7th of May, 2016

Comfortably in Control

(Saturday 7th May, Palma de Mallorca) – Quantum Racing are comfortably in control of the TP52 Class as the 13th edition of Gaastra Palma Vela enters Sunday, the final day of racing.

The difficult puffy, shifty offshore breezes which brought big changes in wind pressure and direction made for a high scoring day. Best aggregates over the two windward-leeward races today were the seven points tally of Quantum Racing and training partners, Platoon. With Ed Baird on the helm and Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, Quantum Racing won the first race today ahead of Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Gazprom but had to fight back to make a sixth in the second race.

Correspondingly Harm Müller Spreer’s German-flagged team went 6,1 today on Platoon. Quantum Racing now lead by seven points going into Sunday, looking poised to reprise their Copa del Rey win of last year on these same waters.

Azzurra retain a certain consistency, their 4,4 today being the most consistent set of results of the day, but they drop from second to third as Platoon promote themselves to second.

Platoon’s strategist, working alongside tactician Markus Wieser, is Palma ace Jordi Calafat:

We had a very good second race and the first part of the first race was good for us. But overall we move up to second place which is good. It’s OK. The boat is going well and going fast. We sail quite a lot in winter in Palma in this breeze but I suppose not as cloudy. Yesterday it was especially difficult with the SE [winds] trying to push in. By May, we expect sunshine and sea breeze! But it is good to have this training.

We had an OK start, second from the pin, but after four minutes we saw we had to take our lane and that was the key. We stayed close to Provezza and had very good speed on the second upwind. Provezza is fast too, but downwind in these conditions it is a little bit random and it can be easier coming from behind. We had good shifts and good puffs.

We did not expect to be second at this stage. We never talked about what we expected as a result, but we are happy to have good speed. To be honest we were expecting to have more work to do with the sails, but I think we have a good platform and if we race well now then we can get in front, especially upwind with good breeze.

We have a couple of new sails coming. And we have to think very closely what our strengths and weaknesses are.

Markus [Wieser, tactician] is very easy going and relaxed. I am not so much. It is working well. We work 50:50 but we need to fine tune who does what.

Azzurra’s skipper helm Guillermo Parada pointed to small mistakes which are costing them, but believes they are learning:

It was not such a good day for us. We made some mistakes and were not able to capitalise on many of the opportunities which developed. Luckily we are making these mistakes early in the season and not in Scarlino. We are making mistakes in execution, decision making and communication, a little bit of each. So I think there is room for improvement. But obviously Quantum Racing had another consistent day.

Gaastra Palma Vela TP52 standings after 5 races including 1 discard:
1. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA) (1-2- 2-1-6) 6pts
2. Platoon (H. Müller-Spreer, GER) (6-3 -3-6-1) 13pts
3. Azzurra (Alberto Roemmers, GER)(2-5-4-4-4) 14pts
4. Ran (Niklas Zennström, SWE)(5-7- 1-7-3) 16pts
5. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS)(3-6-5-2-7) 16 pts
6. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR)(9-1-8-9-2) 20 pts
7. Alegre (Andy Soriano, USA/GBR)(4-4 -6-8-9) 22 pts
8. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA)(7-8-7-3-8) 25pts
9. Paprec (Stephane Neve, FRA)(8-9-9-5-5) 27pts

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