Palma, 12 July 2012
Drama on the course
Damaged boats, a disqualification and an injured crewman marked a dramatic second day’s racing at the 52 Super Series Royal Cup regatta in Palma, Mallorca on Thursday, which was dominated by world champions Quantum Racing.
Quantum claimed victory in the opening race of the day and remarkably maintained second place in race two despite offloading trimmer Brett Jones to their chase boat after he injured his hand in a maneuver mid-race.
Jones was taken ashore where an ambulance awaited and has since been treated for dislocated fingers. Meanwhile, the shorthanded crew held firm in second place to extend their overall lead in the Royal Cup from one point to three.
Rán Racing finished second and third in the day’s racing to remain second in the Royal Cup on nine points, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team on 15 points, who were disqualified in race one but claimed their first win of the regatta in race two.
In fourth place are Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One, followed by Provezza, Gladiator, Aquila and PowerPlay.
The first race of the day set the stage for the dramatics that were to come, with a collision at the second windward mark rounding resulting in damage to Gladiator and PowerPlay.
Gladiator were leading the fleet when they failed to make the lay-line and found themselves maneuvering into the chasing pack and on a collision course with PowerPlay.
An on water jury found that Azzurra had failed to give Gladiator the appropriate room to avoid the collision and ruled that the Italian/Argentinian team perform a penalty turn.
PowerPlay limped to the finish with broken port stanchions and minor hull damage, and later retired from race two. Gladiator were forced to retire from both races with damage to their bow sprit and bob stay.
Gladiator and PowerPlay sought redress, which resulted in Azzurra being disqualified and the pair receiving an average points margin for the races they missed.
The drama continued in the second race when Quantum’s Brett Jones found himself living every trimmer’s worst nightmare. Quantum tactician Andy Horton said Jones was in the middle of swapping a jib sheet for a spinnaker sheet on a winch when trouble struck.
“His hand got caught between the two, it wasn’t a pretty sight, I’ve seen worse but this got about three fingers,’’ Horton said.
“It was long enough that we had to get three or four people forward to hold the sail by hand to get the line off of it. We hope Jonesy is OK, but right now we’re looking for someone to replace him for the rest of the regatta.”
The Royal Cup is the third regatta of four in the inaugural 52 Super Series. Quantum Racing continue to lead the series on 35.5 points, followed by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, 47.5, and Rán Racing on 55.5 points.
The third day of the four-day Royal Cup continues on Friday at 1300 local, 1100 UTC. Follow all of the action at www.52superseries.com.
Quantum Racing 6pts
Rán Racing 9pts
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 15pts
Audi All4One 16pts