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Quantum Racing clinch 2014 Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES title

Posted on 21 September 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Barclays 52 Super Series] The American flagged team of Doug DeVos came to Ibiza with a healthy points lead in the four event circuit which attracted 12 TP52s from ten different nations. They remained steadily consistent to close out their second 52 SUPER SERIES championship win in a row with a margin of 15 points over Azzurra and 19 points over Rán Racing.

Quantum Racing, skippered by America’s Cup winner Ed Baird with Terry Hutchinson as tactician also won the US 52 SUPER SERIES in the early Spring and were crowned TP52 World Champions in Sardinia in June.

Their 2014 title win reflects a high level of experience, their crew containing more America’s Cup winners than any other on the Circuit, but their continual drive for perfection was sometimes further spurred by disappointment or frustration. After winning in the USA they only managed third at the first regatta of the Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES in Capri, some six points behind regatta winners Azzurra.

But a comprehensive, soul-baring debrief followed and at the World Championship on Sardinia the next month they started like out like lions and were ultimately unstoppable.

Similarly two days ago, with the season’s championship within touching distance, they faltered on the Coastal Course. They de-briefed and regrouped. Today, when they started the first race in light breezes, there was no mistaking their clarity of focus and purpose, going on to a decisive win. That was the race which put them on the top step of the 2014 podium, out of reach of nearest challengers Azzurra and Rán Racing.

Skipper Baird paid tribute to the team’s skill and fighting spirit: “One of the super strengths of this team is that everyone on this team comes down here every day saying ‘how can I do it better today than yesterday ? ’ When you fight with that kind of mentality on your side, you just never allow yourself to back up, to do your job any less well than before. When you start with great guys, you have that fighting instinct on your side through good and bad it is wonderful.”

Smiling on the Marina Ibiza dockside Hutchinson noted, “Every now and then we had a good thrashing and we had one again the other day on the coastal race. And it was good to bounce back from that in the first race today which we won, and it was good to bounce back from Capri and won the world championship and that started the ball rolling in the right direction again. But everyone here is so very good and we have the ultimate respect for them and so when they beat you you have to take a good look at what they did and what we did. We had a good evaluation after Capri and that helped us for sure.”

“ One of our biggest strengths is that we sail the boat really well in compromised positions. And so when from a tactical point of view when we are not in the best spot then the boat is always going fast through the water.

Azzurra, with Guillermo Parada skipper-helm and Vasco Vascotto as tactician, got the better of Rán Racing here with second overall at the regatta to finish runners up to Quantum Racing on the championship table again. Rán Racing won the final race of the season to squeeze Sled out of third place at the ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza regatta. The middle of the fleet was much closer than ever before, only four points separating Rán Racing from fourth placed Sled and fifth placed Marc Blees and the Gaastra Pro team.

Vascotto concluded: “I feel very happy. I think that from a sports point of view the team which won deserved to win. I think we need to be happy about that. They did a very, very good job. And they are the dream team in the boat, but they are very good in preparation, speedwise, they are a fantastic benchmark. It is easy for us for us sometimes to try to copy them, what they did to close the gap with them. I think this week we changed a lot of things and we are a lot more competitive.”

Final Standings: 2014 BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES – 2014 Season Overall after 4 Regattas (Top 6)
1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) 81pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) 96pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) 100pts
4. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) 124pts
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) 147pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) 170pts

Final Standings: ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza – Overall after 8 races
1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug DeVos USA) (1,2,3,2,1,6,1,7) 23pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6,2,4,3) 26pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5,7,7,1) 34pts
4. Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura USA) (4,1,6,3,4,DNF/9,3,6) 36pts
5. Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2,5,6,4) 38pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7,3,5,2) 40pts
7. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3,4,8,5) 45pts
8. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8,1,2,8) 47pts

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Quantum Racing doubles overall lead

Posted on 18 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: 52 Super Seriers] As the ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza regatta rolls into Friday’s coastal race Quantum Racing have now more than doubled their overall lead in the Barclays 52 Super Series on the difficult, hard to read race tracks off Ibiza Town. 

Light winds wrote the same story again for the second day of racing. Azzurra won the first race of the day to become the fourth different crew to have won in Ibiza at this regatta, but Quantum Racing again proved supreme in the second contest, winning their second race of the week to also increase their leading margin in the regatta, firmly on course now to add to their event wins in Porto Cervo and Palma. 

Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Ed Baird reported today just how hard it is to read the wind on the race course area, an insight into the difficulties faced by all the tacticians and strategists here: ‘It is difficult to read on the water. On most venues around the world you can see a little more texture on the water which tells you there is more wind there. Here where we see that texture it is often right in the glare of the sun. So you can’t trust it. And there are plenty of times that where it looks lighter is actually where you end up finding the better pressure. It is hot. It is light. You really just need to pay attention to what lane you are in.’ 

Making the right tactical choices is just one element of the mix here, in the marginal, light winds being able to keep the boat powered up and moving at maximum boat speed for the wind strength is also key: 

‘We are right on that point that every sailor understands, that cliff where half a knot more windspeed you are fully hiking, dropping the traveller down just a little bit and starting to be really comfortable. Half a knot less you are leaning in, you are looking for power and trying to keep the boat moving and that is what we are sailing in all day long here. It is challenging and the guys are doing a great job with that.’ 

Quantum Racing’s second and first today is the best scoring aggregate from the two races. But Sled are proving themselves well able to mix it with Azzurra and Rán Racing, posting a third and fourth for the day to lie third overall for the regatta, just one point behind Azzurra. 

Azzurra won the first race of the day. Quantum Racing dropped themselves on to the back foot off the start line when they mistimed their approach to the line, stuck under another boat and downspeed. Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum Racing afterguard fought back well with some solid calls which got them from fourth at the first windward mark to second at the finish. They sailed down inside Sled on the second run to finish just behind Azzurra. Vasco Vascotto recognised the better, lifting pressure on the right side of the first upwind and they were able to lead all the way around the course. 

The second contest was sailed in a slightly brisker wind, but it was the extra pressure and shift down the left, inshore side down the run which really worked. Quantum Racing consolidated their lead by keeping an eye on this and moving left to use it, but Gaastra Pro, with Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics, really reaped a reward rising from sixth to second on the run, holding on the second while Rán Racing and Azzurra dropped to a weighty fifth and sixth place finish respectively. 

Light winds are expected to prevail again for Friday’s coastal race which should be between 20 and 30 miles. 

Standings: ZENITH Royal Cup Marina Ibiza

Overall after five races 

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,3,2,1) 9pts 
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6) 17pts 
3. Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura JPN) (4,1,6,3,4) 18pts 
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5) 19pts 
5. Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2) 23pts 
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3) 28pts 
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7) 30pts 
8. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8) 36pts 

Standings: 2014 Barclays 52 Super Series

2014 Season after three regattas and five races in Ibiza (Top Six) 

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) 67pts 
2. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) 85pts 
3. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) 87pts 
4. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) 113pts 
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) 130pts 
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) 160pts 

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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

Quotes

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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Ed Baird Adds More Excitement to Alpari Tour Stage in Sweden

Posted on 18 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ALPARI World Match Racing Tour] Double America’s Cup winner and three time ISAF Match Racing World Champion – Ed Baird, joins Magnus Holmberg in the line-up for Stena Match Cup Sweden, the second stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

The event will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year since it was introduced back in 1994 as an annual regatta in Marstrand. In 2000, the event was one of the founding members of the Swedish Match Tour, which then became the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Since the success of the Tour, the event has been capturing ever larger audiences each year.

This year 14 teams including eight Tour Card Holders will set sail against each other from the 30th July – 5th July in front of thousands of spectators close to shore on the natural sailing amphitheatre that is Marstrand Fijord.

Joachim Aschenbrenner from Denmark and Viktor Ogeman from Sweden have also both secured entries to Stena Match Cup Sweden via the qualifying event, the Volvo Spring Cup that was held last month.

Quantum Racing: Ed Baird (USA) – Skipper, Sean Clarkson (NZL) – Tactician, Tom Burnham (USA) – Pitman, Brett Jones (AUS) – Trimmer, Phil Jameson (NZL) – Bowman. Photo copyright Brandspot / Stena Match Cup Sweden

Johnie Berntsson and his Stena Sailing Team and one of Swedish sailing’s biggest names, Magnus Holmberg have been given wild card invitations to compete in Stena Match Cup Sweden 2014. Now another legendary yachtsman who has made his mark on the event’s history joins Holmberg among the 14 elite teams racing at the regatta.

“It’s a privilege to be included and I’ve always enjoyed racing at Marstrand. The venue is a prefect location for match racing with just enough space for exciting races that are easily watched from the shore”, says Ed Baird who has received the third of four wild cards at the event.

Ed Baird was part of the line-up in the inaugural event at Marstrand in 1994 and has been a frequent guest and competitor in the regatta up until 2005. He has sailed four finals on Marstrand’s sailing stadium but a victory in the event is still missing on his impressive resume.

“We lost to Peter Gilmour in all those finals so I sure hope he won’t be invited this year. Still, it’s such a terrific honour just to get to that stage of any event but to do it in Sweden with so many friends and supporters around is just great”.

Between the two of them, Holmberg and Baird have raced 16 semi-finals, but neither of them have gone all the way to lift the big trophy. Now they will once again be face to face on the starting line in one of the biggest match racing events in the world.

”Magnus is a fantastic opponent and I always enjoy racing against him, he’s very aggressive but also very fair and I respect him for that. But more than that, Magnus has been a big part of making this event what it is and I really appreciate that.”

Magnus Holmberg, who was one of the founders of the event back in 1994, looks forward to racing against Ed Baird – just like old times.

“It’s great that there will be an extra twist when we race each other. Ed is always fast and tactical, he is cool and never gets carried away and you rarely see Ed having a bad day”, says Holmberg.

Ed Baird was a coach for Team New Zealand’s winning America’s Cup team in 1995 and then won sailing’s most sought after trophy as helmsman of Team Alinghi in 2007. Since then he has been competing on the RC44 Championship Tour with which he visited Marstrand last year. The team that will travel with him to Stena Match Cup Sweden comes from the crew he sails with, and recently became World Champion with, in the TP52 class, Tactician Sean Clarkson (NZL), Pitman Tom Burnham (USA), Trimmer Brett Jones (AUS) and Bowman Phil Jameson (NZL). Baird has also entered a handful of match racing events the last couple of years and in 2013 he reached the final of the Congressional Cup in California. Soon he will head for a greatly anticipated return to Stena Match Cup Sweden.

”It’s been a lifetime of preparation in many ways. We hope we can put on a good show this year and if there is any chance to somehow to get to the top of podium, what a magical experience that would be”.

The 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour championship continues with Stage 2 at Stena Match Cup Sweden between 30 June – 5 July. The Alpari World Match Racing Tour is one of five special events sanctioned under the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) including America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race, the Extreme Sailing Series and the PWA World Tour.

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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

OVERALL STANDING BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES (after 2 events)
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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