Quantum Racing, steered by Doug DeVos, is on top of the nine boat leader board after sailing a strong pair of opening races, a second and first, on the first day of competition on the Bay of Palma at the 52 SUPER SERIES Puerto Portals Sailing Week and 20th Anniversary Invitational.
It was the 2019 World Champions, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon who scored the first race victory. The German flagged crew were fourth in the next windward-leeward race, and now sit in second overall by two points.
Tactician Terry Hutchinson was joined by Argentinian 470 Olympic bronze medallist Lucas Calabrese at the back of Quantum Racing with Michele Ivaldi navigating. With that killer-crew combination, Quantum Racing may be able to add another win to the yacht’s four 52 SUPER SERIES titles.
Quantum Racing had strong race starts – DeVos has been doing a decent amount of racing with the Great Lakes 52 fleet and looked as sharp. They did a good job of staying in the best wind pressure and away from the traffic. In both races Quantum Racing worked middle right and right off the start line – against the usual Palma conventions – and did well.
Ivaldi said, “It was a good way to start the regatta and the season. It was good to see Terry and Lucas always putting us in the best places on the race course and that was the key. There are still races left, but we come out of the first day with a lot of confidence”.
In an 11kts sea breeze Platoon had the first race won by the top half of the first beat. With John Kostecki and Jordi Calafat working their usual magic on the bay where Calafat grew up, Platoon extended away on the second leg and was in front by a handsome margin by the finish.
Platoon’s Victor Marino said, “We have all missed racing so much and Puerto Portals has an important place in the history of the TP52 in the Med and also our story as a team, winning the world championships here in 2019, so it was really great to start with a win.
“We have all sailed here so much but Jordi Calafat really knows the bay and is great on a day like this.”
After jumping the start gun on the first race and having to recross, Bronenosec atoned with a second in the next. Tactician Vasco Vascotto too was at his best on his return to the fleet, as – with Morgan Larson steering he brought the blue hulled Russian boat in from the left on a typically punchy but perfectly constructed port tack approach to round second.
The sea breeze diminished in the late afternoon. Speeds were down to two knots at times as Quantum Racing ghosted across the finish to a well-earned winning gun from Bronenosec with Ergin Imre’s Provezza taking third thanks to a good recovery, reading the shifts well on the second leg.
Already there is a tie in the middle of the standings table – Bronenosec, Provezza and Andy Soriano’s Alegre all finishing the day on a 10pts aggregate from the pair of races.
The seven strong 20th Anniversary Invitational fleet had two good races which saw Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste triumph in both. Roberto Monti’s Air Is Blue lie second overall after a second and third. The most recent newcomers to the class THA 72, the boat which was formerly Team Vision Future and is steered by Don Whitcraft and led by Pom Green and Nick Rogers, sits in third.
52 SUPER SERIES, standings after two race
- Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (2,1) – 3
- Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4) – 5
- Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (8,2) – 10
- Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (7,3) – 10
- Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (5,5) – 10
- Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (3,8) – 11
- Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (4,7) – 11
- Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) (6,6) – 12
- Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (9,9) – 18