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Friday, June 13, 2014

Quantum Under Threat As The Phoenix Rises in Porto Cervo - Day 4

From a long, hot Friday 13th under the burning sun of Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Quantum Racing kept their cool to record a solid 2,3,3 from the first three windward leeward races of the AUDI TP52 World Championship and extend their overall lead to two points ahead of Saturday’s title showdown.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
While the Ed Baird skippered 52 Super Series champions actually extended their overall margin, the world champions, Rán Racing, may rue jumping the start gun for the third race of the day.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
It was a close call, down to just one second according to tactician Adrian Stead, but their need to restart cost them time and although they recovered to a useful fourth, Niklas Zennström’s defending world champions find themselves in third, three points adrift with one day of racing left.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
If Quantum Racing are back to their potent best, the day really belonged to Eduardo de Souza Ramos crew on Phoenix. They added astute tactics from double Olympic medallist Santi Lange (ARG) to excellent boatspeed from the fleet’s only new 2015 generation Botin design to compose two very good, back to back wins, promoting them to second overall.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Their 3,1,1 for the day allowed them to leapfrog Rán Racing.

Each race was sailed in different conditions, starting gently and finishing up in the 15-17kts of Mistral direction which had been promised on many different forecasts. Indeed the NW’ly threatened to come in several times, scaring off the existing breeze to require delays between each race.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Rán Racing’s Zennström nailed the first start of the day, accelerating away from the premium position on the line, the pin end, which allowed the world champions to earn the preferred left side of the track upwind. They were able to extend slightly to win comfortably over Quantum Racing. The American flagged team were second around the top mark ahead of Phoenix and the order stayed the same to the finish line.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Race 4 of the series and Phoenix were well positioned to tack and take first advantage of the small left shift in the breeze which gave them a small gain. As the breeze moved left the battle to control that side meant two or three boats overstood the layline to the first turn, but Phoenix rounded first ahead of Azzurra with Quantum Racing third and Gladiator fourth.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
The Mistral started to come in with a little more force in the final race of the day. The left looked favourite again and in fact Provezza, Ergin Imre’s crew, had more or less gained the advantage when the top two metres of their mast inexplicably dropped off. Phoenix were able to lead around the top mark ahead of Azzurra and Quantum Racing. Terry Hutchinson called a good shift near the bottom of the run and they were able to nick through by the gate, taking second across the line behind the Brazilians.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“When we went out this morning having only done two races over the last three days it felt like we had already sailed a regatta,” Terry Hutchinson said.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“It was a hard day. I think in so many ways that last race was a really good confidence builder for us. We got tangled up a little bit after the start but we had a glamour first run, the boat was going really well, probably the best we have gone all season downwind, so that was very encouraging but there you go, some days you are the bug and some days you are the windshield, and we survived Friday the 13th quite well.”

Overall Standings after 5 Races - Audi TP52 World Championship - Porto Cervo, Italy

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,2,3,2) 10pts
2. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3,3,1,1) 12pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1,1,4,4) 13pts
4. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5,7,2,5) 21pts
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,4,5,3) 24pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,6,7,DNF) 33pts
7. Paprec Recyclage, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,6,5,9,6) 34pts
8. Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8,8,6,8) 37pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF,9,8,7) 43pts

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