In the Audi TP52 Worlds, unusually light air conditions are hampering Azzurra's pursuit of the World Title on their home waters. Victory went to Quantum today ahead of Gladiator and Paramount Park.
by Giuliano Luzzatto
The wait continues for the famous Sardinian Mistral and once again today, only one race was held in a very light breeze which is extremely difficult for Azzurra whose wide, powerful lines are designed to give top performances in the kind of strong winds in which the TP52 Class normally races. Today Audi Azzurra Sailing Team obtained a disappointing sixth place despite having raced at their best without making any mistakes. The start in particular was excellent and Azzurra led the fleet on the first windward leg almost as far as the mark where the wind decreased further.
Skipper Guillermo Parada looked on the bright side: 'We are happy because this is the last light air day, with the Mistral arriving we can finally show what we are made of.' Gennaker trimmer Simon Fry described the day: 'We pushed the boat to the limit, with nine knots and an excellent start on the right, we led for most of the first windward leg but with less than eight knots you start to feel the drag on the hull and I think we had 6.5 knots. We are really disappointed we couldn't do more.'
'We raced to win,' underlined Vasco Vascotto, 'but we cannot always complete our mission and on days like today we have no regrets, on the contrary, we sailed very well, especially downwind.'
Today's victory went to the winner of the Audi MedCup circuit, Quantum Racing, skippered by Ed Baird. Gladiator put in an excellent performance to take second with Paramount Park - formerly Bribon - in third. Three boats are now at the top of the overall classification on 10 points: Quantum, Gladiator and Paramount Park.
Strong Mistral winds are predicted for tomorrow and there is a real risk that racing will not take place, although everyone hopes that will not be the case. A group of young fans will be waiting for Azzurra on their return to port: children from the local Nautical Club who will meet the team and board the boat to discover the secrets of the yacht and the races.
In addition, at 7 p.m. CET Vasco Vascotto will be connected live via Skype with the big screen in the Piazza dell'Unità in his home town of Trieste for an interview screened to participants and spectators at the Barcolana regatta. In view of the forecast conditions tomorrow's start has been brought forward to 9 a.m.
Audi Azzurra website
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7:25 PM Thu 6 Oct 2011 GMT
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