Racing canned on final day
With the wind failing to materialise today by the cut-off of 1430 local at the Trofeo Vela Conde de Godó in Barceloa, there was no racing today and so Quantum Racing has been crowned winner of the first 52 Super Series regatta,on countback from the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. In the Soto 40 class, Tony Buckingham's Ngoni had their series seal with a day to spare yesterday.
With five new crew in their line up, and some disappointing results on day 1 – by the admission of winning skipper-helm Ed Baird – Quantum Racing started Barcelona with obvious room to improve, but finished Saturday with a flourish, trumping the fleet with a pair of aces.
“It was really nice to do well," said Baird. "We dug ourselves a little hole on the first day and it is nice to have come back from that and get back in the front. Obviously the competition is amazingly close, and you have to watch everything that you do, do it very well. And so you look forwards to the next event which is not too far away.
"We have sailed against these teams a lot and so the level is as high as we expected. The Azzurra guys have a new boat which they know a lot about because it is the same design as ours, and we expected it all to be tough. Rán has stepped up its game since last year and it is tight. I am really excited about our boat because there are so many things which we have learned, even in the off season, studying the data and the pictures."
"We made some changes which have been helpful in making the boat go better. That covers a lot of things: we have made some changes in sail design and we have changed the way we handle the boat in certain situations. And that is exciting to see that happen from our desks, really because we did not have to be on the water to see the analysis and make the changes.
"We are going to continue improve our communication and understanding of what each other are thinking and doing. That can always be improved every day, that is what makes the sport so exciting. But I am excited about how well they did and I am glad that my mistakes on the first day, getting off the starting line poorly did not cause us to struggle in the event.”
In fact it is only that second win on Saturday which separates them from Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which showed good all-round speed on their new Botin Partners design which is a 2012 iteration of Quantum Racing.
Guillermo Parada, skipper-helm on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team said: “We are reasonably happy. We knew it was going to be tight and it is tight. To leave here level on points with the lead. Tomorrow I go home to be a father, so it is all good. Barcelona has never been our favourite places in the past for results, and so this is as good as we have done here. So I think it is good and we are going to Porto Cervo, our home waters which we know well, we are in good shape.
For sure you can always get some small things better, improvements are small details. This was different to Palma Vela because it was flat water, only one side usually paying so that changed a bit. Sardinia you can find anything at all in June, you can get Mistral for a few days or there can be nothing at all, but we feel at home there.”
Tim Powell mainsheet trimmer on third placed Rán said: “We are pretty pleased how well we did on Rán. We have some things that we can work on to improve but we finished the Barcelona Regatta two points behind places 1 and 2 which is all good for the rest of the season.
I think we have improved ourselves as a team and we leave this regatta more confident as a team than maybe we came into it. With five boats it is a bit of a different situation on the race course in terms of boat for boat situations, it is great.
American tactician Chris Larson was one of the new hired guns on Tony Langley's Gladiator: The Barcelona event has been a good one for us. This is my third event now with the team and it is quite and improvement and things are going along much better, we are sailing more consistently and at a higher level, so that is really good. Even at 16-18 knots of breeze on the second day, we were right in there and competitive with these guys until the finish gate. It is kinda tough racing against newer boats with full pro teams, but we are doing the best we can and it is getting better and better and it is a lot of fun.
"Tony is definitely blossoming. He is doing a great job, he is getting more and more consistent, he sees us all getting better together and everyone putting a lot of hard work in and we are having a lot of fun together. It might be a little daunting for an owner- driver to say he wants to go do the 52 Super Series because it is a high level, it takes a lot of infrastructure, a lot of time, a lot of people around. But if we can get some IRC 52s in and let people get a taste of it, then we could get some of them for next year. I think Tony is seeing the progression that we have made, we are much closer finishes and we are in every race and that is what is good."
Stephane Kandler, CEO of Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE, who did runners on board this week, said: "For us we came here without big expectations, knowing that most of the teams had already started their season earlier and so it was a little bit more of a testing event for us here. We had delays preparing the boat and a technical issue which meant although we had planned four days of training, we could not do them. The good news here is that we were in the game, we could play. We did not get a chance to test in the really light stuff, but we have some new sails coming for the next regatta. We did some line-ups today and it was encouraging. So we were happy after here.
The ALL4ONE concept has always been a Franco-German one initially but now it is more European and when we are in Spain we will sail with more Spanish sailors. So it is a mix, young up and coming guys and we will have Jordi Calafat in Palma, so we try to have a mix of young promising sailors and the goal is to mix the best crew we can, knowing we can’t afford all big star names.
For the 52 Super Series and Soto 40 final results see yesterday's report here
Elsewhere in Group 1 of the Wally class, it was Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Magic Carpet 2, with Danny Gallichan helming, that won four out of the six races to claim overall honours ahead of Open Season and J One.
In Group 2 the victory had already been sealed on Saturday by Phillipe Ligier’s Roycan 2 skippered by L. Olivier. She finished ahead of Sensei, while the Spanish team on Tiketitoo had to settle for third.
The J/80 racing was dominated by Olympic medallist José María Van der Ploeg’s Nilfisk which won six out of as many races to claim the J-80 title. They were followed, some distance behind, by Lluis Corbella’s Mikaku in second and Frances Roig’s Flash Back Salou in third place.