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Alegre Non Troppo In Menorca

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  • Alegre Non Troppo In Menorca

    On Form Alegre Dominate in Menorca
    Not since Quantum Key West Race Week in 2014 has a 52 SUPER SERIES team opened a regatta with three back-to-back race wins, but Andy Soriano’s Alegre team matched the record of Quantum Racing today when they took both winning guns in breezy conditions at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week to complement their first day victory Tuesday.

    With Ado Stead and Nic Asher combining on tactics and strategy and owner Soriano driving Alegre fast in the short, steep, awkward swell they led at every mark today and both times were overall 100 metres clear of the second boat, earning themselves a ten points lead at the top of the regatta standings.

    After winning in gentle, 5-7kts airs on Tuesday, Alegre twice crossed the fleet early on the first windward legs and were never passed thereafter.

    all images ©nico martinez

    Stead who has won TP52 world titles with Rán Racing and Quantum Racing and has been on the circuits since 2006 commented,

    “ We are sailing with a lot of confidence. We are happy how we are going as a team. We are making sure to control the fleet and we are going well. Yesterday in the light stuff the boat was going well because the comms were good when it was tricky. We were changing gears well and Andy was doing a great job steering in the light stuff and then today when the sea was building as the day went on. Downwind was hard because the shifts made getting down the waves right or wrong and so that was tough. We had great team-work.”

    He summarised their approach today,

    “We went out today knowing there would be plenty of opportunities with 16-17kts of breeze a little very shifty and a bit of a seaway and under the influence of the cape, so we identified we needed good starts and to be able to sail the shifts. At the top of the beats the breeze was shifting around 15-18 degrees and so there were always opportunities to make gains and losses.”

    While Alegre have kept an immaculate clean sheet, Doug De Vos’ Quantum Racing deserve credit for a pair of strong recoveries today after two poor starts found them towards the back of the queue at both first mark roundings. But they chipped away on each successive leg and recovered two fourth places.

    So too Bronenosec had an up and down day. In the first race they were rightly closed out at the committee boat end of the start line by the French crew on Paprec. The Russian team were give two extra penalty points for causing a collision requiring a minor repair to the French boat.

    “We went where we shouldn’t have. We thought there was a gap left but they did what they should have and closed the door on us. We are sorry.”

    Said Bruno Zirilli, the Italian navigator on Bronenosec.

    After collecting 14 points for their misdemeanour Bronenosec bounced back with a good second in the second race but it is Hasso Plattner’s more consistent Phoenix who lie second on 13pts tied with Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon.

    Breezes are forecast to stay in the same range for Thursday around 15kts or perhaps a little more.

    Standings after three races Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week

    Alegre (GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (1,1,1) 3 pts
    Phoenix (RSA) (Toni Norris) (3,7,3) 13 pts
    Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (4,3,6) 13 pts
    Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,DNF14,2) 18 pts
    Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (8,2,8) 18 pts
    Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (11,4,4) 19 pts
    Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,8,7) 20 pts
    Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) (7,10,5) 22 pts
    Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (6,9,9) 24 pts
    THA72 (THA) (Tom y Kevin Whitcraft) (10,5,10) 25 pts
    11 Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithugeunin) (9,6,11) 26 pts
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Pressure Applied By Platoon

    Platoon Pile On The Pressure
    Winners of the regatta when it was last held in 2019, Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon crew took the lead at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week after a fourth place and a race win allowed them to overhaul Andy Soriano’s Alegre who faltered with a seventh and tenth which halted their opening run of three back-to-back winning guns.

    While the day marked the return to form of Quantum Racing, Doug DeVos’s four times champions starting much more smartly after a difficult pair of opening days, so too Platoon hit their straps as also did Bronenosec, the Russian flagged team which has an all Italian afterguard, navigator Bruno Zirilli, tactician Vasco Vascotto and strategist Pietro Sibello.

    all images ©Nico Martinez

    The result was the best day of racing yet this season, even if the 14-17kts breeze was shifty, difficult to read and the seas state bumpy with an awkward chop at times.

    In both races the early leaders were able to extend and win relatively comfortably. Victors last month in Puerto Portals, Mallorca Sled – racing with Francesco Bruni calling tactics – picked up the breeze shifting to the right and were able to lead the fleet around the top mark and extend from there.

    Regatta leaders Alegre – who are missing key trimmer Andy Hemmings who suffered knee injury during Wednesday’s racing – started underneath Bronenosec and could nor break clear of them to get to the right shift until it was too late. They worked hard for a seventh but in the next race suffered early on too at the hands of Gladiator. From being able to dictate terms to the fleet Alegre were back in the heavy traffic today. Losing ninth position to Interlodge at the finish line cost them one more point and they go into the two final days two behind Platoon.

    Platoon started well in the second race of the day and this time they were clear leaders by the first windward mark, Quantum Racing holding second all the way round the course to the finish line. A 2,2 day for the American flagged team sees them third overall five points behind their Quantum powered rivals with whom they share a two boat programme.

    “It’s been a tough week so far so it was good to have a better day. It is very shifty out there, very puffy with big waves and so Harm really did a good job steering the boat, we were good downwind and had good strategy upwind.”

    Commented Platoon’s British navigator Jules Salter,

    “It is hard to realise we are leading now, it is all about a point here and there, and there is plenty more racing to come.”

    Michele Ivaldi, the navigator on third placed Quantum Racing said:

    “We set a goal for the day and we succeeded and everything has opened up again, but all the time it is about taking each race at a time and not thinking about the outcome Saturday.”

    After five races Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week

    1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (4,3,6,4,1) 18p.
    2. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (1,1,1,7,10) 20 p
    3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (11,4,4,2,2) 23 p
    4. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,dnf12,2, 3, 3 +2 ) 24 p.
    5. Phoenix (RSA) (Tony Norris) (3,7,3,5,6) 24 p
    6. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,8,7,1,4) 25 p
    7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (8,2,8,6,11) 35 p
    8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (6,9,9,10,5) 39 p.
    9. Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) (7,10,5,8,9) 39 p
    10. THA 72 Vāyu (THAI) Whitcraft (THAI) (10,5,10,11,7) 43 p
    11. Paprec (FRA) Jean-Luc Petithuguenin (9,6,11,9,8) 43p
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery