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US 52 Super Series - Azzurra claims commanding victory in Key West

by Giuliano Luzzatto on 26 Jan 2014
Azzurra in action during the 2014 US 52 Super Series in Key West Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series http://www.52superseries.com/
At the US 52 Super Series, Azzurra scored a commanding victory on the closing day in Key West. The next event is in Miami, from March 5th to ninth.

Only one race, the regatta’s tenth, was scheduled on the final day of racing in Key West, the first stage of the 52 Super Series 2014. And that one race was won by Azzurra that showed commanding form, after a difficult day yesterday that stripped them from the opportunity to secure the first event of the season.

The brisk northeasterly breeze between 20 and 25 knots, provided a spectacular race with the TP52’s planing downwind at over 20 knots, covering thus in a few minutes the two-mile long legs. After a perfect start, the boat couldn’t reach its right speed in the first beat, as probably something got caught in her keel. Azzurra rounded the first weather mark in fourth place, behind Quantum, Ran and Interlodge. A superb comeback took place in the first run and the gap with Interlodge was closed at the bottom gate. It was then Quantum’s turn in the following beat, which in meantime had dropped to second behind Ran. Azzurra’s attack continued in the fifth and last leg of the race. Ran’s pursuit ended with an epic melee on the left lay line, where Azzurra, with right of way, forced the Swedish boat over the lay line and then tacked, heading straight to the finish line.

The mutual congratulations on the two competing boats immediately after the finish portray the spirit of the 52 Super Series the best way. The highest sailing and technological levels go hand in hand with yachting’s traditional fair play.

The boat that flies the colors of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on the most prestigious race courses of the world will be back on the water from March 5th to ninth in Miami for the second leg of the season, the 52 US Championship.

Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'Fortunately, it was a good way to finish a week that wasn’t favorable to us. We were able to keep a good attitude onboard and keep pushing until the event was over and that allowed us to save valuable points for the season. We will start from scratch in Miami, very shortly and with a very small deficit and as a result we will push hard.'

'It was very good to have Pablo Roemmers onboard because he proved to be an important support throughout the week, especially when the going got tough. When everything runs smoothly it doesn’t really matter if you are alone. On the other hand, when things aren’t going the way you expect them, it’s important to feel the owner’s support. This is exactly what Pablo did and we thank him.'

'The entire crew fought this battle together. They all know what this is about and they all know it’s not over until you cross the finish line of the last race. No matter what takes place, we know we have to take one race at a time and this is exactly what we did.'

Vasco Vascotto, tactician: 'We sailed an excellent last race. Victory was painful because in the first beat there was something really not going well with our boat speed, in fact we are assessing the problem. We were then able to claw back and gradually recover positions, useful ones especially in terms of points for the continuation of the US Super Series in Miami, next March. The truth is that it was a difficult week but it is through hardship that you get better if you have the right approach, such as the one Azzurra has.'

Francesco Bruni, strategist: 'This week we didn’t sail the best way we could but we could also sense that something was also missing on the boat. Being the pre start helmsman, I have to blame myself for that early start but otherwise our starts were excellent, just like the one this morning. Today, despite the excellent start, we didn’t have boat speed in the first beat and rounded the first weather mark only fourth. We suspect something got caught in our keel. However, we were able to recover downwind, until the close fight with Ran in the last beat, while approaching the finish line. I was a beautiful moment!'

US 52 Super Series at Quantum Key West

Standings after ten of ten scheduled races:

1. Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA)1,1,1,6,3,4,1,2,1,3 Total 23pts
2. Rán Racing (SWE), Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,2,3,4,1,2,4,1,5,2 Total 26
3. Azzurra (ITA), Guillermo Parada (ARG) 3,3,2,2,4,1,3,6,4,1 Total 29
4. Interlodge (USA), Austin Fragomen (USA) 4,5,6,1,2,3,2,3,3,4 Total 33
5. Sled (USA), Takashi Okura (USA 5,4,5,5,6,5,6,4,2,5 Total 46
6. Hooligan (USA), Gunther Buerman (USA) 6,6,4,3,5,6,5,5,6,6 Total 53?

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
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