On day two of the Royal Cup, third event of the 52 Super Series, two races took place amid a fresh breeze from the south and choppy seas. For Azzurra, it was a difficult pre-start when the on the water judges dealt a 360 penalty to the team just 30 seconds before the start.
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team - 52 Super Series 2012, Royal Cup
The Audi Azzurra Sailing Team responded well to two penalties and a fourth place (which ended up as a DSQ after a protest) in the first race, to win the second race of the day.
'For tacking too close to Quantum,' said Vascotto. 'But it seemed like a dubious call.'
At that moment, Azzurra was in sixth place but in hot pursuit of the competition. However, at the second windward mark the team found themselves in a traffic jam together with Gladiator who collided with Powerplay. The jury immediately made the call that Azzura was the cause of the collision and penalized the team yet again. There was some damage to the two boats involved in the collision, so both retired and neither started the second race of the day.The teams then asked for redress from the jury. The result of the protest meant disqualification for Azzurra, who now find themselves nine points more behind which will be difficult to recover.
Azzurra made the most of the second race, where they won the start and dominated the race. Quantum was late over the line, tried to recover and rolled Ran on the last downwind leg, to take second place.
'Unfortunately today we paid for some arbitrary decisions,' said Vascotto. 'We believe that the judges are impartial and that tomorrow they will use the same measures with the others. All the same, in the second race we demonstrated that we are a team that knows how to react to difficult situations and we will continue to do so!'
Following on from the protest with disqualified Azzurra, Skipper Guillermo Parada stated: 'There is nothing else we can do other than accept this decision as it is not possible to appeal. But we are sure that we did not infringe any rules or made any incorrect maneuvers. Unfortunately, the jury did not see it this way.'
52 Super Series – Royal Cup
After Four Races
1 Quantum Racing (USA) 6pt
2 Rán (SWE) 9pt
3 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) 15pt
4 Audi Sailing Team By ALL4ONE (GER/FRA) 16pt
5 Provezza 7 (TUR) 22pt
6 Gladiator (GBR) 24pt
7 Aquila (AUT) 24pt
8 Powerplay (CAY) 26pt
52 Super Series website