Thursday, June 21, 2018

What The Sailors Said - 52 Super Series - Zadar - Royal Cup - Day 2

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) Tactician Luna Rossa (ITA):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Serie
“We profited from the good work we did yesterday and are quite satisfied with the our results today considering it was a difficult day. It is important we still lead the fleet but it is now more open. We suffered like we expected to but we stayed cool, focused and patient, managing the situations well as they came to us.”

Ray Davies (NZL) Tactician Sled (USA):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Serie
“Both coastal races we have had really good starts and they have set us up for the rest of the race and that was the case today again. Then it is relatively easy because the rest of the pack slows each other down. It was a very, very challenging race and Platoon really did sail exceptionally well and in the end we only just won. Every point is critical. We are thrilled with how it is going, our speed is good but this is like one design racing, all of the speeds are so similar that this is now about doing the basics really well, start well and stay out of trouble.”

Tina Plattner (RSA) Owner-Driver Phoenix (RSA):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“I am a little bit lost for words that we have done so well so quickly here, I have to thank the team for getting where we have got. Everyone on the team is really upbeat and excited. For me it is going a lot better than I expected but it is very shifty and that makes it easier if you are not right up there immediately. But we are taking it a day at a time.”

Terry Hutchinson (USA) Tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: Max Ranchi
“It was disappointing to hit Platoon and break our prodder off but at that point if you said we were going to then pass four boats in the race I would have thought you are crazy. But we sailed a really good race from there. And we came off the water averaging a five. Doug kept us all nice and relaxed, at certain times things don’t click and then it is about how you react as a team.”

Luna Rossa On Fire - 52 Super Series - Zadar - Day 2

Tina Plattner won her first 52 Super Series race today steering Phoenix and Takashi Okura and crew on Sled triumphed for the second consecutive coastal race of this 2018 52 Super Series season but it is Luna Rossa which still lead the Zadar Royal Cup in Croatia.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The Italian team which wear the Prada colours posted a solid fifth and third from a long, hot and challenging day of light winds to lie three points clear of an ominously consistent Platoon team.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The pair of second places from Harm Müller-Spreer’s German flagged crew, the current world champions, were especially impressive for their steady, patient tactics in the light going, coupled to very good boat speed. Platoon’s one sticky moment was when they struggled to lay the first windward mark of the coastal race during a very busy, tight rounding.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
But under tactician John Kostecki and strategist Jordi Calafat Platoon made steady gains on the long second beat and on the following run to chase Sled across the finish line, going 2,2.

“I think the key today really was patience and John and Jordi really did a great job in finding the best breeze. We are not always the most patient team but we did well today,” said Platoon’s Pepe Ribes.

Race 3 


Once again in the NW’ly light breeze there was no one side of course, set off Zadar town, which paid off. The early left was good but the right came in strong from half way up the first beat.

With Ed Baird calling tactics Phoenix were clear ahead at the first windward mark and, as the pack tussled behind were able to sail through the finish line with a decent lead over Platoon which only just got the better of Quantum Racing.

“I am a little bit lost for words that we have done so well so quickly here, I have to thank the team for getting where we have got to. Everyone on the team is really upbeat and excited. For me it is going a lot better than I expected but it is very shifty and that makes it easier if you are not right up there immediately. But we are taking it a day at a time,”Tina Plattner said

Race 4 
saw Sled repeat their coastal race success that they enjoyed last month in Šibenik when they triumphed on a long, slow and mentally exhausting marathon of a ‘short’ 20 miles coastal race. The breeze faded from eight to just five or six knots down the long run to the finish.

Mr Okura’s Sled led early on the first, opening windward leeward circuit and were able to extend away and were never challenged thereafter. During the approach to the first windward mark Quantum Racing struck Platoon and lost their bowsprit but still managed to rescue seventh place on the water.

Tactician Terry Hutchinson reflected on a bitter sweet kind of day for the Quantum Racing, currently seventh overall after four races:

“It was disappointing to hit Platoon and break our prodder off but at that point if you said we were going to then pass four boats in the race I would have thought you are crazy. But we sailed a really good race from there. And we came off the water averaging a five. Doug kept us all nice and relaxed, at certain times things don’t click and then it is about how you react as a team.”

Platoon took second behind Sled and with Luna Rossa third, the Italian team still lead the regatta by three points over Harm Müller Spreer’s world champions with Phoenix dropping to third.

Standings after four races:

1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (1,2,5,3) 11 p.
2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,5,2,2) 14 p.
3. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,7,1,6) 17 p.
4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (6,4,7,1) 18 p.
5. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (11,3,4,5) 23 p.
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (2,9,9,4) 24 p.
7. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (9,6,3,7) (2 penalti) 27 p.
8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,1,11,11) 30 p.
9. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (4,10,10,9) 33 p.
10. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (8,8,8,10) 34 p.
11. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,11,6,8) 35 p.

52 Super Series Media

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

PONANT Sydney to Noumea Race Has Turned Into A Drag Race

Six nautical miles between the top four boats in the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race is setting up a drag race to the finish line as organisers prepare for a Thursday evening line honours arrival.
Yeah Baby Photo: Andrea Francolini
Overnight the frontrunners traded places, Mick Martin’s TP52 Frantic moving to the lead and Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice slipping back to fourth, but still well and truly in the hunt. In between them the Ryckmans’ Welbourn 50 GBP Yeah Baby and Sebastian Bohm’s Rogers 46 Smuggler are well within striking distance of Frantic.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
Wednesday’s daily update from Yeah Baby read: “Frantic 4 miles in front and chasing her, 300nm to go, we expect the SE trades to increase to 20kts. Now it's a drag race to the finish."
Eve Photo: Andrea Francolini
A report from Denis Doyle onboard his Cruising division entry Cigale 16 Ariki Tai at 1000hrs AEST said they were in 25-30 knots south east tradewinds, moderate seas and plenty of winter sunshine in the Coral Sea.

Fresher winds and boat speeds of 14-15 knots have moved the 50-footers back into high gear and the IRC overall standings reflect the fact they are skipping away from the smaller boats in the 20-strong fleet.

For the first time the magnificent Eve, Steve Capell’s Swan 65, features in the top five on IRC standings and GBP Yeah Baby is holding onto first place. Ian Edwards’ Dehler 46 still leads PHS overall results.

The tradewinds are set to hang in at 25 knots on Thursday and lighten off on Friday, June 8, 2018.

The fleet can be continuously tracked via http://noumea.cyca.com.au/standings/ and regular updates are being posted on the CYCA’s social media channels.

In terms of distance to go, just two nautical miles separates the race leaders in the parallel races, the Auckland Noumea race organised by Royal Akarana Yacht Club and the Sydney Noumea race organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Both long distance races began on Sunday morning, June 3, following a postponement due to high winds and rough seas offshore in the two countries. The two fleets will use the same finish line, in the vicinity of Port Moselle on the south western New Caledonian coastline.

Lisa Ratcliff

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Smooth Tradewind Sailing for PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race Fleet

Four yachts have now past the halfway point and the prediction is for the majority of the 20-boat fleet racing to New Caledonia to beat the 25-year old race record in the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
While the Auckland Noumea fleet has been tested by strong northerly winds, competitors who left Sydney Harbour at 10am on Sunday June 3, 2018 are being blessed by sou’east winds and straight-line reaching conditions. The forecast for the region is for the tradewinds to stay in at 15-25 knots.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice remains at the head of the fleet and during the day kept some space between them and their nearest challenger.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
At lunchtime Patrice was 10 nautical miles closer to the finish line off the capital of New Caledonia than Mick Martin’s heavier Newcastle TP52 Frantic, and 20nm nearer to the target than Sebastian Bohm’s Rogers 46 Smuggler, sailing for the race host, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. By nightfall Smuggler had moved into second in the fleet, 14 nautical miles from Patrice and nearly two knots quicker. Bohm’s men were also rewarded for a good day’s sailing on corrected time, moving up to first overall on IRC and ORCi handicap. Ian Edwards’ Wings is leading PHS overall.

The latest news from Louis and Marc Ryckmans’ 50-footer GBP Yeah Baby, in fourth position, is “we are currently cruising past Elizabeth Reef to port and Lord Howe Island to starboard. In 12 knots SE breeze – lovely tradewind sailing” (1200hrs AEST, June 5).

Patrice is due to cross the finish line in the 1,064nm race on June 7 at around 11:00 pm, giving them an elapsed time of four days 12 hours. The race record set by George Snow’s Farr 65 Brindabella 27 years ago is five days 21 hours.

Lisa Ratcliff

Monday, June 4, 2018

Patrice Leads PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race

The frontrunners in the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race are on record pace and the toughest conditions behind them with reports this morning from the fleet of manageable and warm 15 knot SSE winds and settling seas.
Photo: © Andrea Francolini
Four hours after the 10:00am Sunday June 3 start from Sydney Harbour the first casualty reported to the organising club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Sadly Marcus Mackay’s Jarkan 12.5 She’s Apples II, delivered all the way from Hobart for the adventure-filled mostly family campaign was short lived when the mast came down at the first spreader in a gybe.
Photo: © Andrea Francolini
“We are pretty devastated. We were running with the kite up in 25-30 knots and went into a gybe and the rigging failed. Over the mast went. We were able to cut the rig away and no one was hurt. We are trying to work out why it failed and reassessing our plans as we won’t make the New Caledonia Groupama Race either,” Mackay said  back at the CYCA on Monday morning:
Photo: © Andrea Francolini
On Sunday evening Tony Levett’s Sydney 38 TSA Management retired with battery issues leaving a fleet of 20 making their way to the French territory in the South Pacific where they’ll meet the Royal Akarana Yacht Club’s Auckland Noumea competitors who also set off on Sunday.
Photo: © Andrea Francolini
By Monday morning, June 4, Tony Kirby’s 46-footer Patrice, a regular Rolex Sydney Hobart entrant, had snuck ahead of the chasing pack with less than 800 nautical miles to go. Based on a current speed of 15 knots Patrice will reach the finish line at Noumea early on the morning of June 7 giving them a record-shattering elapsed time of three days and 18 hours for the 1,064nm race track.
Photo: © Andrea Francolini
Patrice also leads the early handicap standings overall across all divisions bar the Cruising division.

Brindabella’s fastest time of five days 18 hours set in 1991 is well and truly under threat by the top four boats at this point on day though winds are set to further ease and swing easterly under the influence of the strengthening high pressure system.

Fortunately for the Ryckmans twins who own the Welbourn 50 GBP Yeah Baby, now fourth in the fleet and doing 16kts, the boat is still on a starboard tack. An update received at 0830hrs Monday June 4 read: “Busy 24hr on Yeah Baby, took out port wheel yesterday in a broach, lucky starboard tack most of the way. 800nm to go. All in good spirits."

Lisa Ratcliff