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52 Super Series Royal Cup - Azzurra fifth in coastal race

by Giuliano Luzzatto on 6 Jul 2013
Azzurra Sailing team - 52 Super Series Royal Cup Ibiza © Max Ranchi Photography http://www.maxranchi.com
At the 52 Super Series Royal Cup, the coastal race in Ibiza saw the triumph of the English team aboard Gladiator, while Azzurra- after an excellent start- placed fifth. Nothing to cheer about, but that’s sailing.

Today’s coastal race followed a windward/leeward course for over two miles before rounding Tagomago island north east of Ibiza. The island was head on to the wind, a breeze of about 12 knots. All the boats were fighting for the left hand side of the start, the best side according to both the tacticians and the weather forecast. Azzurra triumphed at the start leaving both Quantum and Ran downwind and behind her. The American team, late at the start, had to look for clean air upwind to the right of the course. After the first mile came the decisive moment in a regatta that was almost thirty miles long: an unexpected puff arrived from the right benefiting the boats that were on that side: Gladiator and Quantum. Azzurra was at a disadvantage and had to fight on the run to keep contact with the leaders.

The upwind beat followed the coastline of Ibiza; the fleet executed spectacular maneuvers at just a few meters from the cliffs along Capo Librell. On the approach to Tagomago, Azzurra stayed off the island to avoid being covered by the landmass. It was a logical choice that didn’t pay off: Interlodge and Paprec, close to the land, caught a puff that brought them upwind. Azzurra fell back from third to fifth place. Once around the island, after the spinnaker hoist there were no more opportunities to recover positions. Azzurra ended the regatta with a fifth place that disappointed the crew. There were no smiles back at port, but the Azzurra team could partially console themselves at the Paella Party offered by the regatta’s organizers.

Guillermo Parada, Skipper: 'We fought very hard for the left at the start and we won that battle. Quantum was three or four lengths behind us, but then there was a shift in the wind and all of a sudden they were one length ahead. They tacked on us a couple of times and we fought back to third but again on the long beat they tacked on us a couple of times and put us in difficult positions. Approaching Tagomago Island both Interlodge and Paprec got through and passed us thanks to a puff and from there on there was no way to pass. We just hoisted the spinnaker and sailed back home without a chance to recover. That’s the way it goes; we still have another day on the water and we need to be smart and do our best and get as many points as possible tomorrow. We sailed properly and did a good race, now we’ll analyze the data and see how the race evolved. Sometimes you get a good start and then are unlucky. It wasn’t our day'.

Vasco Vascotto, Tactician: 'These things happen, and you just have to accept them even if it’s hard. We all wanted to be on the left side of the start and we won that battle handily while others had to accept a poor start to hang on to that side. Against all odds, signs and forecasts the wind shifted to the right favoring the boats that were there even though they may not have wanted to be. The rest of the regatta, especially the downwind run, was uneventful with no tactical options that could have allowed us to recover positions.'

Royal Cup Marina Ibiza, standings after day four, coastal race:

1 Quantum Racing, USA, Doug DeVos 18 pts (1,5,4,1,4,1.2)
2 Gladiator, GBR, Tony Langley 22pts (2,4,1,3,5,6,1)
3 Azzurra, ITA, Alberto Roemmers, 23pts (5,2,5,2,1,3,5)
4 Rán Racing, SWE, Niklas Zennström 28pts (3,3,6,4,2,4,6)
6 Interlodge, USA, Austin and Gwen Fraogmen, 38 pts (4,1,8,7,8,7,3)
5 Provezza, TUR, Ergin Imre, 38pts, (6,8,3,5,6,2,8,8)
8 Paprec, FRA, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin 42pts, (7,6,7,6,7,5,4)
7 Rio, USA Manouch Moshayedi, 43pts, Azzurra 52 Super Series website
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