US 52 Super Series Key West - Azzurra wins and claims second overall

Azzurra in action at Key West Race Week 2014, US 52 Super Series
At the US 52 Super Series in Key West, it was an excellent day for Azzurra. A bullet, a second and a fourth in the day’s three races took them to second place, just one point behind the new leader, Ran Racing. Quantum slipped to third overall.

The fresh northwesterly breeze that blew at around 15 knots, ranging from 11 to 18 knots, allowed the race committee to hold three exciting races on the vivid green waters off Key West, in the southernmost tip of Florida.

Azzurra had a great day that concluded with a well-deserved victory over Ran in the third race. In the day’s opening race, Azzurra took second place behind Interlodge, which showed excellent speed, while in the second race of the day Azzurra's keel got tangled in the lines of a lobster pot during a leebow tack on Quantum as the crew was watching the Americans execute the tack. However, Azzurra’s crew was able to limit the damage and cross the finish line in fourth place. Things went even worse for Quantum that suffered from a similar problem in the first race and finished sixth.

Ran and Azzurra had today the same partial results (one, two, and four) and climbed in the overall leaderboard to first and second, respectively. However, the provisional rankings are still very tight, as Quantum is trailing by a mere point. As a result, the Key West regatta is once again wide open and we will have to wait two more days to find out the winner of the opening regatta of the 52 Super Series 2014.

Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'It was a long and very demanding day with three races under fluctuating conditions, difficult to decipher, both in intensity and direction. We had three solid races but in the second one we got a bit unlucky as our keel snagged a lobster pot. However, David Vera did a great job by diving and cutting the line which allowed us to finish fourth and not last. These two places will prove to be important in the overall leaderboard. All in all, it has been a good day and the three leading boats are again almost tied. Ran is leading by one point over us and we have a one-point advantage over Quantum. The leaderboard is once again wide open and we have ahead of us two more days of good racing.'

Francesco Bruni, strategist: 'After today's races we restart nearly tied with our adversaries, since we have bridged the gap to Quantum and we now trail the new leader, Ran, by a single point. We are happy, we must continue sailing this way and we count on doing it, thanks to the extra boost from our first victory, obtained in the sixth race. The boat’s setup is perfect, crew work is very good but conditions here in Key West aren’t easy, with wind shifts that sometimes reach 30 degrees between the furthest left and right. Therefore you are never sure that your advantage, no matter how significant it could be, can guarantee the result until you have crossed the finish line.'

US 52 Super Series at Quantum Key West

Standings after six races:

1) Rán Racing (SWE), Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,2,3,4,1,2 14pts
2) Azzurra (ITA), Guillermo Parada (ARG) 3,3,2,2,4,1 15pts
3) Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA) 1,1,1,6,3,4 16pts
4) Interlodge (USA), Austin Fragomen (USA) 5,4,6, 1,2,3 21pts
5) Sled (USA), Takashi Okura (USA) 4,5,5,5,6,5 30pts
6) Hooligan (USA), Gunther Buerman (USA) 6,6,4,3,5,6 30pts

52 Super Series – 2014 Racing Schedule

20 - 24 January – Quantum Key West Race Week
5 - 9 March - 52 World Championship, Miami
20- 24 May - Rolex Capri Sailing Week
10 - 14 June - TP52 World Championship, Porto Cervo
4 - 9 August - Copa del Rey, Palma de Mallorca
10 - 14 September – Royal Cup, Ibiza

Azzurra website