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Platoon win 2023 52 SUPER SERIES season title on tiebreak

by 52 Super Series 23 Sep 10:24 PDT 18-23 September 2023
52 SUPER SERIES Puerto Portals Sailing Week Day 5 - Platoon win 2023 52 SUPER SERIES season title on tiebreak © Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series

After finishing on the end of season overall podium five times, Harm Müller-Spreer and his German flagged Platoon crew finally clinched the 2023 52 SUPER SERIES title after a one race light winds showdown on the Bay of Palma, the concluding decider of the Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week. But their 2023 championship title win could not be closer, finally eclipsing Ergin Imre's Turkish flagged rivals Provezza only on tie break.

After 45 races at five regattas the two rival crews finish on the same 198 points aggregate. But as Platoon beat Provezza in this final event - fourth to their eighth - Müller-Spreer finally adds the 2023 season championship to the Rolex TP52 World Championship that Platoon won last month by a single point over Provezza.

Winning the first two regattas of the season and then losing to Platoon twice - by a single point - Provezza came to Puerto Portals' final event of the season with an 18 points lead. But Ergin Imre's crew, led by helm John Cutler, tactician Hamish Pepper and navigator Nacho Postigo, had their title challenge scuppered ultimately by terrible luck when they suffered rig damage at the start of Race 4 of the series. Because they then missed all three breezy races Thursday, they amassed 34 points in a single day which all but killed off their hopes.

Even so until the final finish gun today it was incredibly close. Platoon carried a three points overall lead into today's one and only race and though both crews were ahead at different points - at one stage Provezza momentarily had three boat advantage they needed - but with just two separating Provezza in sixth and Platoon in ninth, the title slipped away.

Platoon started 2023 poorly, seventh in Saint-Tropez and fourth in Scarlino before winning in Menorca and Barcelona. They won eight races this year. They were third overall in 2021 and 2022 and third in 2017, 18, and 19.

Looking relieved but elated the owner-driver Müller-Spreer said, "It has been a long way to get here. I have tried this so many times. And finally we had a little bit of luck here. And to that end I am so sorry for Ergin and the Provezza's bad luck. They are the real champions this year. But so that's life sometimes, it is hard. We are in the lucky lane and they are not and I am sorry for that. We had more self confidence in the second half of the season. We learnt how the boat works differently compared to last year because we changed the keel. And finally it is good effort, the boat went well and the team spirit was really good. It is team work. I feel great. Winning the season title and the world title as an owner-driver, that is the maximum you can achieve in an international monohull racing yacht."

The proud Provezza crew were putting on their bravest faces knowing what they achieved on the water. Navigator Postigo summed up their feelings, "I am very disappointed in some ways about the result. But I am so proud of the way we have sailed the whole season and the strength of this team. If we leave aside random happenings and the influence of third parties - the jury - we feel we have been the best boat of the season and that is a good feeling. For me the high point of the season is that Provezza is so much more than a sailing team. It is like a family. And Ergin makes sure we get together and makes sure we all row in the same direction. That is the secret to our success."

Hasso and Tina Plattner's Phoenix won the final race today to clinch the Puerto Portals regatta win by a clear 11 points, the biggest margin of the season and one which contains four first places. With Ed Baird calling tactics partnered by Cameron Dunn on strategy and navigator Shane Elliot their win was the perfect high note to finish on. Helm and project manager Tony Norris said, "Winning this regatta is huge for this team. It has been tough season when we started out. And we chipped away through each event and really this regatta threw everything at us. We can't ask for anything better. And over the regatta we have had every condition you could imagine. We managed that well and we always managed our position well against other boats. We started off with Ed Baird back in 2018 and it is great to have him back, he really keeps everyone calm, he knows every move that everyone does. He is an amazing talent."

Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week

1. PHOENIX (RSA) Hasso Plattner, 5+3+1+1+1+5+6+6+1 = 29pts
2. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 6+5,5(RDG)+5,5(RDG)+3+2+4+3+4+7 = 40pts
3. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 2+7+6+9+4+8+2+1+2 = 41pts
4. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 3+5,5(RDG)+5,5(RDG)+5,5(RDG)+5,5(RDG)+3+4+2+9 = 43pts
5. QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 4+4+3+5+9+2+9+5+3 = 44pts
6. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 1+10(DNF)+7+2+5+1+5+7+5+4(PEN) = 42pts
7. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin y Gwen Fragomen, 8+2+8+4+3+6+8+8+11 = 58pts
8. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 9+6+2+11(DNF)+11(DNS)+12(DNS)+1+3+6 = 61pts
9. ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn and Tina Kang, 7+1+9+6+7+9+10+11+4+1(PEN) = 65pts
10. VAYU (THA), Family Whitcraft, 11+5+5+7+6+10+7+9+8 = 68pts
11. PAPREC (FRA), Jean-Luc Pethuguenin, 10+8+4+8+8+7+11+10+10+1(PEN) = 77pts

52 Super Series 2023 final standings

1. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 45+51+34+25+43 = 198pts
2. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 34+42+35+26+61 = 198pts
3. QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos,40+43+54+43+44 = 224pts
4. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 40+66+41+34+47 = 228pts
5. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 45+52+46,5+51+40 = 234,5pts
6. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 43+64+46+44+41= 238pts
7. VAYU (THA), Familia Whitcraft, 58+48+65+54+68 = 293pts
8. PHOENIX (RSA) Hasso Plattner, 57+71+100+39+29 = 296pts
9. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin y Gwen Fragomen, 45+54+100+58+58 = 315pts
10. ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn y Tina Kang, 65+91+72+66+65 = 359pts
11. PAPREC (FRA), Jean-Luc Pethuguenin, 56+81+58+88+77 = 360pts

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