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Breezy Conditions For Start Of Scarlino Super Series

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  • Breezy Conditions For Start Of Scarlino Super Series

    Royal Cup leaders Quantum Racing are back on form in Scarlino

    After two races in winds which topped 27kts in the gusts Quantum Racing lead the Royal Cup Scarlino 52 SUPER SERIES regatta. With American owner driver Doug DeVos back as helmsman after missing the last event in July in Mallorca, the 2022 World Champions posted two second places in challenging, shifting breezes to finish the day on top of the leaderboard.

    While Thailand’s Whitcraft family won the first contest – their victory meaning every team on the circuit has now won at least one race this season – it was Takashi Okura’s 2021 circuit champions Sled which took the winning gun for the second race. They outmanoeuvred Quantum Racing at the top of the second beat to take the lead just before the wind dropped and a 120 degree shift in direction upended the race course.

    Even if there were no significant place changes caused by the big rain cloud and its effects, it came at just the wrong time for the Race 1 winning Vayu crew who were starved of wind just as they were trying to get around the final turn. Unfortunately they touched the buoy and the resulting penalty dropped them from a potential fourth to ninth place, to lie fourth overall.

    all images copyright Nico Martinez

    Vayu’s tactician Manu Weiller grimaced,

    “We were caught by the left shift that made everyone finish the last leg with a genoa. We ended up touching the mark we and we had to take a penalty. We went from fourth to last. The first passed that mark with 20 knots, Alegre must have passed with 15 knots, and when we arrived, ten knots".

    Quantum Racing are back close to their best form and with their two second places to Phoenix’s third and fourth today, the US flagged team are back at the top of the 2022 season’s standings table. After a disappointing fourth in Mallorca in July, 19 points behind winners Phoenix, Quantum Racing’s Olympic bronze medal winning strategist Lucas Calabrese – sailing with Terry Hutchinson as tactician and Michele Ivaldi as navigator - was in a good mood as they docked back at Tuscany’s Marina di Scarlino,

    “It is great to have Doug back and to be back to the usual configuration that we have a bit more experience with so we had a good day. Portals was a peculiar event because we did a lot of things well but just made some mistakes.”

    Calabrese continued,

    “It was a tricky day because offshore there was a strong Mistral which was coming into bay, pulsing in and out and so it was really shifty. Terry. Michele and I, I think, were able to read it quite well. We had a great start to the second race which got us away. The pin was quite favoured and we were able to tack and cross the fleet early and that is a good feeling and it was relatively easy from there.”

    Quantum Racing did make a peach of a opening to the second race. Starting close to the pin on a biased line they tacked on to port swiftly and crossed the fleet. After three or four minutes they were already nearly 100 metres ahead of the second placed boat. They looked well set for a race win – as indeed they did at a couple of points in the first race – but the attacking Sled ground them down and got to their left in the shifting breeze and were able to lead around the final turn.

    Sled’s New Zealand strategist Murray Jones, who sails alongside the Italian afterguard of Francesco Bruni and navigator Andrea Visintini, is enjoying deciphering a venue which is new to him, and was pleased to win the second race to lie second overall. Jones said,

    “The second race especially was challenging with a big rain squall going through which turned the breeze inside out. We were near the front of the fleet and managed to hang on. On the second beat we split to the left of Quantum Racing and that was enough to get us through them. My main job is looking out the boat and picking the breeze as I see it. So it was an interesting day, on the first run for example there was a lot more pressure down the right side looking downwind.”

    Breezes are expected to be lighter for the next few days on Scarlino’s Gulf of Follonica.

    Provisional Standings Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino:

    1. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 2+2 = 4 pts.
    2. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+1 = 6 pts.
    3. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 3+4 = 7 pts.
    4. VAYU (THAI), Whitcraft Family, 1+9 = 10 pts.
    5. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 7+3 = 10 pts.
    6. PLATOON (GER), Harm M?ller-Spreer, 4+7 = 11 pts.
    7. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 8+5 = 13 pts.
    8. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 6+8 = 14 pts.
    9. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 9+6 = 15 pts.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2

    Sled working a particular magic in Tuscany to extend their lead Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino

    The waters of the Golfo di Follonica, Tuscany continue to deliver excellent racing conditions for the Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino. With winds gusting over 25kts for Race 5 of the ten race series and a slight drop to 12-15 for Race 6, the 2021 52 SUPER SERIES champions Sled, steered by Takashi Okura, eked out a four points lead Thursday in their quest to land the Royal Cup.

    Sled’s afterguard of Francesco Bruni, Murray Jones and Andrea Visintini seem to have the best handle on the wind changes on the race areas, once again finding small gains which other teams either miss or are not best positioned to take advantage of. This sixth sense, or particular magic, saw them pull through race leaders Quantum Racing on the final downwind to win Race 5. Complementing this with a third behind Platoon and Phoenix in the second race Sled moved clear of Quantum Racing with whom they had started the day tied.

    Visintini, Sled’s Italian navigator enthused,

    “Checco (Bruni) and Murray (Jones) are really doing the magic. They see things that other boats don’t see. And the boat is fast. Mr Okura is doing a great job, especially downwind.”

    He adds,

    “It was challenging today with the big winds and waves. And in terms the next couple of days the wind will be much the same, hopefully a little more stable as the front goes through tonight and that should be the last one, so some sunshine coming up as well, maybe.”

    Their four points takeaway from the day was not the best in the fleet, though. On day three together things started to fire for Harm M?ller-Spreer’s Platoon and the new line up at the back of the boat which now features Italy’s three times circuit winning tactician Vasco Vascotto. With a second and a first today it was the team’s best day of this five regatta 2022 season which saw them finish sixth in Puerto Portals, Mallorca in July, a venue where they went with higher expectations especially after winning their second Rolex TP52 World Championship title there on the Bay of Palma in August 2019.

    But Vascotto cautioned,

    “ We are not heroes today just like we were not zeroes yesterday. It takes time to put the pieces in place, good starts, speed, manoeuvres, and tactics and I feel like today was a lot better. The communication is better, we know each other better what I can get from Harm and what he needs from me.”

    Their three points aggregate elevates them to fifth overall 12 points off Sled’s lead with up to four races still to sail.

    Quantum Racing sailed to a third and a fifth today. They led the first race comfortably and in the second contest were up to third at one point, so maybe finish the day rueing points lost here and there. But in the pursuit of the 2022 52 SUPER SERIES season title, for the second day in a row here, after 34 races now so far this season – and potentially up to 14 left – they finished tied on the exactly the same aggregate points as rivals Phoenix.

    Provisional Standings Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino:
    1. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5+1+3+4+1+3 = 17 pts.
    2. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 2+2+4+5+3+5 = 21 pts.
    3. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 3+4+7+1+6+2 = 23 pts.
    4. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 7+3+1+3+5+8 = 27 pts.
    5. PLATOON (GER), Harm M?ller-Spreer, 4+7+8+7+2+1 = 29 pts.
    6. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 1+9+5+9+4+6 = 34 pts.
    7. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 8+5+2+6+7+9 = 37 pts.
    8. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 9+6+6+2+8+7 = 38 pts.
    9. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 6+8+9+8+9+4 = 44 pts.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery