by Richard Crockett
Yesterday was a day Tina Plattner and her ‘Phoenix 11′ crew would, I am sure, rather forget as the challenging conditions saw them sink to the bottom of the leader board in this tough star-studded fleet. Hopefully a new day will bring renewed energy to the team – so let’s wait and see and wish them well.
It was places gained on successive runs during the second race yesterday that keep ‘Azzurra’ and ‘Bronenosec’ in the top two places after four races. At this new, challenging venue for the circuit, the key learning so far is that consistency is especially elusive in this high-level fleet on a race course where the sea breeze on the water is especially hard to read.
The subtle shifts in wind strength and pressure are made all the more difficult to read because of the lack of contrast in the colours on the water. The tidal currents and an inflowing river means the waters – rather than the easy-on-the-eye azure of the Med – are rather darker.
‘Azzurra’ lead the regatta – the second of the season – by one point. “It was a spectacular day in this great fleet with very close racing. By such small differences you can be first or you can be last. The second race was more difficult after we had to recover from a not-so-good start, but in the end we fought well for that fifth place. But most of all I am really happy with the attitude on board, we have the right mind set to fight for each and every metre ,which you have to do to do well” said , skipper-helm Guillermo Parada.
‘Platoon’ owner-helm Muller-Spreer said “What a tricky place this is. The wind is coming from everywhere. Every single minute it seems like it changes, the wind is moving ten or 20 degrees, but it is also about the changes in wind pressure and the current. But then it is the same for everyone. Tomorrow is another today.”