Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quantum Show Their Stripes - 52 Super Series Royal Cup - Palma

Defending champions Quantum Racing proved why they are the team to beat in the 52 Super Series after winning a dramatic opening day’s racing in the Royal Cup at Palma, Mallorca where costly crew errors proved just how close the competition is.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Quantum Racing claimed a commanding victory in the opening race and second place in race two to finish on three points at the end of the first day to extend their overall lead from three points to five.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Rán Racing are in second position on four points followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team in third with five points, ahead of Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, Gladiator, Aquila, PowerPlay and Provezza.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Quantum skipper and dual America’s Cup champion Ed Baird said it was a tough day’s racing that was packed with plenty of wind shifts that came out of nowhere and put his crew’s recent lessons to the test.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“It was one of those races where the rich get richer. As soon as you were a little bit ahead everything became more obvious,’’ Baird said. “We worked awfully hard all of last year, and this year, are trying to improve every little thing.

“It sounds so basic but the tacks and the gybes are better than they were three or four months ago. So are the starts, the straight line speed, the sails, the understanding of the mast and the communication. They’re all improving.”
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
It was a much tougher day for the crews onboard newcomer Provezza and British boat Gladiator, who paid a high price for mistakes that placed them second last and last respectively in race two. Provezza struggled to come back after being recalled for jumping the start and Gladiator dropped from second to last when they lost their spinnaker overboard halfway through the race.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Gladiator skipper Tony Langley said his team’s severe penance for one error was a testament to the calibre of the class.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“It was all in the drop, we lost the string-line system and that was it,” he said. “At this level you cannot afford to make any mistakes. You make a small mistake and you’ll get spat out one or two places. You make a medium mistake and you'll get spat out the back and if you make a mistake like this you’re just completing the course for one point.”
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Day two of the Royal Cup, hosted by Real Club Náutico de Palma, starts at 1300 local, 1100 UTC. Weather conditions are predicted to be between 12 and 18 knots from the south-southwest.

52 Super Series Media

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