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52 Super Series Zadar Royal Cup Day 2: Luna Rossa stand firm, Platoon applying the pressure

by 52 Super Series 21 Jun 21:24 BST 20-24 June 2018

Tina Plattner won her first 52 SUPER SERIES race today steering Phoenix and Takashi Okura and crew on Sled triumphed for the second consecutive coastal race of this 2018 52 SUPER SERIES season but it is Luna Rossa which still lead the Zadar Royal Cup in Croatia. The Italian team which wear the Prada colours posted a solid fifth and third from a long, hot and challenging day of light winds to lie three points clear of an ominously consistent Platoon team.

The pair of second places from Harm Müller-Spreer's German flagged crew, the current world champions, were especially impressive for their steady, patient tactics in the light going, coupled to very good boat speed. Platoon's one sticky moment was when they struggled to lay the first windward mark of the coastal race during a very busy, tight rounding.

But under tactician John Kostecki and strategist Jordi Calafat Platoon made steady gains on the long second beat and on the following run to chase Sled across the finish line, going 2,2.

"I think the key today really was patience and John and Jordi really did a great job in finding the best breeze. We are not always the most patient team but we did well today." Smiled Platoon's Pepe Ribes.

Race 3 - Once again in the NW'ly light breeze there was no one side of course, set off Zadar town, which paid off. The early left was good but the right came in strong from half way up the first beat.

With Ed Baird calling tactics Phoenix were clear ahead at the first windward mark and, as the pack tussled behind were able to sail through the finish line with a decent lead over Platoon which only just got the better of Quantum Racing.

Of their first win in their first season on the 52 SUPER SERIES Tina Plattner said:
"I am a little bit lost for words that we have done so well so quickly here, I have to thank the team for getting where we have got to. Everyone on the team is really upbeat and excited. For me it is going a lot better than I expected but it is very shifty and that makes it easier if you are not right up there immediately. But we are taking it a day at a time."

Race 4 - Sled repeated their coastal race success that they enjoyed last month in Šibenik when they triumphed on a long, slow and mentally exhausting marathon of a 'short' 20 miles coastal race. The breeze faded from eight to just five or six knots down the long run to the finish.

Mr Okura's Sled led early on the first, opening windward leeward circuit and were able to extend away and were never challenged thereafter. During the approach to the first windward mark Quantum Racing struck Platoon and lost their bowsprit but still managed to rescue seventh place on the water.

Tactician Terry Hutchinson reflected on a bitter sweet kind of day for the Quantum Racing which lies seventh overall after four races:
"It was disappointing to hit Platoon and break our prodder off but at that point if you said we were going to then pass four boats in the race I would have thought you are crazy. But we sailed a really good race from there. And we came off the water averaging a five. Doug kept us all nice and relaxed, at certain times things don't click and then it is about how you react as a team."

Platoon took second behind Sled and with Luna Rossa third, the Italian team still lead the regatta by three points over Harm Müller Spreer's world champions with Phoenix dropping to third.

Standings after Day 2: (four races)

1. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (1,2,5,3) 11pts
2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,5,2,2) 14pts
3. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (3,7,1,6) 17pts
4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (6,4,7,1) 18pts
5. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (11,3,4,5) 23pts
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (2,9,9,4) 24pts
7. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (9,6,3,7) (2 penalti) 27pts
8. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,1,11,11) 30pts
9. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (4,10,10,9) 33pts
10. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (8,8,8,10) 34pts
11. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (10,11,6,8) 35pts

Quotes:

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Luna Rossa (ITA):
"We profited from the good work we did yesterday and are quite satisfied with the our results today considering it was a difficult day. It is important we still lead the fleet but it is now more open. We suffered like we expected to but we stayed cool, focused and patient, managing the situations well as they came to us."

Ray Davies (NZL) tactician Sled (USA):
"Both coastal races we have had really good starts and they have set us up for the rest of the race and that was the case today again. Then it is relatively easy because the rest of the pack slows each other down. It was a very, very challenging race and Platoon really did sail exceptionally well and in the end we only just won. Every point is critical. We are thrilled with how it is going, our speed is good but this is like one design racing, all of the speeds are so similar that this is now about doing the basics really well, start well and stay out of trouble."

Tina Plattner (RSA) owner-driver Phoenix (RSA):
"I am a little bit lost for words that we have done so well so quickly here, I have to thank the team for getting where we have got. Everyone on the team is really upbeat and excited. For me it is going a lot better than I expected but it is very shifty and that makes it easier if you are not right up there immediately. But we are taking it a day at a time."

Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):
"It was disappointing to hit Platoon and break our prodder off but at that point if you said we were going to then pass four boats in the race I would have thought you are crazy. But we sailed a really good race from there. And we came off the water averaging a five. Doug kept us all nice and relaxed, at certain times things don't click and then it is about how you react as a team."

For full results, visit bit.ly/2JT5qN5

To watch the race again, visit bit.ly/2e6o3tR

The 52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup will take place from 20-24 June. State-of-the-art live boat tracking technology will allow 52 SUPER SERIES fans to follow their favourite teams every day of the regatta, with LIVE images broadcast on the final three days. Shows start 15-minutes before racing, and can be enjoyed via the 52 SUPER SERIES homepage – www.52SUPERSERIES.com – or via the app. Never miss a beat.

Azzurra is not hitting her stride at the Zadar Royal Cup (from Azzurra)

Azzurra is struggling to find her form at the Zadar Royal Cup. Today's two races were won by Phoenix and Sled while tomorrow strong Bora wind is expected in the area. Luna Rossa is still in command of the overall provisional results.

Breeze from the northwest kicked in punctually and was at 10 knots over racecourse Alpha, just north of Zadar. The race Committee got the first race underway at 1 PM as planned.

Today's first race, a windward/leeward course, got off to a fairly good start with Phoenix capturing the lead right from the start. Azzurra was close behind thanks to some fine manoeuvring but right after the first mark Azzurra had a technical problem immediately after her gennaker hoist and dropped back a few positions. She was sixth at the gate and fought back over the second beat. All hope was lost when she got a penalty approaching the mark. Her team was disappointed with her tenth place finish.

The day's second race, the fourth so far at this event, was a short coastal race with one marker off Zadar. The fleet of TP52s sailed past the famous Sea Organ at the lowest end of Zadar's coastline, thirty five pipes of different length that "play" notes with the motion of water through them. Even though the race was just 18nm long it lasted over three and a half hours because the wind suddenly died when the race was already under way.

Sled was protagonist of this race, getting a good start on the pin and holding on to her lead even under pressure from Platoon. Luna Rossa was third. Azzurra gradually lost positions over the course of the race and finished ninth.

Racing will begin tomorrow at 12 noon. Two windward/leeward races are scheduled even though the weather forecast calls for strong Bora wind.

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