Key West – At Quantum Key West Race Week Wednesday is known as “moving day”. It is, in the middle of a regatta, a pivotal stage, when consistency starts to show, the cream rises to the top, and a real insight into the possible hierarchy at the end of the week is gained.
After three races today for the white-hot 52 Super Series fleet, three boats sit at the top of the 11-boat fleet with just one point separating them. Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon are credited with the lead, but only by virtue of the tie break.
Azzurra, winners of the last regatta in 2016, now share the lead thanks to a solid 2,6,4 today, while Ergin Imre’s crew of Provezza – the day’s ‘climbers’ – are now third overall. With Peter Holmberg steering and Tony Rey on tactics, Provezza have notched up three second places in the last six races, finishing no worse than fifth today.
After seven races, five different boats have now won races. Today Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s new Interlodge posted back-to-back wins, their first ever with a boat that was only really trialled and tested for the first time in December.
In contrast, but no less welcome or deserved, a race victory on the 52 Super Series circuit has been rather longer in coming for Jean-Luc Petithuguenin’s French Paprec crew, who won Race 7, leading from gun to gun and meriting a champagne celebration back at the dock!
The gaps at the top of the table are small. With three scheduled races still to go, the four-point buffer between Provezza and Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing may seem significant, but waiting patiently are top teams like Quantum Racing, Bronenosec and Sled poised behind them, all still hold strong hopes of finishing on the podium.
The 2016 champions Quantum Racing actually had one of their highest scoring days for a long time, going 8,7,9, but are still just eight points off the lead, tactician Terry Hutchinson observing wryly:
“That’s not nearly as bad as it should be. That’s the beauty of the team, we’ll get up tomorrow, it’ll be a new day and we’ll come out ready for another street fight. We just got to have the mental toughness and the trust to do that properly.”