Azzurra begins the Copa del Rey with an excellent second position, behind Ran and ahead of Quantum. The famous Majorcan regatta, now in its 32nd edition, is from this year a stage of the 52 Super Series, the professional monohull circuit with the highest competition and technology levels.
Azzurra - 32 Copa del Rey Mapfre: Day 1
No less than nine boats take part in the Copa del Rey, the Austrian TP52 Aquila, which benefits from a small rebate in terms of IRC rating, having joined the usual fleet. One aspect of this stage of the circuit is that boats race in IRC compensated time, albeit with differences in the order of two to three seconds per hour. In more general terms, the 52 Super Series is growing with a new, Brazilian-owned, boat under construction for the 2014 season and a thriving market of new owners, eager to grab the best boats.
The day started with a gradient northwesterly breeze, between 15 and 16 knots, that gave the race committee the opportunity to hold a fiercely-fought and spectacular race. However, the breeze gradually died in the afternoon as the gradient and the local thermal were canceling each other out. That created a transition period in which it wasn’t possible to hold the day's second race, despite the race committee's attempts.
Azzurra hit the starting line on the pin end, leeward to Quantum whose dirty air forced her to tack to the right-hand side of the course. Sailing in clean air and being able to read the shifty breeze, Azzurra reached the weather mark in fourth place, tied with the Americans. Provezza was in the lead, followed by Ran which in the first run overtook the Turkish TP52 and then went on to clinch a commanding win. Azzurra fought hard in the rest of the race, alternating positions with Quantum and Interlodge but on the finish line, second place went to the yacht of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, ahead of Quantum Racing.
Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'We are very pleased today because we had a good race. We have an excellent feeling with the boat and despite an average start, we focused on climbing back to the front of the fleet and this is exactly what we achieved. At the finish our efforts were rewarded with a second place. We are happy overall with our performance, Alberto (Roemmers) did a good job steering the boat and keeping her fast. We look forward to the rest of the week with confidence.'
Vasco Vascotto, tactician: 'It was a truly positive day, where we demonstrated we were able to recover positions and overtake important boats such as Quantum. I would like to compliment the entire crew that did an excellent job today, as well as Alberto Roemmers at the helm.'
52 Super Series - 32nd Copa del Rey, Results after one race
1 Rán Racing, SWE, (N Zennström)
2 Azzurra, ITA, (A Roemmers)
3 Quantum Racing, USA, (D DeVos)
4 Provezza, TUR, (E Imre)
5 Interlodge, USA, (A Fragomen)
6 Rio, USA, (M Moshayedi)
7 Gladiator, GBR, (T Langley)
8 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team)
9 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin)