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16th Sail Racing PalmaVela Day 2 - Azzurra works hard in a highly competitive fleet at PalmaVela

by Giuliano Luzzatto 10 May 16:37 PDT 8-12 May 2019
Azzurra - 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela - Day 2 © Nico Martinez

Today was the second day of racing for the ten TP52s competing at PalmaVela ahead of the official start of the 52 Super Series in Mahon in just over ten days. The wind conditions today were a bit muddled with a westerly moderate gradient conflicting with the sea breeze from the south. Wind intensity and direction were unpredictable with sudden shifts that could vary in direction up to 70 degrees during the first run of the second race. At any rate, the right hand side of the course was generally favourable.

Sled, yesterday's provisional leader, didn't race at all today because of a crew member fell ill during the starting procedures of the day's first race. After quickly returning to shore, he is currently in the hospital in stable condition. After this unfortunate incident, Sled will race again tomorrow, our best wishes to her entire team.

After today's races the event's new provisional leader is Phoenix, who placed fourth and first today. Her team is followed by Quantum, who placed first then fourth, and Platoon, tied for points with Alegre. Azzurra is still in seventh place after finishing fifth then eighth today, despite getting two very good starts and recovering well from some difficult situations.

The second race was especially difficult because a wind shift during the first run took the breeze from 250 degrees to 180 right by the gate. Platoon and Quantum who were in sixth and eighth place at the upwind mark were in the right place at the right time and took full advantage of the situation. The rest of the fleet suffered as did Azzurra, who had been sailing on a broad reach on the right side of the course. It was anyone's guess on the following beat where wind shifts at up to 50 degrees made planning a recovery scheme of tacks useless. As it was, Azzurra didn't manage to recover and finished eighth.

Guillermo Parada, skipper took it in stride: "We came to PalmaVela to find our weaknesses and to improve. We had a complicated day and we have to work hard on lots of things, but our boat speed is good and we got good starts today. We will keep at it in the upcoming days focusing on improving our sailing so that we arrive in Mahon ready for the beginning of our championship season."

Tomorrow racing will begin at noon. The forecast calls for wind from the northeast that will be pushed out by thermal breeze from the southwest over the course of the day.

Results after Day 2:
(four races)

1. Phoenix RSA (1,7,4,1) 13 p.
2. Quantum USA (5,4,1,4) 14 p.
3. Platoon GER (3,3,9,2) 17 p.
4. Alegre GBR (4,7,3,3) 17 p.
5. Bronenosec RUS (5,8,2,6) 21 p.
6. Sled USA (1,2,11,11) 25 p.
7. Azzurra ARG/ITA (6,6,5,8) 25 p.
8. Provezza TUR (9,2,8,7) 26 p.
9. Team Vision Future FRA (10,10,6,5) 31 p.
10.Gladiator ENG (9,8,7,9) 33 p.

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