Nico Martinez /

Quantum Racing horizon job

US team remains consistent at the 52's Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza

Thursday September 18th 2014, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: Spain

As the Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza regatta rolls into Friday’s coastal race Quantum Racing has now more than doubled its overall lead in the Barclays 52 Super Series on the difficult, hard to read race tracks off Ibiza Town.

Light winds wrote the same story again for the second day of racing. Azzurra won the first race of the day to become the fourth different crew to have won at this regatta, but Quantum Racing again proved supreme in the second contest, winning its second race of the week to also increase its leading margin in the regatta, firmly on course now to add to its event wins in Porto Cervo and Palma.

Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Ed Baird reported today just how hard it is to read the wind on the race course area, an insight into the difficulties faced by all the tacticians and strategists here: “It is difficult to read on the water. On most venues around the world you can see a little more texture on the water which tells you there is more wind there. Here where we see that texture it is often right in the glare of the sun. So you can’t trust it. And there are plenty of times that where it looks lighter is actually where you end up finding the better pressure. It is hot. It is light. You really just need to pay attention to what lane you are in.”

Making the right tactical choices is just one element of the mix here, in the marginal, light winds being able to keep the boat powered up and moving at maximum boat speed for the wind strength is also key: “We are right on that point that every sailor understands, that cliff where half a knot more windspeed you are fully hiking, dropping the traveller down just a little bit and starting to be really comfortable. Half a knot less you are leaning in, you are looking for power and trying to keep the boat moving and that is what we are sailing in all day long here. It is challenging and the guys are doing a great job with that.”

Quantum Racing’s second and first today is the best scoring aggregate from the two races. But Sled is proving itself well able to mix it with Azzurra and Rán Racing, posting a third and fourth for the day to lie third overall for the regatta, just one point behind Azzurra.

Azzurra won the first race of the day. The Quantum Racing crew dropped itself on to the back foot off the start line when it mistimed its approach to the line, stuck under another boat and downspeed. But Terry Hutchinson and the Quantum Racing afterguard fought back well with some solid calls which got them from fourth at the first windward mark to second at the finish. They sailed down inside Sled on the second run to finish just behind Azzurra. Vasco Vascotto recognised the better, lifting pressure on the right side of the first upwind causing the Italian team to lead all the way around the course.

The second contest was sailed in a slightly brisker wind, but it was the extra pressure and shift down the left, inshore side down the run which really worked. Quantum Racing consolidated its lead by keeping an eye on this and moving left to use it, but Gaastra Pro, with Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics, really reaped a reward rising from sixth to second on the run, holding on the second while Rán Racing and Azzurra dropped to a weighty fifth and sixth place finish respectively.

Vasco Vascotto commented:  “We lost positions in the last race which was not good. We were fourth at the last top mark and dropped two places and that is not good, that is hard to take. That’s heavy for us. I need to figure out why the left was so strong downwind, nobody realised that on our boat. I am the tactician and I am responsible for that. I think on the start we have been happy. On average we are doing a very good job there. It is very difficult to control another boat here in Ibiza. When they gybe away you are no longer controlling them. In light airs it is tough. You need to decide which side you like, as we did in the first race, it worked out properly. But in the second race I did not do the same job.”

Light winds are expected to prevail again for Friday’s coastal race which should be between 20 and 30 miles.

1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,3,2,1) 9pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6) 17pts
3. Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura JPN) (4,1,6,3,4) 18pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5) 19pts
5. Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2) 23pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3) 28pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7) 30pts
8. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8) 36pts



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