Provezza rise to the top at Menorca regatta midpoint
Menorca delivered the best racing day of the 2023 Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Royal Cup so far with breezes to 14-15kts, some big windshifts and a moderate seaway which had the fleet of TP52s surfing occasionally on the downwind legs.
In this white hot fleet today, again, it seemed all too easy to pair a good result to a bad one. That was not the case for the circuit leaders, Ergin Imré’s Provezza which sailed to a fourth and first places today to take the event lead by just half a point from Takashi Okura’s Sled. And Jean Luc Petithuguenin’s Paprec team had their best day of the season so far with a second and a fourth.
After six of ten planned Royal Cup races the top of the overall standings is incredibly close. In third and fourth Andy Soriano’s Alegre and Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon are both just one point shy of the Provezza’s leading aggregate.
At the first start of the day Tony Langley’s Gladiator team stuck to the same formula which won them both races Thursday. They started at the signal boat end of the line and flipped early on to port tack to race in clear air. It largely worked again, rounding second behind Paprec at the first windward mark. The British flagged team took the lead on the run when the two split apart and were clear ahead to extend their winning run to three bullets.
At the same time Alegre’s third place, with Platoon eighth ,saw Andy Soriano’s crew become the second team this week to lead in Menorca, as they did in 2021 when they also won three races back to back.
Provezza nailed the second start and were able to get themselves round the Race 6 windward mark in second behind Sled. The first run saw a notable difference in wind pressure between the left, downwind and the right.
Quantum Racing’s tactician Victor Diaz de Leon spotted the gust best and the 2022 champions hit the turbo boost which saw them pass three boats on the run, Provezza also holding left were able to passe Sled.
With the wind dropping fast, as it did at the same time yesterday, Provezza were able to collect their first winning gun of the week, one which earns them the regatta lead with two days of racing left.
Provezza’s skipper-helm John Cutler noted,
“I must admit we were surprised when we were told we are now leading the series because we’ve had a few ups and downs and really we’re just chipping away. But today was quite fun, there was a bit more breeze, bigger waves and things worked out our way quite nicely.”
“ I think being little bit windier it made it easier for me anyway to steer through the waves. I’ve been struggling in that light lumpy stuff trying to find a groove to sail in and today seemed a bit easier. But it’s all on, as you can see there’s five to six boats within 10 points and there’s four more races to go. Finishing up somewhere between first and sixth is still very possible for us!”
Provezza’s strategist Cole Parada concluded,
“We made good days out of bad days which is how it should be and we are really proud of that because sometimes you get things going your way and it’s easy to be happy and sometimes things aren’t going your way you have to toughen up and do the best you can.”
“You notice how other teams are doing when you go back to the dock, on the water you focus on your main contender, but you can see from today everyone is a main contender. We have 6 boats within 1 point of each other so you can’t focus too much on one boat, you have to do your best race and let the process take its place and hopefully the results will come.”
Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Royal Cup Provisional Standings after six races
1- PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 2+8+6+2+4+1 = 23
2- SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+1+4+4,5(RDG)+7+2 = 23,5
3- PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 1+3+2+5+8+5 = 24
4- ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 4+2+5+3+3+7 = 24
5- GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 8+9+1+1+1+6 = 26
6- QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 6+6+3+6+6+3 = 30
7- PAPREC (FRA), Jean Luc Petithuguenin, 7+5+7+7+2+4 = 32
8- ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn and Tina Kang, 9+4+8+4+9+9 = 43
9- VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 3+7+9+10(DNF)+5+8+3(PEN) = 45
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