What was to be expected gradually happened: Since the change from catamarans back to foiling monohulls in the America's Cup, more and more America's Cup professionals have been asked to compete in the world's leading monohull series 52 Super Series. The most prominent newcomer to the fourth TP52 regatt this year is now sailing superstar Peter Burling. The smart New Zealander with the nickname “Pistol Pete” is said to have brought John Langley's wing lame so far this season and, after three regattas in the intermediate classification, only the tenth and last place “Gladiator” on his toes. On the day before the regatt in front of Puerto Portals on Mallorca, this was at least partially achieved in the official training race with 5th place.
Leading the overall standings after three regattas and are also the top favorites in the battle for victory of the season: Doug DeVos' men in the Quantum Racing team
Peter Burling: Premiere in the 52 Super Series as tactician for "Gladiator"
“This is a bit different from what I've done so far,” said Burling after the first test in the port of Puerto Portals, “but it's good to be here, to take a look at the boats and get in to race the 52 Super Series. I have a lot of friends on the other boats and it's a very competitive circuit. It's fun to be around and make the tactic for 'Gladiator'. The winds today were light but it was great to do a race. Especially for people like me who haven't done this that often. I think that the races are not that different from the harbor races in the Volvo Ocean Race (Burling had contested the last Volvo Ocean Race with Bouwe Bekking's Team Brunel, the editor). I haven't done a lot of other similar things yet. So it will be nice to fly something under the radar here and see how we can do it."
Nice pictures from the training race of the TP52 yachts off Mallorca
Had to fly home sick: Jimmy Spithill
However, there will be no duel with Burling's rivals from the America's Cup for the time being. LunRossa's strategist Jimmy Spithill had to call in sick with an already known and painful elbow injury. Helmsman Francesco Bruni, who won the Melges 40 class classification at the Copdel Rey two weeks ago, said: “It's a real shame that we don't have Jimmy with us this week. Because his problem surfaced again, he flew straight to the US to see his doctor there. We are losing a key figure in our team, but we also have a few good substitutes. Losing Jimmy is not that easy for the team, but I think we can handle it."
Harm Müller-Spreer's “Platoon” and Tinund Hasso Plattner's “Phoenix” will start the regatta under the German flag. After three regattas, “Platoon” is in fifth place in the season standings, while newcomer “Phoenix” is in seventh place. The field is led by Doug DeVos' team Quantum Racing.
Here you can download the app with which the tracking of the races of the regatta in front of Puerto Portals can be followed live.
The world champions of 2017: Harm Müller-Spreer's "Platoon" crew wants to improve their fifth place in the overall ranking ahead of Mallorca