Quantum Racing Barcelona
Light winds prevailed for the first day of the 2022 season title deciding regatta, the 52 SUPER SERIES Barcelona Sailing Week, which saw a comfortable win for Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing. With De Vos steering they started sharply and with speed at the favoured left, offshore end of the start line and led all the way to the finish gun. Andy Soriano’s Alegre team held off a spirited final leg attack from Ergin Imre’s Provezza to earn second place.
Racing this week back in Barcelona where the 52 SUPER SERIES was born in May 2012 with just four boats completing that inaugural regatta, here there is an excellent fleet of 10 TP52s underlining the continued success of what remains the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit. The return of the French Paprec team for the first time since they raced their previous boat in Cape Town in February 2020 augments the fleet back to the full strength, auguring well for 2023 and beyond.
It Quantum Racing largely carried on the winning consistency that they displayed earlier in the month in Tuscany, winning the Royal Cup in altogether brisker winds and challenging seas, it was a tough day for their nearest challenger Phoenix which took a seventh place in a complicated race which did not see the southerly breeze build beyond eight or nine knots. They recovered three places after being stalled at the windward mark but their deficit to Quantum Racing now stands at 12 points on the season standings. But with gentle breezes set to continue and a course which looks to be quite one-sided in this wind direction, no lead is safe.
“Anything can happen in these light winds. It is only too easy to go out and get two big results on a bad day.”
Emphasized Guillermo Parada, four times title winning Azzurra skipper-helm commentating during the first broadcast of five days of LIVE streaming from the waters which hosted the 1992 Olympic Games and will host the 37th America’s Cup.
Lucas Calabrese, the Olympic bronze medal winning strategist on Quantum Racing emphasized that the team very much focused on strengthening the operation of their own team rather than taking notice of their rivals’ line up changes, such as Phoenix has this week,
“There is so much happening and this is such a challenging place – it doesn’t give you many second chances – so we’re just focused on trying to have a good regatta and what goes on ‘within our own lifelines’. For us it’s tricky with the fleet and I think everybody wanted to go course right so it was all about how you get there. Doug and Terry did a great job on the line and they got the pin which held a bit of bias. Then we were able to flop over and had a really nice lane over to the right side. From there on it was good. It’s going to be a tough week – light airs and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. Today we had a very local thermal breeze, there was a bit more pressure closer to the beach because of the city heat. And with more pressure there on the course right it was important to get off the line with speed and be able to have a nice tack.”
The battle for third and fourth places for the season continues, Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon took fourth in what proved to be the only race of the day. They led a second heat but it was abandoned when the breeze died away.
“Fourth is an average that if we could maintain this week it would be good for us at the end of the week. We didn’t have the best start, we were looking for the pin and we didn’t get it, but in the end we recovered. We’re still in with a chance, we’re happy. The more boats, the more points, and in this light wind it opens up a lot of options. The important thing is to do as many races as possible between now and Saturday.”
Explained Vasco Vascotto, Platoon’s tactician, on the pontoons of the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona.
52 SUPER SERIES Barcelona Sailing Week Provisional Standings
1. QUANTUM RACING (USA), Doug DeVos, 1 pt.
2. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 2 pts
3. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 3 pts.
4. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 4 pts.
5. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 5 pts.
6. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 6 pts.
7. PHOENIX (RSA), Hasso & Tina Plattner, 7 pts.
8. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 8 pts.
9. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 9 pts.
10. PAPREC (FRA), Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, 10 pts.