Happy days are back, the 52 Super Series fleet is ready to rumble
of 52 Super Series August 24 07:58 UTC
Puerto Portals 52 Super Series Sailing Week © Nico Martimez / Martinez Studio
After two days of training races in the Bay of Palma, the fleet of the Puerto Portals 52 Super Series Sailing Week & 20th Anniversary Invitational is ready for action and ready to compete for points and prizes on Tuesday.
The atmosphere around the jetty and the sailors’ lounge in the glittering Peurto Portals on Mallorca was almost festive. After more than 18 months without a 52 Super Series race, the hunger to compete at this highest level again is great. The practice courses have already rekindled old rivalries, re-established and revitalized partnerships and of course rubbed off the inevitable traces of rust.
And the anticipation is increased by the presence of the nine 52 regattas for the 20th anniversary. For some of them it is their first time on the world’s leading monohull racetrack, for others among these crews it is a great opportunity to relive happy memories and maybe get inspiration for the future.
But seeing 16 TP52 start on the same line and ride the same route on Sunday and today is part of what this event is about. Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste – built as Onda – lets Gavin Brady and Ken Read combine their talents in the rear guard and they have been consistently on the 52 Super Series boats and won the informal prize for the all-in fleet training race today, the one on the water in front of Harm Muller-Spreer’s Platoon and Hasso Plattner’s Phoenix, which in terms of strategy and tactics agreed with project managers Tony Norris Steering and Cameron Dunn and Tom Slingsby.
Honors were shared during formal and informal races. Owner Doug DeVos flew in today to take the helm of Quantum Racing, a team that has lost none of its luster as four-time champions, and welcomes the return of his talisman Terry Hutchinson, delighted to be back in class which he has been successful since 2008, the first Quantum Racing competed here and won the title on these waters at the time.
“It’s great to be back,” grinned Hutchinson, “Doug and I were talking here about the opportunities we’ve had over the past few years to experience completely different aspects of our sport, how sophisticated the boats are and how good everyone is Teams are and every inch you earn is just that. It’s a deserved win. ”
Hutchinson has been out of the America’s Cup business for two years, noting, “I think the things you see are when all of the boats have evolved and are all at a higher level. Most noticeable is how even the fleet is Customs play is even more crucial than ever. ”
And like Cup afterguard sailors Giles Scott and Paul Goodison Cup sailors from opposing teams who team up in the back of Tony Langley’s Gladiator and Hutchinson, it’s not great to have their brains on America’s Cup airspeeds on TP52- Recalibrate speeds and feelings easy,
“Yes, the change is difficult,” the Quantum Racing tactician notes, “we are really lucky to have Michele and Lucas (new strategists Lucas Calabrese), they help a lot with the prestart which is difficult. All other teams are hot for it. And everyone is good here – the boats are littered with Olympic medalists and America’s Cup sailors, that’s what you want. Racing at the highest level in the sport with incredible owners and an incredible fleet. I love it here. ”
Hutchinson recalls: “When we started the very first Quantum Racing in 2008, the Puerto Portals regatta was the defining factor of the season. We got into the game and all the teams were very close. We won it, and in one day we were 6 or 7 points behind Mean Machine, who won it, 50 points ahead in a race! ”
British double Olympic gold medalist Giles Scott has competed in a few regattas with the Gladiator, but this is his first experience in the 52 Super Series.
“It’s nice to do big boat races again. It’s a good race for sure. We made some stupid little mistakes today, but hopefully we’re on the up trend now. But driving around with 15 boats is very cool there. There are a lot of good guys here, lots of good teams. But we feel like the underdogs, we want to beat some good boats all week, hopefully we can do it well. ”