To many observers it may seem like the 2023 52 SUPER SERIES season has only just started but in fact when the fleet convenes this coming weekend in the historic natural harbour of Mahon in Menorca, this third regatta of the year will take the very evenly matched, highly refined TP52 fleet past the season’s midpoint.
Ergin Imré’s Turkish flagged Provezza team, led by Kiwi helm John Cutler, arrive in Menorca after winning both events so far this season in Saint-Tropez, France and Scarlino, Italy. They hold a seven points margin at the top of the 2023 championship standings ahead of Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing powered by American Magic whilst Harm Müller Spreer’s German flagged Platoon are third, some 20 points behind circuit leaders Provezza.
Menorca, with its open race area is especially liked by the teams. The littler Balearic island is too small to generate the dependable strong sea-breezes the like of, say, the Bay of Palma. But also there are no significant geographic features to affect the breeze. Ashore the beautiful old city and its waterfront bars and restaurants are popular with discerning summer tourists who enjoy a much quieter, gentler pace of life than other busier, bigger Spanish city destinations. And as hosts the Club Maritimo de Mahon pull out all the stops to deliver a great event every time.
This will be the fifth visit of the 52 SUPER SERIES to Menorca. While Provezza will be bidding to extend to a run of three back-to-back wins, Germany’s double world champions Platoon will also actually be looking to extend their record of winning in Mahon to three straight. Müller Spreer’s team won last time, in 2021, ahead of Alegre and Quantum Racing and in 2019 they triumphed ahead of Provezza and Quantum Racing. In 2017 Azzurra won and in 2016 Quantum Racing were crowned TP52 world champions.
The teams will be racing for the one of the class’s premier trophies, the Royal Cup. Known in full as the Royal Cup Challenge Trophy it was raced for by the IMS 50 class originally to which it was donated in 1995 by owners King Harald of Norway, Pasquale Landolfi, Willi Illbruck and Yannis Costopoulos. Current holders are Quantum Racing.
Circuit leaders Provezza won the Royal Cup in 2019, have a good record in Menorca and are enjoying a great run of form. Given their good all-round speed, good starting and quiet consistency of the first two regattas of the season there is every chance Provezza could win again.
Racing starts Wednesday 5th July with the official practice races Tuesday. The Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Royal Cup will feature three days of Live TV bringing all the action from the water Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Royal Cup winners history
1995 Brava Q8, P. Landolfi
1996 Brava Q8, P. Landolfi
1997 Mean Machine, P.B. de Ridder
2000 Innovision 7, H.J. Eekhof
2001 Brava Q8, P. Landolfi
Since 2012 the Royal Cup Challenge Trophy is awarded as an event trophy in the 52 SUPER SERIES.
2012 Rán Racing
2013 Quantum Racing
2014 Quantum Racing
2015 Quantum Racing
2016 Quantum Racing
2018 Luna Rossa
2022 Quantum Racing
52 SUPER SERIES 2023 Provisional Standings after Scarlino
1- PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 34+42 = 76
2- QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 40+43 = 83
3- PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 45+51 = 96
4- SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 45+52 = 97
5- INTERLODGE (USA), Austin and Gwen Fragomen, 45+54 = 99
6- VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 58+48 = 106
7- GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 40+66 = 106
8- ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 43+64 = 107
9- PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso and Tina Plattner, 57+71 = 128
10- PAPREC (FRA), Jean Luc Petithuguenin, 56+81 = 137
11- ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn and Tina Kang, 65+91 = 156