Sunday Finale Sees Quantum Favourites
(Saturday 28th May, Scarlino) – Takashi Okura’s Sled won the only race of the 52 SUPER SERIES’ Scarlino Cup today but a second place by Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon takes the German-flagged team to within four points of regatta leaders Quantum Racing with one day of racing left. Ed Baird steered Quantum Racing to another super consistent fourth place on a funky late afternoon race course on which tactician Terry Hutchinson admitted it would have been all too easy to shoot themselves in the foot. Although the 2013 and 2014 52 SUPER SERIES champions were caught slightly on the overall standings by their Quantum-powered sparring partners Platoon today, Hutchinson quips: “I’d rather be sitting where we are than anywhere else.” Losing a race today because of a sustained period of very light, fickle breezes on the Golfo di Follonica means that a final Super Sunday schedule of three races is targeted.
The long wait on the water for the breeze to build enough and to settle in direction was finally rewarded with a start at 1650hrs. With the breeze more from the west – as it was on Day 1 – the right offered a persistent lift. Sled afterguard Ross Macdonald and Hamish Pepper nailed it and engineered a nice early jump for the white-hulled Botin design. They led all the way around the course. The battle for the regatta podium saw Platoon and Provezza start on equal points but Platoon fouled their rivals in the pre-start. The resulting penalty meant Platoon crossed the start 20-seconds after the last boat. But they were quickly back into the fleet. Finding a good lane on the right they rounded sixth at the top mark. With the fleet all gybe setting Markus Wieser and Jordi Calafat chose to bear away and go straight, seeing more pressure down the right of the run and the group to their left slowing. By the gate they were already third. On the second beat they got inside Andy Soriano’s Alegre and so completed a remarkable comeback to take second gun.
Even with a deficit of only four points behind Quantum Racing and two points in hand over Alegre and the regatta podium seemingly in reach, Platoon tactician Wieser says their focus is not on the regatta standings but on the long term goal – steady, consistent scores.
“We don’t care about the points at all for the regatta. What we want to do is not lose too many points at this time in the season for the overall season championship and so far our overall average is quite stable. We are sailing very well. We are not making too many mistakes. But if we can sail tomorrow like we have sailed so far then it could be a nice event for us.”
Terry Hutchinson sums up:
“The goal for the day was three points a race or less and so we miss that goal by a point but neither did we shoot ourselves in the foot. This venue is proving to be quite challenging. “
Alegre have themselves a small cushion now, six points on Provezza, and might yet repeat the second place they scored on their dream debut in Valencia one year ago.
Gerry Mitchell, Alegre’s mainsail trimmer concludes:
”We were in a similar position last year. We seem to come out of the box pretty well. We trained a lot early last year and it paid. This year a lot of guys have been out there training early with us this year and so we’re pretty happy to be where we are.”
52 SUPER SERIES- Scarlino Cup
Standings after Day 4, six races:
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3,4,4) 19 pts
2 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6,5,2) 23 pts
3 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5,2,3) 25 pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1,6,10) 31 pts
5 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2,3,5) 31 pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (6,1,9,8,8,1) 33 pts
7 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7,1,9) 34 pts
8 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4,10,8) 36 pts
9 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9,7,7) 43 pts
10 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11,9,6) 59 pts
11 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10,11,11) 62pts
Gerry Mitchell (GBR) mainsail trimmer Alegre (GBR):
“We’re pretty happy with today. It was one of those races where anything can happen. The wind was very strange even when we did race. We expected more breeze than that from our forecast, but you’ve got to go with what you’ve got and we were pretty happy with the result. We’re very happy with our position going into tomorrow. We’re in podium position right now – easily in touch with second. It’s going to be a different day tomorrow I think, so we’ll see what we can do. We were in a similar position last year. We seem to come out of the box pretty well. I think a lot of other boats have been training this year. We trained a lot early on last year. A lot of other guys have been out there with us this year, so we’re pretty happy to be where we are. I think the key to our preparations has been about getting onto the water early enough, looking at all of the new gear early enough. But from here you’ve got to try and improve as the season goes on. We had some changes and things last year, and other people caught up to us a bit after Valencia. We’ll just try to take it one step at a time, and keep on top of the game.”
Markus Wieser (GER) tactician Platoon (GER):
“Sometimes you have to be more lucky than good and that was today to some extent. We got a penalty in the pre start. And we had to do another penalty turn close to the committee boat. We could just get under Paprec and so we could get to the right side which is what we wanted. But we were well back in the fleet. And then we got a nice right shift and got a clear lane. We had a lift all the way and got to sixth or seventh but had closed back on the fleet. Everyone gybe set but we went for a bear away set which was the right call because the others were all slowing down. We gained a lot, third at the leeward gate and then we caught Alegre which was perfect because we are very close together on the overall rankings. Second is good for us. Considering how we started the day to end up second is amazing.”
Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
“The goal for the day was three points a race or less and so we miss that goal by a point but neither did we shoot ourselves in the foot. This venue is proving to be quite challenging. We had a long debrief this morning about the coastal race. Ed and the guys got us such a good start and I gave back three points we did not have to. And then you have a day like today which in fact is the same result and you feel so much better about the result because we were a little bit back, we had a nice clearing rack off the start. Rán tacked to leeward of us. Ed and the guys were doing their thing and the boat was going really, really well. It is going way better than last year. We got a little bit tangled at the top with Paprec. It feels a bit like holding serve today but with three races tomorrow I would rather be sitting where we are than where anyone else is.”
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