The wait is nearly over for the fleet that has been assembling in Porto Cervo over the weekend in preparation for the Audi TP52 World Championships 2014. Racing in the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from ninth to 14th June 2014, is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday 10th June, at 12 midday with a coastal course due to be set. The event is also valid as the second leg of the Barclays 52 Super Series, the Mediterranean circuit for the class.
Azzurra and Quantum Racing in action during the 2013 Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Light winds are forecast for most of the week off Sardinia's north-east coast however the YCCS Race Committee has a wealth of experience in finding coastal courses around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago that take advantage of even the most difficult of light air conditions.
As always the TP52 fleet brings a treasure chest of sailing talent in the form of former America's Cup competitors and match-racing champions. Azzurra, owned by Alberto Roemmers and representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, comes fresh from victory in the first event of the circuit in Capri last month and boasts Vasco Vascotto on tactics. America's Cup veteran Francesco De Angelis, meanwhile, will be calling tactics aboard Michele Galli's B2; both sailors have extensive knowledge of the race course off Porto Cervo gained over many years of racing at YCCS regattas.
The Italians won't have the game completely down however, as a host of international yachting professionals are also ready to do battle. The UK's Tony Langley will be relying on Australian America's Cup winner Tom Slingsby to find the wind aboard Gladiator, while Argentinian Olympic medal-winner Santiago Lange will be tactician on Phoenix, owned by Brazil's Eduardo Souza Ramos. Other strong competitors to watch this week will be Quantum Racing, winner of the circuit in 2013 with Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, and Niklas Zennstrom's Ràn, current world title holder, with UK tactician Adrian Stead.
YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo was happy to have the 52 fleet back to Sardinia: 'We are delighted to welcome the TP52 fleet back to the YCCS for their third World Championship in our waters. This is a great looking fleet with a lot of top sailors and with a mixture of coastal races and windward-leewards we expect to see some exciting racing this week. Obviously we will be supporting Azzurra, flying the YCCS burgee, but we wish all the competitors fair winds and a beautiful week of racing.'
A light sirocco breeze is forecast for tomorrow, Tuesday 10th June.
52 Super Series