Double advantage to Quantum Racing as light Saturday showdown beckons

The penultimate day of the 2021 season at Barcelona Sailing Week proved a painful one for the Plattner family’s Phoenix team and so it was again today, as the five-regatta 2022 52 Super Series season tapers down to the final races tomorrow.

Last year a broken spinnaker when leading robbed the Plattners of their chance to win the championship, today it was a premature start.

Yesterday, after having sailed themselves to within three points of circuit leaders Quantum Racing, jumping the start gun today proved costly for Phoenix. As the USA flagged benchmark crew of Quantum started well and led all the way round a painfully slow light winds track, the evaporating breeze left Phoenix with no chance of any kind of comeback. They had no choice to but to accept 10th, their single worst score of the season.

Quantum Racing’s victory in the sole race today gives them a 12-point lead going into the last day of the 2022 Championship. With yet another day of light winds expected off Barcelona on Saturday for the final showdown, the odds are very much stacked in favour of Doug DeVos’ team who are bidding for a record breaking fifth 52 Super Series title.

Downwind dancing – Nico Martinez pic

So, while it was a visibly relieved Quantum Racing that returned to a windless, but beautifully sun-drenched dock at the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, it was a slightly deflated Phoenix crew who are now at least hoping for two good races Saturday to try and overturn that deficit.

“We’ll go out there and do our best tomorrow,” said Phoenix’s Tom Slingsby. “Obviously, the overall season is a very long shot after having a last place today and Quantum winning, but we’re going to go out there and try to put in some good races. Hopefully we get three races in and who knows what might happen.

“We just made a little error in the start – a communication error – and unfortunately, we were just over the line. It was an unforced error for sure; we had a nice gap there. It’s a little thing we need to clean up. It sucks for that to happen. Then in dying breeze, we were always coming downwind in less wind than the front guys, so the gap just kept getting longer and longer. I think first boat beat us by about 15 minutes in the end!”

Quantum Racing made a solid start and took the advantage on the middle right of the first upwind racing in just 6 to 7 knots of east/north-easterly wind, leading Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge across the finish line with Ergin Imré’s Provezza taking third.

Relieved owner-driver DeVos said smiling: “You’re always nervous in this fleet and especially when it’s light air like that. Coming out of the last mark you’re like ‘oh boy I just hope it stays together and we can get the race finished’……So it feels good to have a good race behind us and having it back together after yesterday.

“Yes, we are feeling nervous about tomorrow, like always, because all the points are on the board. We’ll have at least two races tomorrow – that’s what we’re going to shoot for and do the best we can.”

With her race win today Quantum Racing now leads the Barcelona Sailing Week regatta by two points ahead of Platoon and three ahead Provezza and Alegre.

Standings:
Quantum Racing (USA), Doug DeVos, 1+4+4+6+1 = 16 pts.
Platoon (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 4+2+5+1+6 = 18 pts.
Provezza (TUR), Ergin Imre, 3+1+7+5+3 = 19 pts.
Alegre (GBR), Andy Soriano, 2+5+2+3+7 = 19 pts
Phoenix (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 7+3+1+2+10 = 23 pts.
Sled (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+6+6+4+5 = 26 pts.
Interlodge (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 6+7+8+9+2 = 32 pts.
Vayu (THA), Whitcraft Family, 8+10+3+8+9 = 38 pts.
Gladiator (GBR), Tony Langley, 9+9+9+7+4 = 38 pts.
Paprec (FRA), Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, 10+8+10+10+8 = 46 pts.

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