27th of May, 2012

Match race or big picture…Sunday’s showdown

Sunday morning and there is a certain mood of anticipation around the race dock for the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet, and in the chill out area of the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona compound. Only one race is scheduled, a showdown decider which will reveal the winner of the class at this Trofeo Vela Conde de Godo regatta and who will lead the series to next month’s Audi Sardinia Cup.

A slow build, gentle sea breeze is expected but so far there is little evidence of it and there has been a postponement signalled already. The city is quite hazy, almost overcast though it is a very pleasant, warm morning.

So with Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and Quantum Racing locked together on the same points, and backed by the evidence of outbreaks of match racing during the regatta so far, it might be a fair bet that the top two might well duel for the honours here. And that might be to the advantage of Niklas Zennström’s Rán crew who are two points behind.

One inherent draw back – or advantage – of a small fleet is that the risk-reward equation is tipped more towards the value of risk this early in the season?

Zennström admits he has enjoyed his match racing interludes, being taken on by multiple match racing world champion and America’s Cup winner Ed Baird, the Quantum Racing skipper-helm, but he won’t be going out of his way today to get involved:

We are two points behind Azzurra and Quantum and our objective is to win the race, but if we do that it depends what happens to the both of them. I think we are pleased to be in it, given that we were disappointed to have a fifth yesterday. If we could have made that a fourth then we would be just one point behind and that could have been very different in terms of today’s outcome. But that is it with a smaller fleet. Being two points behind the leader in the 52 Super Series is fine, because the big objective is the Series.

I think the water is so cold that we will get enough breeze to race. It is great today and it is exactly where we thought this would end up. For us it would be nice to win, but the most important thing is to come away on track with what we are trying to develop, which we are now. We don’t want to lose the season at the first event, but if we are within a couple of points of the lead then that’s fine, because we are going to get better and better.
Ed Reynolds of the Quantum Racing Team

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Azzurra Quantum Racing Trofeo Conde de Godo

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