Quantum Racing win 52 SUPER SERIES first trophy regatta in Barcelona

Winning the final race in Barcelona Quantum Racing, skippered by Ed Baird with Terry Hutchinson as tactician, contributed all that they could to lifting the Conde de Godo Trophy regatta for the second year in a row, but with long time event leaders Azzurra slumping to a dramatic seventh place at the same time, the American team did have a little unexpected assistance from their main rivals. 
Azzurra went into Sunday’s only race with a lead of two points on Quantum Racing and four on Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing, but the defending 2012 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra had only a modest first beat and then were penalised for fouling Interlodge at the spreader mark spinnaker hoist.
Required to take a penalty turn Azzurra’s hopes of winning the regatta evaporated at that point. There was no coming back for them as Quantum Racing were already half a mile down the first run, sailing securely and confidently to take the winning gun and with it the Conde de Godo Trophy and draw first blood on the 2013 52 SUPER SERIES.
Rán Racing’s second place, with Azzurra seventh gives Zennström’s world champions crew second overall in Barcelona, the city where they won their first 52 regatta as a team in 2011. 
If several of the earlier races had seen Quantum Racing forced to climb through the fleet, this time there were more obvious shades of the 2008 and 2011 champions at their best. They started well but one subtle, small right hand wind shift, minutes after the start was fundamental to them getting the jump on the fleet, making a key gain on Rán Racing, which allowed them to lead around the first windward turn.
Although they had a lacklustre first beat, Azzurra were still contenders at the top of the first leg, but as they tried to break away from the tail of the pack they were not clear enough of Interlodge and the resulting penalty compounded their initial problems. 
It was a dramatic conclusion to a regatta which Azzurra had dominated at times, winning three races of the eight sailed, along with two thirds and a second place. But in the end the recoveries which Quantum Racing staged with their potent mix of fighting spirit, focus and sheer talent, proved their value.
“I look at a couple of races that we had pretty good comebacks from the top marks and those are the races that are the deciding factors.” Stated Quantum Racing’s Terry Hutchinson, “The races when you lead at the top mark you need to win. Azzzurra fortunately could not get back through the fleet this time.” 
These things happen.” Responded Simon Fry, Azzurra’s trimmer. “ It’s a bad day. You park it. You maybe draw on it in the future if you need to but we know we are fast. We sailed pretty well for three and a half days but unfortunately we let ourselves down in one race, but we’ll be back. We’ll be alright in Ibiza.”
Tony Langley’s crew of Gladiator nailed one final third to their aggregate to finish fourth overall, the British owner especially pleased with their race win in Friday’s 25kts plus breeze.
Barcelona delivered a potent mix of breezes including two memorable days when the early season winds were consistently over 20kts, complemented nicely by Sunday’s 11-15kts showdown. Winners last year against Azzurra only tie-break, Quantum Racing’s head to the 52 SUPER SERIES second regatta of four with a series lead of three points, while the 2012 champions Azzurra are third, four points behind.

52 SUPER SERIES, Barcelona, Trofeo Conde de Godó, standings after eight races. 
1- Quantum Racing (USA), (3-1-2-4-2-3-2-1) 18 puntos
2- Rán (SWE), (2-4-3-1-3-5-1-2) 21 points
3- Azzurra (ITA), (1-3-1-2-4-1-3-7) 22 points
4- Gladiator (GBR) (5-7-7-3-1-4-5-3) 35 points
5- Interlodge (USA) (4-2-6-5-6-2-4-6) 35 points
6- Rio (USA) (7-6-5-6-5-6-6-4) 45 points
7- Provezza (TUR) (6-5-4-7-7-7-7-5) 48 points
Quantum Racing win 52 SUPER SERIES first trophy regatta in Barcelona Quantum Racing win 52 SUPER SERIES first trophy regatta in Barcelona Reviewed by Panos Douros on Sunday, May 26, 2013 Rating: 5

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