TP52s On Their Marks in Cascais
An unsettled, breezy start to the Cascais Cup, the finale of the 2015 52 SUPER SERIES seems to be on the cards. There was something of a foretaste today when the fleet warmed up in sizeable waves and a moderately fresh wind for the official practice race. Strong winds are forecast to pass over the race area overnight but most teams are still anticipating racing in over 20kts for the first windward-leeward contests on the Atlantic on Tuesday.
Azzurra, 52 SUPER SERIES leaders, proved they are on track when they raced around the course in second place. But like practice race leaders Platoon they had been closed out on the start line and so did not finish across the line, leaving Takashi Okura’s Sled to claim the winning gun.
Although most of the top pro sailors have been to Cascais many times the no-stone-unturned approach means many of the top Portuguese Olympians have been called into service. Star Olympian, Bacardi Cup winner and former Bigamist TP52 skipper Afonso Domingos is supporting Platoon, Hugo Rocha and Paulo Manso are with the Italian Hurakan team. But as Platoon’s German tactician Markus Wieser of Platoon warned again, starting well and sailing cleanly are much more fundamental to success than any local specifics. And in the big winds big wins are quite probable:
The race winner is always good at the start. If we have a good start we can hold our lane and if you hold your lane you can decide which side you want to go with. Like today we were leading on the upwind marker and got clear. But if you are locked with other boats you end up losing your angles anyway. If you can sail your angles downwind in the breeze and the waves you can open distance. If you are in front it looks easy but if you are behind you don’t know what is going on. When it’s windy the margins will be quite big.
Markus Wieser, tactician, Platoon
Said Wieser on the dock in the Marina de Cascais
Behind the scenes final preparations and testing was under way for the 52 SUPER SERIES moving to full live coverage broadcast from the water during racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Integrated with the 52 SUPER SERIES new mobile application – developed by Virtual Eye – subscribers will be able to follow all the racing move by move, mark by mark, via the application which is available from Google Play store for Android users and for Apple users from the iTunes site.
Markus Wieser (GER) Platoon: “In the strong breeze we are looking fast, the boat is really good in the strong breeze and we sailed a nice race. I did the Dragon Europeans two years ago here in Cascais but I am not sailing so much in Cascais now. For the TP52 it is great. There are big waves you can sail downwind at 18-19kts and it’s a great place to go sailing.
We learned from Palma to stay out of the trouble not to get too much into the boat on boat conflict and to stay safe and clean and to minimize our manoeuvres and to just try to sail the race cleanly. You can have a good day or you can have a bad day but you don’t know. It always comes down to how you start. The race winner is always good at the start. If we have a good start we can hold our lane and if you hold your lane you can decide which side you want to go with. Like today we were leading on the upwind marker and got clear. But if you are locked with other boats you end up losing your angles anyway. If you can sail your angles downwind in the breeze and the waves you can open distance. If you are in front it looks easy but if you are behind you don’t know what is going on. When it’s windy the margins will be quite big. The boats behind will always have to do a few more manoeuvres and two more tacks can lose you 50m. Tomorrow it will be blowing quite a lot but with huge waves.”
Juan Vila (ESP) Quantum Racing: “It is still supposed to be a little bit windy tomorrow, then it is going to get more into the light stuff but obviously it’s quite unsettled and changeable right now so we will look at that long term but tomorrow we should have a decent breeze and see what comes from it. Probably tomorrow will be the most wind we will get maybe in the last stages the wind will pick up again. Cascais is a great venue, it’s typically windier on average than all the other venues in the Mediterranean that we have been to.
We will just have to take more into account the currents here, it is quite a tidal venue. Sometimes it can be about a Knot and a half, it’s not huge like it would be on the Solent but there is quite a lot of difference between some areas on the race-course. It can be the difference between having half a not with you or half a knot against. That is quite different.”
Guillermo Parada (ARG) Azzurra: “Today we were there to check the new course and get a feeling for the boat and the waves and we are happy that we have a competitive boat and with solid crew work we should be able to have a good first three days. From then on we will make sure we take our chances for the regatta. But our focus is to make sure we sail for the Series title. We will stick our racing and make sure that we do our homework; that we have the boat going fast, we don’t have any breakages or any fouls and then it is a lot easier if we achieve those three basic things. Then it is just making sure these first three days are good enough to make sure the season is under control and then we measure our chances to go for the regatta. We definitely want to finish here on a high note. We like the place and the boat is going well so why not? The whole team has been here a few times and for some other regattas but I think that everybody in the fleet knows it the same so it’s not that we have any advantage but in our particular case I think that we do like the waves. The way we trim the sails suits us. We have a new main sail that we hope is going to help a little bit because it is the only sail you use 100 percent of the time so we are hopeful that that will give us a little bit of extra speed which is obviously welcome.”
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