Please select your home edition
Edition
Official-Collection-Red.alt1  728x90 TOP

2019 Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week Porto Cervo - Preview

by 52 Super Series 21 Sep 2019 02:06 PDT 24-28 September 2019
Rolex TP52 World Championship Puerto Portals © Nico Martinez / 52 Super Series

The closest finish to a title race in the history of the 52 SUPER SERIES will come to a head on the scenic waters of Sardinia's Costa Smeralda next week at the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week Porto Cervo.

The host club favourites on the emblematic Azzurra seek to secure the 2019 season championship, in so doing looking to hold off what promises to be a very strong challenge from the Harm Müller-Spreer's recently crowned world champions aboard the German-flagged Platoon.

Azzurra carry a lead of just six points going into this showdown fifth and final event of the 2019 52 Super Series, the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week Porto Cervo, a very tenable margin considering their nearest rivals are the uber consistent Platoon of icy cool German owner-driver Müller-Spreer.

While Azzurra are three-times circuit champions, winners in 2012, 2015 and 2017, Platoon are twice runners up and are well placed to finally break the duopoly that has so far prevailed since the circuit's inception. To date, Quantum Racing and Azzurra remain the only two teams to have lifted the 52 Super Series titles since the circuit was launched in 2012.

While Platoon arrive on the Costa Smeralda as winners of two of this season's events, the curtain raiser in Mahón, Menorca in May and last month's Rolex TP52 World Championship, Azzurra may not have registered a regatta win on the circuit this season, but they have missed out three times - twice by one point and once by two points. Azzurra's Argentinian skipper-helm Guillermo Parada notes enigmatically:

"Listen, here at this last regatta I would happily finish second again by two points, or even one, because that would mean we would still win the season title and that is what the year is all about. I feel like we have sailed well this season and have maybe not had the luck we could have on each of the final days." He smiles, " The last day of the season is my 52nd birthday - 52 like 'TP52' - it has to be a good sign; and so I want to be celebrating for the right reasons."

He adds:

"But all that notwithstanding, it is great for us to be finishing the season like this on our home waters. Everything is good with the team and the boat, and we have some new sails coming and we have some electronics and equipment updates, which we can't talk about... but which we think will help our performance."

Asked about the rising pressure of the showdown on home waters he responds:

"We we will take it just like every other event, focus on doing our jobs at our very best, and try and not to make little mistakes. We will stick to the routines we have, ping the start line, choose a side and go from there."

"Generally we are sailing well," he confirms, revealing that tactician Santiago Lange will prioritise the defence of his 2016 Olympic gold medal next season and so is unlikely to sail with Azzurra. Parada notes: "It took some time for Santi to understand 'the game' but now we are making good decisions. Next year he will be at the Olympics and so we have to start again. Meanwhile, we want to win an event with him. He has the experience, remember he was second here with Phoenix at the 2014 TP52 Worlds."

Platoon missed the overall title in 2017 when they finished seven points behind Azzurra, and last year they were 37 points adrift of Quantum Racing's conclusive championship victory. Owner-driver Müller-Spreer believes the momentum is with his team:

"We will fight all the way to the end, that is our way. This is a wide open race to the title. We are not interested in dwelling on the past. We come to Sardinia as new world champions and that brings us confidence; in ourselves and in the boat. But we are only interested in looking forward and avoiding the mistakes." The three times Dragon world champion helmsman admits: "But we are up for the fight and will battle to the end."

Platoon's Victor Mariño adds:

"On Platoon we arrive in Porto Cervo with such a great opportunity to win the circuit. It is very close and it would be so good for an owner-driver like Harm to win. At times last year we led Quantum Racing and Azzurra, so this is our chance again. All of the races will be so tight as the level is so high. This will be so tough and difficult from the first race to the last but it will be a spectacular. In Porto Cervo at this time of year we can have a whole range of weather states, and we should get a little bit of everything, some light breeze and also the Mistral."

Defending champions Quantum Racing are poised in third place on the season standings as the 10-boat fleet sets up in Porto Cervo. They are only 11 points off Azzurra's lead and five points behind Platoon and still have a fighting chance of retaining the championship title they won last year. Owner-driver Doug DeVos is due to steer Quantum Racing. Vladimir Liubomirov's new Bronenosec are fourth in the rankings, six points behind Quantum Racing.

The Official Practice Race is on Monday. Points racing begins Tuesday and the one Coastal Race of the 2019 season should take place on Wednesday. Live action streaming from the race course with 52 SUPER SERIES TV runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday with broadcasts starting at 12:15 CEST each day.

Entries:

  • Alegre - Andy Soriano (USA/GBR), 2018 Botin
  • Azzurra - Roemmers Family (ARG/ITA), 2018 Botin
  • Bronenosec - Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS), 2019 Botin
  • Gladiator - Tony Langley (GBR), 2017 Botin
  • Phoenix 11 - Hasso/Tina Plattner (RSA), 2018 Botin
  • Platoon - Harm Müller-Spreer (GER), 2018 Judel/Vrolijk
  • Provezza - Ergin Imre (TUR), 2018 Judel/Vrolijk
  • Quantum Racing - Doug DeVos (USA), 2018 Botin
  • Sled - Takashi Okura (USA), 2018 Botin
  • Team Vision Future - Jean Jacques Chaubard (FRA), 2015 Botin
Racing at the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week Porto Cervo starts on Tuesday 24th September and finishes on Saturday 28th September. On the final three days of racing, you can enjoy live images from the water supported by expert commentary and analysis. On the first two days of racing, only state-of-the-art Virtual Eye boat tracking will be possible.

All shows will begin 15 minutes before racing is due to start and can be enjoyed at www.52SuperSeries.com or via the app.

Related Articles

Race Yachts Premium Brokerage newsletter
Wishing you safety and best wishes as we all sail through these treacherous times To everyone in our amazing yachting community, we wish you safety and best wishes as we all sail through these treacherous times. The wind is strong and the waves are high, but lets reef the mainsail and batten down the hatches to weather the storm. Posted today at 6:02 am
Italian 52 Super Series Regattas Cancelled
Venues remain a priority when the calendar can be rescheduled May's Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino 2020 and June's Audi 52 SUPER SERIES Porto Cervo & TP52 20th Anniversary Invitational 2020 have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on 27 Mar
52 Super Series cancels the 2nd event in Cape Town
The second event of the 2020 52 Super Series season has been cancelled Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the second event of the 2020 52 Super Series season, which was scheduled to take place in Cape Town, South Africa from March 31st to April 4th has been cancelled. Posted on 13 Mar
52 Super Series: 2020 vision for sustainability
An exciting season has just opened in Cape Town An exciting season of intense 52 Super Series has just opened in Cape Town, South Africa. Consolidating progress, building on momentum, and continuing to engage and influence at all levels is central to the 2020 52 Super Series sustainability campaign. Posted on 12 Mar
52 Super Series Cape Town overall
The Cape of dreams With no racing possible on the final day of the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 Super Series V&A Waterfront Cape Town regatta, the 2019 circuit champions Azzurra lift the first series title of the 2020 season. Posted on 7 Mar
52 Super Series Cape Town day 4
Azzurra on the cusp of Cape Town success As predicted, the Cape Doctor, Cape Town's renowned strong, local south-easterly wind came in for the penultimate day of racing at the first event of the 2020 season - the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 Super Series V&A Waterfront Cape Town regatta. Posted on 6 Mar
52 Super Series Cape Town day 3
Platoon bounce back, Azzurra's consistency is not contagious After a very disappointing opening to the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 Super Series V&A Waterfront - Cape Town regatta, Harm Muller-Spreer's world champions Platoon bounced back to record a second and first today as the top scoring boat in the fleet. Posted on 5 Mar
52 Super Series Cape Town day 2
Azzurra stay clear of Cape Town's twists and turns to lead Technical breakdowns unsettled Hasso Plattner's Phoenix 11 team as the 2019 circuit champions Azzurra maintained their consistent form to overhaul the local Cape Town favourites who drop to second place after four races Posted on 4 Mar
52 Super Series Cape Town day 1
Plattner's Phoenix 11 make dream home waters start Racing on their own home waters, Hasso Plattner's Phoenix 11 made a dream start to the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront - Cape Town regatta, the first event of six that comprise the 2020 52 SUPER SERIES. Posted on 3 Mar
52 Super Series 2020: Cape of high hopes
High hopes and expectations of a breezy introduction to Cape Town High hopes and expectations of a breezy introduction to Cape Town for the 52 Super Series were left on hold today as the Official Practice Race Posted on 2 Mar
Mackay BoatsETNZShop-SAILRACING-728X90 HR BottomSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 Bottom