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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sled Scores A Bullet - 52 Super Series, Scarlino Cup - Day 4

Takashi Okura’s Sled won the only race of the Scarlino Cup today but a second place by Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon takes the German-flagged team to within four points of regatta leaders Quantum Racing with one day of racing left.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
Ed Baird steered Quantum Racing to another super consistent fourth place on a funky late afternoon race course on which tactician Terry Hutchinson admitted it would have been all too easy to shoot themselves in the foot.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
“I’d rather be sitting where we are than anywhere else,” Hutchinson said.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
Losing a race today because of a sustained period of very light, fickle breezes on the Golfo di Follonica means that a final Super Sunday schedule of three races is targeted.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
The long wait on the water for the breeze to build enough and to settle in  a direction was finally rewarded with a start at 1650hrs. With the breeze more from the west – as it was on Day 1 – the right offered a persistent lift. Sled afterguard Ross Macdonald and Hamish Pepper nailed it and engineered a nice early jump for the white-hulled Botin design. They led all the way around the course.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
The battle for the regatta podium saw Platoon and Provezza start on equal points but Platoon fouled their rivals in the pre-start. The resulting penalty meant Platoon crossed the start 20-seconds after the last boat. But they were quickly back into the fleet. Finding a good lane on the right they rounded sixth at the top mark.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
With the fleet all gybe setting Markus Wieser and Jordi Calafat chose to bear away and go straight, seeing more pressure down the right of the run and the group to their left slowing. By the gate they were already third. On the second beat they got inside Andy Soriano’s Alegre and so completed a remarkable comeback to take second gun.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
Even with a deficit of only four points behind Quantum Racing and two points in hand over Alegre and the regatta podium seemingly in reach, Platoon tactician Wieser says their focus is not on the regatta standings but on the long term goal of steady and consistent scores.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
“We don’t care about the points at all for the regatta. What we want to do is not lose too many points at this time in the season for the overall season championship and so far our overall average is quite stable. We are sailing very well. We are not making too many mistakes. But if we can sail tomorrow like we have sailed so far then it could be a nice event for us,” Wieser said.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
“The goal for the day was three points a race or less and so we miss that goal by a point but neither did we shoot ourselves in the foot. This venue is proving to be quite challenging,“ Hutchinson added.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
Alegre have themselves a small cushion now, six points on Provezza, and might yet repeat the second place they scored on their dream debut in Valencia one year ago.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
”We were in a similar position last year. We seem to come out of the box pretty well. We trained a lot early last year and it paid. This year a lot of guys have been out there training early with us this year and so we’re pretty happy to be where we are,” said Gerry Mitchell, Alegre’s mainsail trimmer.
Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series / Scarlino Cup
52 Super Series- Scarlino Cup
Standings after Day 4, six races:

1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3,4,4) 19 pts
2. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6,5,2) 23 pts
3. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5,2,3) 25 pts
4. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1,6,10) 31 pts
5. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2,3,5) 31 pts
6. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (6,1,9,8,8,1) 33 pts
7. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7,1,9) 34 pts
8. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4,10,8) 36 pts
9. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9,7,7) 43 pts
10. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11,9,6) 59 pts
11. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10,11,11) 62pts
52 Super Series Media

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