Team Provezza Turkish Delight On Palma Bay!!


Ergin Imre’s Provezza crew laid to rest some of their past bad memories of racing on the Bay of Palma when they clinched the first title of the 52 SUPER SERIES 2024 season at 52 SUPER SERIES PalmaVela Sailing thanks to a spectacular victory in the final race.

With a new boat due to come on stream later for August their hard earned win is a fitting farewell to the TP52 which took Ergin Imre’s Turkish flagged team to a painfully close second place overall last season as well as two event wins, in Saint Tropez and Scarlino.

Lying fifth coming into today’s big breeze three race finale, but only three points off the lead, Provezza’s winning chances improved race by race with a third and a fourth places in the 18-22kts winds and big Palma Bay waves.

Solid, dependable starters, Provezza with John Cutler steering, Hamish Pepper on tactics and Nacho Postigo navigating read the winds shifts best in the final race, remaining composed and focused – so often their winning trademarks. The young Quantum Racing powered by American Magic team, with Victor Diaz De Leon as skipper for the first time, and Harry Melges IV steering only just came up slightly short to take second with Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge third, their first 52 SUPER SERIES podium since Key West in 2013.

Palma and the famous racing waters of the Bay have been both a happy hunting ground and a graveyard of broken dreams for Ergin Imre. He first won the big class in 1997 at Copa del Rey on an early Provezza before racing the TP52 for the first time in 2012 with the former Cristabella/El Desafio.

In 2017 out of Puerto Portals, Provezza won their first ever 52 SUPER SERIES title. But in 2019 as circuit title contenders they lost the top of their mast which effectively killed off any hopes of the title that year.

And, of course, last year they came to Palma with a 17 points lead which was lost when a V1 shroud parted. That they finished second on tie break still smarts for the team, even after today’s triumph.

But today an ecstatic Imre grinned: “Winning is a great way to honour this boat P10. We are extremely happy, we had some ups and downs this week but I think we had the fewest downs and so that made the difference in the end. To win that the last race was just a miracle, a dream come true.”

He recalled: “I was pretty down last season, how can you go from a 17 points lead to losing? We had a mast issue. It is a happy day today, everyone is very happy, the crew is very happy and there was some tears coming in when we were celebrating. Now we take our new boat and will see what’s going on with it. I think the difference with the team throughout many of the races this week was that we never gave up, there was an incident where we hit the mark but we fought back. We came seventh. That’s what makes the difference….to fight back.”

With four new young sailors on their team Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing powered by American Magic came into the final day tied on points with Alegre and showed flashes of promise, not least winning the first race today by a big margin. But then they missed a few windshifts which left them second but – as Provezza will not go to the USA – they clearly have the potential to win the season especially as the defending champions Platoon Aviation had a roller coaster regatta, heavily ballasted by two 10th places on the second racing day Harm Müller-Spreer’s crew finished seventh overall.

Quantum Racing’s Harry Melges IV commented: “It’s a bit disappointing being so close to taking the event victory but it’s a really positive sign for us. We made a lot of improvement for the two weeks we’ve sailed together. We’ve got some new, young sailors on the boat so things are looking positive for us and we’re looking forward to Newport. Overall today it was tricky. We had three good starts and it got quite shifty towards the end so I think we missed a few shifts off the beat potentially and maybe down one of the runs. We had a penalty on the second race of the day which was an unforeseen error on my part. But today was such good fun, a lot of wind, good waves, a bit wet – it’s probably the windiest I’ve sailed the boat in, consistently three races is just glamour conditions out there, lots of fun.  Now we are really looking forward to being in Newport, being on home waters for us being from the New York Yacht Club.”

And as the circuit heads to Newport RI for the first time, home hopes can be justifiably high as Interlodge took third and Takashi Okura’s Sled fourth. Interlodge’s project manager and helm this week Kris Matthews was delighted: “That was exciting stuff, everyone was tight at the top and it was every man for themselves out there in that final race. Congrats to Provezza team, they just went on to sail a phenomenal day in those conditions. It was obviously a shame not to have Austin and Gwen here this week but it was amazing that they gave us the ability to race their boat without them, it was a great team success and everyone put in the effort. We all work as hard as we can and figure out what roles we have and it was a fantastic team effort.  I think we have stepped up the level, we didn’t make many changes, the team only had one crew change and we made a small rig mod, other than that we are just focussed on the sailing.”

Heading to Newport
With the first event of the season completed, the 52 SUPER SERIES are heading to the United States, where they will race the next two events on the calendar. On their first visit to Newport (Rhode Island), the fleet will be based at the historic New York Yacht Club, where the XS 52 SUPER SERIES Newport Trophy will be held from 10th to 16th June and the Rolex TP52 World Championship Newport 2024, the TP52 World Championship, from 15th to 20th July. After their American voyage, the 52 SUPER SERIES will return to Spain to compete in the Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week from 27th August to 1st September and the Valencia 52 SUPER SERIES Royal Cup from 23rd to 28th August.

52 SUPER SERIES PalmaVela Sailing Week Overall Results
1.   PROVEZZA (TUR), Ergin Imre, 7+4+2+4+3+4+1 = 25
2.   QUANTUM RACING POWERED BY AMERICAN MAGIC (USA), Doug DeVos, 3+1+5+5+1+8+4 = 27
3.   INTERLODGE (USA), Austin and Gwen Fragomen, 9+3+3+3+2+2+2+6+7 = 32
4.   SLED (USA), Takashi Okura, 2+8+4+1+9+3+6 = 33
5.   GLADIATOR (GBR), Tony Langley, 1+9+8+8+8+7+1+3 = 37
6.   ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 8+2+1+3+5+9+9+9 = 37
7.   PLATOON (GER), Harm Müller-Spreer, 4+10+10+7+4+2+8=45
8.   PAPREC (FRA), Jean-Luc Pethuguenin, 5+7+6+6+6+8+7+10 = 49
9.   ALPHA+ (HKG), Shawn and Tina Kang, 6+5+9+9+9+10+10+2 = 51
10. VAYU (THA), Whitcraft Family, 9+6+7(+3)+10+6+5+5+5 = 51