Consistency key as Provezza power to Saint-Tropez title win.
Ergin Imre’s Turkish flagged Provezza team kept their nerve and used their excellent light airs boat speed on the Gulf of Saint-Tropez today to lift the first title of the 2023 season as winners of the 52 SUPER SERIES Saint-Tropez Sailing Week.
While six different teams of the 11 competing won races from the eight sailed, Provezza were not among them. Rather it was their consistency across winds which ranged from 5 to 20kts which proved decisive. Going into the final race today tied on points with the 2022 champions, Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing powered by American Magic, Provezza started well enough to earn a share of the favoured right side of the course and with a second place win the French regatta by six clear points.
With Kiwi Olympic bronze medallist John Cutler steering and compatriot Hamish Pepper calling tactics Provezza stayed focused today when their nearest challengers – who have a new afterguard this season – mistimed the light wind start and dropped to second place overall, sharing the same aggregate points tally as Tony Langley’s Gladiator who take third on countback.
Back from the brink of giving up
It is the first regatta win for Imre’s team since 2019 when they triumphed in Puerto Sherry, Andalucia and their third event triumph after Puerto Portals, Mallorca in 2017. Over recent years they have shown huge potential but technical breakdowns have often cost them. Last year at the opening regatta in Baiona, Galicia helm Cutler had to stand down with a viral infection and they broke their forestay so had to miss two races. Indeed it is no secret that Imre, after more than 30 years competing, was considering giving up grand prix sailing last season. But they finished 2022 with two podium finishes and the Turkish owner’s passion was reignited. They were considered possible podium finishers here.
A winter of work optimising and making changes appears to have paid off for Provezza. They have a new keel fin giving more grip for light airs manoeuvring and building speed and lift quicker, new sail designers, setting up the rig differently and after losing Juan Meseguer to the America’s Cup have a new, key sail trimmer in Kiwi Grant Loretz, an America’s Cup winning trimmer and sail program coordinator. They started well and generally managed to take places if they were deep in the pack, three second places being their best scores.
The 52 SUPER SERIES moves next to Scarlino, Tuscany for the 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino Sailing Week May 29th to June 3rd
Final standings 52 SUPER SERIES Saint-Tropez Sailing Week after eight races
1- PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 2+5+4+6+2+6+7+2 = 34
2- QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 6+8+8+1+3+1+5+8 = 40
3- GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 5+3+3+11+10+3+4+1 = 40
4- ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 4+4+7+4+5+2+11+6 = 43
5- INTERLODGE (USA), Austin and Gwen Fragomen, 1+1+6+8+7+9+10+3 =45
6- SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 8+7+9+2+1+11+3+4 = 45
7- PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 7+9+1+3+9+4+2+10 = 45
8- PAPREC (FRA), Jean Luc Petithuguenin, 11+6+2+7+6+7+6+11 = 56
9- PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso and Tina Plattner, 9+10+11+9+4+8+1+5 = 57
10- VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 10+2+5+10+11+5+8+7 = 58
11- ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn and Tina Kang, 3+11+10+5+8+10+9+9 = 65