Quantum Racing claimed their second win in the Royal Cup in a hard fought opening race on day two of the regatta at Palma, Mallorca on Thursday, while Gladiator and PowerPlay were forced to withdraw before the second race due to damage from a collision.
Rán Racing fought hard and led for much of the race to finish a close second, followed by Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, Provezza, Aquila and PowerPlay. Gladiator retired with damage.
Gladiator nailed the start with pace and precision, making an early amends for yesterday’s spinnaker fumble, while Azzurra struggled after they were forced to perform a penalty turn after infringing on Quantum 30 seconds before the start.
After shifting wind delayed the racing in Palma Bay the sea breeze finally filled in and it was the left side of the course that was favoured by all eight competing teams.
Quantum, Rán and Gladiator switched the lead on the 2.1 nautical mile opening leg, but it was the defending champions Quantum who rounded first, just nine seconds later Rán followed and All4One edged into third place.
PowerPlay rounded in fourth, Gladiator dropped all the way back to fifth, Azzurra sixth, Aquila seventh and Provezza in last place.
In classic windward-leeward style it took the fleet about 20 minutes on the first leg, but less than 10 minutes to return downwind, with the TP52s powering up in the 15-plus knot southerly.
As the race for the lead heated it was Rán who again proved too powerful downwind and edged into first place ahead of Quantum. The pair locked horns in a tight upwind duel and it was Quantum who edged back into the lead.
In a dramatic final leg with gusts in excess of 18 knots Gladiator retired with damage after an alleged collision with Azzurra and PowerPlay, while Quantum charged at speeds in excess of 16 knots to victory.