Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

52 Super Series - Challenge and opportunity at the Royal Cup

by 52 Super Series on 2 Jul 2013
Super Series fleet in action during preview day of Royal Cup at Marina Ibiza on July 01st 2013 in Ibiza, Spain. Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
For the 52 Super Series, Ibiza is a new venue that will present both challenges and opportunities over the next five days of racing for the Royal Cup. It will be the team which stays cool in the summer heat and makes the most of the unfamiliar race arena which should land the prestigious regatta trophy, the second of the European season.

If the official practice race, which was contested today (Monday), is anything to go by, that might be a 52 team which has not yet won a regatta this season, either in the USA or in Europe.

Indeed it was two of the fleet’s older boats which prospered in a slightly hesitant sea breeze, thought to be typical of what is expected for the next few days.

Tony Langley’s Gladiator, with Chris Larson calling tactics, were able to take the lead on the second round, going on to win ahead of Jean-Luc Petithuguenin’s French flagged Paprec, which is at their first 52 regatta of this season. The French crew showed no lack of pace in the light going.

With Rán Racing’s coach Thierry Peponnet, Olympic 470 gold medallist, deputising for owner Niklas Zennström on the helm oonly for the practice race, Rán Racing’s took third place after starting early and having to climb through the fleet.

Early leaders Azzurra, the world champions, finished fourth and Barcelona winners Quantum Racing fifth.

Azzurra’s Vasco Vascotto states succinctly: ' In these conditions every team will have some opportunities to win. During this week will be more a question of keeping one's head than of boat speed'

Easier said than done, perhaps, on a course area which proved to have little in the way of a regular breeze pattern today. 52 Super Series leaders Quantum Racing’s tactician Terry Hutchinson – renowned for his positive outlook – sums up what Ibiza could be like out on the race track.

'Looking at the next three or four days it is going to be light, it is going to be hard sailing as we saw today it is going to be not how you start but how you finish. I’d say it is a venue which will create a lot of opportunities and when you are in the lead you are better not to look behind you because that will lead to wrong decisions. I think for us in particular we still have a lot of improving to do. It is a solid opportunity for us to get better. In the meantime we have to survive some of the communication mishaps we have. We did good work in overcoming some of these things that happened in Barcelona, but in Barcelona it was windy and we were fast. It is what you see here that will count and so we are good with having good eyes on the boat in Jordi (Calafat), in Juan (Vila) and Ed (Baird, skipper).'


The TP52’s raced in Ibiza seven years ago and there are crews who might remember that event, but that 2006 regatta was in September at the end of the season. Conditions are likely to be different in early July.

Daytime temperatures peaked in the high 20’s today but the forecasts suggest it will be high 30’s as of Monday. With the breeze swinging around a little, rising and falling, days are quite likely to be long and hot under the fierce Balearic sunshine.

Quantum Racing’s 1992 Olympic gold medal and America’s Cup winning strategist Jordi Calafat is Balearics born and bred and knows the Ibiza waters, mainly from cruising. His own native Bay of Palma, being so close and better in terms of the reliability and strength of the sea breeze, means that the Majorcan capital attracts most big events and Ibiza has never really established itself as an international regatta venue.

Calafat is expecting a stressful regatta: ' There are two typical directions, E’ly and SE’ly and sometimes they are fighting one another. But it is an interesting place, a little bit on the light side compared to other events. I don’t know what we will be like. Our boat handling was a big part of our performance, here it will be more loose and open in the light breeze. It will be more difficult for the strategists. It can be two wind directions and so it will be a stressful week for me!'

The Royal Cup is based out of the new Marina Ibiza where a press reception was held this Monday evening for local media to be introduced to the regatta and reflect on the positive economic effect of hosting the 52 Super Series. It was hosted by Daniel Marí (Marina Ibiza director), Joaquín Jiménez (director of the Autoridad Portuaria (Harbour Authority) Ibiza), Agustin Zulueta (CEO 52 Super Series) and
Jordi Calafat (Quantum strategist)

Daniel Marí commented: For us it is very important to have this regatta here. We can say that the 52 Super Series is one of the biggest sporting events for the island this year.

Zulueta said: 'For us Ibiza means something very special. We only organise two independent, standalone regattas each season, Miami and here. That is because we want to come here to Ibiza and hopefully to have a long term relationship with this venue.'

Thierry Peponnet, FRA, coach Rán Racing (SWE): ' It looks like the week will be 10 knots, maybe below that and a bit choppy. The sea is crossed a bit, it does not follow the wind direction and so it will be difficult. You have to trim the sails very differently from one tack to the other, and have the crew trim fore and aft. But it is still sail racing. You have to sail well and get the shifts right. It is a very nice venue. This is my first time to race here. Conditions are nice.'

Jordi Calafat, ESP, strategist Quantum Racing (USA): 'I sailed here when I was young which was a few years ago. I cruise here quite a bit. Typically it is lighter than Palma because the sea breeze is not as effective here because the island is smaller. There are two typical directions, E’ly ir SE’ly and sometimes they are fighting one another. But it is an interesting place, a little bit on the light side compared to other events. I don’t know what we will be like. Our boat handling was a big part of our performance, here it will be more loose and open in the light breeze. It will be more difficult for the strategists. It can be two wind directions and so it will be a stressful week for me!'

Jean-Charles Monnet, FRA, navigator, Paprec (FRA): ' We were quite happy with the speedof the boat, it was interesting today to get the chance to compare with the other competitors. We started on the left side because we saw some shifts on that side, we were happy to go there with Azzurra. We were the two first boats after the start. On the second lap Gladiator went really well upwind, they went to the right hand side.

We were happy to finish in second over the line. If the wind stays around 10 - 12 knots this week its good for us but if its higher its more difficult.' 52 Super Series website

North Technology - Southern SparsFremantle to Bali Race 660x82North Sails NZL -  2 V Series Gen

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Sparkling finish
2013 52 Super Series season, racing in a brisk leftover Mistral in bright September sunshine In a sparkling finish to the 2013 52 Super Series season, racing in a brisk leftover Mistral in bright September sunshine on the white flecked waters of their home Costa Smeralda waters, Azzurra fulfilled the dream storyline when they won the Audi Setttimana del Boche regatta trophy, denying 2013 52 Super Series champions Quantum Racing the clean sweep of all four European regattas.
Posted on 15 Sep 2013
Settimana delle Bocche - Azzurra leads by slim margin
Azzurra roll into the final day of the 52 Super Series season with a slim three points lead over Quantum Racing. At the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, from an intense three day of three races, local favourites Azzurra roll into the final day of the 52 Super Series season with a slim three points lead over Quantum Racing in the standings for the event, the last regatta of the season.
Posted on 14 Sep 2013
Settimana delle Bocche - Sardinian Mistral wreaks havoc
At the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, the infamous Sardinian mistral was making its presence felt as teams gathered. At the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, the infamous Sardinian mistral was making its presence felt as teams gathered in Porto Cervo Marina this morning for day three. After displaying the AP flag ashore the Race Committee was forced to abandon racing at midday as sustained winds and gusts of up to 40 knots showed no sign of abating.
Posted on 13 Sep 2013
Audi Settimana delle Bocche - Howling Mistral wins at Porto Cervo
For the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, there were few complaints from crews on the dock when the race committee signaled For the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, after a fast, exciting and physically demanding 31 miles coastal race yesterday up to Spargi Island and back, there were few complaints from crews on the dock when the race committee signaled AP flag over A flag to stand the 52 Super Series fleet down for the day.
Posted on 12 Sep 2013
Settimana delle Bocche - Well earned win for Quantum Racing
At the Settimana delle Bocche, final regatta of the 52 Super Series, Quantum Racing sailed to a well earned win today. At the Settimana delle Bocche, final regatta of the 2013 52 Super Series, from the tightest and most exciting coastal race for many years, Quantum Racing sailed to a well earned win today to close the gap to just one point in the overall standings.
Posted on 12 Sep 2013
Settimana delle Bocche images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi was out on the water to capture these photos during the Settimana delle Bocche. Photographer Max Ranchi was out on the water to capture these photos during the Settimana delle Bocche.
Posted on 12 Sep 2013
Settimana del Boche - Azzurra leads on home waters
At the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, Azzurra made something close to the start they wanted at their home waters today. At the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, Azzurra made something close to the start they wanted at their home waters today. They returned to the dock at Sardinia’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda just as the drizzling rain started, wearing big smiles after they scored a comfortable win in the breezy first race of the regatta and then took a second place to lead the season’s final event by two clear points.
Posted on 11 Sep 2013
Audi Settimana delle Bocche - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi
Enjoy this selection of images by Max Ranchi from race 1 and race 2 on day one of the Settimana delle Bocche. Enjoy this selection of images by photographer Max Ranchi from race 1 and race 2 on day one of the Settimana delle Bocche.
Posted on 11 Sep 2013
Settimana del Bocche - Practice day in Porto Cervo
The Settimana del Bocche held the official practice race today for the finale of the 52 Super Series in Porto Cervo. The Audi Settimana del Bocche held the official practice race today for the finale of the 52 Super Series in Porto Cervo. When the breeze piped up from 17kts to more than 25kts early this afternoon prudence prevailed and most of the nine boat fleet headed back to the haven of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda rather than risk any more breakages.
Posted on 10 Sep 2013
Audi Settimana delle Bocche - Azzurra seeks to halt Quantum's run
The Audi Settimana delle Bocche is on the horizon with Azzurra set to welcome the return of Francesco Bruni. The Audi Settimana delle Bocche (The Week of the Straits) is on the horizon with home favourites Azzurra set to welcome the return of Francesco Bruni to their crew line up as they seek to halt Quantum Racing’s unbroken run of 52 Super Series trophy regatta wins at the season finale off Porto Cervo, Sardinia.
Posted on 6 Sep 2013