Platoon win Royal Cup for Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week
Over a regatta which consisted of five races there was no room in a winning scoreline for one big result. While several rival teams left the sunshine island of Menorca today rueing small mistakes which ultimately cost them their chances of lifting the TP52 class's prestigious Royal Cup, Harm Müller Spreer's can point to a consistent scoreline as the reason his German flagged team won at the Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing week for the second time in a row.
The double world champions cut out the costly errors – such as the three red flag penalties – which ruined their possibilities of collecting the Mallorca title last month in Puerto Portals when the 52 Super Series opened. With John Kostecki and Jordi Calafat combining on tactics and strategy for owner-driver Müller-Spreer, the Platoon team composed a scoreline of 4,3,6,4,1 to win by a couple of points from Andy Soriano's Alegre.
Owner driver Müller Spreer smiled "It is so nice to win, it is a bit strange to win here the second time in a row but we had so many different conditions especially the two days with a lot of wind and big waves, they were really tough conditions. But the class is so close. At least five different boats could have won here. It is really, really hard when you make a small mistake. But it is very demanding here, it is shifty and the wave conditions are difficult, especially when the winds are dropping and the waves are still there and that makes it hard to steer the boat fast over the whole race course. Right now it is so close but five boats are certainly in the frame for the overall title.
While Alegre opened the regatta with a trio of bullets – an openings salvo unprecedented in seven years of the 52 SUPER SERIES nine years of history – Day 3 saw them slip to a 17 point aggregate for the day. Although happy with second, like Vladmir Liubomirov's Bronenosec and Doug DeVos's Quantum Racing, who finished third, when the last two windless days meant no further racing was possible, like the rest of the 11 boat fleet, Alegre might still be among the majority who would have loved to have had the chance to complete more races.
Quantum Racing started badly with an 11th before going 4,4,2,2. Bronenosec, with Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, took the heaviest penalty for a collision at the start of race 2, the resulting 14pts weighing down their 2,2,3,3 to leave them fourth.
Platoon win the Royal Cup, one of the class's most prestigious trophies in sailing. Designed by Bulgari it was donated by King Harald of Norway, Pasquale Landolfi, Willi Illbruck and Yannis Costopoulos originally as a challenge trophy for IMS50 racing, at that time the world's premier level rating class. Past winners of the Royal Cup include Landolfi's Brava Q8, as well as Peter de Ridder's 50 footer Mean Machine. This link from the traditions of the recent past to today is testament to the 52 Super Series as the world's leading grand prix monohull circuit.
As the 52 Super Series now heads to Palma de Mallorca and the Rolex TP52 World Championship over the first week of November, the circuit standings could not be tighter. Platoon lead on tie break from Quantum Racing on 46 points while Alegre and Takashi Okura's Sled are tied one point behind.
Seb Tenghage (Alegre):
"We are very happy. We started out strong thig regatta but unfortunately we then had a hard, tough day on the third day, but overall we are sailing well, doing the right things, but little things are costing us which is what happens in this fleet, it is so tight. But overall we are happy, really, really happy. "
Andy Hemmings injury unsettled you on Day 3?
"Of course it is an interruption as you are so bonded as a team, but you cannot see say that is the reason we did not go so well on the third day. But of course it affects you but Juan Messeguer stepped in and did a great job. All credit to him. We have done a lot of training and did Copa del Rey and maybe that is helping us."
Terry Hutchinson (Quantum Racing):
"I think that after the first day that we had you had said we would finish on the podium we would have taken it. We are struggling a little bit with some inconsistencies at the back of the boat. We have followed up really bad days with really good days and so we need to shave off these really bad days and there is still half the season to play for with ten races on the table in Palma and the world championship, the next event is going to be really good and I am really looking forwards to it.
I think there have been poor choices made at the back of the boat – it is no more complicated than that – and I hold myself accountable for those. We are a kind of law of averages kind of team and particularly the last run of the first race we did not sail very well. The guy that rounded the mark 100 metres behind us finished fifth. We can do these things better, but then the next races we sailed 4,4,2,2, you have to take the good with the bad. All the pieces of the puzzle are there we just have to put them together properly."
Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week, Final Results
1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (4,3,6,4,1) 18pts
2. Alegre (GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (1,1,1,7,10) 20 pts
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (11,4,4,2,2) 23 pts
4. Bronenosec Gazprom (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,DNF14 (12+2),2,3,3) 24 p.
5. Phoenix (RSA) (Tony Norris) (3,7,3,5,6) 24 pts
6. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (5,8,7,1,4) 25 pts
7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (8,2,8,6,11) 35 pts
8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (6,9,9,10,5) 39 pts.
9. Interlodge (USA) (Austin Fragomen) (7,10,5,8,9) 39 pts
10. THA72 (THA) (Tom and Kevin Whitcraft) (10,5,10,11,7) 43 pts
11. Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithugeunin) (9,6,11,9,8) 43 pts
Circuit Standings After 2 of 3 regattas
1. Platoon (28,18) 46p.
2. Quantum Racing (23,23) 46 pts.
3. Alegre (27,20) 47 pts.
4. Sled (22,25) 47 pts.
5. Phoenix (26,24) 50 pts.
6. Bronenosec (30,22 +2) 54 pts.
7. Provezza (27,35) 62 pts.
8. Interlodge (37,39) 76 pts.
9. Gladiator (50,39) 89 pts.