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Audi TP52 World Championship - Quantum and Azzurra battle for first

by Jill Campbell/Donata Cuppone on 11 Jun 2014
2014 Audi TP52 World Championship race 1 - Quantum © Max Ranchi Photography http://www.maxranchi.com
Day one of the Audi TP52 World Championship 2014, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 10th-14th June, brought a coastal race and a hard-fought battle between Quantum Racing (USA) and Azzurra (ITA) for first place while Rán (SWE) and Phoenix (BRA) tussled for third.

At the conclusion of a 15 mile course winding through the granite islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago it was the American team aboard Quantum that held the lead to cross the finish closely followed by Azzurra, owned by Alberto Roemmers. Rán, owned by Niklas Zennstrom also held on to her advantage over Phoenix to claim third place in Race 1.


The nine competing teams had a long wait in the starting area as the Race Committee waited for a shifty easterly breeze to fill in and stabilize. Their patience paid off and at 14.40 the fleet took off towwards the Secca Tre Monti rock. Rán and Azzurra both had a good start on the pin end but it was Quantum that took the lead from the off. After heading north and rounding the island of Monaci the fleet went on a long reach back towards Porto Cervo and the finish line.


Azzurra, flying the YCCS burgee and with Guillermo Parada at the helm, tailed Quantum for the duration but never managed to get past the America boat skippered by Ed Baird. Likewise Phoenix stayed hot on the heels of current World Champion Rán but was unable to overtake the Swedish team with British sailor Adrian Stead calling tactics.

Vasco Vascotto, Azzurra's tactician, was pleased with the day's result nonetheless: 'Quantum Racing had a great start, they took the lead immediately and although we had a good start too we were just a little behind them. They had enough of an advantage to round the first mark ahead of the fleet and from there we didn't really have many opportunities to get past them. We concentrated on defending our second place, which is still a good result. Now we have another two coastal races, where anything can happen, anyone can win.'


Terry Hutchinson, calling tactics aboard Quantum Racing, was cautious despite his team's opening bullet: 'It was a very good race today, the Race Committee did a great job of being patient and waiting for the breeze to fill and from there Ed and Juan and Greg got in a great start for Quantum. Tomorrow we have another coastal and the day after as well, so our mentality is to take it one day at a time and survive these first few days with a chance to win.

Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Wednesday 11th June, at 12 midday. A light easterly breeze is forecast.



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