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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Quantum Racing Claims Victory at 52 2016 World Titles

Quantum Racing closed out their fifth TP52 world title with a solid, workmanlike fifth in the last race of the 52 World Championship 2016, their nearest title rivals Azzurra well behind them.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Their title victory was marked by an emotional roller coaster of a weekend during which they were pressed hard by the defending champions who composed a hot streak of three back to back wins. Shooting themselves in the foot with a Black Flag Disqualification from the second race Saturday more than doubled the pressure.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
After starting the penultimate day of the championship, Saturday, with a lead of 17 points and no race finish worse than third from the six starts, Quantum Racing fell victims to a black flag disqualification from Race 8. With Azzurra’s back to back wins and Quantum’s 13pt penalty included into their scorelines there was then just nine points separating the two going into the final day.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Super Sunday, the world championship finale delivered tension and drama in equal measure. With the unsettled breeze still in the north, and an uncharacteristically big swell Quantum Racing compounded their problems when they found themselves on the wrong side of one big windshift, to the right, on the first beat of today’s first race.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Azzurra read it best and only had to make one short tack to make the first turn. Quantum had to dig deep and managed to battle back to fifth. But within three races their overall lead was cut to just five points.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Under mounting pressure, not least from within a team known as high achieving perfectionists, Quantum Racing did what they had to, marking Azzurra early after the start. The 2015 defending champions tried a bold move, tacking away to try and put boats between them and Quantum Racing. But after trading two tacks with Gladiator Azzurra dropped positions.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
From there, despite the vagaries of a faltering, dropping breeze they could consolidate. While Paul Cayard steered Phoenix to a runaway win, a high note to finish their first TP52 class regatta on, Quantum Racing could consolidate. Their second fifth place of the day secured the team owned by Doug DeVos the 2016 world title to add to those won in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
“It was a nerve wracking day. You know you have to give credit to Azzurra for continually asking the questions, they reeled off three race wins in a row, I can’t say enough about the effort they did to put the pressure on us for our self imposed mistake,” said winning tactician Terry Hutchinson.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
“But I continued to think that the measure of the team is going to be how we respond in those situations and it was awesome to see the work that Ed Baird and James Dagg did off the last start in that last race," he added.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Asked what the mood was like in the Quantum camp after the black flag error, when they were so far ahead, Hutchinson responded:
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
“The de-brief was we win as a team and we lose as a team. Ed felt incredibly disappointed that he had let us down but there is nobody better in the world so it was important to emphasise to the team that we win as a team and we lose as a team. We shot ourselves in the foot yesterday and thats uncharacteristic of Quantum Racing. We made a mistake so sometimes you are just human and I guess how you respond to that is key. It was awesome to see how the team responded today that was the most rewarding part of the day.”
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Azzurra finish runners up despite winning five of the ten races. A weighty 10th place in the second race of the series remains a matter of regret, but was not self inflicted. They were pressed wide at the windward mark by an infringement by another boat, their pedestal winch failed on the run and finally they blew up a spinnaker on the run in to the finish.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Menorca delivered a fantastic championship on the water and on shore. On two days the SW’ly breeze gave way to the N’ly Mistral and so providing contrasting, open race courses on the same day. Today’s climax was raced in brisk 12-18 knot N’lies with some big shifts. And ashore the friendly ambience and quiet, easygoing charm, contrasts favourably with Palma, Mallorca and Ibiza.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
The third step on the podium went to Ergin Imre’s Provezza, just as it did in 2015 in Puerto Portals. They had a tough duel with 2013 world champions Rán Racing during the last race showdown but take third just one point.

52 Super Series – 52 World Championship Final Standings

1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1,1,2,1,3,2,BFG13,5,5) 35pts
2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10,7,1,6,7,1,1,1,10) 45pts
3. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7,3,6,4,1,3,7,10,3) 50pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2,2,10,2,2,10,6,2,6) 51pts
5. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,9,11,3,4,7,4,8) 65pts
6. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3,5,7,12,8,4,9,7,7) 67pts
7. Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (7,5,6,8,9,12,6,5,8,2) 68pts
8. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4,10,4,8,11,9,11,12,4) 77pts
9. Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9,11,5,10,10,BFG13,3,6,1) 78pts
10. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11,12,3,7,9,8,2,4,12) 79pts
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF/13,8,9,5,5,11,10,9,9) 82pts
12. Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6,4,12,11,6,5,8,11,11) 86pts

52 Super Series Media

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Quantum Has A Shocker But Still Leads - 52 Worlds - Menorca - Day 4

While Quantum Racing were effectively excluded from Race 8 of the 52 World Championship for crossing the start line early while a black flag rule was in force, their nearest rivals for the 2016 world title completed a perfect day scoring two first places in very different conditions on the waters off Mahón, Menorca.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Quantum Racing had just restored their overall lead to 18 points when they had finished second behind Azzurra in Race 7, the first race of the day. Then Quantum fell foul of a black flag disqualification on the second attempt to get Race 8 away. When a general recall was signalled, Quantum Racing was the only team penalised.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The race got under way at the third attempt. Azzurra won with the regatta leaders forced to sit it out, already tied to the dock in Port Mahón.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
After composing an aggregate of only 12 points from seven races, three firsts, three seconds and one third, Quantum Racing more than double that tally because of their 13 points from the BFD. The team launched a protest for redress, believing that the pin end of the line had moved, but it did not proceed to a hearing.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
So according to the early evening’s provisional standings, Quantum Racing will now go into the final day of the 52 World Championship with a lead of nine points over Azzurra. The 2015 world title holders have now won four races from eight starts and are three points ahead of Ergin Imre’s Provezza, who finished third and seventh today.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The first race was sailed in a modest 9-11 knots of south westerly breeze. The black flag was enforced after one general recall, Paul Cayard and the crew of Phoenix were disqualified from the second start.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Azzurra recognised the gain on the right side of the course and led at the top mark ahead of Sorcha, Provezza, Platoon and Alegre. Quantum Racing rounded sixth. On the shifty, puffy first run, Provezza got up to second by the leeward gate.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Steady gains by Quantum Racing got them into position to challenge Provezza at the final gybe to the finish, the regatta leaders completing another sterling comeback to second place. Azzurra crossed the finish line more than 200 metres ahead.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Bronenosec led the second race – Race 8 – until the leeward gate, where they chose the left gate mark (looking upwind), and Azzurra the opposite. Azzurra gained on the beat and led comfortably by the final run. In the big, boisterous seas and NW’ly breeze to 17kts, Sled scored their best result of the regatta so far with a second and Phoenix bounced back after their DSQ to make third.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“From yesterday we had a debrief about what we were doing wrong in the bigger breeze. We made some big mistakes and improved today, really just getting back to what I would call ‘normal’ in the past. But, really nothing new, nothing different today. The first race was shifty and we made the best call for the right," said Azzurra's tactician Vasco Vascotto.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"We had two very good starts and that makes it easier to execute our plan. But we are lucky in a way that for the first time this week, and really probably this season so far, Quantum made a mistake. They are doing such a fantastic job all the way through this season, but it looks like they are human after all. Quantum are there. If they sail properly, nicely as they are able to sail they will not have a problem. But if they give a chance to us or to other teams we will be there,” he added.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
52 World Championship – Mahón, Menorca - Provisional Standings after Day 4, eight races sailed (Subject to protests)

1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1,1,2,1,3,2,BFG13) 25pts
2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10,7,1,6,7,1,1) 34pts
3. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7,3,6,4,1,3,7) 37pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2,2,10,2,2,10,6) 43pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3,5,7,12,8,4,9) 53pts
6. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,9,11,3,4,7,4) 54pts
7. Alegre, GBR (Andy Soriano USA) (7,5,6,8,9,12,6,5) 58pts
8. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4,10,4,8,11,9,11) 61pts
9. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11,12,3,7,9,8,2) 63pts
10. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF/13,8,9,5,5,11,10) 64pts
11. Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6,4,12,11,6,5,8) 64pts
12. Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9,11,5,10,10,BFG13,3) 71pts

52 Super Series Media

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dockside Chatter - 52 Worlds - Menorca - Day 3

Ed Baird (USA) Skipper-Helm Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“It has been magical so far. Everything Terry has gotten us to do has worked out and so I just try to keep up with driving the boat. Unfortunately we had a bit of a breakdown on the second race, we broke the bow pulpit on one side and could not hike upwind on the second leg. Rán were able to catch up to us and get around us.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"But the positioning of Terry and the teamwork of the guys has been fantastic. It is working. All we ever try to do is realise that yesterday is yesterday and tomorrow is tomorrow when we can do a little better. It does not matter if you had a good day or a bad day tomorrow you just try to do that little bit better. So far it is working. We have a lot of racing to go and there are a lot of good teams putting pressure on where we are. But it is magic.”
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Nacho Postigo (ESP) Navigator Provezza (TUR):
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We had a good idea of what the wind would do after the big change, and so we had a plan and we stuck to it. There was a transition between the SW’ly and the NW’ly wrapping around the island. And when the NW’ly was in normally it does a left bend around the island. We are up to second overall, tied with Rán Racing and so the fight through the final two days with be interesting.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"I think this is the one of the best places to race because there is no single track. And there are plenty of opportunities to gain and to lose. So it is not only boatspeed and finding the best side. It is about being awake and focused on what is happening. It is a very good place to race. Some are reading it very well, and some not so well.”
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
52 Super Series Media

Quantum Close The Gap - 52 Worlds - Menorca - Day 3

As a team which is much more used to winning Quantum Racing had some tough moments in 2015 when they were overshadowed by Azzurra. But the TP52 class’s most successful team are back on song this season, more so than ever in Menorca, racing at their very, very best.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
As the 2016 52 World Championship regatta passed its theoretical mid-point today, Doug DeVos’ American-flagged crew already have the title by the scruff of the neck and look firm favourites to run away with another world championship win at Sunday’s prizegiving in Mahón.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
 After six races Quantum Racing have accumulated only ten points.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Their worst race finish so far is the third place that they gained in Race 6, losing second to Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing because their bow pulpit had failed and the Quantum crew could not fully hike.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
With Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, Ed Baird steering, and Ian Moore as navigator Quantum took three points from Day 1, three points from Day 2 and now just four more points from today after winning the first race.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
In pursuit of the seemingly untouchable Quantum, Rán Racing had one of their best days of the year so far to match Quantum’s daily score with two second places. But it is Ergin Imre’s Provezza which holds second place, separated from Rán on count back only by virtue of a gun to gun win in Race 6, today’s second windward-leeward.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Menorca delivered two great races today. The first was raced in the south-westerly breeze which has prevailed so far. But the NW’ly pushed through for the second race, requiring the course area to be changed, offering a whole new array of tactical choices on a brand new arena.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Quantum Racing and Rán Racing broke away early in the first beat of the first race of the day, Race 5 of the series. Quantum Racing started closer to the middle of the line and were able to impose themselves early, while Rán went more to the right, inshore and profited.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
On the first run Peter Harrison’s Sorcha made a great gain down the offshore side of the leg, jumping up to third. Unfortunately they were penalised for an infringement during a very compact group at the finish, dropping to 11th. Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec made a great recovery to steal third with Provezza fourth.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
A big, heading shift on the first downwind forced the first attempt at Race 6 to be abandoned. But the delay, as the course area was moved several miles, was rewarded with an exciting second race where boatspeeds topped 20kts and the head to head drag race off the start line which went on for several minutes was one of the most exciting periods of the season so far.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Cognisant of how the new breeze would bend down the race course, Provezza executed their game plan to perfection, hooking into the left lift early to lead all the way around the course, surging away from Quantum Racing at the first kite hoist.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The hard tactical racing was a great chance for consistency for some. The young team on Paprec posted two fifth places and lie eighth overall. Bronenosec halted their miserable run of races here so far with a third and fourth today.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The plan to run a coastal on Saturday has been changed to a schedule requiring two more windward-leewards with a warning signal for the first one at 1200hrs.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
52 World Championship – Mahón, Menorca  - Standings after Day 3, six races sailed

1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1,1,2,1,3) 10pts
2. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7,3,6,4,1) 27pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2,2,10,2,2) 27pts
4. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10,7,1,6,7) 32pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3,5,7,12,8) 40pts
6. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4,10,4,8,11) 41pts
7. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,9,11,3,4) 43pts
8. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF/13,8,9,5,5) 43pts
9. Alegre, GBR (Andy Soriano USA) (7,5,6,8,9,12) 47pts
10. Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6,4,12,11,6) 51pts
11. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11,12,3,7,9) 53pts
12. Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9,11,5,10,10) 55pts

52 Super Series Media

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What The Sailors Said - 52 Worlds - Menorca - Day 2

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) Tactician Azzurra (ITA):
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
“The first race was tough. We got up to third and I went left to control the boats which were fourth and fifth but the wind went for five minutes way to the right, numbers we never saw for the rest of the day, and so that unfortunately cost us. It was unlucky. The second race we were on a nice lift and crossed the fleet with Platoon and then luckily the choices we made were the right ones. But it is a tough race course.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
"It is really, really tough. I think I aged ten years today. We need Quantum Racing to be making mistakes, but they are making a fantastic job. After a year not winning so many races then we have won two in two days. It will be tough to beat them. We are getting faster. But if the worst result they do behind us is second, then that makes it hard.”
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Ian Moore (IRL) Navigator Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
“It was hard all the way through the day. But it was exciting all the way through. In the coastal race it was changing all the time. One minute you were looking good and the next you were in the cheap seats. So it was very exciting, tricky and shifty. You had to be where the puffs were otherwise you could from first to fifth or sixth very quickly.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
"We were looking for good, solid results today. We were not out to win the regatta today and so for example rather than going for first in the second race we were happy with second.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
"There is a big wind bend all the way round the island. We were all expecting that. But really just when we were expecting that today it stopped happening and there were some left shifts, especially at the top. And then the boats which went offshore on the run paid a penalty.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
"Mahón is fantastic. It is such a beautiful harbour. It is a bit more chilled out, more relaxed. We are having an amazing time here.”

52 Super Series Media