Race 1 – Gulari Shows His Mettle As Quantum Racing Claims Race 1
There may have been a new hand on the helm, but Quantum Racing started the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup carrying all momentum from their impressive 2017 52 SUPER SERIES opening win at Quantum Key West Race Week six weeks ago.
Bora Gulari, the team’s newest addition, moved from the strategist role to the helm for this event and showed that all his time sailing foiling moths and Olympic cataramans has prepared him well for driving these 52-foot thoroughbreds in some challenging conditions off Miami Beach.
The breeze was between 15 and 20 knots and the sea state quite aggressive. Quantum Racing was among a handful of boats, including Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and Tony Langley’s new Gladiator that controlled the front row off the starting line. Azzurra, with Guillermo Parada at the helm and Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, didn’t have quite the same freedom early in that first leg, but made the critical call to hit the left side of the top portion of the beat and squeak past Quantum Racing around the first mark.
Those two boats battled nip and tuck down the first run, with Azzurra holding the lead and choosing the left side of the next leg. But the right side paid off and Quantum was able to take over the lead when the boats converged halfway through Leg 3.
Two boats struggled to get around the leeward mark, which is always the most dangerous portion of the race in these conditions. Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec had a strong run to move into the top five, but lost its spinnaker over the side during the douse. By the time they got it back on board, the fleet was halfway to the final windward mark. Peter Harrison’s Sorcha, sailing their first race of the 2017 season after skipping Key West, showed a little bit of their rust as they hit the top mark and then struggled with the spinnaker drop at the bottom mark.
Azzurra pushed Quantum Racing hard on the final run, closing to within a boat length, but the American team held on for the win. Platoon was third with Rán Racing fourth and Provezza rounding out the top five.
The 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup will take place from 7-11 March. Live commentary and boat tracking via the Virtual Eye is available Tuesday and Wednesday. 52 SUPER SERIES TV powered by Quantum Sails goes live THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY with live action streamed from the race course supported by tracking, commentary and comment from 15-minutes before racing starts each day. All available at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE and the the app.
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