Key West Race Week 2013 had a demanding sailing conditions on the third day of racing with brisk northeasterly breeze between 16 and 20 knots. Azurra collected two second place finishes to stay in command of the 52 Super Series 2013.
52 Super Series battle at Key West Race Week
Conditions were definitely demanding today in Key West, with a brisk northeasterly breeze between 16 and 20 knots, but still perfect in order to bring the full potential out of those magnificent boats that are the TP52's that surfed the waves downwind doing over 18 knots of speed.
Azzurra's reigning champions showed their fighting spirit in a fleet where the adversaries on the race course are all top-notch and take advantage of the slightest error to edge ahead. The yacht flying the burgee of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda had excellent starts in both races but the very shifty breeze forced the crew to work overtime in order to fend off its opponents, in particular Ran and Quantum, winner of the first race.
The second race was clearly dominated by Interlodge while Azzurra, after shutting the door on Quantum at the race committee, had to relentlessly fight from start to finish with Ran and the Americans that had managed to come back. Azzurra's start of the second beat, to leeward of Ran and Quantum, was taken from the sailing textbook and allowed them to recover two places.
This was a longer, five-leg race and at the second leeward gate the Swedes were again in the lead, albeit by a slim margin. The final result was decided by a flawless strategy in the last leg as it required the skills to stay in phase with the shifts and the ability to position itself on the race course in relation to the adversaries. It was a desired result that was achieved with great perseverance and dexterity.
Quotes of the day
Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'It was a magnificent day for racing with a fresh but very shifty breeze that surely proved to be a challenge for the tacticians. I think that Vasco and the rest of the team did a good job in the day's two races. Boat speed wasn't our strength today as we were testing a few new things for such breeze and we still have to assess them and draw our conclusions. For sure we didn't have the speed we usually have but despite that we managed to have the best average score today and as a result we move to the first spot in the overall rankings. We are happy.'
Bruno Zirilli, navigator: 'Today's racing was difficult and technical, with long beats of 2.2 miles and big wind shifts with which you had to manage to stay in phase. I support Vasco by providing him with the times necessary to reach one or the other layline and continuously updating on the positions of the other boats. Today those tasks were particularly dynamic because the wind shifts were continuously reshuffling the cards on the table.'
Vasco Vascotto, tactician: 'It was a day both demanding and positive, that sees us regain the championship leadership on equal points with Ran but with one more victory. Given the problems of the last two days, being in front is a good sign, but I know we still have a small margin of improvement, even if we have a crew that works perfectly. With two days and four races to go we are here to give the best of ourselves'
Racing continues on Thursday with starting time at 11:30am local time, 5:30pm CET. We will be updating live from the race course on Azzurra's Facebook page and Twitter account. Live audio commentary in English is available on 52 Super Series 2013 while live tracking from Virtual Eye can be found on our official website Azurra Super Series 2013
52 Super Series. Quantum Key West 2013
Overall after six races
1 Azzurra 16pts
2 Rán Racing 16pts
3 Quantum Racing 18pts
4 Interlodge 19pts
5 Gladiator 24pts
6 Rio 33pts