Not A Happy Day, Tomorrow Better...
Two 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 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 in fourth position but could just not cross Powerplay on starboard heading for the mark. They came down to take the stern of Powerplay and found Azzurra, till then also on port, tacking too close to give them enough room to dip and round up again for the tack. Tony Langley on the Gladiator helm wisely rounded up to avoid the risk of cutting Azzurra in two, but could not avoid just clipping the bowsprit and bobstay into the stern stanchion of Powerplay. This resulted in removing a few more stanchions and the GPS antenna for the Virtual. Dramatically resulting in Powerplay vanishing of the screens of the the 2500 followers at that time.
The umpire boat nearest to the situation immidiately signalled a penalty to Azzurra, who exonorated herself at the spreader mark.
PowerPlay limped to the finish with broken port stanchions and minor hull damage and later retired from race two. Gladiator also retired with damage to their bow sprit and bobstay.
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 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