Spectacular photos from the second day of racing at the US 52 Championship. The approaching storm and the tornado warning, unfortunately, forced the race committee to send the boats back to port after one race
Posted on 07 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing
Spectacular photos from the second day of racing at the US 52 Championship. The approaching storm and the tornado warning, unfortunately, forced the race committee to send the boats back to port after one race
Posted on 07 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: 52 Super Series] Although three windward leeward contests were scheduled Thursday on the strength of a favourable forecast for 13-18kts S’ly winds, the race committee made the prudent decision to send the fleet ashore on notification that an expected weather front had accelerated and was due to bring very strong, dangerous thunder squalls with the possibility of tornados.
Following on from their race win Wednesday afternoon in lighter breezes, Azzurra were on impressive form. Racing more in their preferred wind range, the team which is skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) made the start that they wanted, at the committee boat end of the line and were then able to work the favoured right side of the course.
Azzurra lead around the top, windward mark with a slight margin over the IRC optimised pair Interlodge and Vesper with Quantum Racing, always a threat, in fourth.
Azzurra had built themselves a comfortable lead by the leeward gate and were able to keep control of the main group.
Believing that the breeze had moved as far right as it would, Quantum Racing broke and took their chances left of middle on the second upwind – erring away from the leaders’ track – and were rewarded with a favourable approach to the final turn, gaining to second place.
A swift gybe set on to a sustained gust from the top mark saw a great recovery from Rán Racing. Sixth at the final turn, they were within centimetres of catching third placed Interlodge on the line.
Confidence is a key strength for the Azzurra team and with two good wins back to back, the Roemmers’ family team which races for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are on song here, certainly in their preferred conditions today.
“It would have been good to race three races today but there is also an element that some of our guys hold a belief that you are only ever as good as your last race, but certainly we sailed well today. Everything was nicely controlled and we had the sense that we were always working to our game plan.” Recalled Azzurra’s trimmer Simon Fry.
Parada, Azzurra’s skipper added: “It was a beautiful race, under beautiful conditions to sail a TP52, planing downwind at 18 knots. Our crew work was very good, Francesco (Bruni, starting helmsman) had an excellent start, Vasco made very good tactical calls and the boat was fast. It’s a pity we couldn’t continue due to the tornado warning. At least, we took the lead of the championship, with a good outlook for the rest of the week. The feeling is positive and we are optimistic we can keep on performing this way.”
2014 US 52 SUPER SERIES – US CHAMPIONSHIP MIAMI
Standings after three races:
1 Azzurra (ITA) Pablo A Roemmers (ARG) 4,1,1 6pts
2 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug De Vos (USA) 1,3,2 6pts
3 Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA) 3,5,2 11pts
4 Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA) 5,2,5 12pts
5 Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,7,3 13pts
6 Hooligan (USA) Gunther Buerman (USA) 7,4,7 18pts
7 Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 6,6,6 18pts
IRC 52 Class:
1 Azzurra 4,1,1 6pts
2 Quantum Racing 1,3,2 6pts
3 Rán Racing 2,7,3 12pts
4 Vesper 5,2,5 12pts
5 Interlodge (USA) 3, 5,4 12pts
6 Hooligan 7,4,7 18pts
7 Sled (USA) 6,6,6 18pts
Posted on 06 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: 52 Super Series] In streaky, gentle breezes which only troubled double figures for a short period in the second race, Quantum Racing – with Ed Baird on the helm – proved adept at reading the changeable wind pressure. A pair of solid starts were the foundations for tactician Terry Hutchinson to build from the critical first windshift.
In the first race Rán Racing held the early lead before Quantum Racing were able to roll ahead of them on the first downwind. In the second windward-leeward 52 SUPER SERIES champions were also, again, one of the two boats to reap the benefit of the key first shift. Azzurra just managed to lead around the top mark first whilst Jim Swartz’ Vesper sailed a great run to promote themselves to second.
The Miami race course lived up to its reputation, delivering light, difficult to read breezes which were often accompanied by an awkward, slightly choppy sea. If Quantum Racing came ashore to a sunny afternoon on the docks of Miami Beach Marina with an air of quiet satisfaction, Azzurra’s tactician Vasco Vascotto acknowledged that theirs, too, had been a good opening day but he was kicking himself for a late call on the final downwind of Race 1 which he felt had handed a cheap point away to Interlodge.
That the blue boat which sails under the flag of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda finished the day one point behind the regatta leaders clearly irked Vascotto. But, for certain, their win bolstered confidence on Azzurra, even if their lead evaporated very quickly as they came under pressure from Vesper as their closed the finish line.
Vascotto recalled: “I did not make a good communication on one gybe and on that we lost one point that is important at the end of this day. The second one the plan was to go right and to start to windward. It was a good call and we had the start that we wanted, the speed was OK and so we had a quite good day. That first is important for us. Miami is an unpredictable place. You have to sail with what He gives you….and you need to make quick decisions as the conditions are always changing. Usually I am good at that, but sometimes you make mistakes. You have to be patient when you have a bad result and try to save every point. That is the reason why I am a little disappointed in myself because I lost a point for not communicating when we were in a match against Interlodge.”
Consistency proved frustratingly elusive for Rán Racing which lead the first race and went on to take second, but they found themselves out of phase with the key shifts on the second race to finish seventh, lying fifth overall after the two races.
2014 US 52 SUPER SERIES US CHAMPIONSHIP MIAMI
Standings after two races:
1 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug De Vos 1,3 4pts
2 Azzurra (ITA) Pablo A Roemmers (ARG) 4,1 5pts
3 Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA) 5,2 7pts
4 Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA) 3, 5 8pts
5 Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,7 9pts
6 Hooligan (USA) Guenther Buerman (USA) 7,4 11pts
7 Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 6,6 12pts
Terry Hutchinson USA tactician Quantum Racing (USA): “Both races were good. We went out with the objective of coming off the water with six points or less and we came off with four points. So from that regard we are pretty good. First race we had a pretty good race going with Rán Racing. We were able capitalise when they set a little too deep at the top mark first time and we rolled them. It was not a straightforward race. Second race we executed a good start and going out to the right side in a big left hand shift and both boats – us and Azzurra – made nice gains on the group. It was then who beat who to the top mark. They tacked at a really good time for us to make a hard decision and we chose to get to the right hand side of them looking for a right hand shift which materialised but it went a little light and fluffy just for about 50 seconds with them to leeward of us and they might a nice gain. From the top a big right shift and Vesper is going about two knots faster downwind than the whole fleet downwind and so it is going to be tough to keep them behind us if we get into marginal planing conditions. They sailed a quite a good race and you can see the improvements to their boat. Big picture, though? A great day, hats off to our guys on board for managing their way through a difficult day.”
Vasco Vasccotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA): “The first one was tough and personally I made a mistake, I did not make a good communication on one gybe and on that we lost one point that is important at the end of this day. The second one the plan was to go right and to start to windward. It was a good call and we had the start that we wanted, the speed was OK and so we had a quite good day. That first is important for us.
Miami is an unpredictable place. You have to sail with what He gives you….and you need to make quick decisions as the conditions are always changing.
Usually I am good at that, but sometimes you make mistakes. You have to be patient when you have a bad result and try to save every point. That is the reason why I am a little disappointed in myself because I lost a point for not communicating when we were in a match against Interlodge.
It was a good day but I am sad for having made a mistake which means we could have been better.”
Tony Rae (NZL) runners, grinder Vesper (USA): “It was not good for us in the first race, a lot better in the second. It is such close racing that is one thing doesn’t go your way you are in the pack, making extra tacks. That was the story a bit in the first race, you are dipping a couple of boats and cant quite get your pace up. We struggled a little around some of the marks and then had a little rip in the chute and recovered pretty well. Jim did a pretty good job and it was a good day overall.
We had nice pressure on the run in the second race and it just felt good. We just kept chipping away. Like all these series it is about trying to stay out of trouble and not have too many shockers.
It is interesting because with all the changes it is like a new boat to the regular guys on board, and with all the changes with a new keel and rig, it is a learning curve how the boat feels and weight fore and aft. There is a lot to learn and a lot to gain. That chop is not easy either. On starboard it was pretty lumpy at times and in the light with pressure up and down, it was about keeping the boat powered up and trying to make it feel good for Jim driving, that is a big part of it.”
Posted on 05 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing
We visited the King Marine boatyard in Valencia for a first look at the brand new TP52 Phoenix, the first one to be built under the 2015 TP52 rule. The Brazilian TP52 will soon the leave the King Marine boatyard and head to the Victory Challenge base at the Valencia Marina where she will be outfitted in order to take her maiden sail before the end of the month. The future looks bright for the TP52 class!
We will have much more photos, stories and exclusive videos in the next couple of weeks from the final preparations as well as her first sail on the waters of Valencia, so stay tuned!
Posted on 04 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: 52 Super Series] Barker, who steered Emirates Team New Zealand to TP52 circuit overall wins in 2009 and 2010, is reported to be relishing the opportunity to deputise at this 2014 52 US SUPER SERIES second event for Interlodge’s owner-helm Austin Fragomen who sustained a skiing injury two days ago. The boat which was runner up in Key West in 2013 finished with a flourish there last month, narrowly missing out on a podium finish at Quantum Key West in January.
Interlodge’s tactician Andy Horton explained:
“ To Austin’s credit there was never any talk of not doing the regatta. He wants to support the class and all the guys had put in all the work and so he said ‘let’s see how good the boat is, let’s get someone good. The boat captain Kris started calling around and Dean was really keen and said he could be on a flight and be here in the morning and so that is cool.”
Barker’s imminent arrival and the recruitment of Kenny Read as tactician on Hooligan, the winning potential of Vesper which is well optimised, were the hot topics on the dock at 52 SUPER SERIES’ Miami Beach Marina as the 52 teams put in their final preparations and training before Tuesday’s practice race. America’s Cup winner Ed Baird resumes helming duties on Quantum Racing and Azzurra’s ebullient tactician Vasco Vascotto has just underlined his form by winning the Melges 32 Miami regatta on the same waters this past week.
Terry Hutchinson, tactician on 52 SUPER SERIES champions Quantum Racing, winners in Key West in January summarises:
“ There is good step up in the fleet with Vesper here and with Kenny Read on Hooligan and Dean coming in and sailing on Interlodge, I suspect it will be different. In Key West we had Doug (DeVos) steering the boat and that was awesome for us all, but he had not been on the boat for 11 months and there were challenges there, and so I am still scratching my head a little how we did it. Did we do it with smoke and mirrors? But in some ways Key West was just a great representation of our team. It was great Ed to have slide into his role as strategist and Doug in his role and still achieved a great result. Here we are back into our Mediterranean set up. We have some great teams here to race against and that will be great challenge.”
Quantum Racing had the edge at the first regatta of the season in January, but most consider this event might be more open. Chris Larson, who sailed three seasons on the circuit, was watching the warm up racing today:
“I think we might see a ‘sleeper’ winning here. Azzurra are very well prepared and are really in a good place, out to win. Vesper have the potential and with Dean on Interlodge they can do well.”
Azzurra’s Vascotto and strategist Francesco Bruni raced this past week on this South Beach race course on different Melges 32s. Bruni declares his admiration for Vascotto’s regatta winning calls:
“ Vasco has just sailed a great regatta here, very very good and so that gives us confidence too.”
The official practice race starts at 1300hrs local time (UTC MS 5 hrs) with the points scoring racing scheduled Wednesday to Sunday.
Francesco Bruni (ITA) strategist Azzurra (ITA): “We thought that the boat was not as fast as it should have been in Key West and so we have made some changes, nothing radical, some easy things with the sails and rig, but we made some mistakes in the afterguard, some wrong choices which cost us many points. It is good that Vasco and I have sailed here with the Melges for four or five days with the Melges 32s and so we have, I think, a good idea about the race course. It was mainly light winds, up to 13kts. I think there will be a little more wind middle to end of the week. We will start the championship in light to medium airs. The baot can go well, we can sail well. We have no reason not to go out and get good results.
It is important to start the championship well, we need to start on the right foot. Vasco has just sailed a great regatta here, very very good and so that gives us confidence too.”
Nacho Postigo (ESP) navigator Hooligan (USA): “We have a new tactician with Kenny Read and Tony Rey on strategy, so we have had a little more time to prepare the boat and practice. Really at Key West the boat had just arrived and so hopefully now the little changes we have made will pay off and we will get a little bit better result.
For the owner it is still just his second regatta with the boat and with the tiller, and so it is still not easy to make good tack, by comparison with the rest of the fleet, in these wide boats. We are getting better. The rest of the fleet have everything perfect and so you just have to keep working away at tactics, boat handling, boat speed.
I am very curious to happen what will happen with Interlodge because with Dean Barker the boat will be flying when the breeze is up, it is a really quick boat but maybe not in the light stuff at the beginning of the regatta.”
Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA): “There is good step up in the fleet with Vesper here and with Kenny Read on Hooligan here and Dean coming in and sailing on Interlodge, I suspect it will be different. In Key West we had Doug steering the boat and that was awesome for us all, but he had not steered the boat for 11 months and there were challenges there, and so I am still scratching my head a little how we did it, did we do it with smoke and mirrors but in some ways Key West was just a great representation of our team. It was great Ed slide into his role as strategist and Doug in his role and still achieved a great result. Here we are back into our Mediterranean set up. We have some great teams here to race against and that will be great challenge. It is a new evolution because of course we have lost Jordi calafat as strategist, for the year because of the weight change. I am nervous about the challenge ahead because the other teams are really, really good.
My biggest memory is that it is streaky, shifty, patient type of race course and you can’t be afraid of the corners, and I am always afraid of the corners because they are high risk, high reward.”
Andy Horton (USA) tactician Interlodge (USA): “Austin had a skiing accident and has a couple of bruised bones. It was really cool because there was never any talk of not doing the regatta. He wants to support the class and all the guys had put in all the work and so he said ‘let’s see how good the boat is, let’s get someone good. The boat captain Kris started calling around and Dean was really keen and said he could be on a flight and be here in the morning and so that is cool. It is great for all of us who have sailed the boat, and it will be good to see how good the boat really is and what the next step. Dean is a good guy and pretty nice with it. We will just have the practice race with him and then be into it, but he has done this a couple of times before and he is not too bad at it!”
“ We need to keep to doing what we are doing. We were not that quick in the light and so we need to reach parity at least there, we have a little more righting moment and so maybe sailing with a bit more heel when it is light, and making sure we keep it powered up should be better for us.”
Ross MacDonald (CAN) tactician Sled (USA): “We are in good shape. After Key West we were pretty happy. We have Jared Henderson here helping us out as coach. If we can improve our percentage here, getting across the starting line, up to a respectable level we can be in the mix. That is what we are looking for. That is down to consistency in our manoeuvres and communication from the bow all the way to back of the boat, so we are making it really simple for those who have to make the decisions.
For me personally here I will be happy here to just be mixing it up with the good teams. The more time we get to spend alongside them, holding our own, just makes us that much stronger. There will be a few frustrations when we will lose the battles but in the long term, winning the war, this will be our last chance to be up against the best boats who are heading back to Europe.”
52 SUPER SERIES 2014 Event Calendar:
Quantum Key West Race Week, Key West, Florida, January 20 – 24
52 US Championship, Miami, Florida, March 5 – 9
Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Capri, Italy, May 20 – 24
TP 52 World Championship, Porto Cervo, Italy, June 10 – 14
Copa del Rey, Palma, Spain, August 4 – 9
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain, September 17 – 21
Posted on 01 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: 52 Super Series] Five US registered 52’s are joined by two European boats, Niklas Zennström’s world champions Rán Racing and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Azzzurra, to form what is considered to be the most competitive fleet of modern TP52’s to race together in American waters.
Along with the six boats which opened their 52 SUPER SERIES season at Quantum Key West in January when owner Doug DeVos’ steered Quantum Racing to win overall, the highly optimised Vesper, with owner-skipper Jim Swartz on the helm and tactician Gavin Brady calling the shots, joins the competition and represents a very potent threat.
Since Vesper, previously the 2008 build MedCup Quantum Racing, raced to fourth overall in Miami last year – just behind Quantum Racing – the boat has been far from idle, scoring class victories in every event she entered: Les Voiles de Saint Barth last April, New York YC’s Annual Regatta in June, and the St Francis Big Boat Series in September.
This proven versatility, being able to win in a wide variety of venues shows the depth of talent in this team.
Swartz commissioned a winter refit and Vesper will race in Miami optimised to the maximum allowance for the IRC platform permitted by 52 SUPER SERIES rules. This is expected to at least offset any disadvantage in being an older boat.
“As a 2008 boat, she was in serious need of a refit and the team accomplished this over the winter at the world famous KKMI boatyard in San Francisco under the able guidance of Ken Keefe” Swartz comments, adding: “We totally enjoyed our time in Miami last year racing against the best of the best and look forward to more of the same this year.”
Brady is fired up and ready to getting out racing again with the Vesper crew in the warm Miami sunshine on a race track which offered no shortage of challenges last year, when Rán Racing clinched their world title on the last race.
“We’re very much looking forward to getting the team back together, it’s been a long time but everyone is fired up to rejoin the 52′s here in Miami, there’s no better place to sail.”
He confirms that Vesper will come to Europe for the first time:
“ After this event we’re planning on continuing with the 52′s in Capri, so this event will be important to help us learn about our competition.”
Winners in Key West Quantum Racing will be sailing with their 52 SUPER SERIES winning line up with America’s Cup winning helm Ed Baird on the tiller. Unfortunately team owner Doug DeVos has a prior commitment but will steer again at the TP52 World Championships in Porto Cervo, Sardinia in June.
After the official practice race Tuesday, a full program of windward-leeward races is scheduled from Wednesday before Sunday’s prizegiving. The US 52 SUPER SERIES aggregates the regatta scores of Key West and Miami.
Posted on 26 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES] The alliance was confirmed at a press conference in Madrid, Spain this morning (Wednesday 26th Feb) hosted by Agustin Zulueta, CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES, Benedek Vasy, Director of Marketing Strategy of Retail Banking for Barclays in Europe.
Since the 52 SUPER SERIES was launched at the start of the 2012 season, it has gone from strength to strength. It continues to represent the best grand prix monohull racing series in the world drawing some of the best professional sailors in the world including America’s Cup winners, Olympic medallists, round the world race victors.
“It is important to note that Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES now has realised a strong and passionate following with more boats racing than when the preceding MedCup was in force. Considering the global economic environment that is a very satisfying platform to build from.” Comments Agustin Zulueta (ESP), CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES.
Barclays sponsorship. Retail banking in the Premier Customer segment is a key focus for Barclays in Europe.
“This sponsorship demonstrates the clear commitment of Barclays Group to its business in Spain and throughout Europe.” Benedek Vasy highlighted.
Reflecting their target to become the benchmark bank for Premier customers in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal, the group have elected to support the major European circuit which embraces a wide pan-European appeal – owners, skippers and crews come from the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Portugal as well as outside Europe – whilst also at the same time the circuit and class reflect a clearly defined ‘premier, upmarket’ profile.
” The 52 SUPER SERIES aligns perfectly with our purpose and our values as a company.” Barclays’ Benedek continues, “It is a competition circuit of the highest level which absolutely requires and defines the uncompromising pursuit of excellence in each race and at every regatta from the crew on board, from their technical support and their organisation. It combines the best in traditional monhull racing with the latest in high technology these boats reflect our DNA as a company – as we have a history stretching back 300 years but we are a company which is constantly looking to innovate.”
” And just as with the Barclays Premier League or the ATP Tennis Finals tournaments which we collaborate with we want our relationship to go beyond the financial sponsorship of the racing ,” Vasy emphasises.
Through this sponsorship, Barclays aim to recognize and reward their Premier customers in Europe. Through the Barclays Premier Club which delivers offers and benefits, customers can enjoy the very best of the lifestyle and unique sporting experiences at major events: guided tours of the participating race boats, watching racing on the water on spectator boats, drinks receptions and invitations to exclusive events.
“We are the only bank with a simultaneous presence in the Premier segment in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and the UK, so we want our Premier customers to enjoy this truly unique experience in Europe. We not only want to help them achieve their financial goals , but also their ambitions in their personal life affording access to benefits and experiences which they just cannot get anywhere else. “ says Barclays’ Benedek Vasy.
Commenting on the agreement with Barclays, Agustín Zulueta concludes: “This is a significant boost in the pursuit of to our goal which is to consolidate the future of the best monohull racing circuit in the world. This is a key choice for Barclays because the Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES is a competition circuit which reflects ‘pure performance’ featuring grand prix boats of the same class racing in real time. The support and passion of three of the most respected owners and sailors in the world, Doug DeVos, Niklas Zennström and Alberto Roemmers ensures continuity and sound financial foundations of the circuit and now, Barclays add the perfect balance to this mix.”
The Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES 2014 is a calendar of four European regattas. They complement the US 52 SUPER SERIES which comprise Quantum Key West regatta which took place January in Key West ( USA) and is followed by a regatta in Miami 5th to 9th March. After the Miami regatta , which begins on March 5 , the competition will move to Europe , where four regattas are contested, two in Italy and two in Spain:
Rolex Capri Sailing Week , Capri , Italy , 20-24 May
TP 52 World Championship , Porto Cervo , Italy, 10-14 June
Copa del Rey, Palma, Spain , August 4-9
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza , Ibiza, Spain , 17-21 September
Posted on 17 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: Future Fibres] Three years into mast production and the 2014 order book reflects a diverse range of performance projects.
With the Perini 60m sloop fully assembled and awaiting stepping / sea trials and 3 of the largest furling booms in the world (26-30m long) nearing completion, the workshop is getting its teeth into some no less challenging but slightly more conventional sized projects.
The APC78 performance catamaran project has a fully optimised rotating mast with a significant number of custom features. The boat is currently in-build at Green Marine in the UK and the mast and rigging package are scheduled to leave Valencia in April. Also. just going into final stages of fitout are the mast and boom for a new Frers 60 daysailor. This boat, currently being built by Persico Marine, is a development on the stunning Ciao Gianni; all about aesthetic and performance, Future Fibres are building an ultra clean, high modulus mast and boom with carbon RDS lateral rigging.
The design team is equally busy with a really exciting new project: designing a new, fully optimised, grand prix mast, boom and carbon rigging package for the TP52 Provezza. This rig will be built to the new 2015 rule but sailing by May 2014. This gives us the opportunity to develop and fine tune a 2015 compliant package one year early. There are a number of TP52 teams with new boat builds scheduled for next winter and this project gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our superior build accuracy, performance and quality to provide a credible alternative to existing suppliers in this finely tuned class. The 2015 TP52 rule also allows composite lateral rigging for the first time and this is a perfect time to showcase our new fully continuous FlexC™ carbon rigging to create the ultimate TP52 package.
Sales Manager Jim Lotz sums up: “with the marine industry slowly emerging from the doldrums owners, project managers and designers are being more prudent with choices they make with rig packages. It has never been more important to differentiate positively the points that make our mast and rigging product stand out from the crowd. With our team pushing design, build quality and technology we are increasingly seeing customers making the correct informed choice to work with Future Fibres.”