Nico Martinez /

Bad day for Quantum Racing

US team's margin falls to four points after coastal race of the 52's Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza

Friday September 19th 2014, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: Spain

Just when it seemed like Quantum Racing had built themselves an unstoppable winning momentum in Ibiza, the 20 mile coastal race to Tagomago Island for the Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza proved a salutary reminder that risks on these coastal passages are often the most difficult to manage.

Quantum Racing made the wrong choice off the start line and despite having the best start in the fleet, missed out on the early advantage on the right, inshore side of the initial opening short windward leg. The Azzurra and Gladiator afterguards read it better to bring their yachts first and second around the first turn, with Quantum Racing rounding fifth.

But it was further down the track in a really problematic transition zone between two opposing breezes, as the fleet approached the island turn which served up the opportunities for losses, and for gains.

It was here that Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Phoenix wriggled through the light winds areas to break into the best breeze to open a lead which proved unassailable. Try as they might there was no workable opportunity for Ed Baird and the Quantum Racing crew to get back into the podium places.

So, while Azzurra held on well to a well earned second, Quantum Racing could only make sixth leaving the crew frustrated and glum faced as they docked back in the Marina Ibiza.

“Let’s put it this way, we will be glad to be back to the closed course, manageable variables of the windward-leeward track tomorrow,” said Ed Reynolds, the Project Director for the Quantum Racing team, with a grimace. “Sometimes these coastal races just rise up and bite you and it was just one of those kind of days.”

Quantum Racing's overall lead in the Barclays 52 Super Series is trimmed very slightly with two days racing left, or four or five more races, but the key change today was Azzurra vaulting back up to second, three points ahead of Rán Racing in the overall season standings.

It was Phoenix which recognised an opportunity her crew getting itself into a position to take advantage. The Brazilian 52 was seventh around the windward mark, gained a couple of places on the approach to the anticlockwise turn around the high, rocky islet, but had the advantage of seeing where the leaders were planted, trying to break into the established southwesterly breeze. Phoenix stuck close in to the shore, under the high cliffs and her crew was able to keep its spinnaker drawing almost until punching into the stronger breeze. Within minutes Phoenix went from struggling in one or two knots of wind, to a fulsome 12 or 13 knots, fully stretched upwind.

While Gladiator led to the island Tony Langley's team had to settle for fourth place behind Phoenix, Azzurra and Provezza.

Phoenix' Eduardo de Souza Ramos commented: “We were very lucky. On the way back we had the boat nearest the coast and just took the wind before the other boats and we passed from fourth to first. Then it was just a question of covering Azzurra and Gladiator to the finish. But it is super to win, a great feeling for this team. With the level of the fleet that we have here, to win a race is like winning a world championship. It is very, very nice. We like Ibiza very much.”

Vasco Vascotto tactician on Azzurra added: “We are very very happy to have always stayed in the top two of that race. It was very difficult, very very tricky and so we are pleased to have gained some points on Rán and on Sled and on Quantum and now we are a little closer for the last two days for Ibiza. The transition was expected but not for such a long time. At a certain point you were thinking maybe the old wind was not there any more, but it was just moving back to the west a little. The guys behind were trying options, somebody goes left, somebody goes right and you cannot cover them all. You need to take your decisions. And our guys did a fantastic job, hoisting the right sails all the time and staying relaxed. It was a good race. More than that we are happy because we worked hard to be able to improve our performance here. I think through the last three or four days we have been sailing faster and we are proud of that.”

On the leaderboard for the Zenith Royal Cup Marina Ibiza, Quantum Racing now holds a margin of four points overall ahead of Azzurra with Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing now six points behind in third.


1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,3,2,1,6) 15pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,2,1,6,2) 19pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,4,4,4,5,7) 26pts
4. Sled, USA, (Takashi Okura JPN) (4,1,6,3,4,DNF/9) 27pts
5. Gaastra Pro, NED (Marc Blees NED) (6,6,1,8,2,5) 28pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,8,5,3,4) 32pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (7,3,7,6,7,3) 33pts
8. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (8,8,5,7,8,1) 37pts

Overall Barclays 52 Super Series

1. Quantum 67pts
2. Azzurra 89pts
3. Ran Racing 92pts
4. Phoenix 114pts
5. Gladiator 134pts
6. Provezza 163pts

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