TP52 Series. Platoon Prevails

The crew of Platoon celebrate their fine victory.
pic by Nico Martinez/Martinez Studio

by Richard Crockett

Although not on the podium at this event, the South Africans teams of ‘Phoenix 11′ and ‘Phoenix 12′ did not disgrace themselves, although youth did trump age and experience as Tina Plattner took ‘Phoenix 12′ to victory over her father, Hasso Plattner’ who campaigned the newer ‘Phoenix’.

‘Phoenix 12′ closed off the event by scoring 4; 3 & 8 in the closing 3 races, while ‘Phoenix 11′ had to contend with a DNF & DNS – indicating that they may have had some technical issues.

But let’s rewind to last Friday, the penultimate day of racing, when, at the end of a long day with just one race, ‘Quantum Racing’ led going into the final day.

The 2018 defending circuit champions, profited on the second upwind to pass early leaders, Harm Müller-Spreer’s ‘Platoon’, and so scored their second race win in a row.

While the new line up on ‘Quantum Racing’ are gelling nicely and sailed a strong 2,1,1 from the last three races, their perennial rivals ‘Azzurra’ – who had the lead after the first day – had another disappointing day. They fouled ‘Alegre’ and had to take a penalty, which dropped them to 11th. A recovery to seventh only partially helped morale.

Phoenix 11 in action.
pic by Nico Martinez/Martinez Studio

After a thrillingly close finish on Saturday, Harm Müller-Spreer’s ‘Platoon’ crew clinched the first regatta title of the 2019 52 SUPER SERIES season, winning the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week by one single point. Second placed ‘Provezza’, who led into the last race, missed out on the overall win by just four seconds.

‘Platoon’ finished strongly, with super consistent tactician John Kostecki pushing the risk-reward equation more through the second half of the eight race series. Armed with excellent all-round speed across the event’s varied wind conditions – from six to 18 knots – ‘Platoon’ delivered a 2,2,1 from the last three races to narrowly eclipse Ergin Imre’s ‘Provezza’.

“The fleet is getting stronger every year, it is definitely harder than ever to win and so we are super happy to start the season like this,” smiled Platoon’s Spanish livewire Victor Mariño.

Had ‘Provezza’ only been able to close down ‘Bronenosec’ in the final sprint to the finish line of the last race of this series, then it would have been a different story. But the Turkish-flagged team have to be content with their significant improvement.

The defending champions ‘Quantum Racing’ could not continue a 2,1,1 momentum over the previous two days, and with a seventh and sixth on the final day, Doug DeVos’s crew finish third.

Final Results
1. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,2,6,3,7,2,2,1) 28 puntos.
2. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (6,3,3,1,8,3,1,4) 29 p.
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (8,5,4,2,1,1,7,6) 34 p.
4. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (2,1,1,7,10,7,8,2) 38 p.
5. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (1,7,8,10,2,10,6,3) 47 p.
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,11,2,5,6,8,4,7) 47 p.
7. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (7,4,7,8,9,4,3,8) 50 p.
8. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (9,8,5,9,4,5,9,5) 54 p.
9. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (3,10,11,6,5,6, DNF12,DNS12) 65 p.
10. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (11,9,10,11,3,9,5,10) 68 p.
11. Team Vision Future (FRA) (Jean Jacques Chaubard) (10,6,9,4,11,11,10.9) 70 p.