Super Fast Quantum Racing Are On Song in Cascais Wind and Waves

(Thursday 18th July, Cascais) – After a disappointing Puerto Sherry regatta last month when they finished seventh overall, their worst regatta result in the history of the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit, Quantum Racing are on fire in the big winds and waves of the Atlantic off Cascais and lead the third regatta of the season by six points.

The 2018 52 SUPER SERIES conclusively won the first race today at the Cascais 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, at one point over 500 metres ahead of second while racing in winds of more than 25kts and surfing to a new speed record for the boat of over 25kts.

The second race was much less straightforward with the windward mark set closer to the land. Offshore, to the left of the upwind, the breeze held more solid. But inshore the leaders saw shifts of more than 40 degrees, lulls as light as eight knots and still gusts to more than 20.

Hasso Plattner’s Phoenix crew held their composure to deliver the race win which unfortunately eluded them yesterday after they had led all the way to the final gybes of the second run. It was a well earned first race victory on the circuit for the hugely experienced owner, Plattner, in demanding conditions.

Quantum Racing finished fourth, losing out on the second beat when conditions were funky, but their consistency across the six races sailed so far has seen them climb back into contention for the 2019 circuit title. When they arrived here in Portugal at the weekend they were 14 points behind the season leader Provezza.

Now, today, as the circuit passed the mid-point of the 2019 season – Race 6 being the 23rd contest of the year – Azzurra have the overall lead on 89 points, but Quantum Racing – ominously perhaps – are now just four points behind, locked on the same tally as Platoon and Provezza.

“It was a tricky day. Where the race course is set up at the top it is really random. I think we had five knots of breeze to 25 knots of breeze. And shifts that were more than 60 degrees. So like that it is just about being patient and knowing which one you really wanted to use. Overall our guys did a great job today in these challenging conditions. We had some amazingly fun donwnwinds,” Cameron Appleton the Quantum Racing tactician said. “We knew we would just need to chip away, we had a bad one in Puerto Sherry, and so we are feeling a bit more comfortable here, I am especially, remembering that we do know how to sail. We just needed to trust in the group, the team and what we are about.”

Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec, with Sime Fantela on the helm and Morgan Larson are up on to the podium for the regatta after a solid pair of third places today. It was a less profitable day for Platoon and Provezza, the top two teams on the overall 2019 standings coming into this event. Platoon had to do a penalty in the first race and finished seventh which they paired to a fifth in the second heat. Provezza, winners last month in Puerto Sherry were second to Quantum but then they too had a taste of life at the very back of the fleet.

The forecast seems to promise wind right through to Saturday when the regatta finishes.

Cascais 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week
Regatta standings after Day 3
1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (2,1,2,2,1,4) 12 p.
2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (3,3,1,3,6,2) 18 p.
3. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (4,2,4,7,3,3) 23 p.
4. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,4,3,1,7,5) 25 p.
5. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (6,6,5,4,5,1) 27 p.
6. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (1,5,7,5,2,7) 27 p.
7. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (7,7,6,6,4,6) 36 p.

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Solid Quantum Racing Are Holding Off Consistent Rivals in Cascais
(Wednesday 17th July, Cascais) – Two solid second places from the windiest day of racing so far of the 2019 52 SUPER SERIES sees Quantum Racing three points clear at the top of the Cascais 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week. 
Although the winds topped 25 knots at times and the TP52 fleet were in their element, long, fast downwinds, and muscular, tough upwinds – the pattern to the breezes was not easy to read. Winning proved more complex than simply claiming the key berth at the signal boat, taking the favoured right side of the course and then protecting.

In the prevailing NW’ly wind, the approach to the top mark – the final third of the beat – can often be difficult. The breeze swirls off the land, it bends around the point and today’s second race in particular saw an especially testing period as the whole fleet approached the first turn.

But for all that, there have now been four different winners from the four races so far at the Cascais 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week. The team that won the Rolex TP52 World Championship here last year stand out for their consistency so far. They are very much back on form. That said, all three top-placed boats on the general classification today netted a four-point average – Azzurra going 1,3 and Platoon 3,1.

“It is always tricky at the top mark in these gusty conditions,” Quantum Racing navigator Juan Vila recalled, “But we are having fun in the heavy breeze conditions. For us we managed to sail consistently and so that makes us happy with how the day went. We know that the days will come when it does not go as well as it has so far.”

Their 2,1,2,2 sequence is their strongest of the 52 SUPER SERIES so far this season, Vila maintaining that they have learned from their poorer races this season and that changes to the crew are now working well.

“We have learned from our past mistakes, from the events that have not been so good. The good thing about these regattas is that they maybe showed some weaknesses we had. We are learning the crew better and that is a big step forwards.”

Azzurra won the first race after staking an early claim to the right, starting off at the committee boat end of the line and unfolding the classic Cascais winning strategy. They stormed down the second run in the second race for their third, the reverse sequence of the Platoon team that sailed a great final run to go from third to win.

Hasso Plattner’s Phoenix 11 led off the pin end of the line on the second race and made the best job of the testing approach to the windward mark, profiting from the breeze being in a left phase. They were well clear going down the final run, but Quantum Racing and Platoon gybed inside them and as they tried to respond with a fast second gybe, Phoenix lost their two rivals and then Azzurra added insult to injury sliding through to steal third – a great recovery.

“I did a terrible start in the second race, and we were at the back, forced to catch up. Luckily we saved a third, which keeps us in the game,” grinned Guilermo Parada, skipper helm of the Azzurra. “And the circuit standings are closed right up again. Now here we are half way through the season and it is like we are all starting over from the beginning.”


Quantum Racing Find Form in Cascais
(Tuesday 16th July, Cascais) – After a somewhat less than perfect regatta last month in Puerto Sherry and a seventh place overall, 2018 52 SUPER SERIES champions Quantum Racing restored their winning mojo today in Portugal when they sailed to a second and a first in classic Cascais conditions to lead the Cascais 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week.

Second behind Provezza in the first race, which was contested in 17-22kts of NW’ly breeze, Quantum Racing executed a typical Cascais race winning strategy in the second windward-leeward, starting by the committee boat, tacking right early and leading all the way around the fast, bumpy Cascais track. And on the final downwind, as it to shrug off the pent up frustrations from Puerto Sherry, they more than doubled their lead, surfing away to win by 240 metres from Bronenosec.

Quantum Racing’s three-point aggregate sees them three points clear of three boats – Provezza, Bronenosec and Azzurra – after the first day of racing at this renowned high-wind venue where last year they won the Rolex TP52 World Championship.

“We like it when it gets kind of crazy here in Cascais, and it was that kind of day. The second start was very hectic with all kinds of action. But once we got our nose out to the right it became fairly straight forward. There are always a lot of lines of pressure and puffs and if you get just in the right place then you can take off and that’s what we did,” smiled Ed Baird, the Quantum Racing skipper-helm.

After a victory in the first race, seemingly continuing their winning run from Puerto Sherry, Provezza had a technical issue between races – a jib fixing gave way twice – and had to ask for time to repair, going on to fifth in the seven-boat fleet.

“We had a bit of a hiccup in the pre-start and could not get to the right side of the course enough and then were in good order coming to the bottom mark in second and the kite did not come down as we were expecting it to, then there were a couple of other little problems, by the time we had that sorted out the first four had disappeared,” explained Provezza helm John Cutler. “I have never steered a TP52 here in the breeze before so I came with a little bit of trepidation, but it was great.”

As ever, in the breeze in Cascais it is always possible to make big gains – and losses. Platoon were over the start line and had to round the boat and recross. Seventh all the way round they gained two on the last run with a come-from-behind charge.

Winds through last year’s world championship were more than 20 knots on every day of the regatta and the forecast seems to promise a repeat this year – Day 1 delivered.