Saturday, September 22, 2018

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.

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