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The Plattners Remain Atop The Heap


  • The Plattners Remain Atop The Heap

    Quantum Racing On The Prowl But Phoenix Go Four Points Clear in Galicia

    While Quantum Racing made the best of the great conditions on Galicia’s Ri'a de Vigo on the second day of the ABANCA 52 SUPER SERIES Baiona Sailing Week scoring a first and a second it is Phoenix which has stretched their overall regatta lead to four clear points.
    Quantum Racing won the first race of the day which was contested in 15-18kts of breeze whilst Phoenix followed up their hard won third place from that first race – coming back from very deep in the fleet on the first upwind of the day – and comfortably won the second race ahead of the Quantum crew.

    Even if there was significantly more wind that the subtle, streaky breeze of Tuesday’s opening races it was no easier to read for the afterguards. There was a big shift to the right on the first upwind of the day which the Fragomens’ team on Interlodge, which has Ed Baird as tactician, read best. Whilst they led at the top mark first time up, both of Day 1’s top performers Phoenix and Vayu were on the wrong side of the shift and were seventh and eighth to round.

    But whilst Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum Racing crew were able to pull back on the second upwind when the wind swung back, so also Tom Slingsby and Cam Dunn the Phoenix afterguard were able to use this shift to get right back into contention. Fourth at the top turn second time up Phoenix nicked a third from Interlodge in the final 300 metres of the run to mark out the kind of solid comeback – from seventh to third - which wins regattas.

    After sharing the Day 1 lead thanks to two second places there might had been something of a cruel return to reality for the Vayu crew, the Whitcrafts’ Thai team which finished eighth in the first race, a solid fifth in the next race sees them holding fourth overall at the end of the second day.

    “It is nice to have a good day after yesterday. But then like one of the guys on the boat said this morning ‘yesterday felt much worse than it really was’ and I kind of agree because we are very critical of ourselves. We are always looking for what we can do better. And today was no different in that respect.”

    Smiled Terry Hutchinson the hard driving Quantum Racing tactician,

    “Man, this race course is awesome. It is challenging. It is hard. You earn your good races and you earn your bad races equally. And so I think it is a great spot to come and race. I came here many, many years ago with John (Kostecki) Rossco (Ross Halcrow, Platoon) and ‘Cheese’ (Dirk De Ridder, Platoon) to train with the illbruck programme out of Vigo and I remember it being beautiful. It is an awesome spot to race.”

    Cameron Dunn, the Kiwi strategist on Phoenix admitted they ‘got out of jail’ on the first race for their third place but says the Botin design is going fast:

    “We got the first half of the first race very wrong but then got the second half very right and so it worked out. Then the second race was really awesome. The boat was going really fast and once we got the lead we managed to get away.”

    Dunn recalls,

    “There was a massive right shift at the top of the first beat of the first race and we got that wrong. We had just been looking for clear air to let the boat do its thing, but the second beat it came back to the left and we got into that and got back on race. The mood on board is great. After a comeback like that and then winning the second one you are pretty chipper. We are confident in each other, our crew work is good and we know that we have three very difficult, light airs days coming up and in this fleet that can be very tough yachting.”

    Unfortunately Ergin Imre’s Provezza team had to sit out both of today’s races after a forestay fitting failed on Tuesday but they are hopeful to be back racing Thursday.

    ABANCA 52 SUPER SERIES Baiona Sailing Week standings after four races
    1 PHOENIX (RSA) Hasso & Tina Plattner 1,3,3,1 8pts
    2 QUANTUM RACING (USA) Doug DeVos 4,5,1,2 12 pts
    3 PLATOON (GER) Harm M?ller Spreer 5,1,2,4 12 pts
    4 VAYU (THA) Whitworth family 2,2,8,5 17 pts
    5 INTERLODGE (USA) Austin & Gwen Fragomen 6,4,4,6 20 pts
    6 SLED (USA) Takashi Okura 3,6,5,7 21 pts
    7 ALEGRE (GBR) Andy Soriano 9,7,6,3 25 pts
    8 GLADIATOR (GBR) Tony Langley 7,8,7,8 30 pts
    9 PROVEZZA (TUR) Ergin Imre 8,10,10.10 38 pts

    Phoenix Lead But Dream 52 SUPER SERIES Start in Baiona For Amateur Vayu Team

    If the Plattner family’s Phoenix team, with man of the moment Tom Slingsby calling tactics, issued a clear statement of intent when they unrolled a truly comprehensive victory in the first race of the 2022 52 SUPER SERIES season, and with a 1.3 for the day lead the ABANCA 52 SUPER SERIES Baiona Sailing Week by the slimmest of margins, there was also a sharp reminder that the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit is not all about stars of Sail GP, America’s Cup, Olympic and The Ocean Race when Thailand’s amateur, family Vayu crew pieced together two assured second places today to earn a share of the overall lead.

    They were the title challengers whose momentum was rudely halted by an exploding spinnaker on the last racing day in Palma last November and today Phoenix looked sharp and smooth leading all the way round the first race. With a margin of over 500 metres at the finish line they had visibly extended on each leg of the course.

    They were pursued all the way round by Thai brothers Kevin and Tom Whitcraft’s Vayu team - which has five family members on board including young Thai 49er Olympic campaigner Don steering - and British Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers calling tactics. They held off the 2021 circuit champions Sled who took third and then did it again in the second race chasing Platoon through the finish with Phoenix taking third.

    “It was an amazing, amazing day, just great for the team. It proves that in anything under 12 knots I think we are in with a shout. But there is great credit to Kevin for setting up the team. We have sailed together for quite a while, seven years or so already, but this is a big step up.”

    said a smiling Rogers whose long time friend and past 470 crew Pom Green runs the project.

    Kevin Whitcraft added,

    “It was a pretty epic day, I am a bit shellshocked to be honest. I did not expect that when we went out this morning. The team sailed like a team and minimised mistakes. It was good fun sailing. I think we were solid on both the starts. We had clear air soon after the starts and thereafter we sailed like a team. Often with us as a fairly new team little mistakes become bigger issues and today there were not many mistakes. All we can say as an amateur team is we’d love to see more teams like us giving it a go.”

    Phoenix started on the right hand end of the line and worked the early right in the streaky 8-9kts breeze to gain a solid lead by the top mark. Vayu had clear air on the left and were never really challenged hard. With Rogers supported with a little local knowledge here and there from local Vigo pro ‘Neti’ Cuervas Mons, Team Vayu proved well able to make smart choices, especially in the second race when they were the only team among the tightly packed top four to hold right on the first run, a move which saw them pass through the leeward gate even with leaders Platoon and ahead of Phoenix.

    Even with the breeze puffing up to 13-14kts for the second race the beautiful ria de Vigo race track was hard to read, places in the middle of the pack changing all the time. Phoenix looked to have all the tools in place to win regattas this season again has project manager Tony Norris steering here and is one of the three Botin boats with new keel fins:

    South African mainsheet trimmer Paul Wilcox asserts,

    “I think we are kind of taking up where we left off last year which is nice. The boat is going well and this new keel fin seems to be doing what it was supposed to do. And we have some new sails which is nice. Today was about connecting the puffs, it was a super streaky breeze and Tom did a really good job. I think we have a bit of confidence. We know we can do a good job we have good boat speed. We have been practising manoeuvres, penalties, spinnaker changes. We have confidence in him and he has confidence in us. It goes a long way, people digging in and doing their job very well.”

    Platoon with a first and sixth are third overall, Sled fourth and Quantum Racing fifth.

    ABANCA 52 SUPER SERIES Baiona Sailing Week

    1 PHOENIX (RSA) Hasso & Tina Plattner 1,3 4 pts
    2 VAYU (THAI) Whitworth family 2,2. 4 pts
    3 PLATOON (GER) Harm M?ller Spreer 5,1 6 pts
    4 SLED (USA) Takashi Okura 3,6 9 pts
    5 QUANTUM RACING (USA) Doug DeVos 4,5 9 pts
    6 INTERLODGE (USA) Austin & Gwen Fragomen 6,4 10 pts
    7 GLADIATOR (GBR) Tony Langley 7,8 15 pts
    8 ALEGRE (GBR) Andy Soriano 9,7 16 pts
    9 PROVEZZA (TUR) Ergin Imre 8,10 18 pts

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