Provezza versus Platoon in 52 SUPER SERIES 2023 title shoot out in Puerto Portals, Mallorca next week
Next week the Bay of Palma will be the scene for one of the most exciting title showdowns in the history of the 52 SUPER SERIES, the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit.
Ergin Imré’s Turkish flagged Provezza head into the fifth and final event of the 2023 season, the 52 SUPER SERIES Puerto Portals Sailing Week Mallorca with an 18 points leads. They won the first two regattas of the season, in Saint-Tropez and Scarlino. As probably the most consistent team this season Provezza are probably favourites to join the three teams which have so far won one or more 52 SUPER SERIES titles, Quantum Racing, Azzurra and Sled.
But pushing hard behind them in second are Harm Müller-Spreer’s German team on Platoon. They come to Puerto Portals having won the Royal Cup in Menorca in June before pipping title rivals Provezza to the Rolex TP52 World Championship title on a thrilling last race in Barcelona. Müller-Spreer’s crew are desperate to finally land the season title which they have missed five times, finishing second or third every time.
Statistics and probability should in theory favour Provezza who are normally clinical, consistent finishers. They won their first 52 SUPER SERIES regatta in Puerto Portals in 2017 and besides having the speed and crew skills to close the deal also have one of the most experienced local, Palma based navigators in Nacho Postigo whose knowledge of the Bay is legendary. And the team are ultra keen to deliver for Turkish owner Imre who has been in grand prix yacht racing for 40 odd years.
But Platoon come in with the winning impetus. Their Achilles heel has been penalties, even in Barcelona en route to their third world championship title they landed unnecessary penalties.
Four times 52 SUPER SERIES champion, ex Azzurra skipper Guillermo Parada is perhaps the most accomplished observer, impartial but with a foot in both camps. His brother Cole is strategist on Provezza but no one knows Platoon’s effervescent Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto – who was Azzurra’s tactician better than Guille Parada.
The battle for third place is close between Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing powered by American Magic and Tony Langley’s Gladiator, the British boat leading by (2) points.
Quantum Racing powered by American Magic have been unlucky this season after losing John Kostecki, tactician, to an eye injury just before Scarlino. And so every event has seen a different afterguard line up. But in Puerto Portals they will welcome Kostecki back to work with Victor Diaz de Leon as Strategist and new navigator Nico Sanfelici (check spelling please).
The season’s finale will see 11 boats competing representing eight different nations. 2021 circuit champions and World Champions, Takashi Okura’s Sled will reprise their title winning afterguard brining back Italian Luna Rossa helm Francesco Bruni for the regatta. On Jean Luc Petihuguenin’s Paprec, three times Women’s World Match Racing champion Pauline Courtois will steer and eight times round the world racer Bouwe Bekking will steer the Hong Kong entry Alpha Plus.
The official practice races are Monday 18th, points racing starts Tuesday and goes through to Saturday.