Plattners’ Phoenix keeps pressure on

After a challenging three race day at the 52 SUPER SERIES Barcelona Sailing Week which saw the Tina Plattner steered South African flagged Phoenix score a third, first and a second while the American Quantum Racing netted 14pts, Doug DeVos’ world champions crew have seen their lead on the season standings now cut to only three slender points by title rivals Phoenix with only two days of the season left.

Phoenix’s top-drawer consistency in the very light, streaky breezes is all the more impressive considering Tina Plattner has not been able to sail at all for more than two years because of acute back pain problems and just returned to racing this week.

But over a long, tough, mentally exhausting day under acute pressure she retained both her cool and her trademark laser focus, keeping Phoenix fast to allow afterguard Tom Slingsby, Cameron Dunn and navigator Shane Elliot to work their particular alchemy.

While the NE’ly breezes were never more than nine knots -and often much less – it was a day when keeping in the best wind pressure was the most important strategy, minimising manoeuvres, and trying not to engage with other boats more than necessary. And with big, sudden changes in wind pressure, having a run of luck always seemed to help.

While the Phoenix team which tactician Tom Slingsby calls the ‘underdogs’ beat Quantum Racing in all three races, it was a frustrating day for the DeVos crew which did not make many mistakes. They ran out of puff when the wind suddenly switched off when they were leading the first race, dropping to fourth as Provezza won with Platoon second and Phoenix third. They were fourth again on the second race which was won by Phoenix who sailed an excellent first beat picking the right side of the course and Quantum then took sixth on the third heat.

They were in good shape on the first beat and maybe should have stayed right, close to Phoenix when they had a chance, instead they were tacked on by Gladiator.

“We then went across to Sled and started to get a good right shift and the next time we came together they were in the lead at the top but we were in the cheap seats. That’s kind of how our day went.”

Grimaced Terry Hutchinson the Quantum Racing tactician.

Looking at the circuit standings he says,

“We are still in a good spot and we’re only three points off the lead in the regatta. I betcha we’ll continue to battle our way onto the podium in this event and the rest of it is going to take care of itself. The comment on the way in was that we’re not going to change anything tomorrow. Let’s start well, put the boat in position and execute our plan.”

He highlighted

“When you’re in the lead (down the last run) then end up with a fourth and that lead was six boat lengths at the last offset leg, that just reminds you also there is a world of opportunity. So for us we’re going to race as we have done all year. And, yes, this is a great finale to the season. The Phoenix team sailed really well today as did Platoon and Alegre so it’s all to play for. It is good!”

Tom Slingsby paid a warm tribute to owner-driver Plattner,

“We are over the moon, Tina is doing unbelievably. When you think that she hasn’t sailed for almost three years, and thats like sailed anything, not just steering, and she comes into the 52 Super Series in the most competitive racing there is, in the final event of the year, where everyone is all practiced up and we’re in the battle for the overall season championship and she has a day like today. She did an unbelievable job in really tricky conditions – she’s very impressive how quickly she learns.”

He adds,

“We pulled a couple of points back from Quantum, yes, but we had a bit of luck out there at times and it looked like they were a bit unfortunate a few times but we’re stoked, we’re really happy, we’re in the hunt. Now, well, they might start thinking match racing but we’re just going to keep chipping away and see how we go.”

Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon lead the regatta but only by virtue of countback, tied on the same points as Andy Soriano’s Alegre. Platoon went 2,5,1 from three races today, tactician Vasco Vascotto noted,

“It was so difficult. It was really shifty and the breeze. so up and down And obviously you need to be a little lucky and I think that we did a nice job. We stayed in the game all the time even when we got a little behind. Unfortunately we didn’t sail a very good second race – we had a beautiful start but when you are in front you think in a way that you want to control the fleet and this is the worst thing you can do. You just have to sail your own race and this is exactly what we did in the last race and won.”

52 SUPER SERIES Barcelona Sailing Week Provisional Standings:

  1. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 4+2+5+1 = 12 pts.
  2. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 2+5+2+3 = 12 pts
  3. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 7+3+1+2 = 13 pts.
  4. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 1+4+4+6 = 15 pts.
  5. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 3+1+7+5 = 16 pts.
  6. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+6+6+4 = 21 pts.
  7. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 8+10+3+8 = 29 pts.
  8. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 6+7+8+9 = 30 pts.
  9. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 9+9+9+7 = 34 pts.
  10. PAPREC (FRA), Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, 10+8+10+10 = 38 pts.

52 SUPER SERIES 2022 Provisional Standings after Race 4 Barcelona

  1. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 19+33+44+34+15 = 145 pts.
  2. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 27+42+25+41+13 = 148 pts.
  3. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 26+40+51+41+12 = 170 pts.
  4. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 43,5+44+36+39+21 = 183,5 pts.
  5. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 43+41+52+46+12 = 194 pts.
  6. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 61+54+42+46+16 = 219 pts.
  7. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 45+54+79+54+29 = 261 pts.
  8. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 39+71+50+75+30 = 265 pts.
  9. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 60+73+71+77,5+34 = 312,5 pts.

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