Sardinia Cup - Team USA takes the lead
by Jill Campbell on 16 Jun 2012
In the 2012 Audi Sardinia Cup, Team USA, composed of the TP52 Quantum Racing and the Soto 40 Iberdrola, has leapfrogged Italy to head the overall team classification. A superlative performance from Iberdrola which claimed three bullets today, combined with a 3-1-4 scoreline from Quantum was sufficient to extend a nine-point lead over the home team composed of the TP52 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and the Soto 40 Alegre. Niklas Zennstrom's Ràn (TP52) and Stefan Jentszch's Black Pearl (Soto 40) currently sit in third place with two more race days scheduled in the event which will conclude on 17th June.
Soto 40 - Iberdrola Team © Alessandro Spiga/YCCS
Light easterly breezes of approximately seven to eight knots characterized all three of today's races and made for tricky racing for all competing yachts. In the six-boat 52 fleet the first windward-leeward of the day (Race Three of the series), saw Audi Azzurra Sailing Team dominate the fleet from the off ahead of Gladiator and Quantum Racing. Gladiator, which likes light air, was able to cover Azzurra slip past the Italian boat to take victory with the Italians in second and the American's of Quantum in third.
By Race Four, skipper Ed Baird was back on form and Quantum led throughout to take their third bullet of the series followed by Tony Langley's Gladiator and Ràn in third. It was the turn of home team Azzura - owned by Alberto Roemmers and flying the YCCS burgee - to dominate in Race Five, the last of the day. Ràn came in second, their best result of the series so far, and French boat Paprec Recyclage which boasts twin brothers Hugues and Sebastien Destremau as helmsman and tactician respectively, also broke their run of finishes in the bottom half of the fleet to take third. The provisional classification for the class, valid for the 52 Super Series, sees Quantum lead just two points ahead of Azzurra.
In the Soto 40 fleet it was all about Iberdrola today as she stormed around the cans to take three consecutive victories. Trailing the boat helmed by Jose Maria Torcida Seghers were Tony Buckingham's Ngoni and Black Pearl respectively in Race Three; Alegre and Bigamist in Race Four and Black Pearl and Ngoni in the final race of the day. Andres Soriano's Alegre, which took two bullets in yesterday's first day of racing, now sits four points behind Iberdrola in the provisional classification for the Soto 40s, also racing as part of their European Championship series.
Antonio Piris Turner, Tactician on the Soto 40 Iberdrola: 'It was a great day for us: we got three bullets. We had better starts today as we changed our sail trim, we are not used to sailing in such light winds and it seems that small changes in the main battons were enough to give us a little more ground. Alegre had a great start yesterday and today didn't do so well but that could all change tomorrow, that's the great thing about one-designs.'
Francesco Bruni, tactician aboard the TP52 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team: 'A good day with a lot of ups and downs, it was great to finish on a high note. Everyone is having a few problems with the light conditions, it's difficult for everyone and we are glad we finally had a really positive moment. In the second race of the day we had a bad start and we ended up sandwiched between Quantum and Gladiator. It could have been a really great day if we had lost a few less places during the races but everyone makes mistakes.'
All participants are guests at a barbecue at Aqua Lounge Bar and Restaurant this evening. Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow with a coastal race scheduled for both classes. The start is scheduled for 12 noon and easterly breezes of approximately six knots are YCCS website 52 Super Series Soto 40 website