Archive | 52 Super Series

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Eight NEW TP52s for next years 52 SUPER SERIES and events’ dates announced

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: 52 Super Series] Eight newly built TP52s will compete on the 2015 52 SUPER SERIES circuit in fleet which is expected to comprise 12 to 14 boats, including three teams who will be new to the series in Europe, over a five regatta circuit at venues which are presently being finalised.

The high number of new boats for next season reflects the controlled evolution and success of the class and the 52 SUPER SERIES circuit in delivering fast, exciting, close racing at desirable venues, competing against like minded owners and teams.

Ten years after the TP52s were first adopted into Europe the class remains true to a box rule concept which has been well managed to racing remains tight but there are still sufficient design opportunities to develop and design performance differences.

The new 2015 generation boats will be faster still and more challenging to sail. Sail area increases – mainsails, jibs and gennakers all get bigger – overall displacement reduces but draft and hence righting moment or power increases – carbon rigging is adopted, bowsprits are longer, new generation carbon rigs will be stiffer and deflectors are allowed and cockpit volume is opened up.

The eight new boats include those for existing 52 SUPER SERIES teams, Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos USA), Azzurra (Roemmers family ARG), Sled (Takashi Okura, USA/JPN), Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR), Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR). Two teams are choosing to remain anonymous but have boats already commissioned.

Interestingly the new boats which have been ordered are split 50:50, four apiece between the two established design houses Botin Partners and Judel/Vrolijk.

While the performance of the new generation of TP52s is expected to step up significantly from the main crop of boats which compete currently on the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES, what is especially exciting is that with fleet will converge back to a much closer design envelope. With such a high proportion of the fleet new, or much more recent designs, then the playing field for the 2015 season will be level. There will be no hiding place. There will be no excuse to lose.

“In a way that is terrifying.” Smiles Tony Rey, the project manager for Ergin Imre’s Provezza team. Imre is without question one of the circuit’s most experienced and enthusiastic owners, with his Provezza projects dating back 25 years through one design, IMS and IOR. A new Vrolijk designed Provezza is being built at Cooksons in New Zealand with Chris Hosking managing the construction for the team which is expecting the new boat to be ready around Christmas.

“ That is the thing I find most exciting.” Rey expands, “ A new boat does not make us faster than the old boat. It highlights any weaknesses that we have compared to other teams. A new boat will shine a light on all aspects of our team, our maintenance, our organisation, our crew work, our communication, that is what a new boat does.”

“We are on the level playing field and we can’t hide any more with ‘oh this old boat’”

Of the publically confirmed projects four will build in Europe, Provezza in New Zealand and one at Premier Composites Dubai facility.

And with a bigger fleet the critical design decisions are opened, taken or have been taken, how to mode the new boat to gain an edge upwind. Now it becomes key to design in the ability to be in the very top spots at the first upwind mark:

Guillermo Parada, skipper of Azzurra, explains:

“It is very exciting for our team, for the SUPER SERIES and for the class that there will be eight new boats for next season. That means the competition will be really tough and also having 14 boats expected on the start line next season it is a very different challenge that we are facing as a team. The new boats need to be more upwind orientated because in a bigger fleet you need to make sure you get to the top mark in good shape and from there on you plan your race, otherwise in a small fleet you can have very good downwind boat that is not so good upwind. That will be the biggest change. And with all the changes in the rule, the carbon rigging, deflectors, more draft, lighter boats those are parameters which will make the boat even more challenging to sail.”

TP52 World Champions and 52 SUPER SERIES champions Quantum Racing’s project manager Ed Reynolds elaborates:
“ The new boats will be a lot faster, more manageable and I think they will level off the playing field quite a bit between the pro drivers and some of the owner drivers because they are going to be balanced a little better and they will be faster downwind. It’s exciting.”

But along with the design differences in design, Ed Reynolds highlights the enduring appeal which keeps the TP52 popular with owners and crews:

“I think we have been around 7000kgs on our headstay loads and the new boats will be around  7500kgs, we are going to carbon rigging, these boats get loaded up. But the really nice thing about the 52’s is that we feel it is the biggest boat that you can really have that you are still racing it like a dinghy. Any bigger then some of the crew work, the kinetics, the things you can do with smaller boats that you can with the 52, you can’t do above this size. Racing these boats everybody loves it.
For us they have done such a great job with the box rule it will be hard to come out and leapfrog the opposition. Our focus is on moding the boat. How high a drag do we want our fin? Where do we want to be against fleet downwind? Which wind range? I think that is the technological advantage you look for in this fleet. It is indisputable. This box rule has been as level and as well thought out as anything outside of one design boats I have ever seen.

“We are so excited about this. For the Class it means the total of TP52s built in 15 years is set to rise now above 70 boats which is quite an achievement if we recognise that these are large one-off racing yachts built to the highest standards at the time of construction.”

“ In a way it is logical to see these bursts of construction activity such as we have now. We have seen them in the past as well. The TP52 owners are fans of level, real time racing and when so many start building it is represents a very good moment to jump on the train and have a realistic chance to be at par with the majority of boats for some years to come.” TP52 Class Manager Rob Weiland highlights.

CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES Agustin Zulueta summarises: “The circuit is shaping up well for 2015 we are finalising the venues right now so that we reflect a genuine pan European spread of locations, five regattas over five months, exciting places and established favourites. The 52 SUPER SERIES is ever growing and exceeding expectations set out at the beginning of the year. There is no doubt that the formula we offer is a recipe for success. In 2014 we formed strong links with international companies such as Barclays, Zenith, Gaastra and in the last weeks Peters & May. Continued interest in the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES and eight new boats for next year, confirms that the 52 SUPER SERIES is the place to be in the years to come.

Build Table for 2015 at 18th August 2014:

  • TBA  (sistership Quantum)
  • Quantum Racing USA- Botin – Longitud Cero (ESP)
  • Azzurra ITA – Botin – King Marine (ESP)
  • Sled USA/JPN – Botin – Cookson (NZ)
  • Rán Racing SWE – Vrolijk – Persico (ITA)
  • Gladiator GBR (sistership Rán)
  • Provezza TUR – Vrolijk – Cookson (NZ)
  • TBA,  Vrolijk – Premier (Dubai)


  • May, 18th – 23rd
  • June, 08th – 13th
  • July, 13th – 18th
  • August, 03rd – 08th
  • September 15th – 20th

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Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship

Posted on 16 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: 52 Super Series] The TP52 World Championship will once again be a constituent regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES in 2015 and with eight new TP52s already confirmed to be building for next season, the World Championship title will be one of the hardest fought ever in 2015 as the fleet enjoys significant growth.

The exact size of the fleet for 2015 is still not known but the current expectation is for at least 12 boats representing 12 different nations.

“We are very excited to be going to Puerto Portals for the TP52 World Championships in 2015. We are pleased to see not only that the fleet is growing but it is becoming increasingly international. That was one of the goals we set as the world’s leading monohull circuit.” Says Agustin Zulueta the CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES.

Corinna Graf, CEO of Puerto Portals confirms that they had been looking to return to hosting top level international racing but they have been waiting the right opportunity.

“We were seeking an event which brings real prestige, a race which is of public relevance and a true top level sporting test. Being hosts of a stage of the 52 SUPER SERIES will bring great pride to the port. And crowning a new world champion in 2015 will add a new level of prestige.”

Rob Weiland, manager of the TP52 class, also is pleased to bring the World Championship to Puerto Portals World: “It’s a beautiful place to sail. I was here for the first time in 2005 for the Breitling Cup and have always loved the infrastructure and the ambience. Conditions will be excellent for racing and there are many good restaurants very close to the dock. I am convinced that the World Championship in Puerto Portals is going to be a great success. “

Puerto Portals has a long and storied relationship with the Class since it was adopted in the Med in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 the venue was a regular fixture on the MedCup circuit, usually with a royal presence and unique ambience.

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Back to Basics means Back in the Game

Posted on 06 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] A couple of frustratingly inconsistent opening days for Niklas Zennström’s crew prompted a serious debrief Tuesday night – the afterguard in particular concluding that they needed to return once again to doing the basics well, looking at their processes leading up to decisions rather than simply deconstructing and rueing mistakes.

Their reward came today when they lead through the leeward gate after the first short upwind-downwind circuit in a modest sea breeze and from there they built an initial margin which they held on to through the next three hours of racing, a series of upwind and downwind circuits in the west of the Bay of Palma.

The winning crew were pleased to have bounced back after what navigator Steve Hayles described on the dock as one of the most disappointing days he can recall with the team.

Today in the nine to 11kts of breeze they started well to track Phoenix around the top mark after the opening 2.2 miles beat. Then, on the heels of a few seconds of extra wind pressure they were able to gybe down inside the Brazilian flagged team to lead through the gate. And from there it was relatively plain sailing as Phoenix and Gladiator enjoyed a spirited tussle over second and third. On the finish line with the breeze having built to a pleasant 13-15kts it was Phoenix which prevailed for second with Tony Langley’s crew taking third.

If the battle for second and third had its moments, the duel between Azzurra and Quantum Racing proved especially frustrating for the circuit and regatta leaders Quantum Racing. Tactician Terry Hutchinson was adamant that he would have preferred that both focused on getting back to the top spots in the race rather than match racing each other in the cheap seats:

“That is not way would have sailed it. I don’t look back that much (after a race) and potentially that is a mistake. I am focused on winning the regatta not beating one boat. You have to ask them why they chose that strategy but it would not have been mine. I would have chosen to extend and try and get out in front and let our speed work. We are going quite well. That is how we got around them. They tacked on us probably six or seven times and every time they tacked on us we gained. Every time they sent us the wrong way we gained.”

Vasco Vascotto Azzurra’s tactician had a different view after holding on to finish fifth, holding back Quantum Racing to sixth:

“The result of the race might not seem good, and indeed a fifth place isn’t a good one, but we were victorious in the match race with our direct opponents, Quantum. It was important to control them even at the expense of losing positions to the rest of the fleet. It’s been two races that we finished ahead of them and everything is still possible both for us and the other competitors. Today we understood a lot of things that will improve our performance, we are upbeat, and if we do things the right way, we can make it.”

With their coastal race victory Rán Racing move back up to second overall, tied on 18pts with Azzurra. And for all that the sixth place for Quantum Racing almost doubled their morning aggregate, in effect they only lost a point of their overall lead which stands at five points after five of 11 races. Gladiator’s third leaves them on 19pts in fourth.

Hayles concluded: “ We had a good long look at ourselves after yesterday and we were mightily unhappy with what we achieved yesterday. It was a good sit down. A lot of it is going back to basics. Yesterday we concentrated on the afterguard totally. We have lots of different ways of debriefing, sometimes the guys are looking at the video and seeing how they do manoeuvres for example in the middle of the boat, but yesterday we were trying to understand the specific mistakes we made but why they happened. It is about the process you go through. There is no point in sitting down and saying we should have done X when we did Y. It is about sitting down and saying the style of our sailing was wrong, it was about the start and other things but certainly yesterday it did not work. I can’t think of a worse day with this team. It was nice to come back today, back to basics, we made sure the communication was very very strong, stating very basic obvious things, that is all we really set out to do.”

Standings BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES – Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Overall after 5 races

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (2,1,2,2,6) 13pts
2. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (1,7,6,3,1) 18pts
3. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,4,1,5) 18pts
4. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/8,2,1,5,3) 19pts
5. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (6,3,3,6,2) 20pts
6. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (4,6,5,4,4) 23pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (5,4,DNF/8,DNS/8,7) 32pts

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Polished close to perfection

Posted on 05 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Barclays 52 Super Series] After four races the team which is skippered by Ed Baird have finished no worse than second, holding on to that record across two contests today which were much more challenging than the one sided, one dimensional pair on Monday.

The fleet were moved to the middle course area, further offshore. After an hour of delay waiting for the sea breeze to fill in and settle, the day’s first race was marked by big shifts and changes in wind pressure as the two conflicting breezes which prevailed on either side of the Bay, made their presence felt fighting on the 52’s race arena. The wind faded significantly for the second half of the race, dropping to just six knots at times but by late afternoon, the right hand breeze finally established a more solid supremacy to deliver a quicker second contest.

It looked like Quantum Racing were on course to win the first race of the day after they had lead around the top mark and built a cushion which at one point was the best part of 100 metres. But Gladiator, with America’s Cup winner Tom Slingsby calling tactics, recognised there was more, new pressure working in from the right of the downwind and with it a favourable 25 degrees shift. They lead the gains on this side of the course, along with Paprec and Phoenix, and were able to steal ahead of Quantum Racing before the gate. Tony Langley’s crew held on to lead Quantum Racing across the finish, earning their first winning gun of the season.

“ In second half it started to fall apart, the breeze started dying and it got a little scarier.” Recalled Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Ed Baird, “ And that is where we got passed on the first run because we were playing the shifts based on the last hour of windshift and we had some 25 degrees new right shift on that first run. Gladiator got around us with a more aggressive strategy on the other side of the run.”

Quantum Racing dictated terms to the cluster of boats trying to win the Committee Boat end of the start line as the gun went, but it was Azzurra which executed a perfect time on distance start, almost alone and unattended at the opposite, pin end of the start line. And with the breeze up to 11kts, in sparkling late afternoon sunshine Azzurrra kept the 2013 52 SUPER SERIES champions behind all the way around the windward leeward track, covering when they needed to, ensuring that the bullet was theirs.

Wins for Gladiator and Azzurra today means different crews have won each of the four races sailed so far on the Bay of Palma.

Both Azzurra and Gladiator managed to complement their race wins today with solid counting results which allowed them both to vault ahead of Rán Racing, now lying second and third respectively. The fleet was one boat short today as the unfortunate Provezza broke a D1 shroud before the start and so a replacement was being brought in from Valencia and the crew are confident they should be able to race in the coastal race scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow).

Standings BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES – Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Overall after four races

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (2,1,2,2) 7pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,4,1) 13pts
3. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/8,2,1,5) 16pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (1,7,6,3) 17pts
5. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (6,3,3,6) 18pts
6. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (4,6,5,4) 19pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (5,4,DNF/8,DNS/8) 25pts


Guillermo Parada (ARG), skipper helm Azzurra (ITA): “Thanks to this win we have turned things around. Yesterday we didn’t sail well and we also just weren’t very lucky. Let’s hope that this win will help us improve our sailing here at the Copa del Rey, we are going to have to fight hard to win. There are lots of variables that are beyond our control, but we have to start again here in Palma knowing that we did our best to win. In the first race we weren’t lucky, we started off well, but we couldn’t tack when we wanted to because we were covered by another boat. We didn’t manage to get back in the game in spite of our efforts.”

Tom Slingsby (AUS) tactician, Gladiator (GBR): “It was a better day for us. We had a very good start in the first race but it was very shifty we got to second around the top mark and caught Quantum Racing down the run and then it was back and forth up the final beat but we were able to hold on. I think it is our first win this year and hopefully not our last. We were up and down in the second race. Up the second beat we got it a bit wrong and dropped to fifth, but overall things are going better. We are happy. We halved our points from yesterday so it is encouraging.”

Ed Baird (USA) skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA): “We are very happy to have extended our lead just a little bit today. It was a tricky day. Out in the middle of the Bay both sides influence what happens, trying to go to the left on the left side and trying to go to the right on the right side. You are never sure which is going to pay off and so we are really happy to come away with a couple of second places. In the first race we tried to use the starting line bias on the port end as our first shift, we got off the line pretty well and were able to cross the group and there were some lefties (left shifts) in that race in the first half. In second half it started to fall apart, the breeze started dying and it got a little scarier. And that is where we got passed on the first run because we were playing the shifts based on the last hour of windshift and we had some 25 degrees new right shift on that first run and Gladiator got around us with a more aggressive strategy on the other side of the run.”

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Consistent Quantum Racing on top at Copa del Rey

Posted on 04 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Barclays 52 Super Series] With Ed Baird driving two crisp, clean starts Quantum Racing scored a second and a first to lead the seven boat fleet by five points. Reflecting the real mixed fortunes which seemed to prevail otherwise, Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing won the first race but then dropped to a seventh in the second windward-leeward but still hold second place overall on eight points, sharing the same points aggregate as Azzurra who scored 3,5 for the day.

In the fundamental battle for the preferred left side of the first upwind, it goes almost without saying that the starts were absolutely key and Quantum Racing’s were good enough both times that they were able to twice lead around the first windward turns.

Rán Racing were able to slide down inside them on the first run to earn the prime choice of leeward gate mark. From there Zennström’s crew were able to extend to win comfortably from Quantum Racing and Azzurra.

Ever the perfectionist Quantum Racing’s Terry Hutchinson may have come ashore to the Real Club Nautica de Palma mildly perturbed, feeling that he had rather let Rán Racing off the hook in the first race, but he was nonetheless pleased to have come away with a pair of good results to start Quantum Racing’s defence of the Copa del Rey title.

“I am kicking myself a little bit for the first race. We had an opportunity about three minutes into the leg to take a step up to Rán Racing and pound them and we didn’t. The leg played out with a little right shift on the way out to the port tack lay line and it played a little havoc for us. And Rán were just in that 13kts windspeed where they go quite nicely downwind and I got mad at myself for not being more proactive down that first run, getting Ed down to put the squash on them, Michele was harder than I was in enforcing, but we bounced back and had a good second race.”

“But, you know, it is a long regatta. Nine races to go from here.” He cautions.

Tony Langley’s Gladiator messed up their kite drop at the leeward gate and paid a heavy price when they trawled it behind them, but to their credit they were straight back on to the horse for the second race. They absolutely nailed the start on the pin end of the line. They had to accede to Quantum Racing’s slight speed edge but held on for a good second place across the Race 2 finish line. In contrast this time it was Rán Racing which was not so good off the start line and that put the Race 1 winners on the back foot round the first circuit. They had worked up to fourth or fifth whenthey had to take a penalty for infringing Paprec which dropped them back to a seventh placed finish.

Quantum Racing lead the regatta by five points but there are only two points separating second from seventh, showing just how close racing is in the regatta’s premier class.

Standings BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES – Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Overall after two races

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (2,1) 3pts
2. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (1,7) 8pts
3. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5) 8pts
4. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (6,3) 9pts
5. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (5,4) 9pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/8,2) 10pts
7. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (4,6) 10pts

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Quantum Racing win AUDI TP52 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP title

Posted on 15 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] The five day event lost two to very light winds but the five race series – two coastal races and three windward leewards – still felt like a marathon for many of the nine teams from seven different nations.

The waiting on the water was often as mentally taxing as some of the racing, not least today when the fleet drifted around for five hours waiting for a racing breeze to materialise. The hanging around, full of intent, was to no avail as there was no racing today.

Quantum Racing win the title for the fourth time, following up from 2008 in Lanzarote, 2010 in Valencia and 2011, also in Porto Cervo. Tactician Terry Hutchinson grinned: “The bounceback is fuelled as much by anger and rage!” he joked, “But now it is goosebumps time.”

The defending 52 SUPER SERIES champions, who also won the US 52 SUPER SERIES in their native USA earlier this season scored consistently well across the two coastal races and the windward leewards finishing no lower than third. They won the 31 miles coastal race and one windward leeward in their 1,2,2,3,2 scoreline to finish two points up on the fast emerging Brazilian team of Eduardo de Souza Ramos which has Santi Lange as tactician.

The new crew which only came together when the boat was launched in April, won twice on Friday’s windward-leeward course to finish one point ahead of Rán Racing, Niklas Zennström’s 2013 World Champions.

Double Olympian De Souza Ramos won the Owner-Driver award, leading a team which spans the age and experience range including Brazil’s 49er Olympic sailors, Volvo Round the World sailors and crew who have sailed with the owner in his previous Soto 40, Farr 40, Melges 24 and 32

After the pressure of waiting in a transition zone, a calm, no go area where the confluence of the different winds kept the teams starved of breeze and on tenterhooks in the hot sunshine, thunderclouds building overhead just before racing was canned, back on the dock at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, with the beads of sweat still formed on his brow Hutchinson raked his hat back , scratched his head and revealed his relief:

“These are without question the hardest days because you are waiting around, and know the severity of a bad race. The conditions are going to be challenging at best. And so I think that if you give out a game ball so to speak, you would give it to the race committee for their patience and perseverance and seeing the day all the way through. And at the same time through the course of the regatta never really running any marginal races. It was a great contest. And in the end we are just happy – probably more relieved than anything – that we sailed a good regatta. The bounceback after Capri is what we are probably going to be most proud of.”

In the end there was just three points between the top three teams, local favourites Azzurra who won in Capri slumped to a fourth place on their own home waters, carrying two fifths and a weighty seventh. Now they will be looking to match this Quantum Racing bounceback at the third regatta of the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES, Palma’s jewel in the Mediterranean Copa del Rey in early August.

With their win here and third in Capri, Quantum Racing lead the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES by three points ahead of Rán Racing who in turn are one point up on Azzurra.

FINAL STANDINGS – Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy
Overall after 5 races
1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,2,3,2) 10pts
2. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3,3,1,1) 12pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1,1,4,4) 13pts
4. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5,7,2,5) 21pts
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,4,5,3) 24pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,6,7,DNF) 33pts
7. Paprec Recyclage, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,6,5,9,6) 34pts
8. Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8,8,6,8) 37pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF,9,8,7) 43pts

1. Quantum – USA (23 + 10) = 33 points
2. Rán – SWE (24 + 13) = 37 points
3. Azzurra – ITA (17 + 21) = 38 points
4. Phoenix – BRA (30 + 12) = 42 points
5. Gladiator – ENG (34 + 24) = 58 points
6. Provezza – TUR (35 + 33) = 68 points
7. VESPER – USA (21 + 50) = 71 points
8. Paprec – FRA (40 + 34) = 74 points
9. b2 – ITA (46 + 43) = 89 points
10.Hurakan – ITA (60 + 37) = 97 points

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Quantum Racing profit on Friday 13th, Phoenix on the up

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] While the Ed Baird skippered 52 SUPER SERIES champions actually extended their overall margin, the world champions, Rán Racing, may rue jumping the start gun for the third race of the day.

It was a close call, down to just one second according to tactician Adrian Stead, but their need to restart cost them time and although they recovered to a useful fourth, Niklas Zennström’s defending world champions find themselves in third, three points adrift with one day of racing left.

If Quantum Racing are back to their potent best, the day really belonged to Eduardo de Souza Ramos crew on Phoenix. They added astute tactics from double Olympic medallist Santi Lange (ARG) to excellent boatspeed from the fleet’s only new 2015 generation Botin design to compose two very good, back to back wins, promoting them to second overall.

Their 3,1,1 for the day allowed them to leapfrog Rán Racing.

Each race was sailed in different conditions, starting gently and finishing up in the 15-17kts of Mistral direction which had been promised on many different forecasts. Indeed the NW’ly threatened to come in several times, scaring off the existing breeze to require delays between each race.

Rán Racing’s Zennström nailed the first start of the day, accelerating away from the premium position on the line, the pin end, which allowed the world champions to earn the preferred left side of the track upwind. They were able to extend slightly to win comfortably over Quantum Racing. The American flagged team were second around the top mark ahead of Phoenix and the order stayed the same to the finish line.

Race 4 of the series and Phoenix were well positioned to tack and take first advantage of the small left shift in the breeze which gave them a small gain. As the breeze moved left the battle to control that side meant two or three boats overstood the layline to the first turn, but Phoenix rounded first ahead of Azzurra with Quantum Racing third and Gladiator fourth.

The Mistral started to come in with a little more force in the final race of the day. The left looked favourite again and in fact Provezza, Ergin Imre’s crew, had more or less gained the advantage when the top two metres of their mast inexplicably dropped off. Phoenix were able to lead around the top mark ahead of Azzurra and Quantum Racing. Terry Hutchinson called a good shift near the bottom of the run and they were able to nick through by the gate, taking second across the line behind the Brazilians.

It was another long, but rewarding day on the water. After two coastal races then three races in a day, Terry Hutchinson remarked wryly:

“When we went out this morning having only done two races over the last three days it felt like we had already sailed a regatta. It was a hard day. I think in so many ways that the last race was a really good confidence builder for us. We got tangled up a little bit after the start but we had a glamour first run, the boat was going really well, probably the best we have gone all season downwind, so that was very encouraging but there you go, some days you are the bug and some days you are the windshield, and we survived Friday the 13th quite well.”

Standings Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy – Overall after 5 races
1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,2,3,2) 10pts
2. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3,3,1,1) 12pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1,1,4,4) 13pts
4. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5,7,2,5) 21pts
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,4,5,3) 24pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,6,7,DNF) 33pts
7. Paprec Recyclage, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,6,5,9,6) 34pts
8. Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8,8,6,8) 37pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF,9,8,7) 43pts

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Rán Racing step on up with coastal win

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] Niklas and Catherine Zennström’s crew held off the challenge from Quantum Racing to the finish line as all four top boats finished within a minute and indeed only 35 seconds separated Rán Racing, second placed Quantum Racing and Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Phoenix in third.

After three hours of sailing during which there was no let up in the action at all, ranking as one of the closest coastal racing yet on the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES, any one of the top four boats could have won. Rán Racing’s coastal triumph brings them to within one point of regatta leaders Quantum Racing which has scored a first and second to Rán Racing’s first and third.

Local favourites Azzurra dropped to a disappointing fifth place today to lie third overall.

If the course was not quite as breezy as last year’s blast up and down ‘Bomb Alley’, it offered more opportunities with a diet of wind shifts and changes of pressure around the many headlands and as the channel successively widens and narrows.

A short delay until the wind settled in the west was well worth it, as was the choice to eliminate an initial short leg. Instead the fleet was straight into the cut and thrust of close quarters hand-to-hand combat negotiating the first funnelling effect.

Ergin Imre’s Turkish flagged team on Provezza sailed an immaculate long beat to the turn. After baling out from the pin end of the start they were able to lift away to the right in an early controlling position, leading for more than half of the course. They lost Quantum Racing at the island turn when the defending 52 SUPER SERIES champions just managed to slide down inside them on the kite hoist.

But the Provezza team kept their shoulder to the wheel and when Quantum Racing and Phoenix erred right into lighter, lifted pressure they were able to come back and lead again. They stayed doggedly in the mix, just losing out at the Tre Monte mark where they shed some metres to the top three, finishing a bittersweet fourth. Though it is good, solid result for the team, tactician Tony Rey explained their mixed feelings:

“At Spargi I said to the guys don’t be afraid of a close race in this class, keep doing what we are doing well, we responded and then we got jumped on at the bottom, we had the wrong kite up, there were probably a dozen small things and in the end then we ended up like a puppy at the side of the road that had just been rolled by three big trucks. But we managed to hang on to the place. But in the big picture….it was a great day for us, a really good day.”

Rán Racing, Quantum Racing, Phoenix

Rán Racing worked consistently hard to take all the opportunities that came their way. In the early part of the course they were as low as fifth, and some distance from fourth. Up to Caprera and just beyond they were in the mix but were forced to the right into lighter breeze which lost them distance. But Ado Stead and strategist Nic Asher made their best calls on the downwind, having gotten themselves into a position to attack. They used a couple of good heading gusts well off the pretty town of Palau – where the breeze swirled to a mix of light spots and very useful puffs – and were able to roll down past Provezza and Quantum Racing. From there they kept cool heads and made no mistakes to the line.

Zennström smiled: “It was a fantastic race. For a three hours course there were four boats finishing within a minute, and it was full on for three hours, so lots of concentration, lots of hard work. Great fun. Quantum Racing were right behind at the last mark and at that point if they tacked we tacked. The run from the rock all the way back was very close.”

Racing continues Friday and Saturday with windward-leeward courses.

Standings: Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy – Overall after 2 races

Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2) 3pts
Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1) 4pts
Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5) 7pts
Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3) 7pts
Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4) 10pts
Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7) 12pts
Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (8,6) 14pts
Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8) 15pts
B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF) 19pts

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