In Barcelona, at the Trofeo Conde de Godo, first event of the 52 Super Series Mediterranean season, Azzurra concluded the event behind Quantum and Ran. A challenging day prevented the TP52 of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from climbing to the highest podium position.
Azzurra in action in Barcelona
Yacht racing is also made of this: at times there are tough days in which you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the final race of Trofeo Conde Godó in Barcelona, Azzurra opted for the right-hand side of the course, which was favored by a wind shift, while Quantum and Ran had their sights set on the left.
Under Sunday's conditions, a gentle breeze between 11 and 14 knots and short chop, Azzurra suffered upwind and stayed at the back of the fleet. At the same time, Quantum was in command in the center of the course, followed by Ran. At the first weather mark, Azzurra chose to do a gybe set, gybing towards the right. Interlodge, very close behind, protested and inflicted a penalty which Azzurra considers unjust. Since on-the-water umpire decisions cannot be appealed, Azzurra had to immediately carry out her penalty turn with the gennaker already hoisted. That practically put an end to the race as the team tried, unsuccessfully, to come back. Quantum went on to win the race and claim the top spot in the overall leaderboard of the circuit, followed by Ran. Azzurra now lie third, trailing by a mere four points and with a long season ahead.
Pablo Roemmers, owner: 'This season consists of four events and this is just the first one. We were very regular throughout the week but in the last race of the last day where we were a bit unlucky. Anyway, it was a very good regatta overall, a very good venue with very good organization. The boats are all very similar and extremely competitive and we are very happy with this great circuit. There is no doubt, the 52 Super Series is the most professional sailing circuit, only second to the America's Cup. We are very happy with the way it is developing, we are already planning the future and we will make important announcements in due time.'
Riccardo Bonadeo, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Commodore: 'I would like to thank the Roemmers family for the passion they have shown for Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, carrying the Azzurra name to compete in such prestigious events. We won both US 52 Super Series and last year's season, this event didn't come to an end the way we would have liked but this is just the start of racing in the 2013 season which will conclude in Porto Cervo, with the Audi Week of the Straits, our regatta with the most important historical tradition.'
Paul 'Flipper' Westlake, mainsail trimmer: 'You have to know how to smile even, and especially, in difficult moments. Today wasn't a good day but if we look at what we have achieved so far we can only be optimistic about the rest of the season. We are a strong team, we have shown it and we will keep showing it.'
Bruno Zirilli, navigator: 'Today we had two problems. The boat setup and the penalty we received that threw us at the back of the fleet. On the other hand, I think that downwind we could have been able to recover some places.'
52 Super Series, Trofeo Conde de Godò Barcelona, results after eight races
1. Quantum Racing (USA) 18 Pts
2. Ran (SWE) 21 Pts
3. Azzurra (ITA) 22 Pts
4. Gladiator (GBR) 35 Pts
5. Interlodge (USA) 35 Pts
6. Rio (USA) 45 Pts
7. Provezza 7 (TUR) 48 Pts