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Brand new Alegre leads the 52 Super Series at the Palma Vela in Mallorca

Yacht Racing Podcast

After three good races today on the Bay of Palma – each with a different winner – Andy Soriano’s brand new Alegre leads the 52 Super Series Palma Vela Sailing Week, but only on tie break ahead of Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing powered by American Magic.

With Aussie Olympic medallist Will Ryan and Brit Nic Asher combining on strategy and tactics and the owner Soriano steering, Alegre won the second race of the day complementing a second in the first contest and a third in the third, scoring best in the fleet today.

“What a great day,” commentated Alegre’s long serving bowman Matteo Augadro. “Maybe it’s the best we have had on Alegre, we had that 1,23. We had great starts – except getting a little bit in trouble at the pin in the third race, the boat is fast, we are sailing it well and Andy was super focused steering the boat well. The afterguard are making good decisions. We had a few technical issues with a new boat but we solved them. We feel great. The shore team guys will have a long night fixing a few things with the boat but two mire windy days to come, we like the wind as a crew we are looking forwards to it.”

Image © Nico Martinez

Racing in 13-18 knots of southwesterly breeze with a building Palma Bay chop, Quantum Racing powered by American Magic won the first race and looked strong on the first legs of the successive races, but their pair of fifths leave room for improvements over what promises to a big breeze finale expected for the last two days of this first circuit regatta of 2024.

The first windward mark of the third race saw a Quantum Racing error, having to bail out and turn away from their final approach to the buoy finding themselves with nowhere to go. Taking sterns they rounding eighth but they chipped away to earn fifth.

“Overall we are very pleased with today, it was very tricky out there I put ourselves in some tough positions and the team was fighting for every inch and got us back into positions,” Quantum skipper-tactician Victor Diaz De Leon. “It feels good to be in the mix out there are a lot of races left, it is very early to be picking winners. We are really focusing on the processes, continuing to improve. We are excited to be racing in the big breeze tomorrow, a lot of us have not sailed these boats in these kind of conditions and so we are looking forwards to going fast.”

After making a super sharp pin end start Takashi Okura’s 2002 52 SUPER SERIES champions Sled won the that third contest to lie only a single point behind the leading duo. They led round the top mark with Interlodge second and Alegre third. Ado Stead, Sled’s tactician recalled,

“The first race we were a little bit unlucky on the run I think we went around third and we got caught with a shift coming off the land when the wind went a bit light and we lost to eighth but we followed that with an fourth. And then we had a bit of a punchy start at the pin and it was quite tight at the top but we got a nice solid win. It was absolutely perfect conditions, the last two races were just perfect with winds up to 18 knots and just really, really good fun.”

The fortunes of the fleet’s two newest boats, sisterships Alegre and Platoon Aviation could not be sharper so far. The German flagged 2023 circuit champions lie ninth after two tenth places , struggling to start well today and clearly still learning their new boat. They were unlucky in first race when the breeze shut off from the left – dropping from 15 knots to four knots – leaving Platoon Aviation, among others, struggling. They lie ninth.

52 Super Series PalmaVela Sailing Week Provisional Standings

1. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 8+2+1+3 = 14
2. QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 3+1+5+5 = 14
3. SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 2+8+4+1 = 15
4. INTERLODGE (USA), Austin & Gwen Fragomen, 9+3+3+2 = 17
5. PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 7+4+2+4 = 17
6. PAPREC (FRA), Jean-Luc Pethuguenin, 5+7+6+6 = 24
7. GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 1+9+8+8 = 26
8. ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn & Tina Kang, 6+5+9+9 = 29
9. PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 4+10+10+7 = 31
10. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 9+6+7(+3)+10 = 35

Racing continues Wednesday with strong winds forecast through the day, The first warning signal is at 1300hrs.

Main image © Nico Martinez

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