Gladiator’s perfect double bullet day but Platoon retain Royal Cup lead
After a disappointing eighth and a ninth on the opening day of the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Royal Cup Wednesday, Tony Langley’s GBR-flagged Gladiator bounced back with two good, solid race wins today. Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon retain the overall regatta lead thanks to their second and fifth places today.
The northeasterly breeze dropped through the afternoon to make the second race especially testing, completed in an awkward leftover chop and light airs. Gladiator used the same strategy to win both races, tacking early to the right and sailing fast in clear air. They move up to fifth overall after four races, whilst Platoon – who have won both of the last two times the 52 SUPER SERIES have been in Mahon – lead overall by three points ahead of Andy Soriano’s super consistent Alegre.
In the first race which was contested in a 9-12kts northeasterly wind Gladiator were chased hard by regatta leaders Platoon but in the end the British flagged team extended down the second run and won comfortably.
In a more unsettled, gentler wind and sloppy leftover chop, Shawn and Tina Kang’s Hong Kong team went left from a good start and led round the first lap but were overhauled by Gladiator on the second round. With Guillermo Parada steering and owner Langley calling tactics, Gladiator stuck to their profitable, breezier right on the second upwind and extended.
In the shifty breeze, circuit leaders Provezza sailed a good second run to steal a hard won second place, whilst Alpha Plus were unlucky to lose two boats on the finish line.
Sled, third overall, had to race with no bowsprit after a collision with Team Vayu. A protest was heard early evening and Sled were granted 4.5pts as a redressed race result whilst Vayu were given three additional penalty points. Sled are third just half a point behind Alegre.
Gladiator’s Tony Langley said,
“We had bad day yesterday but we were going well in practice in the light airs. We had our best result on that course area in exactly these conditions back in 2017 when we were second on countback. We had a plan, we executed the plan and we got the results.”
Helm Guillermo Parada added,
“Our plan was to try to find free water and sail clean in these choppy waters and this breeze you need to have your own piece of ocean to get the best VMG. So we decided to be the first boat to tack right each time both races. The second race we were second early on but decided to be patient and when we had an opportunity we jumped on it. Yesterday was difficult because I do think we sailed a little bit better than the results showed and we were a little unlucky.”
Seb Tenghage, grinder and project manager on third placed Alegre, said,
“It was complicated, the wind is tricky, the sea state is difficult and you need to find those lanes where you get the pressure or the shift to stay up there. Consistency is the keyword, we have good boatspeed but I think Nic (Asher) and Will (Ryan) are doing a good job reading the waters and putting us in good positions on the race course.”
Racing continues Friday, Saturday Sunday with LIVE TV streaming on 52 SUPER SERIES TV.
Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Royal Cup provisional standings after four races
1- PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 1+3+2+5 = 11
2- ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 4+2+5+3 = 14
3- SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+1+4+4,5(RDG) = 14,5
4- PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 2+8+6+2 = 18
5- GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 8+9+1+1 = 19
6- QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 6+6+3+6 = 21
7- ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn and Tina Kang, 9+4+8+4 = 25
8- PAPREC (FRA), Jean Luc Petithuguenin, 7+5+7+7 = 26
9- VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 3+7+9+10(DNF)+3(PEN) = 32
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