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Monday, May 19, 2014

What The Sailors Said - After Practice Race - Barclays 52 Super Series

Terry Hutchinson (USA), Tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“Every time I have been here it has been very, very light and very very tricky. So you have to stay very loose. Do the obvious things well. Start at the favoured end of the start line, cross the fleet when you can and don’t sweat the small stuff. Just like the practice race today, we sailed a pretty nice first beat and the breeze went against us, and so you get to the top mark and you press the ‘reset’ button and we worked from there. 

"We had a great leeward mark rounding and go up to third. So it is about keeping an open mind. It is a little bit of a broken record. We look always to the long term but we all enjoy winning regattas and I think it is a big challenge to do that. Our boat is four years old not and that element of racing makes it really challenging, seeing this many boats in the fleet here. But you definitely take the long term approach. If you went the whole season and won overall but did not win a regatta, I’d rather win regattas along the way!”

Tom Slingsby (AUS), Tactician Gladiator (GBR): 
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“I have done a lot of 52 sailing in Australia on Hooligan with Marcus Blackmore but this is my first time in this circuit. You look around you in the fleet and all the boats are going quick and the right way, you are just fighting to get your nose out of the bubble and pop clear. If you are in the pack it is tough. 

"But I love this racing which is so close to one design racing against the best skippers and tacticians in the world. That is why I come and do this stuff. I am full time with Oracle and we have plenty going on, but I do this stuff because I am always learning, you watch the good guys and see what they do. You are always learning and you can never be good enough. 

"Capri is going to be light and tricky. I have never been here before. From my point of view it is trying to just make sure we get good starts, in clear air. It is the first time I have sailed with this team and they are definitely one of the top teams. I have to put the boat in the right place and let them do the rest.”

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), Tactician Azzurra (ITA): 
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“It is difficult here. In Capri we will usually get light airs. I have sailed here for 15 years and it is probably five years since we were here but I remember some things. It is strange to have this rain, but I think it will be sunny and light. We know that there are some boats in the light airs conditions which are very, very good. But we have tried to prepare the boat well with new sails for these conditions. We have Grant Loretz ‘Louie’ and he has a lot of experience. It is a pity not have Francesco Bruni here. He is very good on the starts but we have trained on that a lot in the last days and we are ready.”

Steve Hayles (GBR), Rán Racing (SWE): 
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“It is a tricky place for the afterguards. It is a tricky place to get a result and you have to expect to be down the pan a few times, I don’t think anyone will run away with this. It will be a very high scoring regatta. Miami was very disappointing for us. In my time with this team I am not sure we have had a worse regatta. The result was disappointing but the way we sailed was not up to our usual standard. Sometimes you look at these things and it is not easy to see what you were doing wrong. 

"We are trying to push forwards and sometime you end up going sideways or even backwards a little when you are trying to do new things. So we need to focus on what we have been doing well and make sure that does not disappear when we are trying to introduce new skills. Miami was good in some ways as every so often you need a kick up the backside and you need to realise – with my independent head on- is actually because the 52 class is evolving, and the standard is going up across the board. There is no A and B fleet now any more. 

"Everybody is capable of winning races, everybody is capable of winning regattas. I always believe Quantum Racing are catchable. Nobody watching from inside or outside the fleet would fool themselves, they are the consistent boat, not dominant, consistent. And it is trying to achieve that level of consistency, that is what we need to work on. We saw it today and they were in the middle of it most of the time and we won. Everybody will take races here. 

"I think it is going to be a very interesting regatta. And from their regard a regatta which blows 15kts and it is very similar suits them, I think a regatta like this will be a real test. And 100 per cent, no question, anyone can win here.” “We won practice race in Miami so there was a fair bit of debate on the boat if we should cross the finish line. There is always that superstition and we went through. A win is a win is a win. It does not matter if you put points on the board or not. A win is a win.”

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