Four end of season podiums back to back Platoon: “We have the personnel, the tools, the package, now it is up to us.”
Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon have an enviable record on the 52 SUPER SERIES. Third last year and missing the season title win by only two points, second in 2019, 2018 and 2017. They have been painfully close to winning the championship – seven points shy after six regattas and more than 50 races in 2017 – it has been a case of ‘so near but yet so far’ on a few occasions. But the German flagged team know how to win. They won the Rolex TP52 World Championship twice – in 2017 and 2019 – and last year won the regatta in Menorca. After Sled winning in 2021 – breaking the duopoly of Azzurra and Quantum Racing – can 2022 be Platoon’s year.
There have been some small changes in crew line up. Jaro Furlani joined last season in the pit and Andy Axelsson comes in this season as grinder. From the outside it might be considered a big change for them moving to Doyle Sails but the sails are still designed by Jordi Calafat and assembled by the same sailmaker.
America’s Cup winning trimmer Ross Halcrow explains:
“The boat is the same as it was pretty much although we are now with Doyle Sails. Jordi is now designer with Doyle. Dirk de Ridder and I have now worked with Jordi for a good number of years and so we understand each other and we have a good rapport so we have gone with him and Doyle. We have looked at a couple of jibs in Valencia in training and get the rest of the sails in Baiona. We are very confident that they will come out well. We have Paul Tingle who put our sails together before with Quantum he is with Doyle and he has done the sails so I am sure they will be just fine.”
There are small updates to the sail designs but nothing significant, the Platoon team having been happy with their speed in 2021:
“We are constantly evolving the sails. It is different software that Jordi is running now and so there is a little bit of a learning curve with that. From the sails we looked at so far we are very happy.”
Halcrow asserts. As with other top teams it was small mistakes, especially penalties which harmed Platon.
“The debrief was really to just get into 2022 where we left off in 2021. We were sailing well and Harm was driving the boat incredibly well. Sled did a great job winning but it was so close on points it is not like we sailed poorly. We are happy with how we sailed. We ended up third and made a few little mistakes here and there, but we need to build up a good momentum from the off and learn from the mistakes and move forwards. We have prepared well and I think we can achieve it this season.”
The 2021 season was short but Halcrow does not believe there was any more or less pressure given the smaller number of races and regattas sailed:
“We don’t operate feeling pressure. We race one race at a time. We move forwards from the last race if we have had a bad race and we continue on the momentum if we have had a good race. I think we started well but we had a number of penalties and so we need to eliminate these penalties. We lost places because of penalties and so if we can eliminate them we should do better.”
And the new venue in Galicia is an exciting new dimension to open the season:
“We are really looking forwards to Baiona. It is a whole new challenge. It looks good, relatively flat water. We are prepared for anything this season and had good training in Valencia. We had two good days racing there. We feel strong in the light airs but are just ready to go.”
And can this be Platoon’s season? Rossco replies:
“ I think so. We are happy with everything, the package, the tools, the personnel, we have it all. Now it is up to us…..”
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