Saturday, September 22, 2018

Luna Ross Take Valencia, Quantum Racing Crowned 2018 Champions - 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week

Quantum Racing may have won the 2018 52 Super Series championship title, but unsailable light winds on the last day of the 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week denied them the chance to pitch for their fourth regatta win of the season. Luna Rossa, the Italian America’s Cup challengers of record, lift the Valencia regatta title, which they add to the Zadar Royal Cup, which they won in Croatia in June.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
And there was no deciding race to unlock the tie for second place on the 52 Super Series circuit podium for 2018. Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and the Roemmers family’s Azzurra finish on exactly the same points aggregate after the 42 races and five regattas of this season. But the German-flagged team, which draws on an afterguard comprising John Kostecki and Jordi Calafat, both winners of successive America’s Cups on these waters, are credited with second on tie break. The deciding factor being which team finishes in front of the other in the last regatta of the season.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
In truth, the Quantum Racing win – by 37 points – was born one year ago to the day. In Menorca they were bitterly disappointed to finish third after leaving too many points on the water at different regattas. 
“That hurt. It really did,” recalled Quantum Racing’s unflappable veteran director Ed Reynolds today after the champagne was sprayed at the dock in the Marina de Valencia, which formerly housed the 11 America’s Cup teams of the 32nd America’s Cup.

“Dip me in cream and lock me in a room full of kittens. This is the day we have been waiting for, for a year. We made it tough on ourselves last season, we sat down and everybody committed to making this season better,” said Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing's tactician and skipper.

Quantum Racing won in Sibenik and Valencia, and landed the Rolex TP52 World Championship in a windy Cascais with Dean Barker driving, but Hutchinson confirmed his highlight of the season was winning the Puerto Portals regatta with talismanic owner-driver Doug DeVos on the tiller. DeVos could not be in Valencia as planned after the recent passing of his father, Rich.

“The highlight of the season was winning in Portals with Doug, without a question. He is Doug. He is our guy. Understanding what has gone on with him the past month and the passing of his father, we can’t help but feel he is here with us this time. Doug is one of these guys who is so committed to the sport of sailing. To win that regatta with him steering, there is no better feeling than that this season. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

For Luna Rossa, their second regatta title of the season comes after an incredible recovery in what proved to the be final race of the event, yesterday climbing from 11th to second to win the Valencia title by just one point. Underlining again how close the fleet is, Luna Rossa won by just one point from Quantum Racing with Platoon in third, one more point further back.
Vasco Vascotto (left) Photo: Courtesy of Azzurra Racing
“We are so happy to win here,” Vasco Vascotto, the Luna Rossa tactician said, “I feel like we lost a lot on the last day in Portals, 17 or 18 points on one day. We tried to have the opportunity to fight for the podium and we said to the team ‘let us go to try and win the last event and see what happens. We have done that, but unfortunately the podium is still some points away from us. But I think we are proud to have won two regattas from five.

"We have some very young guys on board. It is a great opportunity for us to learn how to sail together, how to pass the bad days together to be relaxed and enjoy it when we have the good days. I am very positive about our future. We know we lost some points on the courses, but that is life. It is sport. But the great thing is this circuit is the best in the world.”

Harm Müller-Spreer, the German owner-helm wins the owner-driver prize for the regatta and for the season, finishing runners up for the year as he and his Platoon team did in 2017 behind Azzurra. He said:

“I think the competition was even harder than last year. It is a similar situation to last year, with us squeezed in between Quantum Racing and Azzurra in second. I am so happy with that result to be in among these top professional sailors, I am still a ‘normal’ sailor. We have sailed now for four years together and we made some small adjustments this season.”

52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week Final Standings

1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (6,1,1,3,4,6,8,2) 31 p.

2. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (8,2,6,6,2,1,4,3) 32 p.

3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4,4,8,1,3,7,5) 33 p.

4. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (2,3,3,5,7,8,1,9) 38 p.

5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,5,5,4,5,7,10,6) 46 p.

6. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,8,2,1,3,11,5,8) 48 p.

7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,10,8,10,6,5,3,1) 48 p.

8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (9,11+ 2 penalti,7,2,9,4,6,4) 54 p.
9. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,6,9,12RET+2 penalti, 11,2,2,11) 58 p.

10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,9,11,7,10,9,9,7) 69 p.

11. Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (11,7,10,9,8,10,11,10) 76 p.

2018 52 SUPER SERIES Overall Standings

1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 160 p.

2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 197 p.

3. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers) 197 p.

4. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) 203 p
5. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 211 p.

6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 230 p.

7. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) 239 p.

8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 261 p.

9. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) 290 p.

10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) 344 p.

52 Super Series Media

What The Tacticians Said - 52 Super Series - Valencia - Day 4

Santiago Lange (ARG) Azzurra (ARG/ITA):
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
“Tomorrow we just need to race well. I think all the boats are close enough, especially Platoon and Luna Rossa, that we just need to sail well, and then along the race we can figure it out. But with two races that can happen tomorrow its a lot of points, and in this fleet you cant dare to be covering. 
Today, I like to race, and I never look at the points.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
"Now, yes, because tomorrow is the last day and we have to look ahead and sail well. Obviously I looked at the points this week, you take your risks and rewards, but its difficult to sail against two boats that are so good as well as the whole fleet so you get in trouble if you start thinking about it too much.”

John Kostecki (USA) Platoon (GER):
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
“Great racing out there today, three races, light air, so a lot of changes and changing places, so it was pretty exciting racing. I haven’t really looked at the points yet but I’ve heard because a lot of people are telling me that we’re tied on points for second (with Azzurra) and Luna Rossa is pretty close behind as well (for the overall season), so it’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
"I don’t know yet what the strategy is for tomorrow, we’re still decompressing and need to debrief today. Tomorrow is a different day and I know it’s a different weather scenario tomorrow, we’ve been having these Southeasterlies and tomorrow will be more Northeast, so it’ll be a different type of day, so we’ll see.”

52 Super Series Media

Roller Coaster Day Sets Up Grand Finale - 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week - Day 4

After one of the most exciting, roller coaster three-race days in the history of the 52 Super Series, there is just two points separating the top three teams going into the final day of the season at the 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
Italian America’s Cup team Luna Rossa staged a remarkable comeback from 11th to finish, second in the third race of the day and so resuscitate their chances of their chances of a second regatta win of the season. They lead the new 2018 52 Super Series champions Quantum Racing by one point and Platoon by two points in a down-to-the-wire tussle for the last remaining regatta title of the season.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
As the third race of the day was completed, Quantum Racing passed the point at which they can no longer be beaten to the 2018 title. The new champions will be crowned at a glittering prize giving on Saturday night, but the hard-driving team are focused on closing out their fourth regatta title of the season. That much was apparent when they returned to the dock in the Marina de Valencia where the champagne remains on ice until the last races of the season are completed.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
“It is down to the wire, but it went right to the plan. We wanted to go into the final day with a chance of being on the podium, and it could not be any tighter. Three points between the top four boats and so it is all on. We sailed well but it was a really tricky course. You could only stick with your plan. Luna Rossa did an amazing job. We have achieved our goals, winning the circuit title and the world title this season. We are all very pleased,” said Ian Moore of Quantum Racing.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
In the light sea breezes on the America’s Cup race tracks it was incredibly hard to maintain a consistent scoreline, especially for the teams under the most pressure to seal podium places for the season. Azzzura, who started the day in second on the season standings, won the second race of the day but bookended their win with an eighth and a ninth. 

Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon were penalised on the approach to the windward mark in the second race of the day to drop to a seventh. And then that error was duplicated by Luna Rossa, in almost exactly the same spot, the first windward mark approach of the third race. But they had doubled their woes when they then fouled Paprec whilst doing their turns to round the leeward gate 11th.
Paprec Photo: Max Ranchi
As befits the 2018 champions who will add to their 2013, 2014 and 2016 championships, the one real constant today was Quantum Racing. They maybe appeared to struggle to get to grips with the wispy, streaky sea breeze, but when the pressure was on to at least mount the podium of the last regatta of the season, they won the first race, took fourth in the second, and then third in the final contest, so rising from sixth to second.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
So the final day of the 2018 season will once more see the second and third steps on the championship podium decided on the last races, Platoon and Azzurra now tied on 197 points with Luna Rossa still contenders on 203 points.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week

Regatta standings after Day 4

1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (6,1,1,3,4,6,8,2) 31 p.

2. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (8,2,6,6,2,1,4,3) 32 p.

3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4,4,8,1,3,7,5) 33 p.

4. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto & Pablo Roemmers) (2,3,3,5,7,8,1,9) 38 p.

5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,5,5,4,5,7,10,6) 46 p.

6. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,8,2,1,3,11,5,8) 48 p.

7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,10,8,10,6,5,3,1) 48 p.

8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (9,11+ 2 penalti,7,2,9,4,6,4) 54 p.

9. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,6,9,12RET+2 penalti, 11,2,2,11) 58 p.

10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,9,11,7,10,9,9,7) 69 p.

11. Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (11,7,10,9,8,10,11,10) 76 p.

52 Super Series Media

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What The Sailors Said - 52 Super Series - Valencia - Day 1

Guillermo Parada (ARG) Azzurra:
Photo: NIco Martinez
“Given the conditions we need to be happy with our results but most of all with the way we sail and the way we approach each race: the analysis before the race the decisions we do. Obviously overall we are happy. We had the chance of being in front in the first race, we had to make a decision approaching the top mark of whether we leebow or cross and try to cover from the inside, we decided the second and they were able to squeeze ahead.
Photo: NIco Martinez
"But given the conditions today we cannot complain. We need to stay calm, these things can happen, and keep thinking like this because conditions will be the same for the entire week. It’s going to be a long tense week and a lot at stake in between 2nd-5th overall. We need to be very smart in order to make the proper course. Today we achieved that goal and obviously we keep doing it the rest of the week.
Photo: NIco Martinez
"Winning this event would be a good bonus, and is the easiest way to secure the second position, but if it some stage we need to decide between, we would obviously hedge towards the season positions. But we need to wait a couple days, consider the options and reevaluate. For now the goal for this regatta is to do everything in our hands to consolidate this position.”

Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa:
Photo: NIco Martinez
“I think what is good is that the boat speed is showing that we are going fast upwind and downwind, so we can have a very good week. The team is doing a very good job, we are all trying together to get to the podium overall and we’re going to do our best to get to that result. I think we can, we have very good potential, it’s the first time that this team together does the circuit and we are fighting hard for every point. 
Photo: NIco Martinez
"We have the speed to do it, the tactical abilities to do it, strategical to do it, so we can do it. The competition is very hard, Platoon had a good day as well, so we haven’t gained any points on them, but we gained points on Sled. Tomorrow is another day though, it’s a long competition but I have good positive vibes.”

How does the trifecta work between you and Vasco and Jimmy?

“The communication is getting better still. Last event Jimmy couldn’t sail because of some problems, and we missed him. I think to have him onboard is a big priviledge for all of us and he’s doing great. The thing is that the fleet is very competitive, and its a great exercise for us of the America’s Cup in such a high level field.”

About Platoon:

“I think Platoon today showed they have some pace in light wind, there is no doubt. It’s something that we have seen during the season, anytime that it is light they are very fast, catch boats, and if they are in the lead they just stretch away. We have seen it before, but in Cascais it was windy and they had some issues. Obviously it’s a great afterguard, but every team you see here has a great afterguard!”

For full results, visit:

Racing at the Valencia 52 Super Series Sailing Week starts Tuesday and finishes Saturday with the end of season prize-giving on Saturday night. All of the action will be broadcast live at and via the app throughout the whole regatta on 52 Super Series TV with live commentary and expert analysis throughout each race. Shows start 15 minutes before racing is due to begin.

52 Super Series Media

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Platoon Lead After Two Races - 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week - Day 1

Displaying a notable speed edge in the light 6-10 knots breeze conditions Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon leads the 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week after the first two races.
Platoon Photo: Nico Martinez
Although they finish the first day tied on points with Azzurra, and Platoon won the first race, it was the manner in which the German-flagged team sailed back through the fleet on the second race – coming back from a poor start and rising from 11th to finish fourth – which suggests they may prove to be the crew to beat at this final regatta of the season. Platoon are key rivals to Azzurra for second step on the circuit podium.
Azzurra Photo: Nico Martinez
The Italian-Argentine team, which have just a few days left in their tenure as overall champions of 2017 lie second overall behind Quantum Racing on the circuit leaderboard and have five points of a lead over third-placed Platoon.
Photo: Nico Martinez
After today’s racing – ending all square between the top two teams of the day – there may be no change in that points difference between the two, but now Azzurra certainly know they have a fight on their hands, and their best form of defence against Platoon is to attack, to go out and try and win each race.
Photo: Nico Martinez
There is no room for small errors on the America’s Cup race course areas, today’s 6-10kts breezes proving streaky, shifty and difficult to read. To their credit Azzurra lead off the start line of the first race, working the preferred left side of the upwind along with Platoon. But at the first windward turn, Azzurra tacked just under the lay line and slowed to get around the turn. The mistake cost them as Platoon rolled over the top of them at speed at the mark and went on to win Race 1.
Quantum Racing Photo: Nico Martinez
Circuit leaders Quantum Racing started the day with an almost certainly unassailable 31pt season’s lead, but they were on the wrong side of the first beat, dropped to 10th by the leeward turn and recovered to eighth.
Luna Rosa Photo: Nico Martinez
At their most potent after a bad result, Quantum Racing did not make the same mistake twice and started nicely off the left end of the start line along with Luna Rossa. Appropriately the two America’s Cup teams enjoyed a close head-to-head at the front of the fleet with Luna Rossa holding on to their early lead right through to the finish.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
Platoon got their time on distance badly wrong at the start of the second race and were left flat footed at the gun. But they took places on each leg, seemingly at will, to recover to fourth, ensuring they are the overall leaders of the regatta.
Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
“We started behind everyone. But we kept calm and just focused and let JK (John Kostecki) do his thing. We are going pretty well in these conditions, we are well suited to the lighter breeze. And JK and Jordi (Calafat) are working really well,” said Platoon’s America’s Cup winning trimmer Ross Halcrow
Luna Rosa Photo: Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week
Luna Rossa moved up the circuit standings to fourth today, leapfrogging Sled, which dropped to a weighty tenth in the second race, the Italian America’s Cup team scoring seven points for the day.

52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week

Regatta standings after day 1

1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4) 5 p.

2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (2,3) 5 p.

3. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (6,1) 7 p.
4. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,6) 9 p.

5. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,5) 9 p.

6. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (8,2) 10 p.

7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,10) 15 p.

8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,9) 16 p.

9. Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (11,7) 18 p.

10. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,8) 18 p.

11. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (9,11+ 2 penalti) 22 p

52 Super Series Media

Monday, September 17, 2018

Game On in Valencia - 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week

Monday 17th August, Valencia

Eleven TP52s sailed the Official Practice Race today off Valencia’s Malvarrosa Beach, the final prelude to Tuesday’s start of the final regatta of the season, the 52 Super Series Valencia Sailing Week. Each of the teams returned to the Marina de Valencia, all focused on the same objective, to finish the 2018 season on a high, ideally with the win. 

Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
Winning the last event of the season would be the cherry on top for Quantum Racing who are 31 points clear at the top of the standings.
For those four boats that really are engaged in the scrap for the second and third steps on the podium – that is Azzurra, Platoon, Sled and Luna Rossa – victory would ensure their best possible overall finish. 

Photo: © Martinez Studio / 52 SuperSeries
But for others, winning the final regatta of 2018 would be the final realisation of their top level potential, perhaps derailed so far by too many small mistakes, a speed issue, or indeed other teams making fewer errors. 

Lying second, Azzurra have 159 points and so are five points ahead of Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and six points up on Takashi Okura’s Sled. The Prada backed Luna Rossa are fifth and would have to make up at least eight points to make third step on the podium.

It’s a big ask, but conditions are likely to be relatively light, shifty sea breezes, and so consistency may prove very difficult.

For certain, Luna Rossa’s Vasco Vascotto is not very happy with their recent performance – their fifth in Puerto Portals – and believes his team could win their second regatta of the season on the America’s Cup waters off a city that holds many happy memories. 

“Portals was a bit of a disaster for us losing so many points. From first in Zadar we were almost last there. That week we just did not seem to have luck on our side, but hopefully it will change here. We all came back here to the city that was our home and it changes everything. I had five good years of my life here. And hopefully it will be fun again here. I liked it so much today walking from the hotel to the Marina I can remember everything that happened to us like it was yesterday. These were some of the happiest times of my life. And I think that the America’s Cup in Valencia marked a real high point in the history of world sailing,” Vascotto

, who made his mark with the Mascalzone Latino team in Valencia during the 32nd America’s Cup said.

Ergin Imre’s Provezza lie eighth on the leaderboard, which is disappointing for a team that finished fourth overall in 2017 and scored two podium places, including a regatta win in Puerto Portals. But they have proven to still have all the tools, talent and firepower to win an event.

“We have ended up on the back foot a little, whether we have ‘ended up there’ or ‘put ourselves there’ I don’t know, but we are looking to do a bit of a reset for next season and obviously finish on a high note. Everyone has put in the biggest effort they can and we are looking at each other and saying OK let’s make this fun and see if we can come away with a podium, knowing that the top guys have a few potential distractions, some match racing," said tactician Tony Rey.

We want to go out and bang off a few good races. And with the conditions we saw over the last few days, there is going to be a lot of inside-out on the scoreboard this week. There is no reason we can’t win. I have said before whoever wins this event has to do all the little things well, and then get a little bit fortunate out there with the shifts,” he added.

Valencia has been good for Azzurra, who won here in 2012, but events conspired against the Italian-Argentine team today in the practice race.

The fierce superstition shared through the team dictates that they never ever win the practice race for a regatta, believing it brings bad luck. 
But today they found themselves sandwiched between two converging boats at the finish line and had no choice but to sail on take the gun. 

“That’s the first time we have ever won a practice race. But we had no choice, we had nowhere else to go.We all enjoy it here, but it is a very demanding venue. It is going to be intense for sure. And maybe a couple of personal relationships in the fleet will be endangered for a couple of days, but hopefully we will be all good at the end of the week, all friends again. The forecast is for light, light conditions, and so it will be a good test for the tacticians, for the helms and the trimmers,” Azzurra skipper-helm Guille Parada said.

Racing at the Valencia 52 Super Series Sailing Week starts Tuesday and finishes Saturday with the end of season prize-giving on Saturday night. All of the action will be broadcast live at and via the app throughout the whole regatta on 52 Super Series TV with live commentary and expert analysis throughout each race. Shows start 15 minutes before racing is due to begin.


Alegre – Andy Soriano (USA/GBR), 2018 Botin
Azzurra – Roemmers Family (ARG/ITA), 2018 Botin
Gladiator – Tony Langley (GBR), 2017 Botin
Luna Rossa – Patrizio Bertelli (ITA), 2018 Botin
Onda – Eduardo de Souza Ramos (BRA), 2018 Botin
Paprec Recyclage – Jean Luc Petithuguenin (FRA), 2015 Vrolijk
Phoenix – Hasso/Tina Plattner (RSA), 2018 Botin
Platoon – Harm Müller-Spreer (GER), 2018 Vrolijk
Provezza – Ergin Imre (TUR), 2018 Vrolijk
Quantum Racing – Racing Doug DeVos (USA), 2018 Botin
Sled – Takashi Okura (USA), 2018 Botin

2018 52 SUPER SERIES Overall Standings After Four Events:

1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 128 p.

2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers) 159 p.

3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 164 p.

4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 165 p.

5. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) 172 p

6. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) 184 p.

7. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 184 p.

8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 209 p.

9. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) 244 p.

10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) 278 p.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

52 Super Series Hosts Bart’s Bash in Valencia

On the eve of the final regatta of the 2018 season, the 52 Super Series family turned out in force in Valencia to honour friend, colleague and former crew Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson on the occasion of the fifth Bart’s Bash. 

Photo: Andi Robertson
Sailors from all 11 TP52s, many of whom competed with or against Andrew during the 32nd America’s Cup here in Valencia, or when he was part of the afterguard on the TP52 Team Origin, joined in for a day of light-hearted fun. As well as an unofficial TP52 practice race that was sailed for Bart’s Bash, team members took part in a head-to-head SUP and kayak relay race. 

Jimmy Spithill Photo: Andi Robertson
In perfect September sunshine Jimmy Spithill won the paddleboard race only 300 metres or so from where he lifted the America’s Cup in February 2010. He passed the race lead to 34th America’s Cup winning grinder Shannon Falcone, providing the grunt up front and team logistics ace Giulia Caponnetto adding a little extra paddle power behind, ensuring Luna Rossa were victorious.
Shannon Falcone Photo: Andi Robertson
The third component of the “triathlon” was a post-sailing quiz with the topics centred around 52 Super Series history, sport and sustainability. Azzurra won the quiz but the overall winners of the day were Luna Rossa. 

Photo: Andi Robertson
Bart’s best friend Iain Percy, with whom he memorably won Olympic gold in the Star in Qingdao in 2008, is sailing as tactician on Gladiator this week.
Photo: Supplied
“It is so nice to be here in Valencia today because Bart and myself and so many others in this group had some great times here during the 2007 Cup. We had a lot of fun on the water and some fun in the bars together occasionally too. So it is great to be back and it is so nice to see the world’s best sailors all wearing the same t-shirt with his name on, remembering him and the whole community of sailing participating," said Percy, representing the Andrew Simpson Foundation.
Photo: Andi Robertson
"The most competitive thing was the paddleboarding and the kayaking and that was nice just being on the water together having some fun. Sailing is about going out racing for most of us but it also fun just mucking about on the water,” he added. 

Photo: Andi Robertson
“The foundation has given away over one million Euros to 66 different projects around the world, in 20 different countries. Bart was always so supportive of other people’s efforts. His name is a great beacon and a great motivator for people. The main mantra is to advantage people through sailing. Bart always believed money or background should not be a barrier to participation and through the foundation we have managed to get hundreds of thousands of children on the water every week,” Percy explained the work of the Andrew Simpson Foundation to the assembled sailors.

The day was supported by the 52 Super Series’ sustainability partners 11th Hour Racing who made a donation to the Andrew Simpson Foundation based on the amount of rubbish collected during a one-hour clean up by local children and members of BioAgradbles, a local organisation that organises beach clean ups that recycles and then repurposes the plastics. 

Marc Blees of Code Zero – a past Finn and Star boat sailor friend of Bart’s – provided commemorative Bart’s Bash t-shirts to all the teams and organisers, as well as donating 50% of all revenue from their 52 SUPER SERIES online shop.

Kellie Covington of 11th Hour Racing commented:

“Bart’s Bash is an incredible event that brings together the sailing community all over the world, and it was great fun today here in Valencia. 
11th Hour Racing, through our partnership with the 52 SUPER SERIES, is very happy to support the Andrew Simpson Foundation with a donation of €1200, €10 per kilo of trash we collected in today’s marina clean up. A great day all round.”

Donations to the Andrew Simpson Foundation are welcomed via the TP52 Justgiving page.

52 Super Series Media