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Thread: Practice Makes Perfect At Palma

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Practice Makes Perfect At Palma

    Consistency Will Be Key at the Rolex TP52 World Championship on the Bay of Palma
    (Saturday 24th August, Puerto Portals) – Provezza, winners on these Bay-of-Palma waters in 2017,
    served notice that they should be among the favourites to win the 2019 TP52 World Championship
    title as they held off Azzurra to win the Official Practice Race in a light sea breeze today.

    The Turkish-flagged team, which has John Cutler steering and Hamish Pepper as tactician,
    has already tasted success on this incredibly close-fought 52 SUPER SERIES season,
    taking a slender victory in light-to-moderate airs in Puerto Sherry in June.
    With Bay of Palma ace navigator Nacho Postigo helping decode the subtleties of today’s course area,
    Provezza was one of the first to choose the right side, leading Azzurra and Quantum Racing to the top mark,
    building a lead of over 100 metres by the leeward gate. But the 2015 world champions
    Azzurra got back on terms on the second run, splitting gybes with the leaders, but fading to leave the win to Provezza.

    “Today was good, but we are realistic. We are happy with the way the boat is going even if we had a couple of things go wrong,
    so we still have to learn from today, for tomorrow, when it counts,” recalled Provezza’s Hamish Pepper.
    “We ripped our kite and did not do a good job recovering when we needed to. Today we had a good day,
    but there are ten other teams here capable of doing what we did today, we got our noses in front this time.
    We have to be able to do it when it counts. Cascais [last month] was such a different regatta, we need to start afresh tomorrow.”

    As a dress rehearsal for the first Rolex TP52 World Championship Puerto Portals 2019, the Official Practice Race is an essential warm up,
    not least for owner-helms getting their game back up to the very high level required. Doug DeVos made a solid start in the driving
    seat of Quantum Racing to cross third today, showing no obvious signs of ring rustiness, despite having been away from the circuit since last year.

    After the strong breezes and big waves of Cascais, this Rolex TP52 World Championship is expected to see light-to-moderate,
    8-13 knot sea breezes, through what should be a ten race series for the 11 boats from eight different nations.

    “Some days we may need to be patient, some days we may need to move a little to chase down the best of the breeze,
    but this is the Bay of Palma and you can be pretty sure that at some stage there will be eight to 11kts. For us on Provezza
    though we just aim to take each leg, each race, at a time. So we need to make a good start, sail a good upwind,
    and make sure it is a good first race. We feel good in these conditions, the boat we asked Vrolijk for really was
    optimised for 11kts and it felt good in Cadiz. But look down the dock here and I am sure we are not the only boat that has the capacity to go well in 11 kts.”

    Victor Mariño from Platoon commented:

    “Now we are at the middle of the season everyone is now reaching a peak in terms of ability, and so it is really, really close.
    This will be a very competitive regatta everyone wants to win. We think that if we don’t make mistakes, we can be in the top
    four every race, and then we will have a good chance to win the World Championship, but it gets more difficult every year, more difficult than when we won.”

    Alegre – Andy Soriano (USA/GBR), 2018 Botin
    Azzurra – Roemmers Family (ARG/ITA), 2018 Botin
    Bronenosec – Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS), 2019 Botin
    Gladiator – Tony Langley (GBR), 2017 Botin
    Phoenix 11 – Hasso/Tina Plattner (RSA), 2018 Botin
    Phoenix 12 – Hasso/Tina Plattner (RSA), 2014 Botin
    Platoon – Harm Müller-Spreer (GER), 2018 Judel/Vrolijk
    Provezza – Ergin Imre (TUR), 2018 Judel/Vrolijk
    Quantum Racing – Doug DeVos (USA), 2018 Botin
    Sled – Takashi Okura (USA), 2018 Botin
    Team Vision Future – Jean Jacques Chaubard (FRA), 2015 Botin

    Racing at the Rolex TP52 World Championship Puerto Portals 2019 starts on Sunday 25th August and finishes on
    Thursday 29th August. You can enjoy live images of the racing supported by expert commentary and analysis every day.
    All shows will begin 15 minutes before racing is due to start and can be enjoyed at
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  2. #2
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Sledding Into 1st @ Rolex Tp52 Worlds

    Sled Slide Into Rolex TP52 World Championship Lead
    (Monday 26th August, Puerto Portals) – Delivering a 1,1,2 from three of the four races sailed so far,
    Takashi Okura’s Sled team now lead the Rolex TP52 World Championship just one point up ahead of the
    2017 World Champions Platoon of German owner-driver Harm Müller-Spreer.

    If the Bay of Palma has a reputation for consistent, steady seabreeze conditions, the second race of the day
    rather upset that notion. A 25 degree shift in wind direction complicated the first run, the prelude to a funky,
    challenging second half of the race, which was completed in a dying, very unsettled breeze. After winning the
    first race of the day, Race 3 of the world championship, Sled were able to hold fast through the tricky moments.

    After missing the Cascais regatta last month due to other sailing commitments, the Sled crew are making up for lost time,
    but tactician Adam Beashel maintains that their approach here is no different to elsewhere with the 52 SUPER SERIES:

    “There is not a lot changed between here and our normal approach to any other regatta. We are having a lot of fun
    together and have gelled well as a team. It is a lot of fun when you are out there at the front of the fleet, but this crew
    really sticks together the whole time through thick and thin. We have the boat going really nicely with a couple of new sails.
    Mr Okura is very locked into the boat and he loves the conditions at this venue.”

    Sled replicated the start that worked for them as the launch pad for their Sunday afternoon race win when today they started
    close to the committee boat, but then had the pace and early advantage to be able to cross to the beneficial left side.
    They led all the way round the first course, and on the second followed Andy Soriano’s Alegre through the finish line for second.

    Platoon, 2,3 for the day, remain pleasingly consistent even if owner-driver Müller-Spreer was frustrated that others among their
    rivals profited more when the wind became so changeable in the second race. But the past world champions are in a very
    strong position at six points ahead of a group of four boats, all on 20pts.

    Ross Halcrow, the America’s Cup winning trimmer on Platoon emphasised:

    “We’re right there in the money, so we’re happy. We feel like we’re sailing pretty fast and pretty well, so just see what tomorrow brings!”

    He recalls:

    “Yesterday we didn’t start so well, and today we started better, so that’s all good. Our strategy is to take each race as it comes,
    try and do as well as we can. We were a little bit unfortunate there on the second race when it turned inside out,
    but we’re happy to take the third, it could very easily be a sixth or worse when it switched around.”

    Alegre, Andy Soriano’s GBR-flagged team move up from eighth to third on the world championship standings, Welsh ace navigator Will Best explaining:

    “It’s tough to keep it cool when a race gets as tricky like that. It does get a bit frantic and you just have to hit the reset button,
    so to speak, now and again, everyone stop, calm down, reassess, especially when it’s so shifty with things changing so quickly.
    Kelvin [Harrap – strategist] did a really nice job with that.”

    After breaking their mast on Sunday, Provezza reported today that they have managed to step and dock tune their
    replacement and expect to race again Tuesday. A frontal system is due to move across the island of Mallorca Tuesday,
    which will bring some very different conditions and a new set of challenges for the Rolex TP52 World Championship fleet.

    Rolex TP52 World Championship Puerto Portals 2019
    Regatta standings after Day 2
    1. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (9,1,1,2) 13 p
    2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (4,5,2,3) 14 p.
    3. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (10,4,5,1) 20 p.
    4. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (1,7,8,4) 20 p.
    5. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (2,9,4,5) 20 p.
    6. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (3,3,7,7) 20 p.
    7. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (5,8,3,6) 22 p.
    8. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (8,2,9,9) 28 p.
    9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (6,10,6,8) 30 p.
    10. Team Vision Future (FRA) (Jean Jacques Chaubbard) (7,6,10,10) 33 p.
    11. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (12 DNF,12 DNC,12 DNC,12 DNC) 48 p.
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    Platooning To The Lead

    28TH OF AUGUST, 2019
    Platoon Takes Control in Puerto Portals
    (Wednesday 28th August, Puerto Portals) – A testing, northwesterly offshore wind of 12-17kts produced fantastic racing conditions today at the Rolex TP52 World Championship on the Bay of Palma out of Puerto Portals as Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon took control of the title race. They posted two first places and a fifth to lead the championship by seven points going into the final day, Thursday.

    But for all that the 2017 world champions stepped clear of the pack today, sailing smart and fast, they did start each of the three races on the back foot, forced each time to climb through the fleet. After seven races their average points score per race remains three points.

    They have retained the level of consistency that would normally lead to a regatta win. Unfortunately Takashi Okura’s Sled did not manage to capitalise from their position at the top of the world championship standings. Two penalties sent them to fifth overall, now 19 points distant from Azzurra, which lies second.

    The north westerly breeze was something of a pleasant surprise for most of the teams that had expected to race in a light, standard, Bay of Palma sea breeze. The offshore breeze was pleasingly steady in mean direction but phased left and right to present plenty of opportunities for place changes. Platoon’s Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Jordi Calafat relished the chance to sail in a northwesterly breeze that is rarely seen in summer on his home waters, the Bay of Palma, where he trained and raced during his formative years.

    Trimmer Ross Halcrow observed:

    “These are Jordi’s home waters too, and it’s not very often like this [breeze direction] out there this time of year, so it was pretty good as Jordi does see a bit of this whereas others just come out here in the summer and only see the seabreeze,” but Halcrow observed; “Tomorrow is supposed to be another normal sea breeze day, 8-14 knots, so hopefully we’ll get out there and get two races off! It was good to mix it up for Palma to have a day like today. It’s been a little bit different all around here this summer all season, but it was good to have a shifty day. If we’d had those starts on a normal sea breeze day it would have been a lot more difficult to get back up there!”

    And looking at the prospects of winning the season’s title, Halcrow refused to be drawn:

    “We are just trying to take it one race at a time, minimise the mistakes and sail as well as we can every race.”

    Azzurra are still very much in contention for the world title but need something to derail Platoon’s train of consistency. Azzurra’s Olympic champion Santi Lange reported:

    “Today Platoon did really well to be patient to position themselves geometrically to get an advantage when the leading boats are going at each other, to protect their places. They are really smart in positioning themselves and they can catch up in critical situations, it was really good to watch. I suffer more with the offshore breeze, but I think we are better. You suffer more because you have the responsibility of the team, and some positions can be painful, but I enjoy more this racing than the typical sea breeze day. But tomorrow with the sea breeze. we have the potential to sail well, but my hat off to Platoon who are sailing so well at the moment.”

    Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec sailed a 6 and 3 before winning the third race, which moved them to third on the regatta rankings.

    Morgan Larson, their tactician, commented:

    “We probably got a little too conservative in our starting and tactics today, though we managed to get it right in the last race. Even if it was maybe our worst position 5 minutes into the race, we chipped our way through it.

    It was a tough track because everyone had the feeling that the right was good. So if you weren’t leading you had to get a lane a little bit left and then it seemed like the left was actually working pretty well. So that compressed the fleet.

    I think our boat is probably modded a little bit more up-range; everyone else set themselves up for Palma, 8-12 knots of wind, and we thought we were right, but we’re realistically better in the 10-14, so today we had some legs, which was nice when the breeze came up.”

    Rolex TP52 World Championship Puerto Portals 2019
    Regatta standings after Day 4
    1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (4,5,2,3,1,1,5) 21 p.
    2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (2,9,4,5,2,4,2) 28 p.
    3. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (5,8,3,6,6,3,1) 32 p.
    4. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (10,4,5,1,8,2,6) 36 p.
    5. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (9,1,1,2,9,10,8) 40 p.
    6. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (1,7,8,4,4,7,9) 40 p.
    7. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (3,3,7,7,5,5,11) 41 p.
    8. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (8,2,9,9,11,8,4) 51 p.
    9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (6,10,6,8,7,9,11) 57 p.
    10. Team Vision Future (FRA) (Jean Jacques Chaubbard) (7,6,10,10,10,6,10) 59 p.
    11. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (12 DNF,12 DNC,12 DNC,12 DNC,3,7,3) 61 p.
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