Audi TP52 World Championships is hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on the famous waters of Sardinia's Porto Cervo. Racing starts on Tuesday October 4th and finishes on Saturday October 8th. A full diet of windward-leeward races is planned with the coastal race scheduled on Thursday October 6th.
'This has to be one of the most exciting and open events since we have been involved in the MedCup.' Says Ed Reynolds (USA), project manager of Quantum Racing. ' It is going to be a unique worlds since really any boat could get on a hot streak and go out and win. In this one regatta format it will be the most competitive worlds we have known to this point. In the past there have been one or two boats to focus on, this time it could be any one.'
'We have never put a big importance on winning regattas on the Circuit where we target a top three at each regatta, and for sure there were times where we paid dearly for that conservatism, but at the worlds it is all full out to win races and win the regatta. That brings out the carnivores, nice and steady is in the past, you have to be more aggressive and be able to live through some tougher positions.'
'It will be really, really intriguing. And also it will be very exciting for us to have owner Doug De Vos joining us for the final three days of the regatta.'
Quantum Racing make one significant crew change losing navigator Kevin Hall to previously scheduled (USA) personal commitments. In his place will be young Italian navigator Francesco Mongelli who served for three years as navigator on Synergy.
'It is of course a big void that Kevin leaves but Francesco has been involved all along with the data collection and processing shared between Synergy and ourselves, working very closely with Kevin and with Botins, and so from the point of view of the physical properties of the boat I am sure we won’t miss a beat.'
Among Quantum Racing’s toughest rivals will be the home team on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), Alberto Roemmers’ crew which flies the burgee of the event hosts, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
Ironically Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, which is skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) is one of the two teams that will race on these Sardinian waters which has not won an Audi MedCup Circuit regatta this season. But as Matador, the core crew won the 2009 world title in Palma, Mallorca and finished close runners up in 2010.
The team’s line up is adjusted slightly from that which finished third overall on the Audi MedCup Circuit. Due to a match race commitment in Bermuda, Francesco Bruni will not sail on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. Instead Vasco Vascotto (ITA) flies ‘solo’ as tactician.
Britain’s Gladiator, owned and steered by Tony Langley (GBR) return to challenge for the world title again having added a number of sails to their inventory and expect to race with American Chris Larson as tactician. Larson will be bidding for a second world title in three weeks after recently winning the Melges 32 Worlds in Palma Mallorca.
Spain will be represented by ESP 7552 which will be skippered and steered by Gonzalo Araujo and project managed by Ignacio Triay (ESP) sailing under the colours of a sponsorship which will be unveiled at the start of the championship. Quotes:
Simon Fry (GBR) trimmer Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA): 'In a perfect world we would be happy with 20 knots and flat water, that would be ideal for us, but the reality is that it is Sardinia, late season and that can mean Mistral – too much wind to sail – or very light thermal breezes – and pretty much everything in between. But for us it is a great opportunity to make up for some of our shortfalls over the season and finish off with a win.'
Graham Sunderland (GBR) navigator Gladiator (GBR): ' We are really looking forwards to it. We have made a few small crew changes and have some new sails. If the conditions are similar to those in Barcelona then we can be competitive. We are honing in on finding the ideal tactician to work with Tony, that is a big issue and we are making progress.' TP52 World Championship website