A small, uncharacteristic error approaching the first windward mark of the second race today cost regatta leaders Quantum Racing dearly, but it sets up what promises to be an engaging Saturday local time title showdown against Platoon for the Rolex TP52 World Championship Cascais 2022 title.
After a second place behind Takashi Okura’s Sled in the first race, Doug DeVos’ US flagged crew had earned themselves an eight-point cushion going into the second contest today.
While Provezza had made the early move to the right to lead at the first windward mark, Quantum Racing looked set to be third or at worst fourth round. But after just missing a cross with Platoon, the odds stacked against them in the busy line and saw them squeezed out, having to gybe round and come round the top buoy in eighth.
While Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon got the better of Provezza after they both chose opposite marks at the leeward gate, the Germans’ consequent race win sees the 2017 and 2019 world champions just three points behind Quantum Racing, the team that has prevailed most often on these Atlantic waters.
While all the way through the four days of racing so far, the wind has refused to blow more than 10 knots, local experts and team navigators alike seem to agree that Cascais looks set to deliver a more typically beefy 15-20kts out of the north for the world title showdown.
Michele Ivaldi (ITA) Quantum Racing’s navigator recalled: “I think we had sailed well all the way through the day, but then we just got a tiny bit unlucky to be a couple of metres behind crossing Platoon. Then they got stronger and rightly tried to spit us back into the fleet, which they did.
“They succeeded well and we went from a potential third at the top mark to eighth. From there on we managed to take two more boats. We are in contention with a three-point lead.
“The forecast says 15-22 knots and it will be a completely different day. It will be a more typical Cascais day and we are happy with that. We like the breeze but so do many other boats here so it will be all on the line.”
Platoon were far from error free and had to fight back from being over the line in the first race, rescuing a fifth. But the top two boats now have a decent margin – Quantum Racing eight points and Platoon five points – over third placed Phoenix.
Defending world champion boat Sled was the best scoring boat of the day with a 1,3 and although Okura’s team lie sixth, they are just three points off the podium.
Platoon’s navigator, Jules Salter (GBR) reported, “We are the match on the last day, which was the aim, but we didn’t get there in the best way after being over in the first race. It was a harder race to fight back than to win that second one. To get back to fifth in that race was pretty good.
“It’s really hard racing but good to finish it off with a win. Jordi (Calafat) and JK (John Kostecki) did a really good job of reading the course – trying to work out how much bias you take and whether that’s enough with the right-hand twist in course. They got it right and the boat went well down the run as well.”
But of the top mark approach he explained, “Quantum was right in there. It was a matter of inches as to whether Quantum were going to go round that first mark right with us but they were just unlucky.”
Salter concluded, “The forecast looks good for the final day, a different day to what we’ve seen so far this week. We’ll have to have a think about that and see what happens. I think we’ll go well in the breeze. It’s great fun sailing a TP52 in 15-20 knots of wind and so no matter what, we will have fun.”
Results after eight races
1 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos 2,2,2,3,3,6,2,6. 26pts
2 Platoon (GER) Harm Müller Spreer 5,3,4,1,6,4,5,1. 29 pts
3 Phoenix (RSA) Hasso and Tina Plattner 4,4,5,4,1,8,3,5. 34 pts
4 Alegre (GBR) Andy Soriano 1,8,1,9,5,1,7,4. 36 pts
5 Vayu (THAI) Whitcraft family 3,6,3,2,4,2,9,7. 36 pts
6 Sled (USA) Takashi Okura 8,1,8,5,8,3,1,3. 37 pts
7 Provezza (TUR) Ergin Imre 6,5,9,7,2,7,8,2. 46 pts
8 Gladiator (GBR) Tony Langley 9,7,6,6,9,5,4,9. 55 pts
9 Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen 7,9,7,8,7,9,6,8 61 pts