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US 52 Super Series Key West - Azzurra stumbles on Day 4

by Azzurra Sailing Team on 24 Jan 2014
Quantum Key West Race Week 52 Super Series Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series
On the fourth day of the US 52 Super Series Key West 2014 Azzurra stumbled and posted a third, a sixth and a fourth in this negative day’s three races. One race is scheduled for tomorrow and Quantum Racing have regained the overall lead of the event.

A northerly breeze blew in Key West on Thursday, starting at 16 knots in the morning and easing to 12 knots in the afternoon, with shifts even less predictable than yesterday. Nearly every boat of the fleet had positive moments as well as situations where they found themselves in trouble.

Azzurra had a positive first race, crossing the line in the third place. In the second race, Azzurra scored a sixth after rounding the first weather mark in the lead, overlapped with Ran, the eventual winner. The forced maneuver by the Swedes triggered a sequence where Azzurra had to slow down luffing to avoid contact, then immediately gybe to avoid getting rolled over by Quantum that was overtaking. However, the right side of the course, contrary to expectations, turned out to be unfavored and at the leeward gate Azzurra was in sixth place, from which it was impossible to climb back.

In the third race of the day, both Azzurra and Ran were early over the line. The boat of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda was able to better manage its recovery and bounce back to fourth place, edging Ran to fifth by a whisker. Quantum were the ones to benefit the most as they headed into the day in third place and finished leading the rankings by four points over Ran.

In the 52 Super Series 2014, alongside Azzurra’s coach Guillermo Baquerizas, Rod Davies, a true legend in the sport of sailing, brings his experience, as he has done in the past when his commitments as coach of Emirates Team New Zealand gave him the opportunity to join Azzurra.

In such a tough day for the team, he was able to offer his always-optimistic point of view: 'First of all I would like to express my pleasure to be back with Azzurra, a very tight-knit group of sailors, that always give their best and remind me very much of Team New Zealand, of which I was a member until now. Both groups have so many similarities. Already last year I was with Azzurra here in Key West, a place that I particularly like because it was on these waters that I started sailing. Everyone thinks that I am Kiwi, in fact I have two passports and I won one of my two Olympic medals for New Zealand, but I was born in Key West, my father was a US Navy officer.'

'The Azzurra name goes way back in the America’s Cup history and always had successful campaigns. This TP52 is an extension of that. It’s a very good team and we are pressing the edges, always pushing to do better and better. It’s a lot of fun to work with.'

'Like every team, Azzurra has good days and bad days. Not every day will always be exactly as you want but the trick is to learn the lessons from that day and let it go. Don’t carry that day into the next one and the next one. You learn from your mistakes and it’s an opportunity to improve yourself but, again, don’t carry those thoughts into the next day.'

'I think that today, everybody on the team had their share of making mistakes. We were over the start, we didn’t do quite a good job looking for pressure downwind in one race but it’s not anyone person that had a bad day. Collectively, we didn’t fire on all cylinders today but, as I said, over a season you are going to have days that are like that. You just don’t want too many of them.'

Tomorrow the first warning signal is scheduled at 11:30am local time (5:30pm CET).

US 52 Super Series at Quantum Key West standings after nine of ten scheduled races:
1. Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA)1,1,1,6,3,4,1,2,1 Total 20pts
2. Rán Racing (SWE), Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,2,3,4,1,2,4,1,5 Total 24
3. Azzurra (ITA), Guillermo Parada (ARG) 3,3,2,2,4,1,3,6,4 Total 28
4. Interlodge (USA), Austin Fragomen (USA) 4,5,6,1,2,3,2,3,3 Total 29
5. Sled (USA), Takashi Okura (USA 5,4,5,5,6,5,6,4,2 Total 42
6. Hooligan (USA), Gunther Buerman (USA) 6,6,4,3,5,6,5,5,6 Total 46?

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