Quantum Racing crowned Royal Cup champion

Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing won the Royal Cup 52 Super Series Scarlino title today in Tuscany, Italy, their third regatta triumph of the five-event 2022 season, after turning a one-point deficit to triumph.

DeVos’ boat finished five clear points ahead of Takashi Okura’s Sled and now carries five points lead forwards to the 2022 season big finale in Barcelona in three weeks’ time.

After four days of southerly winds, Saturday showdown on Scarlino’s Golfo de Scarlino was contested in a north-westerly, presenting a new challenge to the afterguards. Quantum Racing stayed consistent with a second and fourth, while title rival, Sled, had her worst day of the week.

The Quantum Racing crew celebrate in style

Finishing fifth in the first race of the day, Sled did seem to have resuscitated her title chances, as she led Quantum Racing on the approach to the windward mark in the second race. However, Sled was judged to foul Quantum during a tack and the effect of her penalty turns was exacerbated when she gybed into lighter air and the 2021 champion ended up ninth down the first run.

The Italian victory for Quantum Racing comes after a disappointing fourth placed at the last event in Puerto Portals, Mallorca when charismatic owner-helm, DeVos, was absent and Hutchinson steered.

Hutchinson grinned, “To come into the day one point off the lead and stick with it and win, you have to give high marks to our whole team. It’s good to see that I steered the boat in Portals and got fourth and now every regatta Doug has steered he has won!”

There were nervous moments at mark roundings

Missing America’s Cup winning mainsail trimmer, Warwick Fleury, Australian Chris Hosking stepped in to replace the sailor Quantum’s Hutchinson describes as ‘the best mainsail trimmer in the world’. The team also missed Rodney Ardern, their Cup winning pitman who is very much the central figure in the middle of the boat. Curtis Blewitt did an excellent job in his stead.

“I think everyone on this team feels like it was a really, really hard week. I think the way that the team sailed through the downturn (in Portals) was rewarded by the race win yesterday and a good consistent day to finish on,´ Hutchinson commented.

Obviously, the Sled team sailed really well, as did the Platoon and Phoenix teams. Everyone had some great days. The whole fleet has come along so much. It is harder than ever. This feels a well-earned win for us for sure.”

Close racing punctuated the event

While Sled takes second place on the Royal Cup podium, Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon – with new Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto – stole third place today. It was by virtue of a tie break with Hasso and Tina Plattner’s Phoenix crew.

With their new afterguard line up, Platoon started modestly and was eighth overall in the nine-boat fleet after the second day of racing. They finished with a first and second today to underline their red-hot potential for the future. Platoon sailed 1,2,7,1,2 in the second half of the regatta.

After joining the team which had been underperforming Vascotto was relieved but very happy.

“We have seen a huge improvement since the first days of the week, in communication and in a level of happiness on the boat. The best moment was really after the bad result yesterday. I felt like we were a proper team as we got through that bad moment with a good atmosphere,” he said.

No mistake was left unpunished

“Today, the good results follow on from the ability to take the bad result as a team. First of all, at the beginning of the week I was so rusty and the reality is I had to wake up to be good enough.

“The reality is I had great comms with Jordi Calafat, who was one of my heroes when I was 12 years old. That was important and we enjoyed sailing together. I think our results can get better and better. Harm is so good driving the boat and with better communications everyone calmed down and we did better.”

At a regatta venue which has been especially dynamic, open and challenging with many place changes each race, seven of the nine teams won races. Platoon and Phoenix finished tied in third and fourth, so also did Provezza in fifth and Alegre sixth, locked on 46 points.

Final Results after 10 races:

  1. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 2+2+4+5+3+5+6+1+2+4 = 34 pts.
  2. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+1+3+4+1+3+4+6+5+7 = 39 pts.
  3. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 4+7+8+7+2+1+2+7+1+2 = 41 pts.
  4. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 3+4+7+1+6+2+5+3+7+3 = 41 pts.
  5. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 8+5+2+6+7+9+1+4+3+1 = 46 pts.
  6. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 7+3+1+3+5+8+3+5+6+5 = 46 pts.
  7. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 1+9+5+9+4+6+8+2+4+6 = 54 pts
  8. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 6+8+9+8+9+4+9+4,5(RDS)+9+8 = 74,5 pts.
  9. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, +6+6+2+8+7+7+10(DNF)+3(PEN)+8+9 = 75 pts.

Provisional standings after four of five regattas:

  1. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 19+33+44+34 = 130 pts.
  2. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 27+42+25+41 = 135 pts.
  3. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 26+40+51+41= 158 pts.
  4. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 43,5+44+36+39 = 162,5 pts.
  5. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 43+41+52+46 = 182 pts.
  6. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 61+54+42+46 = 203 pts.
  7. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 45+54+79+54 = 232 pts.
  8. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 39+71+50+75 = 235 pts.
  9. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 60+73+71+77,5 = 278,5 pts.
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