Back in the game!
Quantum Racing look to return to winning ways with Terry Hutchinson and Jordi Calafat set to sail in the 52 SUPER SERIES European regattas.
We want to win the European 52 SUPER SERIES.
Terry Hutchinson and Jordi Calafat, Quantum Racing
That is the stark, keynote objective for the coming months, as stated by Ed Reynolds (USA) director of the Quantum Racing 52 programme, and as the American flagged team complete their final days of training off Barcelona this week in preparation for Thursday’s start to the Trofeo de Vela Conde de Godo, it is clear the highly motivated crew are ready to rise to this challenge.
Two significant changes bolster the team line up. Terry Hutchinson (USA), who skippered Quantum Racing to win the MedCup title in 2008 and lead the crew through until 2011, returns to the line up, this time in the role of tactician.
He will be joined by 1992 Barcelona Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Jordi Calafat (ESP) who sails as Quantum Racing’s strategist.
Even as experienced and honoured as they both are, integrating the two new afterguard members has been one of the primary goals of the pre-regatta training period. Although of course Baird (USA) and Calafat sailed together as America’s Cup winners with Alinghi, Hutchinson and Baird are new to each other and so have been putting in some racing hours to optimise their partnership.
In mid April Baird and Hutchinson sailed together at the Congressional Cup off Long Beach finishing second. In fact that was Ed Baird’s first monohull match racing event since July 3rd 2007 when he drove Alinghi to win the 32rd America’s Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand on which Hutchinson was tactician.
This is going to be really fun to be back with the guys on Quantum Racing [Hutchinson smiles] I was a little bit involved at the end of the World Championships in Miami when I watched them racing there. There are some very high quality teams as we saw there, like Azzurra and Rán Racing as examples which for the most part have shown they are capable of winning, and so I cannot wait to get out there and get racing in the fleet again.
I am looking to just help along the great work that Ed Baird has been doing. We jump started things by doing the Congressional Cup together and that was really good. We were mainly looking at developing our communications, getting to know how Ed likes things to be communicated as things unfold. My impression is that he is very comfortable with the boat and the way things are going, but the biggest challenge will be integrating us into the sailing team. The new appendages on the boat seemed to be working and for us it will be about not upsetting the applecart. This is a great team with a good track record and my role is to help and support where I can, maybe making sure eyes are guided where they should be if I see particular things I think can help.
I have the impression from Miami that Ed drives the boat very well, keeping it fast all the time. That may sound simplistic but it is very easy to get bogged down from time to time in this fleet. We worked on our communication and I understand more clearly what he wants, narrowing down 10 or 12 words to two or three words, short quick conversations is the big thing for us.
Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing
Although Quantum Racing have not won a 52 regatta since Sardinia last year, Hutchinson says he does not feel any additional pressure coming back into the team to find a win.
I always want to win, I always crack the whip to win and want no more or less.
The thing that stood out for me in Miami was that at certain times the boat could sail out of bad situations. It looked like the boat is going really well.
Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing
Meanwhile team director Ed Reynolds is delighted with the strength of the afterguard that they have for the four European regattas of the 52 SUPER SERIES:
I just could not be more excited, I am thrilled with the team we have. There were some conflicts which necessitated changes and so we took advantage of the opportunities to do so. Terry, Ed Baird and Jordi as an afterguard should be fantastic. Jordi grew up in Palma, sailed to a gold medal here in Barcelona and probably has sailed as much as anyone in the fleet has in Ibiza so I am sure he will bring a lot of local knowledge input.
We are very happy with the changes we made to the boat, boatspeed is just not an issue. After the last few events we feel we have eliminated some more variables, now I will be surprised if we are not going the right way most of the time. We don’t think we have to win regattas to win the 52 SUPER SERIES, but what we want is to show absolutely top level consistency. Now, with this fleet, you have to win races and that is a change and we have changed the mode of the boat to make more sure we can do that.
Ed Reynolds, Quantum Racing
Racing starts for the 52 SUPER SERIES in Barcelona from Thursday 23rd May and runs through to Sunday 26th. Follow the racing with live tracking, commentary and comment on www.52superseries.com
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