Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Consistent Platoon have Rolex TP52 World Title within reach

by 52 Super Series on 20 May
Platoon lies 2 points clear of Quantum Racing at the top of the standings - 2017 Rolex TP52 World Championship Martinez Studio/52 Super Series
The most consistent TP52 crew so far this season, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon team have given themselves a fighting chance of lifting the Rolex TP52 World Championship title for the first time after returning a strong pair of scores on the penultimate day of competition.

After scoring no worse than third from the first three racing days, Platoon’s nine points aggregate may represent their weakest day so far, but their hallmark ability to keep things simple, work hard, concentrate on achieving clear lanes of breeze and so always make steady gains through each race again held true.



The German-flagged team lead the current 2016 world champions Quantum Racing by two points, ensuring a thrilling title showdown between the two Quantum Sails powered crews to be decided over two final races, Saturday, when breezes are forecast to be the strongest of the week, 17-21kts according to this evening’s forecasts.

In the first race of the day, race six of the championship, Platoon recovered from tenth to sixth, one place ahead of nearest rivals Quantum Racing. Similarly in the second contest – sailed in a modest S’ly breeze – John Kostecki and Jordi Calafat engineered another ascent through from a seemingly difficult and slightly distant fifth at the first windward turn to finish third, chasing their second placed title rivals, Quantum Racing, across the finish line.



“John is doing a great job in how he positions us making sure we can sail in clear air. He has a great feel for it, but we have a great team that is really working hard. For example, we actually only have quite a small shore team – by the standards of other, bigger teams – but we work hard,” explains Spanish round the world ace, Pepe Ribes, boat captain, crew boss and pitman.

“We will not change anything for the last day. The forecast for us is great, just what we would like. We would love to win the world title, of course, why not? But our goal is to win the season.”

Platoon’s America’s Cup winning mainsail trimmer Dirk De Ridder adds:

“We haven’t had great starts but we’ve been able to sail through the fleet quite nicely, which is always a good feeling. Tomorrow, it’s going to be all on. We’re only two points ahead which is basically nothing, so it’s going to be a good battle!”

Just as within an equivalent F1 team, inside the Quantum Sails race teams camps, there will be no change in the free and open sharing of information between the different crews, which share an overall coach and performance analyst in James Lyne. It will be business as usual, and may the best team win.

Five time holders of the world title and current 52 Super Series champions, Quantum Racing – here under tactician Terry Hutchinson – have the hard wired winning mentality. Harm Müller-Spreer’s team are the form team of the moment. They wavered in Miami when they led into the last day in March, but conditions were lighter than are expected for the super Saturday showdown.

Andy Soriano’s Alegre is on course for a second consecutive podium in Scarlino after their second last year. A new mast, fitted since Miami, has added a click of extra power and Andy Horton has proven a steadying, motivating influence as tactician. But their cushion over Azzurra is – like that between the top two protagonists – only two points.



Rolex TP52 World Championship, Scarlino, Italy

Standings after seven races:

1. Platoon (GER, Harm Müller-Spreer), (2,3,2,2,2,6,3) 20 points.
2. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), (1,2,8,1,1,7,2) 22 points.
3. Alegre (Andy Soriano GBR/USA), (5,6,4,4,3,2,6) 30 points.
4. Azzurra (Roemmers Family, ITA/ARG), (3,1,6,8,6,4,4) 32 points.
5. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (6,10,1,3,8,10,1) 39 points.
6. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) (RDG6.3,8,10,6,4,5,5) 44.3 points.
7. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA), (4,9,7,9,7,1,8) 45 points.
8. Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), (10,5,5,7,9,3,7) 46 points.
9. Sorcha (Peter Harrison, GBR), (7,4,3,10,10,8,10) 52 points.
10. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (8,7,9,5,5,9,9) 52 points.

Quotes:

Dirk de Ridder (NED), mainsail trimmer Platoon:

“The forecast for tomorrow is around 17 knots as it stands now, which we’re okay with. We don’t really like the chop in light air, so anything under 10 knots and choppy we really seem to struggle, so the windier the merrier as far as we’re concerned.”

Cameron Dunn (NZL), strategist, Sled:

“The starts are so competitive, you’re always weighing up the risk of going for the gun start, or going slightly conservative, maybe you won’t be first but you’ll be okay. Every team is weighing up that same option and the starts are just super competitive everyone’s doing a really good job. We didn’t get off the start line for the second race and you’re on the back foot. You’re waiting for other boats to make mistakes for you to catch them, and they didn’t. It’s the teams who are doing the complete package a little bit better, who’ve been getting off the line and getting clear air the first half of the first beat who are the consistent ones!”

Ed Baird (USA), tactician, Gladiator (GBR):

“It’s less about how tricky the venue is, and a lot more about how good the fleet is. Anyone can win a race here, and we’ve seen a lot of teams lead at the weather mark. I’m just excited we’ve been able to pull a couple [of wins] out. Especially that one, where we were able to get around the weather mark with a close lead and then defend it for the rest of the race! So it wasn’t that tricky of a day, it was just about the quality of the fleet. The boat feels good. We’re still learning a lot about it. But when we do the right things, the boat treats us well. That’s certainly a feature of this platform.”

Bora Gulari (USA), helm, Quantum Racing (USA):

“We’re just continuing to sail the best races that we can, and see how things play out. Tomorrow, hopefully we’ll do our best and kick some butt.”

Tell us a bit about your helming style.

“You’ve got to be able to keep yourself focussed on a couple of little inputs. Fight the urge to look around, just ask every now and then what’s happening around you but I feel like if I just glance away from the tiller… my standard speed loop is medium jib telltales, true wind angle, target boat speed. Lock in on the heel, and get a little feedback from the rudder and it’s just kind of that same loop over and over and over and over, and ask how we’re going and if that’s alright, and get some feedback on that and that’s what it’s like to be the helmsman, at least that’s what I’m trying to be like.”

How’s the dynamic with you and Terry?

“It’s really good, I really feel like I’m getting to learn so much and he’s going out of his way to try to teach me, which is really nice. I kind of taught myself how to sail and I’ve now had quite a few mentors, and this is just amazing, the learning is just incredible.

I’m definitely learning a lot on the analysis side and how to do things on a grand-prix level. It’s really helpful, just to be able to see what’s out there and hand-on, I can critique myself with the numbers, I get told if I’m not doing well, it’s all good!”

Tomorrow, are you focussed on Platoon?

“I don’t look. Until I’m told to take a peek. I really just go try to race the fleet, head down and charge. I’m trying to make the boat foil, but I haven’t been able to pull that off yet!”

PredictWind.comNorth Technology - Southern SparsGiacomo Yacht Sale

Related Articles

Welsh skipper to lead Greenings in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Before pursuing a career as a professional Skipper, David Hartshorn spent three decades serving in the Police Force His distinguished career included serving as Chief of Staff for the Metropolitan Police’s Public Order Branch and was the Operations Manager for the Public Order Branch
Posted today at 3:09 pm
Skiff and Cat Europeans – Outer fjord becomes a high speed course
This time, the Nacra17 can for the first time show their ability 'to fly' with the new foils in a regatta. Among them are the Olympic winners from Rio in the 49erFX. The Brazilian Martine Grael and Kahene Kunze have already won everything in their career, have been awarded as World Sailors of the Year 2014 and definitely belong to the favourites in the fleet of 55 registered skiffs.
Posted today at 2:19 pm
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race returns to Whitsundays
The fleet will arrive in Airlie Beach in the vibrant World Heritage Listed Whitsunday region in January 2018 The fleet will arrive in Airlie Beach in the vibrant World Heritage Listed Whitsunday region in January 2018, with the race’s international crew members and the fleet of twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts once again being hosted at Abell Point Marina.
Posted today at 1:57 pm
Extreme Sailing Series - Team Extreme on a mission
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3, Madeira Islands will see regular fleet joined by Portuguese-flagged wildcard Team Extreme Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3, Madeira Islands will see the regular fleet joined by Portuguese-flagged wildcard Team Extreme, which is supported by The Magenta Project. The crew is unique in that it features four female sailors, who are on a mission to prove that females have a place in high-performance sailing regattas.
Posted today at 7:10 am
Volvo Ocean Race - Seventh team announced with returning sponsor
Volvo Ocean Race ‘obsessive’ Bouwe Bekking with Team Brunel is back for an eighth shot the Volvo Ocean Race Bouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 edition – and give himself another chance at claiming an elusive first victory at the eighth attempt. No one has sailed more miles in the Volvo Ocean Race than Bekking, who made his first appearance as a crewmember on Philips Innovator back in 1985-86.
Posted on 28 Jun
A Few Rays – Sunscreen with no preservatives – brilliant!
Sunscreen with no preservatives, why this is great? Sunscreen with no preservatives, why this is great? If your sunscreen has no preservatives in the formulation it will be much more skin friendly than traditional screens. However, the vast majority of sunscreens are water based and require the addition of preservatives in order to keep them microbe free and usable for longer.
Posted on 28 Jun
The Bridge Centennial Transat – British sailor reveals change of tack
Samantha revealed that the race between the Queen Mary 2 and four of the greatest trimarans will be unforgettable As the crowds lined the harbour walls of St Nazaire – and the decks of the QM2, to see the boats cross the start line, Davies, the navigator on board the 30 metre-long trimaran, Actual, and the four other crew, had to perform a last minute manoeuvre to avoid being run over by their vast rival.
Posted on 28 Jun
Big Wednesday stops play at GC32 Villasimius Cup
The second stage is a very different venue to the flat-water of Lake Garda where the first round took place last month The Marina di Villasimius is situated on a peninsula that lies in a north-south axis, with Capo Carbonara being the south-eastern corner of Sardinia.
Posted on 28 Jun
HotelPlanner.com to debut in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The HotelPlanner.com yacht will be one of twelve teams participating in the eleventh edition of the unique 40,000nm race As an Official Team Partner, HotelPlanner.com will use the global reach of the Clipper Race to increase brand awareness, particularly in key destinations across the six continents visited on the eleven-month duration race route.
Posted on 28 Jun
The second event in the RC44 Championship is about to get underway
There are nine RC44s lined up in Porto Cervo, along the docks in front of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. These high performance One Designs were created by Russell Coutts (RC) twelve years ago and their appeal hasn't diminished even in these days of foiling catamarans.
Posted on 28 Jun