Consistency across the first racing days is a fundamental component of winning on the highly charged, very evenly matched 52 SUPER SERIES, but this season has seen several different teams blow their chances of a podium finish with a miserable finale. It seems that delivering solid results amidst the pressure cooker environment of the last races is telling.
Successively, Provezza and Platoon can point to lacklustre finishes dropping them from the podium in Scarlino and in Sardinia respectively.
Spain’s Olympic gold medallist Jordi Calafat is back on home waters, the Bay of Palma is the backyard the Barcelona 1992 470 hero grew up sailing on. As strategist on Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon – the team which works in a close partnership with Quantum Racing – Calafat points to their final day weakness as one area for improvement.
“On Platoon we seem to have started well at regattas and then failed on the last day. Scarlino where we got to the last day with a strong chance for second and ended up third, and in Porto Cervo we could have been third but ended up fourth. We have not yet sailed well on the last day. And so we need to improve in lots of little areas. We need to improve our communication at the back of the boat. We need to not risk as much and to be more solid. The boat definitely has the speed to be on the podium. And that is always good.”
Calafat, who works with Quantum Sails in Spain as a designer, considers Quantum Racing still have a small speed advantage all round, but the detailed data analysis says Platoon are slightly faster in the moderate breeze on some points of sail. If Quantum Racing have shown a sweet spot so far it has been good light wind speed. And on the Bay of Palma the fleet return to a venue where speed is vital. Both Scarlino and Porto Cervo have been relatively open, tactical venues. In the solid sea breeze the Bay of Palma is often a boat speed test.
“Azzurra will be back on waters they love and will be back up to speed I am sure. Alegre is a very fast boat this year and are going well. It will be a very hard battle to be on the podium.”
Of the mutual benefits of the two boat Quantum-Platoon programme the America’s Cup winner Calafat asserts:
“This is positive for us on Platoon, but also for Quantum Racing. That should not be forgotten. It is interesting to see the different opinions from the different teams. And for us it is a benefit for sure for us on Platoon to speak, train and line up with Quantum. Everything is going well but we really need to leverage the maximum advantage over the other teams. Ours are not bad results, third and fourth in the first two regattas is far from a disaster, but we have to be more solid. Terry Hutchinson’s influence, seeing how the winners operate, is a big benefit.”
Racing starts Monday at the Puerto Portals Sailing Week, based out of Mallorca’s showcase Puerto Portals Marina. Quantum Racing have won both the Scarlino Cup and the Audi Settimana delle Bocche regattas and are unbeaten on the 52 SUPER SERIES circuit since the August 2015 Copa del Rey. But in Sardinia, four different teams led overall during the regatta and there were just six points separating third from ninth. Doug DeVos will be steering the 52 SUPER SERIES-leading Quantum Racing and is looking to lead his team to a third win of the season.
52 SUPER SERIES – 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week
Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA)
Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG)
Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS)
Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR)
Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER)
Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR)
Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA)
Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE)
Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN)
Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA)
– 52 Series Media