CONGRATS TO CORINTHIAN owner/driver Harm Müller-Spreer (GER) whose PLATOON team, with John Kostecki (USA) calling tactics, have won the Rolex TP52 World Championship after finishing second in today's 8th and final race. They were comfortably ahead of their arch-rival QUANTUM RACING (USA) with pro Terry Hutchinson (USA, Annapolis) doing much of the driving, when he wasn't calling tactics for helmsman Bora Gulari (USA, Detroit).
Going into the race PLATOON had a slim two-point lead over QUANTUM, but reveled in today's lumpy, 15-knot conditions off Scarlino, Tuscany (ITA), the breeziest race of the five day regatta. The late-arriving thermal allowed for only one race today.
In the pre-start QUANTUM match-raced PLATOON, and off the line it looked dicey for PLATOON who were in the second row while QUANTUM were punched out in the middle of the pack. But PLATOON's superior speed in the breeze and bump quickly moved them up through the fleet as QUANTUM struggled and fell back, and were left little choice but to take flyers.
In today's race PLATOON eventually finished second behind AZZURRA (ITA) who won handily, lifting the Italian team to third overall in the regatta ahead of ALEGRE (GBR) while PLATOON captured the Worlds seven points clear of QUANTUM who ended second overall.
Now halfway through the 52 2017 Super Series season, PLATOON is atop the series leaderboard over AZURRA and QUANTUM RACING, but it's tight at the top. The next regatta is in June at Porto Cervo, Sardinia (ITA) hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, AZZURRA's home club.
Your Ed. and nearly 6300 others watched today's race live on the TP52 YouTube channel. That's a good number for a yacht racing event, showing again that streaming live to the internet is the way forward for most such regattas. It was a solid production with good vision coming off the water supplemented by the usual and excellent Virtual Spectator tracking graphics, credible commentary from the booth on shore, and even better reporting from on-the-water commentator Genny Tulloch (USA).