat though. These guys are disappointed but they realise that when you do these coastal races that kind of thing can happen. It did not work out for them.”

52 Super Series Media

Phoenix Step It Up in Ibiza - 52 Super Series - Day 3

Just when it seemed like Quantum Racing had built themselves an unstoppable winning momentum in Ibiza, the 20 mile coastal race to Tagomago Island for the Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza proved a salutary reminder that risks on these coastal passages are often the most difficult to manage.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Quantum Racing made the wrong choice off the start line and despite having the best start in the fleet, they missed out on the early advantage on the right, inshore side of the initial opening short windward leg. Azzurra and Gladiator read it better and were first and second around the first turn, with Quantum Racing rounding fifth.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
But it was further down the track in a really problematic transition zone between two opposing breezes, as the fleet approached the island turn which served up the opportunities for losses, and for gains.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
It was here that Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Phoenix wriggled through the light winds areas to break into the best breeze to open a lead which proved unassailable. Try as they might there was no workable opportunity for Ed Baird and the Quantum Racing crew to get back into the podium places.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
So, while Azzurra held on well to a well earned second, Quantum Racing could only make sixth leaving the crew frustrated and glum faced as they docked back in the Marina Ibiza.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“Let’s put it this way, we will be glad to be back to the closed course, manageable variables of the windward-leeward track tomorrow. Sometimes these coastal races just rise up and bite you and it was just one of those kind of days,” said Ed Reynolds, the project director for the Quantum Racing team.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Their overall lead in the Barclays 52 Super Series is trimmed very slightly with two days of the season left, likely to be four or five more races, but the key change today was Azzurra vaulting back up to second, three points ahead of Rán Racing on the overall standings for the season.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
It was Phoenix which recognised an opportunity and got themselves into a position to take advantage. They were seventh around the windward mark, gained a couple of places on the approach to the anti-clockwise turn around the high, rocky islet, but they had the advantage of seeing where the leaders were planted, trying to break into the established SW’ly breeze. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Phoenix stuck close in to the shore, under the high cliffs and were able to keep their spinnaker drawing almost until they punched into the stronger breeze. And within minutes they went from struggling in one or two knots of wind, to a fulsome 12 or 13kts, fully stretched upwind.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
While Gladiator lead to the island they had to settle for fourth place behind Phoenix, Azzurra and Provezza.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
On the leaders table for the Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza Quantum Racing now have a margin of four points overall ahead of Azzurra with Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing now six points behind in third.

Overall Standings after 6 races Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,3,2,1,6) 15pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6,2) 19pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5,7) 26pts
4. Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura JPN) (4,1,6,3,4,DNF/9) 27pts
5. Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2,5) 28pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3,4) 32pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7,3) 33pts
8. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8,1) 37pts

52 Super Series Media

52 Super Series Media

ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza | Day 2

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dock Talk - 52 Super Series - Ibiza - Day 2

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) Tactician Azzurra (ITA):
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We lost positions in the last race which was not good. We were fourth at the last top mark and dropped two places and that is not good, that is hard to take. That’s heavy for us. I need to figure out why the left was so strong downwind, nobody realised that on our boat. I am the tactician and I am responsible for that. I think on the start we have been happy. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"On average we are doing a very good job there. It is very difficult to control another boat here in Ibiza. When they gybe away you are no longer controlling them. In light airs it is tough. You need to decide which side you like, as we did in the first race, it worked out properly. But in the second race I did not do the same job.”

Ed Baird (USA) Skipper-Helm Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“It proved to be a good day. I made a mistake and got off the line poorly in the first race and put ourselves at great risk. But Terry did a great job in getting us back into some strong positions. And the boys just kept fighting. And on that last run we had a chance to pick off a boat and we managed to do that and it was great.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We are excited that we have gained on the boats around about us for the season. But the reality is we are just trying to hang in there each race, to pick the right things to do at each start and at each mark rounding. So far it has worked out. It is difficult to read on the water. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"On most venues around the world you can see a little more texture on the water which tells you there is more wind there. Here where we see that texture it is often right in the glare of the sun. So you can’t trust it. And there are plenty of times where it looks lighter is actually where you end up finding the better pressure. It is hot. It is light. You really just need to pay attention to what lane you are in.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“It has gone well so far. We are very happy to be able to keep speed in these difficult conditions. Terry is placing us well around the race course.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We are right on that point that every sailor understands, that cliff where half a knot more windspeed you are fully hiking, dropping the traveller down just a little bit and starting to be really comfortable. Half a knot less you are leaning in, you are looking for power and trying to keep the boat moving and that is what we are sailing in all day long here. It is challenging and the guys are doing a great job with that.”

Andy Hemmings (GBR) Trimmer Rán Racing (SWE): 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“Quantum were a fair few points ahead going into this regatta and so it was going to take something pretty special by both boats to catch them. But Quantum Racing are sailing really well. They are just pulling away point by point leaving us to scrap over second. It is a very difficult race track to read. It is very streaky, not a lot of wind, and veins coming down the course. If you are in one you are gaining. If you are not, it is difficult.”

52 Super Series Media

Quantum Racing Come To The Party - 52 Super Series - Ibiza - Day 2

As the Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza regatta rolls into Friday’s coastal race Quantum Racing have now more than doubled their overall lead in the Barclays 52 Super Series on the difficult, hard to read race tracks off Ibiza Town.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Light winds wrote the same story again for the second day of racing. Azzurra won the first race of the day to become the fourth different crew to have won in Ibiza at this regatta, but Quantum Racing again proved supreme in the second contest, winning their second race of the week to also increase their leading margin in the regatta, firmly on course now to add to their event wins in Porto Cervo and Palma.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“It is difficult to read on the water. On most venues around the world you can see a little more texture on the water which tells you there is more wind there. Here where we see that texture it is often right in the glare of the sun. So you can’t trust it. And there are plenty of times that where it looks lighter is actually where you end up finding the better pressure. It is hot. It is light. You really just need to pay attention to what lane you are in,” said Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Ed Baird.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Making the right tactical choices is just one element of the mix here, in the marginal, light winds being able to keep the boat powered up and moving at maximum boat speed for the wind strength is also key:
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We are right on that point that every sailor understands, that cliff where half a knot more windspeed you are fully hiking, dropping the traveller down just a little bit and starting to be really comfortable. Half a knot less you are leaning in, you are looking for power and trying to keep the boat moving and that is what we are sailing in all day long here. It is challenging and the guys are doing a great job with that.”
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Quantum Racing’s second and first today is the best scoring aggregate from the two races. But Sled are proving themselves well able to mix it with Azzurra and Rán Racing, posting a third and fourth for the day to lie third overall for the regatta, just one point behind Azzurra.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Azzurra won the first race of the day. Quantum Racing dropped themselves on to the back foot off the start line when they mistimed their approach to the line, stuck under another boat and downspeed. Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum Racing afterguard fought back well with some solid calls which got them from fourth at the first windward mark to second at the finish. They sailed down inside Sled on the second run to finish just behind Azzurra. Vasco Vascotto recognised the better, lifting pressure on the right side of the first upwind and they were able to lead all the way around the course.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
The second contest was sailed in a slightly brisker wind, but it was the extra pressure and shift down the left, inshore side down the run which really worked. Quantum Racing consolidated their lead by keeping an eye on this and moving left to use it, but Gaastra Pro, with Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics, really reaped a reward rising from sixth to second on the run, holding on the second while Rán Racing and Azzurra dropped to a weighty fifth and sixth place finish respectively.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
Light winds are expected to prevail again for Friday’s coastal race which should be between 20 and 30 miles.

Overall Standings after 5 races  Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,3,2,1) 9 pts
2.  Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6) 17pts
3. Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura JPN) (4,1,6,3,4) 18pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5) 19pts
5. Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2) 23pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3) 28pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7) 30pts
8. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8) 36pts

52 Super Series Media

ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza | Day1

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What The Sailors Said - 52 Super Series - Ibiza - Day 1

Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“The goal today was six points or less and we thought there would be only two races. The breeze filled in a little bit nicer than we anticipated so to come off the water with six points from three races is a good day. High marks to everybody on the boat. It was not an easy race course. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"The most straightforward part was the middle race for us. You have to give Rán Racing high marks for the first race, they snuck around us downwind and we snuck back around them upwind. And we kept backing ourselves on our decisions downwind and in the second run to the finish it went quite well.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"In the second race we gybed with a minute and half to go to the left gate and both Sled and Rán went behind us and Sled got ahead of us. There are a lot of little subtleties in the breeze here which we learned last year. And the point that we gave up there, we got back in spades in the last race. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"We liked going right from the position we did. And oddly enough the left ended up winning the beat from a boat which came from about 100 metres behind us. I did not back myself hard enough after looking at the first half of the beat to just send it into the left corner. To get a third out of that was good because there was a time when we were probably last.
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"That first race we had a plan, executed it and it worked it. In the second race same thing. In the third race we got the start we wanted, we had a discussion about being one more boat up but in these lighter conditions being leeward boat is such an advantage, you get something for it. It was a little bit of swings and roundabouts.”

Marc Blees (NED) Owner-Driver Gaastra Pro (NED): 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“It is a good feeling to win. We deserved it. The first two races were difficult. We were top three and lost out. We were good upwind and not struggling we had the same speed. Downwind it was difficult to keep with them. And so we did a good job in the third race. It is a good feeling for the moment to have won one. I think it is good for the class to have three different boats winning. It shows for sure that the older boats can compete in this class.”

Ross MacDonald (CAN) Tactician Sled (USA): 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
“We are here just trying to be in the mix. It was nice to get that win in the second race. Everyone is doing a really good job on board. Mr Okura is steering really nicely, getting off the line well which makes it easy for me. 
Photo: © MartinezStudio / 52SuperSeries
"We have done four events on the east coast of the USA and a couple of offshore events as well. So I think that has really helped us and we have kept the same team. Everyone is pretty familiar with one another and the boat. It was all on that first run, we had a little more pressure and we just got stronger and stronger as we got nearer the bottom gate and we had a clear exit. That was that.”

52 Super Series Media