Closing The Deal – Provezza Poised After Costa Smeralda Coastal Classic
Ergin Imre’s Provezza won a 30 nautical mile coastal race today at the Porto Cervo 52 SUPER SERIES Audi Sailing Week to promote the Turkish flagged team to second place on the overall standings and give them a fighting chance of winning their first regatta in four years of participation on the 52 SUPER SERIES.
But the Provezza team need to bury the ghost of Key West. Earlier this year they lead into the last day by two points ahead of Quantum Racing. But one bad start threw their chance away.
This time Provezza go into Sunday’s final two scheduled windward-leeward races poised only two points behind the 52 SUPER SERIES champions Quantum Racing who today were desperately unlucky to lose second place within in a nasty, light wind transition zone within sight of the finish line.
Simon Fry, the trimmer who just won the Dragon World Championship in Provezza’s colours said,
“Now we’ve got to be careful we haven’t been the greatest boat on the last day at the last couple of regattas – we have to nail the last day. We just have to sail clean, get off the line and if it’s flat water in these conditions we know we’re quick. I’m not sure what the forecast is but if it’s 16-18knots flat water… I’d back us.”
But the key to tomorrow, according to Fry,
“Early to bed!”
The race, clockwise around Spargi , the rocky island to the north west of La Maddalena, contained all the elements of a classic Costa Smeralda coastal contest. Though there was 12-14kts of NW’ly breeze on the start line there was more in Paseo delle Bisce. For the long slog upwind, albeit mostly on a starboard tack, there was the reward of a sparkling long kite run home with boat speeds nudging 21kts at times, interspersed with a period of high speed two sail power reaching.
The sting in the tail was most venomous for Quantum Racing who had worked hard to hand with the fast pace set by Provezza. Many times the final loop, down to the Bravo mark to the south of the Porto Cervo entrance, lies just in the transition zone. The southerly thermal fights its way up and cancels some of the NW’ly gradient, creating a fickle, frustrating zone of flicking, unsettled light breeze. When Provezza sailed into it first, dousing their kite and going on to a jib, there were a few heart stopping moments as Quantum Racing caught right up to within a few metres of them.
But the Provezza crew, under tactician Tony Rey, stayed as cool as they could in the sweltering Sardinian early summer heatwave temperatures, wriggling back into the NW’ly to win their first race at this regatta. Azzurra read the situation well, staying slightly further offshore and holding the breeze, they came around the last turn and sailed right up to second placed Quantum Racing and through their ‘lee’ to ghost to second. It was a bitter pill to take in the final metres of a 30 mile race, considering they were more than 200 metre ahead of the home team Azzurra, but the champions are on consistent form now and still must start the last day of the regatta as favourites, seeking to add to their Key West title they won in January.
Of their one place loss at the finish Ed Reynolds, Quantum Racing’s Project Director said,
“It’s tough to take – you get into those types of conflicting breezes and who knows what’s going to happen. If we had had a vote we would have finished the race a little bit earlier but those are just things that happen – part of sailboat racing.”
“Our goal is always the season championship.”
“Here, we didn’t want to get it all in one swoop, we wanted to chip away at that. We’d love to win each of these regattas. But that is difficult to do with the fleet now. But we’re right on track with everything we’re focused on.”
Two windward-leeward contests are planned for the final day. The points remain close all the way down the leaderboard. Quantum Racing, with Doug DeVos on the helm, lead on 24pts after six races. Provezza IX are second on 26pts, with Rán Racing, shooting for their second podium of the season after third in Key West, are just four points behind Quantum Racing.
Porto Cervo 52 SUPER SERIES Audi Sailing Week
, After six races
1. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA) (RET12,1,3,1,4,3) 24pts
2. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) (4,4,7,4,6,1) 26 pts
3. Rán Racing (Niklas y Catherine Zennström, SWE) (3,7,1,2,10,5) 28 pts
4. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (8,3,6,5,1,7) 30 pts
5. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS) (6,6,2,9,2,6) 31 pts
6. Platoon (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER) (7,11,4,3,3,4) 32 pts
7. Azzurra (Familia Roemmers, ITA/ARG) (5,8,5,10,5,2) 35 pts
8. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA) (1,5,9,6,7,8) 36 pts
9. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA), (2,RDG7.5,8,8, DNF12, DNC12) 49.5 pts
10. Paprec Recyclage (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) (10,2,11,11,9,10) 53 pts
11. Sorcha (Peter Harrison, GBR) (9,10,10,7,8,9) 53 pts
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