Quantum Racing's superior consistency proving key in Cascais
Maintaining a superior level of consistency Quantum Racing lead the Rolex TP52 World Championship by four points after another two challenging light winds races on the waters off Cascais, Portugal. And while double world champions Platoon are pressing their US flagged rivals hard, pairing a fourth to a comprehensive race win in the second contest of the day, the Thailand team Vayu of the Whitcraft family continue to punch above their weight holding third overall with their slippery 2015 generation boat.
Broadly speaking the top four teams of the nine boat fleet have managed to string together a measure of regular results. Doug DeVos' leaders Quantum Racing have not finished outside the top three, piecing together three second places and a third. Platoon have improved daily, going 5,3,4,1 and even the Plattner family's fourth placed Phoenix with Tom Slingsby calling tactics have sailed 4,4,5,4 but others have ridden the big dipper, Alegre notably partnering two race wins with an eighth and a ninth and Takashi Okura's defending world champions Sled are 8,1,8,5 in sixth.
Andy Soriano's Alegre read the shifting breeze perfectly on the first race of the day, the afterguard of Ado Stead, Nic Asher and Francesco Mongelli positioning the boat perfectly for each successive shift, so using what they needed of the early right but baling to the middle left to gain an exquisite lane to the top mark which they rounded with a handy lead ahead of Quantum Racing.
Phoenix – true to their name – recovered from starting early and having to recross – to round the top mark in third but blew a kite on the run which let Vayu through to take third.
There was still only 7-10kts of breeze for the second race which saw Platoon's John Kostecki and Jordi Calafat read the left shifting wind best to earn a solid lead by the top mark. With the breeze oscillating they were able to extend on each leg to finish nearly 500 metres ahead of the second placed Vayu. The Thai team were able to slide through Quantum Racing on the light winds final run to steal second.
Lucas Calabrese, strategist on Quantum Racing, explains the mix which has so far served them so well,
" It really is not easy. It is really tricky in the current, the light breeze, in the sea state and seeing the clouds coming down the race course. It is about very dynamic trimming and Doug doing a great job driving. For us it is about attention to detail, everyone is really good on the boat. It is not just one thing, everyone does their job really well and I think that's the reason. Everybody is looking out of the boat and gives good input."
Platoon's coach Morgan Reeser support's Calabrese's assertions,
" It was a really challenging day with a low wind weight, it is really wavy, not easy on anybody and hard to tell what's going to happen next. And in that second race finally we went a little better than Quantum on port tack, they're sailing really well, good starts, good decisions, they really are hard to beat."
And the Thai team on Vayu sail with conviction and confidence, in no way overawed by the reputations of their rivals, double Olympic medallist Nick Rogers who is tactician recalls,
"It was a great day. Yesterday we had a 2,3 at the windward mark and we couldn't really convert it. As a team there's lots of things we don't have experience in. We did take away a bit from yesterday so we did not get higher and higher on the on the train on the downwinds. We actually held our place so that was a really good lesson for today. We felt we sailed well. We felt quite quick today. Yesterday we were struggling a bit and I think the positioning today was a bit easier - the set up was good."
"I was expecting to come to Cascais and be dealt plenty of wind and that would've been really good fun but we wouldn't have got results - these conditions mean we're learning bit by bit."
Rolex TP52 World Championship 2022 after four races
1 QUANTUM RACING (USA) Doug DeVos 2,2,2,3. 9pts
2 PLATOON (GER) Harm Müller Spreer 5,3,4,1 13 pts
3 VAYU (THAI) Whitcraft family 3,6,3,2. 14 pts
4 PHOENIX (RSA) Hasso & Tina Plattner 4,4,5,4. 17 pts
5 ALEGRE (GBR) Andy Soriano 1,8,1,9. 19 pts
6 SLED (USA) Takashi Okura 8,1,8,5. 22 pts
7 PROVEZZA (TUR) Ergin Imre 6,5,9,7. 27 pts
8 GLADIATOR (GBR) Tony Langley 9,7,6,6. 28 pts
9 INTERLODGE (USA) Austin & Gwen Fragomen 7,9,7,8. 31 pts