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  • World Series Of The 52 Sort

    Double Bullet Day Sees Phoenix Open Best At Rolex TP52 World Championships



    With two solid wins today Hasso Plattner’s South African flagged Phoenix team lead the Rolex TP52 World Championships and moved to the top of the overall 52 SUPER SERIES leaderboard with four days of the 2021 season remaining.
    With Tom Slingsby and Cameron Dunn combining on tactics and strategy respectively on Phoenix the red hulled TP52 started strongly in both races and led at all but one mark of the two windward-leeward races on a tricky, challenging Bay of Palma. The first race was contested in a very light westerly breeze which was strongest near the bottom of the course and faded towards the windward mark.

    The second test was sailed in 8-9 knots. Phoenix showed good speed, especially upwind and sailed astutely with good crew work, defending once they were ahead and, with project manager Tony Norris steering, looking like a team which have all the ingredients to win the world title.







    Defending world champions, Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon had to work hard for two third places, but showed a dependable ability to get themselves up the fleet, or hold their position when needed. The German flagged crew lie second on six points ahead of Sled and Quantum Racing which both aggregated nine points for the day.

    Phoenix made a great start to the first race and led at the windward mark ahead of Tony Langley’s Gladiator, Andy Soriano’s Alegre and Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec. Vasco Vascotto called an early gybe on Bronenosec and they closed up to second, actually leading around the second top mark before Phoenix pulled away again on the second run to win.

    The second start was much more even with Phoenix, once more edging ahead. Platoon were second and the two leaders opened up a gap to third. On the final run Platoon, in the middle of course, had to choose between covering Sled on the right of the downwind and Interlodge advancing on the left.
    Sled stole second and Platoon only just held on to third in a photo finish with Austin & Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge which has Tony Rey steering this week.








    Phoenix’s tactician Tom Slingsby said,

    “Yes we had two good wins but it was pretty crazy conditions out there, big shifts and we had a bit of luck for sure. Sometimes we were in the middle of a few boats and we just got a dream little lane of pressure and sort of punched away from everyone. So I suppose maybe a bit of luck but some good positioning, the guys were sailing really well. We were fast upwind. Two good results but it’s the first day out of five so we have a long way to go.”

    Of the dream first start he said,

    “ I saw a photo from the start at the gun – I think we were a foot behind the line and we were doing about 9 knots. That’s as good as you want it but it was brave as well we were a long way ahead of all the boats around us, so maybe risk management will come into play a bit more now we’re doing pretty well.”

    Asked about his Kiwi counterpart Cameron Dunn Slingsby said,

    “He’s amazing, he’s been with this team for a long time. He’s got the respect of all the guys – and I’m just sort of a ring in. Having him on board, it’s great, I run all my thoughts past him. It’s great to have a really good set of eyes helping me and getting us round the track well. Day one of five but I’m not going to count my chickens – we’ve got breezier days coming.”









    ROLEX TP52 World Championship RCNP 2021 after two races

    Phoenix (1,1) 2 pts
    Platoon (3,3) 6 p.
    Sled (7,2) 9 p.
    Quantum Racing (4,5) 9 p.
    Bronenosec (2,8) 10 p.
    Code Zero (6,6) 12 p.
    Interlodge (9,4) 13 p.
    Alegre (5,9) 14 p.
    Provezza (10,7) 17 p.
    Gladiator (8,10) 18 p.
    52 SUPER SERIES Standings after Day 1 Palma

    Phoenix 50 pts
    Platoon 52 p.
    Sled 53 p.
    Quantum Racing 53 p.
    Alegre 58 p.
    Bronenosec Gazprom 61 p.
    Provezza 75 p.
    Interlodge 84 p.
    Gladiator 102 p.


    https://www.52superseries.com/news/
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  • #2
    Tight At The Top In The Bay Of Palma

    All Locked Up After Day 2 At The Rolex TP52 World Championships. Ties At The Top Of Regatta And The Season Standings.




    Takashi Okura’s Sled crew with six times America’s Cup winner Murray Jones on the helm and Italian ace Francesco Bruni calling tactics won themselves a share of the overall lead of the Rolex TP52 World Championships on the Bay of Palma today after two of the most challenging but exciting races of recent years.

    In the chase for the World Championship title they now share the same 15 points tally as the Plattner family’s Phoenix which followed up a golden, two bullets first day with a weighty sixth and seventh today. Phoenix actually still lead on tie break by virtue of those two opening day wins.

    But Sled’s six points aggregate for the second day of racing – they paired a race win to their fifth in the first of today’s pair of windward leewards – sees them also earn an equal share of the overall 2021 52 SUPER SERIES lead, locked on the same 60 points score as four times champions Quantum Racing.







    With only three scheduled days of racing left of the 2021 season it could not be closer. Chasing Sled and Quantum Racing now in third are Phoenix which are only two points behind.

    In the very shifty, offshore breeze which varied in strength between eight and 18 knots over the course of the two races it seemed no lead was safe to the finish line. There were some very useful recoveries promoted by the clever use of the bigger puffs on the downwind legs especially.

    Platoon, Phoenix, Alegre and Bronenosec perhaps rode the mental rollercoaster most. The South African flagged Phoenix were flat footed off the first start and rounded the first mark deep in ninth, recovering to sixth at the line.

    On the second race If the regatta leaders then found themselves on the wrong side of the opening beat on the second race they sailed an excellent first run to pass through the first leeward gate in third, chasing Quantum Racing and Platoon.

    But in phase of play that was typical of the day, though the mean windspeed at the bottom of the second beat was 12 or 13 knots, the breeze swirled, dropped, puffed up and shifted with brain curdling rapidity for a few funky minutes.

    With the changes in pressure the lead group compacted right up and regrouped. Sled broke clear and Bronenosec found their way back into the top three, Vladimir Liubomirov’s team leading Sled round the final windward mark.

    The immaculate white hulled US flagged Sled stayed right of Bronenosec down the last run to take victory. Having dropped five places apiece in that unsettled mixed breeze Phoenix then pipped Platoon on the finish line for seventh to Platoon’s eighth.

    As is often the case Quantum Racing’s astute risk management, achieved under high levels of stress, ensured they earned a third and a fourth place that for all the world must have felt like a pair of victories for Doug De Vos’ team lead by Terry Hutchinson.









    Sled’s visibly relieved helm Jones smiled,

    “It was an incredible day. We were up and down. We had two really good starts but even so we didn’t get to the top mark very well in either race the breeze was flipping all around the place. In the end we got back to fifth in the first race and we got to first t in the second race. We did a really good job on the second beat of the second race. We got Bronenosec on the run into the finish. Overall it was all about trying to stay in the pressure as well as the shift and I think the pressure was probably more important than the shift. It was about looking ahead and working out where was going to be the next pressure. There were 15 degree shifts so it was a big deal if you got pressure and a shift. There were big gains. And was for the circuit standings we were surprised to see at the end of today how we shape up but there’s still a long way to go.”

    For Bronenosec an 11pts tally today made it yet another ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’ kind of day, rueing a costly finish line penalty which required them to go round again to re-finish but also making the best of some of the opportunities that they created for themselves, finishing second behind Alegre in the second race. And Andy Soriano’s team also tasted the lows and the highs, winning the first race but finishing tenth in the second contest. It was that kind of day.

    Bronenosec’s navigator Bruno Zirilli summed up,

    “It was one of the craziest days TP52 racing but I think this was normal given the breeze from the shore below the mountain with the puff and luls coming suddenly. Big ups and downs in the fleet. We sailed very well in the first part of the race being in front and then we finish 9th as we got a penalty right on the finish line, shit happens and today was our turn. Then we recovered in the second race coming second. This kind of up and down I think will continue throughout the week.”









    Standings ROLEX TP52 World Championship RCNP 2021 after four races.

    Phoenix (1,1,6,7) 15 points.
    Sled (7,2,5,1) 15 points.
    Quantum Racing (4,5,3,4) 16 points.
    Platoon (3,3,4,8) 18 points.
    Bronenosec Gazprom (2,8,9,2) 21 points.
    Alegre (5,9,1,10) 25 points.
    Interlodge (9,4,7,5) 25 points.
    Provezza (10,7,2,9) 28 points.
    Code Zero (6,6,10,6) 28 points.
    Gladiator (8,10,8,3) 29 points.


    52 SUPER SERIES 2021 after day 2

    Sled 59 points
    Quantum Racing 60 points.
    Phoenix 62 points
    Platoon 63 points.
    Alegre 68 points
    Bronenosec 72 points
    Provezza 85 points
    Interlodge 96 points
    Gladiator 113 points

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    • #3
      Platooning For The Podium In Mallorca

      Consistent Platoon, Phoenix and Sled Shape Up As Title Contenders




      A seemingly unerring consistency, Platoon returning a pair of second places and Phoenix a pair of thirds, sees the German and South African TP52s locked in a three way tussle with the USA flagged Sled for the Rolex TP52 World Championship title. After six races only one point separates the trio.

      With just two days of the season left to sail, the overall circuit title for 2021 is equally finely poised. Circuit leaders are Takashi Okura’s Sled who only one point ahead of Platoon and two ahead of Phoenix. When they needed to at least be matching this top trio today Quantum Racing faltered slightly with a seventh in the second race which may prove costly to their hopes of a fifth 52 SUPER SERIES title.

      The breeze was again blowing off the shore, carrying with it the influence of the high, undulating mountains at the back of the city itself. That meant more windshifts, changes in pressure to test to the nerves as well as the skills of the afterguards. The spotty wind was hard to read, to second guess what was happening in the next few seconds far less the next minutes, making the remarkable consistency of Platoon and Phoenix all the more impressive.










      Both afterguards, Platoon’s Jordi Calafat and John Kostecki and Phoenix’s Tom Slingsby and Cam Dunn, risked when they needed to and were mostly rewarded by place gains. After a solid third and fourth from yesterday’s similar conditions Quantum Racing were nicely in the mix in the second race but lost positions on the second upwind to finish seventh for a 12 points day.

      While there are two days of scheduled racing left, the forecast for gales in the Bay of Palma on Saturday see some teams altering their strategy for Friday, the penultimate day. Set to blow hard from the north there is a belief there might be enough protection from the land to allow racing, others are setting their stall for Friday to be the final showdown.

      Andy Soriano’s Alegre team made a great start to the day winning the first race while Sled started off the pin on the second race and working the early left of the beat were clear at the top of the fleet at the windward mark with Alegre looking good in second. But once again it was the first half of the second beat which really shook up the middle order places, Alegre dropping to fifth across the line.








      Phoenix’s Tom Slingsby admitted,

      “My nerves are gone. It was crazy racing out there. Any tactician who says they know what’s going on out there would be lying. It’s just insane racing, it’s crazy, it’s very hard to predict, we’re just riding the rollercoaster. And so I am really happy with two thirds today on a day like that. The wind was changing all the time. You are trying to tack on the shift but sometimes there was a persistent shift, sometimes there wasn’t, sometimes it was oscillating, it’s just so hard to know what the wind was doing out there. I don’t know how many times today I said to Cam Dunn, ‘I have no idea what’s going to happen here.’ But it was just one of those days where you had to sail in your own breeze and get round the course quickly. In these conditions it really helps having a strategist. Having a good set of eye to give me input on the course is invaluable. And so yes we’re in the mix for the world title and the overall title. The points are so close heading into tomorrow, it’s anyone’s game but we’re happy to be in the hunt. Looking forward. There is a good chance tomorrow is the final day so we have to approach it that way.”









      ROLEX TP52 World Championship RCNP 2021 after six races

      Phoenix (1,1,6,7,3,3) 21 points
      Platoon (3,3,4,8,2,2) 22 points
      Sled (7,2,5,1,6,1) 22 points
      Quantum Racing (4,5,3,4,5,7) 28 points
      Alegre (5,9,1,10,1,5) 31 p.
      Bronenosec Gazprom (2,8,9,2,4,8) 33 p points
      Interlodge (9,4,7,5,8,6) 39 points
      Provezza (10,7,2,9,9,4) 41 points
      Code Zero (6,6,10,6,7.10) 45 p points
      Gladiator (8,10,8,3,10,9) 48 points


      52 SUPER SERIES 2021 Overall standings

      Sled 66, points
      Platoon, 67 points.
      Phoenix 68 points
      Quantum Racing 72 points
      Alegre 74 points
      Bronenosec Gazprom 84 points
      Provezza 97 points
      Interlodge 109 points
      Gladiator 131 points
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      • #4
        Breeze Picking Up In The Bay Of Palma

        Sled Are Pitching For Double Title Win With A Single Point In Hand




        Takashi Okura’s Sled team emerged from a dramatic penultimate day of the short, intense 2021 52 SUPER SERIES season carrying a lead of just one single point in the chase not only for the Rolex TP52 World Championship title but also the 2021 circuit title.

        With a strong winds forecast – over 35 knots seems expected on the north coast of Mallorca – there may be considerable dockside debate whether the more sheltered Bay of Palma might yet prove sheltered enough for the world’s leading grand prix monohull class to offer a final title shootout over the two scheduled races. After but Sled’s 7,1 today charismatic Italian tactician Francesco Bruni smiled

        “ We were one windshift away from the perfect day today. We could have been leading by three or four points more. We cannot have regrets about our day. It was good today, the team is good, we are in good shape. We can race tomorrow and win, I don’t want to race tomorrow. But if we can we can win.”








        In the 18-25 knots shifty, gusty offshore breeze there was no shortage of heart stopping drama. The Plattner family’s Phoenix crew looked set to have sailed themselves into a strong position for both world and circuit titles. In second position two thirds of the way down the second run, and closing Race 7 leaders Quantum Racing down the second run towards the finish line their spinnaker tack suddenly exploded, the sail shredding in half. They had to finish with no spinnaker, dropping from second to sixth.

        Then forced to push their risk harder on the start line in the next race Phoenix were over the start line and had to recross. A valiant fightback from tenth, true to their name, got the South African flagged team back to fifth leaving them fourth overall on the world championship regatta standings but just two points adrift of Sled.

        Quantum Racing were on impressive form in the strongest breeze of the circuit yet. Punished for small mistakes and perhaps not risking enough at times yesterday Terry Hutchinson and Lucas Calabrese closer to the right flank upwind to lead all the way round and score their first win of the regatta.

        With owner Doug DeVos steering they followed up with a second behind the runaway Sled to be the team which is breathing down the necks of the Sled team, one point behind, poised to attack tomorrow – given the opportunity to do so – in search of their fifth 52 SUPER SERIES title and their seventh world title, their fourth since the start of the 52 SUPER SERIES in 2012.

        After going 2,2 yesterday and then with a third in the first race today Harm Muller Spreer’s Platoon stood on the top of both leader boards going into the second windy race. And in fourth going up the second beat they looked to be on course to lead into the final day. But when both the left and the right of that upwind yielded positive wind shifts, being conservative and trying to play the percentages in the middle of the course cost them two places. The defending world champions from 2019 who have been runners up three times behind Quantum Racing and Azzurra are also just one point behind the World Championship leaders and two points behind on the 2021 leaderboard.







        The shoot out for the titles could not realistically have been scripted any more dramatically. All that is needed now is the wind to allow the full schedule of ten races to be completed. Weather modelling seems to suggest mean windspeeds in the Bay of Palma of under 30 knots and most of the teams want at least one more shot…..

        Phoenix strategist Cameron Dunn pointed out,

        “At the start of that last race when we were sailing round it was pretty solidly 25-26 knots and in that flat water that’s pretty comfortable. It’s a bit hairy but good fun. I reckon we could be racing in the flat water up to 26/27 knots. It was an awesome day’s sailing but not quite what we were after. Overall we are sailing well, the boat’s going well, the crew work is phenomenal. It’s incredibly tight racing, a few things didn’t quite go our way today, we’re still there now we’re praying to the wind gods that we can go sailing tomorrow.”











        ROLEX TP52 World Championship RCNP 2021 after eight races

        Sled (7,2,5,1,6,1,7,1) 30 pts,
        Quantum Racing (4,5,3,4,5,7,1,2) 31 pts,
        Platoon (3,3,4,8,2,2,3,6) 31pts,
        Phoenix (1,1,6,7,3,3,6,5) 32 pts
        Alegre (5,9,1,10,1,5,8,3) 42 pts
        Bronenosec Gazprom (2,8,9,2,4,8,2,8) 43 pts
        Interlodge (9,4,7,5,8,6,5,9) 53 pts
        Provezza (10,7,2,9,9,4,9,4) 54 pts,
        Gladiator (8,10,8,3,10,9,4,7) 59 pts
        Code Zero (6,6,10,6,7,10,10,dnf) 66 pts



        52 SUPER SERIES 2021 Standings after two regattas and eight races in Palma

        Sled 74, points,
        Quantum Racing 75pts
        Platoon, 76 pts
        Phoenix 79 pts
        Alegre 85 pts
        Bronenosec 94 pts
        Provezza 110 pts
        Interlodge 123 pts
        Gladiator 142 pts
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