Phoenix Shrug Off Practice Day Dramas To Lead After Day 1 in Puerto Portals
After composite repair work late into the night as well as remedial work to the engines of their support RIB following two unfortunate crashes within a few hours of each other, the Plattner family’s Phoenix team made a strong start to Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week winning race and taking third in the next to finish the first day atop the leaderboard.
The South African flagged team share the same four points aggregate as the reigning 52 SUPER SERIES champions Sled which posted two equally hard earned, solid, composed second places. Both times Takashi Okura’s team got into good positions early in the race and held steady. Phoenix ran out comfortable winners of the first contest in a light 8-9kts sea breeze and then recovered from a deep early position to gain third at the top mark second time up.
And while Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge, which has Cameron Appleton as tactician this week, scored their first win of the season and lies third overall, it was not the best day for 2022 series leaders Quantum Racing which posted a weighty 14 points tally. They had to do penalty turns in the second race after an infringement at the second windward mark.
It was a difficult opening day for the tacticians. In the light breeze and strong sunshine it was hard to read the pressure and to make an informed choice as to the favoured side of the race track set in the middle of the Bay of Palma. On top of that the wind pattern changed from one race to the next. Phoenix, with Tom Slingsby and Cam Dunn combining on tactics and strategy, were quick to benefit from the strong breeze on the right side of the first upwind and were over 100 metres clear in front by midway down the first run.
On the second race, with the breeze built to 10-11kts, overall the left was stronger. Vayu led at the top mark but then lost by staying to the right on the run, Interlodge sliding through to take the lead.
But as ever in this fleet the margins between success and mediocre are small, and today especially seemed to be changing all the time.
Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week after two races:
1 PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 1,3 4pts
2 SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 2,2 4pts
3 INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 4,1 5pts
4 PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller Spreer 5,4 9pts
5 PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 3,8 11pts
6 GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 7,5 12pts
7 ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 6,7 13 pts
8 QUANTUM RACING (USA), 8,6 14pts
9 VAYU (THAI), Family Whitcraft, 9,9 18pts