In the 2014 52 Super Series Azzurra has a tough day and loses its overall lead a day before the Miami regatta comes to a close but still holds on to the top spots of the scoretable.
The weather forecast proved correct and after Friday's strong winds, the TP52 fleet had to wait until 3:40pm before a light, nine knots northeasterly breeze kicked in.
Hooligan claimed the day's only race, over Sled, thanks to Ken Read's tactical calls. Quantum took third place, followed by Ran that managed to recover a difficult start. Azzurra had a difficult day: despite the excellent start, the left side, chosen for the first tack of the beat, unexpectedly proved to be disadvantageous. The race then focused on the attempt to recover, taking into consideration that Quantum was also sailing at the back of the pack. In the last run, Azzurra managed to overtake Interlodge right on the finish line but, at the same time, Quantum had crawled back two places to third. The overall leaderboard now sees the Americans leading with a two-point advantage over Azzurra.
Racing concludes tomorrow with a wind forecast similar to that of today. The first start scheduled at 12:30pm local time, 16:30 UTC or 17:30 CET. Races are streamed live with Virtual Eye and English commentary on website
while real-time updates directly from the race course are posted on Azzurra's Facebook page and Twitter account. Quotes
Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'The breeze was light and shifty today and we had a good start on the left. We think the majority of the fleet wanted the left and we got it. Unfortunately, at the end there was a right shift we didn't foresee and that put us in a tough spot since we were the ones better positioned for a wind shift in the opposite direction. From that point on, the race became quite difficult. We managed to close in a lot in the first run but without consolidating that gain. Throughout the second beat we kept seeking various options but at the end we only overtook one boat. Unfortunately, Quantum benefited from their effort to cover us and all in all, it wasn't a good day for us. There is still one day left and we are trailing by just two points. The third-placed team is further behind, so we certainly have a good opportunity tomorrow.'
Francesco Bruni, strategist: 'Today played out the way we didn't really expect. Nearly everybody wanted the left and we clearly won the start, forcing our direct opponent to the right and off the pace. We were very happy but the breeze then proved us wrong and what seemed to be, by far, the most favored side before the start, didn't pay out. We were forced to the left, several times, by our adversaries that were defending their position and we rounded the first top mark last. In the first run we were able to make gains as we were back in the race but we also misread the second beat, this time on the right. In the last run we recovered one spot and we were about to pass Vesper for the fifth place when Quantum, coming to the left to cover us, found themselves in the position to overtake two more boats and finish third.' 2014 US 52 Super Series US Championship Miami
Standings after seven races:
1. Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA) 1,3,2,1,1,4,3 15pts
2. Azzurra (ITA) Pablo A Roemmers (ARG) 4,1,1,2,2,1,6 17pts
3. Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA) 3,5,3,3,5,3,7 29pts
4. Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,7,4,4,3,6,4 30pts
5. Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 6,6,6,5,4,2,2 31pts
6. Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA) 5,2,5,6,7,5,5 35pts
7. Hooligan (USA) Gunther Buerman (USA) 7,4,7,7,6 8DNF,1 44pts 52 Super Series – 2014 Racing Schedule
20 - 24 January – Quantum Key West Race Week
5 - 9 March - 52 US 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