Monday, July 29, 2013

Rán Rocks Copa del Rey, Palma - Day 1

Rán Racing was straight out of the starting blocks at 32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma and wasted no time in chalking up their first win of the regatta in the day's only race in the Gaastra IRC Class. Sailed in 11-15 knots of nor 'easterly breeze under a searing 30C+ sun Niklas Zennstrom’s world championship team put on a classy display.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
On the first windward leg Provezza gained the early advantage thanks to a good start and by choosing the right hand side of the course. They succumbed to Rán Racing on the first run and then lost out on the final gybes into the finish line as Azzurra nabbed second place. Quantum Racing secured third.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
Rán Racing’s tactician Adrian Stead and strategist/trimmer Andy Hemmings did well at reading the unusual conditions by guiding Rán Racing to a very comfortable win of two and a half minutes ahead of the tightly matched group. 
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
Azzurra started badly after a series of dramas with an engine malfunction and radio issues that saw them last off the start line. But the Italian team recovered well from their pre-race mishaps and fought their way back through the fleet. Provezza lead to the first mark and then managed to hang on to second most of the way around the course before slipping back and crossing the finish line in fourth place, a split second behind Quantum Racing.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
“We were sailing blind, like in the old days. In spite of that we had a great first race. We lead until we got swallowed up by Rán Racing who were a little better at boat handling at the top mark. We just tried to keep it close but as it got lighter towards the end we lost to Azzurra," said Provezza’s tactician Tony Rey.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
"We lost to Azzurra by only a few seconds and beat Quantum Racing by a second or two at the most, so it was great racing.We like it when it is shifty and the fact that we had no instruments at all in a sense it makes you better sailors, you have to work harder to be smarter,” Rey added.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
After last month's disappointing result in Ibiza, Rán were back to form. They were quick to capitalise on the stronger wind pressure on the right on the long first upwind beat and pushed Provezza hard around the windward mark where they managed to overhaul them with a better gennaker set.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
Provezza maintained second until the last minutes of the final run. As the breeze started to fade Azzurra held to the left, inshore for longer and were able to pip the Turkish flagged team who then lost third to Quantum Racing but one  second.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
“It was a very different wind direction to normal. In fact I have never sailed here in that direction before. Ado (Adrian Stead, tactician) was picking his brains to try and remember a time like this from before. But between him and Andy Hemmings they did a very good job in finding us the best breeze and getting us up the track, Rán Racing’s navigator Jules Salter said.
Photo: Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
"Ultimately it was recognising there was a bit more wind pressure on the right and that was about using the windshifts well to get over there. It was quite a long beat, a bit longer than we are used to in the 52 fleet so far this season, so you really had to dig in and be there for the whole of the beat and it came good for us in the end,” he added.

Results, Race 1:

52 SUPER SERIES

1 Rán Racing, SWE, (N Zennström)
2 Azzurra, ITA, (A Roemmers)
3 Quantum Racing, USA, (D DeVos)
4 Provezza, TUR, (E Imre)
5 Interlodge, USA, (A Fragomen)
6 Rio, USA, (M Moshayedi)
7 Gladiator, GBR, (T Langley)
8 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team)
9 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin)

Lulu Roseman

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