52 SUPER SERIES: a Three-Cornered Title Bout Next Week in Mahón
Friday, September 15, 2017 5:34 PM
Next week, Menorca – one of Spain’s Balearic Islands – will see the closest and most exciting finish yet to a 52 SUPER SERIES season. For the first time since the world’s leading monohull circuit started out in 2012, there are three teams that have an almost equal chance of winning.
After five of the season’s six international regattas, spanning Key West, Miami, Scarlino (Tuscany), Porto Cervo (Sardinia) and Puerto Portals (Mallorca), Azzurra lead into the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week with a lead of just three points ahead of 2017 World Champions Platoon, who in turn are only three points ahead of 2016 champions Quantum Racing.
Each of the three teams represent different philosophies. The fiery, passionate Latinos, Azzurra draw their crew primarily from Italy and Argentina, and have already won the circuit twice, in the inaugural year 2012 when the 52 SUPER SERIES comprised four European events, and at the conclusion of an exciting 2015 year.
Sailing under the stars and stripes of the American flag, Quantum Racing are the hard driving, no-stone-unturned perfectionists who most acknowledge to be the circuit’s benchmark team. Under owner-driver Doug DeVos and tactician Terry Hutchinson, the Quantum Racing Team are a talent-laden crew who have won the circuit in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
But this year has seen a third team emerging to break up the dominant duopoly. Germany’s Harm Müller-Spreer is a world class helmsman who has carefully engineered a smooth-running, super-consistent international team, sailing under the German flag. Benefiting from working hand-in-hand with Quantum Racing for two years now, Müller-Spreer has the ultra-consistent, unflappable American John Kostecki on tactics supported by Spain’s America’s Cup and Olympic gold medal winner, Jordi Calafat.
Platoon’s cosmopolitan mix of nationalities – German, Austrian, Spanish, American, Dutch and Kiwi – works remarkably well, with the team having already won the 2017 Rolex TP52 World Championship title in Scarlino and finishing second in both Key West and Miami.
Since finishing fourth in 2015 and again in 2016, the German owner-driver set out to build a team really capable of winning the 2017 circuit, and to arm the Platoon crew with the hardware to do the job.