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16th Sail Racing PalmaVela Day 1 - Azzurra works on her style

by Giuliano Luzzatto 9 May 17:20 PDT 8-12 May 2019
Azzurra - 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela - Day 1 © Nico Martinez

On the first day of racing at the 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela event all ten teams that will be competing in the 52 Super Series 2019 that will begin May 21st in Minorca were ready at the starting line. At around 1:00 PM a thermal breeze picked up and edged out the light air that had been coming in from the north. By 2:00 PM the breeze was steady at 14 to 15 knots from the southwest and the Race Committee began the starting procedures for the fleet of TP52s racing in the Box Rule division. The two races that were scheduled for today were both run in breezes at up to 18 knots that oscillated between 230 and 240 degrees.

Heading back to port it was clear that Sled had won the day placing second and then first in the day's races. They are currently trailed by Platoon who placed third in both races and closed with six points and Phoenix, helmed by Tina Plattner, who closed with nine. Only Sled and Platoon performed consistently at the top today: Phoenix, for example finished seventh in the second race after winning the first.

Azzurra didn't hit her stride today and placed sixth twice. In seventh place overall after this first day of racing, she is still just three points behind her historic rival Quantum, who is currently fourth just one point ahead of Provezza and Alegre who are tied with eleven points but currently in fifth and sixth places respectively. Only the teams that have managed to get a good margin right from the start and control the race have managed to stay ahead in an otherwise very compact fleet. The fight behind the leaders is intense with teams forced to free themselves from rival team's cover in ways that can even compromise their own approach to the marks and gates. Watching the competition is spectacular as are the frequent changes of position along the race course with some teams working their way up through the fleet and others dropping to the back of the pack. With her two finishes in the middle of the fleet today, Azzurra sailed hard and managed to avoid disaster.

Skipper Guillermo Parada had these words: "We aren't satisfied with today's results. We didn't sail well and we weren't well positioned but on the brighter side the boat is performing well and we can concentrate on improving the team so that we can get back to sailing as well as we did towards the end of last season. Our objective at this event is to get ready for the season's start in Mahon and that's just what we're doing."

Racing will begin tomorrow at noon with a forecast calling for thermal breezes at 8 to 16 knots.

Sailracing Palmavela Results after Day 1: (two races)

1. Sled USA (1,2) 3 pts
2. Platoon GER (3,3) 6 pts
3. Phoenix RSA (1,7) 8 pts
4. Quantum USA (5,4) 9 pts
5. Provezza TUR (9,2) 11 pts
6. Alegre GBR (4,7) 11 pts
7. Azzurra ARG/ITA (6,6) 12 pts
8. Bronenosec RUS (5,8) 13 pts
9. Gladiator ENG (9,8) 17 pts
10. Team Vision Future FRA (10,10) 20 pts

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