Day three of the Audi TP52 World Championship in Porto Cervo saw the nine-strong fleet complete three windward-leeward races, bringing them to a total of five races run. Friday the 13th proved to be anything but unlucky for the Brazilian crew of Phoenix, owned by Eduardo Souza Ramos, who claimed two bullets and a third place in today's races to move up to second place overall. With a 2-3-2 scoreline today Ed Baird's Quantum Racing continues to hold the top spot overall while current world champion Niklas Zennstrom's Rán sits in third. Just three points separate the top three boats and with up to three more windward-leewards scheduled for tomorrow, no one can afford to make any mistakes.
Eduardo Souza Ramos was delighted with his team's performance today: 'I think we had two very good starts and in the first race we won we were lucky on the first upwind leg with the wind shift that let us get straight to the mark ahead of Quantum and Rán. In the last race then we had a great start at the Committee boat end. We are so happy with what we achieved today and tomorrow we want to be relaxed and enjoy the racing as much as possible.'
Quantum Racing - 2014 Audi TP52 World Championship - Martinez Studio/52 Super Series
The first race of the day, the third of the series, got underway in seven knots of north-westerly breeze and, after a general recall, saw Rán and Quantum choose the left side of the course. Rán, with former 470 world champion Nick Asher acting as strategist, rounded the windward mark ahead of Quantum with Phoenix and Gladiator hot on their heels and the remainder of the fleet lagging slightly behind. The top four boats held their positions for the duration while French boat Paprec made a good recovery climbing from seventh to fifth for their best result so far.
In Race Four Phoenix, with Olympic medal winner Santiago Lange on tactics, took an early lead and dominated for the entire race, crossing the line ahead of Azzurra, owned by Alberto Roemmers and flying the YCCS burgee, with Quantum in third.
Rán - 2014 Audi TP52 World Championship - Martinez Studio/52 Super Series
The third and final race of the day started just after 5 p.m. with a stronger breeze of up to 15 knots that had shifted round to 295°. Turkish boat Provezza retired from the race as they lost the top of their rig on the first windward leg. Phoenix, Azzurra and Quantum headed the pack at the first windward mark and the Brazilians stretched their lead on the downwind run. Azzurra fell back and it was Quantum and Gladiator that followed the Brazilians across the line.
Terry Hutchinson, tactician aboard three-time world champions Quantum Racing, is now concentrating on tomorrow's grand finale : 'The Race Committee made a good call to wait for the breeze to fill in for the last race. On Quantum we didn't win the regatta today but we didn't lose it either. There are still three races to go so there is a lot to play for. We have to keep starting well and racing well. It would have been nice to have a little bit more breeze today but we still had fantastic racing.'
Team wills be on the starting line for the last day of racing tomorrow at 11 a.m. A light westerly breeze of around eigh knots is forecast. YCCS website 52 Super Series