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Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda - Day 4

by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 27 Sep 09:59 PDT 24-28 September 2019

Today's penultimate day of racing was an exciting one for the ten teams in the 52 Super Series, which will round off the final leg of the circuit tomorrow.

The Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week is organised by the YCCS with the support of title sponsor Audi and with six races now completed, Sled currently sits at the top of the provisional standings ahead of Azzurra and Quantum Racing.

This morning at 11 a.m. as scheduled, the warning signal was given for the start of the first race. The crews competed until 3.30 pm, completing three races to bring the total number of races held to six. The weather conditions were characterised by a very variable and shifty wind which meant marks had to be repositioned in the first two races. In the early part of the morning the light mistral increased progressively from an initial 8 knots to reach 20 knots of intensity in the final race.

Star of the day was the American boat Sled which, after an initial second place finish, led the fleet in the two subsequent races, racking up two victories in a row. A battle for second place in the provisional general classification went on between Azzurra and Platoon who gave a real show on the water as they recovered and swapped positions, keeping the tension high.

In the first race of the day Azzurra finished in eighth place due to a technical problem despite a good start, while her closest rival Platoon recorded their best performance of the day, claiming victory. The second, hard-fought race saw Azzurra place second pursued by Platoon in third. The last race of the day was decisive and saw the YCCS boat brilliantly make up ground after a difficult start, finishing second in front of Quantum Racing, with the two engaged an exciting battle right up to a few metres from the finish line.

The provisional overall classification sees Sled in the lead with Azzurra nine points behind in second place. Third in the provisional overall ranking is Quantum Racing, who thanks to today's results (4-5-3) pushes Platoon off the provisional podium by just one point, with an eighth place finish in today's last race weighing heavily on the latter.

Murray Jones, strategist on Sled: "We had a great day. In our first race we could see some pressure on the left and just hung in there until we got the left shift and fortunately came back across in good shape and got around just behind Platoon and sailed well after that. In the next two races we had pretty nice starts and controlled the fleet. Tomorrow we'll just continue as we are, nothing special. We're trying to get a good result in this regatta, that's our aim."

Santiago Lange, tactician on Azzurra: "In the first race we had a technical problem and got a result that wasn't as good as we were expecting. We made up for it in the following races. The fleet is very compact, we have seen that throughout the season and again today at the mark roundings. You have to be ready to match race and then keep adding points to your lead over your rivals."

Victor Mariño, runner on Platoon: "We started the day by winning the first race and we came third in the second, in the third race, however, we had a bad start and we didn't manage to recover from it. We came here with the aim of winning the circuit, that's still mathematically possible, we hope we get the conditions to run three races tomorrow. We have to have faith and fight to the very end."

Tomorrow, September 28th, brings the final day of the event with the first starting signal scheduled for 11 CEST and a westerly wind of 15-20 knots forecast. Following the competition at sea, the crews will attend the season closing party for the 52 Super Series circuit at the YCCS. The Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week will also close the YCCS sporting calendar, which will reopen in 2020 with a new programme of events scheduled.

More information at 52superseries.com and yccs.it.

Results after Day 4: (six races)

1. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (1,2,6,2,1,1) 13pts
2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (3,5,2,8,2,2) 22pts
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (5,3,7,4,5,3) 27pts
4. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (8,4,4,1,3,8) 28pts
5. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (6,6,3,7,4,5) 31pts
6. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (2,7,8,3,6,6) 32pts
7. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (4,10,1,5,7,7) 34pts
8. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,1,5,10,9,9) 43pts
9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,8,9,9,8,4) 45pts
10. Team Vision Future (FRA) (Jean Jacques Chaubard) (10,9,11DNF,6,10,10) 56pts

52 Super Series Provisional Overall scoreboard:

1. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) 154pts
2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) 165pts
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) 171pts
4. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) 181pts
5. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) 190pts
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) 213pts
7. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) 215pts
8. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) 232pts

Azzurra holds on to her leading position (from Giuliano Luzzatto)

There's just one day of racing left in the 2019 52 Super Series and Azzurra is still 11 points ahead for the season overall on Platoon, her closest competitor. The boat flying the YCCS burgee is also still in second place at the Porto Cervo event, behind the event's provisional leader, Sled.

After having had to abandon racing yesterday due to strong Mistral winds, today the Race Committee managed to get three races in. Mistral winds were still blowing but at 8 knots that were shifty and built to 18 knots during the third race.

In the first race Azzurra got a very good start but soon afterwards had a technical problem. "The first race was tough for us even though we got a good start," said skipper Guillermo Parada. "We crossed in front of Platoon, but on the next tack had a problem with the traveller that cost us two lengths and let Quantum catch up to us. We lost contact with the leading group and it's too bad because it would have been a different story if we hadn't hit that snag."

Platoon won the first race while Azzurra finished eighth, but her team didn't lose its composure. In the following two races, which were both won by Sled, Azzurra finished second. So her lead for the season overall stays the same: 11 points over the second placed team, Platoon, who finished 1-3 and 8 today, which goes to show how high the level of competition is. "After the first race we had a good, solid day," Parada continues. "Two second places and always ahead of our closest rivals for the season's victory. I don't want to tally up the score, but tomorrow I turn 52 and the stress I was suffering after the first race made me feel as if I were 75!"

Azzurra and Platoon were at it all day, but especially in the second race right after their starts on the pin. The YCCS boat got ahead thanks to better choices along the first beat and rounded the mark second, behind Sled but ahead of Platoon. Even though she tried to attack constantly, the German team never managed to get ahead of Azzurra and they finished third. The third race saw breeze at 18 knots. Azzurra took a risk that paid off and crossed behind most of the fleet on the first beat to sail in clean air. The fleet arrived compact at the mark where Azzurra managed to slip in and round second, behind Sled. She held on to that position right to the end, while Quantum Racing finished third.

The provisional results at the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week in Porto Cervo see Sled in the lead with a 9-point advantage on Azzurra. Quantum Racing is currently in third place at this event. Tomorrow, September 28th, the first warning signal has been moved up to 11:00 AM with the intention to get three races on the final day.

The forecast calls for Mistral breeze at 10 to 22 knots. The day's windward-leeward races will be streamed live with commentary in English on the App and on the websites www.52superseries.com and www.azzurra.it.

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