5th of May, 2016

The Work Starts Here: Quantum Racing Lead Palma Vela

(Thursday 5th May, Palma de Mallorca) – Gaastra Palma Vela, the opening regatta for the Mediterranean racing season, delivered perfect conditions for the nine-boat TP52 fleet which saw Quantum Racing scoring best from the two windward-leeward races.

With Terry Hutchinson sailing as tactician, Ed Baird steering and Ian Moore resuming the role as navigator for this season, Quantum Racing made the best possible start with a gun to gun victory in the first race. Sailing in 9-12kts of sea breeze, Quantum Racing were able to make enough of a gain on the first upwind leg to lead Azzurra round. At the finish Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec, with Ado Stead as tactician took third, a further 40 seconds behind Azzurra.

Provezza, ninth in the first race, bounced right back to lead the second contest and nail down a good win, restoring morale on board Ergin Imre’s Turkish flagged 52.

Quantum Racing lead by four points ahead of Azzurra which went 2-5 for the first day with Andy Soriano’s nicely consistent Alegre third, posting two fourth places today.
After racing Terry Hutchinson explained:

We did not get the first start that we wanted, Plan A, but we went quite well on the long starboard tack we battled Azzurra who had started cleanly. But we fought back and picked them off on the J Class which was some nice work. The breeze was even further right on the second race and went further right. Our plan was to make a good start in the middle of the line and to go straight because we did not really know what was going to happen. But Ed [Baird], Greg [Gendell] and Ian [Moore] did a really nice execution to get a good start. We went straight and lifted and lifted. And they kind of peeled away one by one. But I don’t think they got the pressure.

We have a lot of work to do. We really missed the Valencia session. The boat sailed at Key West and the group sailed collectively for a day after Key West, but missing that Valencia session was tough. So now we have to be smart and methodical and use every moment that we have to get better. We had a great lead into this regatta but there is so much work to do. We have three new people this year in Rodney Ardern (pit), Ian Moore navigating and James Dagg trimming upwind. Our sail designer Brett Jones has taken the big step into the chase boat to help us get better. And we have a new shore team with Brendan Darrer leading it. And so there are a lot of new ‘moving parts’ to the squad.

We have a two boat programme going with Platoon, sharing the same coach in James Lyne, he gives all the debriefs. We are only four or five days into it but if this is the base line then it is valuable to us both. I rate James Lyne very highly because we see things very differently. We are never going to look at the blue jacket and see it as the same shade of blue. I have the utmost respect for him and it is a great relationship. When he tells me ‘I think you are wrong’ I listen to him.

Tony Rey (USA), tactician of Provezza (TUR) summed up:

We did it in the correct order, last then first so we came in feeling a bit better. On the second race we got the start we wanted. We had a strategy to go left into more pressure. We were happy to keep it simple and stay out in front.

How do you know where you are now? We had four terrible days of practice, but typically that bodes well for the racing. That’s how it plays out! But there is no question for me that there will not be one team here that will feel comfortable going in to Scarlino. We are all going to feel like we need to be better. There will be no team feeling comfortable at this regatta.

Guillermo Parada (ARG), skipper-helm Azzurra (ITA):

Quantum Racing had a good day, they sailed fast and sailed smart. We had a reasonable day and are happy with the start of the regatta.

Gaastra Palma Vela
TP52 Standings after Day 1
1 Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA) 3pts, 1,2
2 Azzurra (Alberto Roemmers, ARG) 7pts, 2,5
3 Alegre (Andy Soriano, GBR/USA) 8pts, 4,4
4 Platoon (Harm Müller Spreer, GER) 9pts, 6,3
5 Gazprom Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS) 9pts, 3,6
6 Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) 10pts, 9,1
7 Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE) 12pts, 5,7
8 Sled (Takashi Okura, USA) 15pts, 8,7
9 Spirit of Malouen Paprec (Stephane Névé, FRA) 17pts 8,9

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