Quantum Racing victorious on the 20th Anniversary Day
The 20th anniversary celebrations to highlight the continued popularity and success of the TP52 class were blessed with an appropriate measure of champagne sailing on the Bay of Palma as competition for the 52 Super Series paused for the day and enjoyed a fantastic day of racing.
The 16 boat fleet which has gathered in Puerto Portals spans the generations from the 2005 Blue Carbon to the newest 52 Super Series boat, Vladimir Liubomirov's 2019 launched Bronensosec. And as it was always hoped for, not only was the spectacle of big fleet TP52 racing as inspiring as ever it was, the newer, top 52 Super Series boats did not have it all their own way.
Although Doug DeVos' US flagged four-times circuit champions were victorious on points aggregated over the two races it was two Italian invitees Roberto Monti's Air is Blue which took second and Marco Serafini's XIO which was third on the IRC corrected time racing.
The breezes were the best yet this week, 13-14kts, and racing in the middle of the Palma Bay there were options either side on the upwinds and downwinds, but mainly it was the team which was able to jump clear off the start line and into the geographical wind bend up the right of the windward axis which was best able to get clear.
In the first race it was Terry Hutchinson and Lucas Calabrese on the Quantum Racing, aided and abetted by navigator Michele Ivaldi who were super sharp off the start line and – with owner Doug DeVos steering – able to hook into that lift and just step progressively away from the fleet, extending away to a lead of over 550 metres. But Roberto Monti's Air Is Blue, which started life in 2008 as Audi Q8 were able to do well on the second round to take second on corrected time with Xio right up among some of the best of the 52 Super Series regulars taking third.
And while the right did pay well on the first race in the second the starters closer to the pin, left end of the line, did better. Bronenosec, with Morgan Larson steering, were able to impose themselves early and once rounding the top mark with the early lead were able to hold off Platoon and Quantum Racing on the race course, but again XIO were in the mix to finish third.
Doug DeVos of the day's top boat Quantum Racing remarked,
"It was so fun to be out there. All that big fleet of boats out there sailing together was great, conditions were beautiful, really classic conditions besides everything it was a fun day to go sailing. We did pretty well. We found a solution to some of the things that happened yesterday. There are still a few bits with team that we are trying to figure out but it seems like we had a few things going better to day. And it was good to see the Invitational boats on the podium. Overall this is such a great group of sailors from all over that have come to join the 52 Super Series and it is really fun to have them out on the water and have everyone racing together. as a fleet, now hopefully some of them will join the super series in the future."
Roberto Monti, the owner driver of Air Is Blue could not contain his smiles,
"It was amazing to be racing with all of the other TP's - this was the most beautiful thing to happen today, racing together. We tried to stay with them, we were amazed to see that we could have a good race and a good result. Our key moments were the two starts, when you have two good starts that's 80% of the race. We were lucky to have two good starts. At the end we have a boat that is very fast downwind and so we can gain some seconds downwind. This is what made us do well today. This is not a boat for the 52 Super Series but we enjoy being able to be invited here with them and to race with them."
Standings After the two races for the 20th Aniversary Regatta
Quantum Racing (USA) (1,3) 4 points
Air is Blue (ITA) (2,5) 7 p.
XIO (ITA) (3,4) 7 p.
Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (10,1) 11 p.
Sled (USA) (5,7) 12 p.
Provezza (TUR) (11,2) 13 p.
Arobas (FRA) (6.5,8) 14.5 p.
Gladiator (GBR) (6.5,11) 17.5 p.
Interlodge (USA) (12,6) 18 p.
THA72 (THA) (9,10) 19 p.
Platoon (GER) (4,DNS17), 21 p.
Zero Emission (FIN) (19,9) 22 p.
Alegre (GBR) (8,DNS17), 25
Blue Carbon (ESP) (DNS17,12) 29.
Beau Geste (HGK) (DNF17,DNS17) 34 p.
Phoenix (RSA) (DNF17,DNS17) 34 p.
Overall Standings for the Invitational Regatta
Air is Blue (ITA) (2,3,4,5,3,1,2) 20 puntos.
Beau Geste (HK) (1,1,1,1,1,DNF8,DNS8) 21 p.
XIO (ITA) (3,DNF8,2,3,2,2,1) 21 p.
THA72 (THA) (4,2,3,2,4,4,5) 24 p.
Arobas (FRA) (5,6, DNC 8,4,6,3,3) 35 p.
Zero Emission (FIN) (6,4.5,5,7,5,5,4) 36.5 p.
Blue Carbon (ESP) (7,4.5,6,6,7,DNS8,6) 44.5 p.