Archive | 52 Super Series

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Quantum Racing win AUDI TP52 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP title

Posted on 15 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] The five day event lost two to very light winds but the five race series – two coastal races and three windward leewards – still felt like a marathon for many of the nine teams from seven different nations.

The waiting on the water was often as mentally taxing as some of the racing, not least today when the fleet drifted around for five hours waiting for a racing breeze to materialise. The hanging around, full of intent, was to no avail as there was no racing today.

Quantum Racing win the title for the fourth time, following up from 2008 in Lanzarote, 2010 in Valencia and 2011, also in Porto Cervo. Tactician Terry Hutchinson grinned: “The bounceback is fuelled as much by anger and rage!” he joked, “But now it is goosebumps time.”

The defending 52 SUPER SERIES champions, who also won the US 52 SUPER SERIES in their native USA earlier this season scored consistently well across the two coastal races and the windward leewards finishing no lower than third. They won the 31 miles coastal race and one windward leeward in their 1,2,2,3,2 scoreline to finish two points up on the fast emerging Brazilian team of Eduardo de Souza Ramos which has Santi Lange as tactician.

The new crew which only came together when the boat was launched in April, won twice on Friday’s windward-leeward course to finish one point ahead of Rán Racing, Niklas Zennström’s 2013 World Champions.

Double Olympian De Souza Ramos won the Owner-Driver award, leading a team which spans the age and experience range including Brazil’s 49er Olympic sailors, Volvo Round the World sailors and crew who have sailed with the owner in his previous Soto 40, Farr 40, Melges 24 and 32

After the pressure of waiting in a transition zone, a calm, no go area where the confluence of the different winds kept the teams starved of breeze and on tenterhooks in the hot sunshine, thunderclouds building overhead just before racing was canned, back on the dock at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, with the beads of sweat still formed on his brow Hutchinson raked his hat back , scratched his head and revealed his relief:

“These are without question the hardest days because you are waiting around, and know the severity of a bad race. The conditions are going to be challenging at best. And so I think that if you give out a game ball so to speak, you would give it to the race committee for their patience and perseverance and seeing the day all the way through. And at the same time through the course of the regatta never really running any marginal races. It was a great contest. And in the end we are just happy – probably more relieved than anything – that we sailed a good regatta. The bounceback after Capri is what we are probably going to be most proud of.”

In the end there was just three points between the top three teams, local favourites Azzurra who won in Capri slumped to a fourth place on their own home waters, carrying two fifths and a weighty seventh. Now they will be looking to match this Quantum Racing bounceback at the third regatta of the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES, Palma’s jewel in the Mediterranean Copa del Rey in early August.

With their win here and third in Capri, Quantum Racing lead the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES by three points ahead of Rán Racing who in turn are one point up on Azzurra.

FINAL STANDINGS – Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy
Overall after 5 races
1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,2,3,2) 10pts
2. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3,3,1,1) 12pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1,1,4,4) 13pts
4. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5,7,2,5) 21pts
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,4,5,3) 24pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,6,7,DNF) 33pts
7. Paprec Recyclage, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,6,5,9,6) 34pts
8. Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8,8,6,8) 37pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF,9,8,7) 43pts

1. Quantum – USA (23 + 10) = 33 points
2. Rán – SWE (24 + 13) = 37 points
3. Azzurra – ITA (17 + 21) = 38 points
4. Phoenix – BRA (30 + 12) = 42 points
5. Gladiator – ENG (34 + 24) = 58 points
6. Provezza – TUR (35 + 33) = 68 points
7. VESPER – USA (21 + 50) = 71 points
8. Paprec – FRA (40 + 34) = 74 points
9. b2 – ITA (46 + 43) = 89 points
10.Hurakan – ITA (60 + 37) = 97 points

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Quantum Racing profit on Friday 13th, Phoenix on the up

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] While the Ed Baird skippered 52 SUPER SERIES champions actually extended their overall margin, the world champions, Rán Racing, may rue jumping the start gun for the third race of the day.

It was a close call, down to just one second according to tactician Adrian Stead, but their need to restart cost them time and although they recovered to a useful fourth, Niklas Zennström’s defending world champions find themselves in third, three points adrift with one day of racing left.

If Quantum Racing are back to their potent best, the day really belonged to Eduardo de Souza Ramos crew on Phoenix. They added astute tactics from double Olympic medallist Santi Lange (ARG) to excellent boatspeed from the fleet’s only new 2015 generation Botin design to compose two very good, back to back wins, promoting them to second overall.

Their 3,1,1 for the day allowed them to leapfrog Rán Racing.

Each race was sailed in different conditions, starting gently and finishing up in the 15-17kts of Mistral direction which had been promised on many different forecasts. Indeed the NW’ly threatened to come in several times, scaring off the existing breeze to require delays between each race.

Rán Racing’s Zennström nailed the first start of the day, accelerating away from the premium position on the line, the pin end, which allowed the world champions to earn the preferred left side of the track upwind. They were able to extend slightly to win comfortably over Quantum Racing. The American flagged team were second around the top mark ahead of Phoenix and the order stayed the same to the finish line.

Race 4 of the series and Phoenix were well positioned to tack and take first advantage of the small left shift in the breeze which gave them a small gain. As the breeze moved left the battle to control that side meant two or three boats overstood the layline to the first turn, but Phoenix rounded first ahead of Azzurra with Quantum Racing third and Gladiator fourth.

The Mistral started to come in with a little more force in the final race of the day. The left looked favourite again and in fact Provezza, Ergin Imre’s crew, had more or less gained the advantage when the top two metres of their mast inexplicably dropped off. Phoenix were able to lead around the top mark ahead of Azzurra and Quantum Racing. Terry Hutchinson called a good shift near the bottom of the run and they were able to nick through by the gate, taking second across the line behind the Brazilians.

It was another long, but rewarding day on the water. After two coastal races then three races in a day, Terry Hutchinson remarked wryly:

“When we went out this morning having only done two races over the last three days it felt like we had already sailed a regatta. It was a hard day. I think in so many ways that the last race was a really good confidence builder for us. We got tangled up a little bit after the start but we had a glamour first run, the boat was going really well, probably the best we have gone all season downwind, so that was very encouraging but there you go, some days you are the bug and some days you are the windshield, and we survived Friday the 13th quite well.”

Standings Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy – Overall after 5 races
1. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2,2,3,2) 10pts
2. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3,3,1,1) 12pts
3. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1,1,4,4) 13pts
4. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5,7,2,5) 21pts
5. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7,4,5,3) 24pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,6,7,DNF) 33pts
7. Paprec Recyclage, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (8,6,5,9,6) 34pts
8. Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8,8,6,8) 37pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF,9,8,7) 43pts

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Rán Racing step on up with coastal win

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: 52 Super Series] Niklas and Catherine Zennström’s crew held off the challenge from Quantum Racing to the finish line as all four top boats finished within a minute and indeed only 35 seconds separated Rán Racing, second placed Quantum Racing and Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Phoenix in third.

After three hours of sailing during which there was no let up in the action at all, ranking as one of the closest coastal racing yet on the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES, any one of the top four boats could have won. Rán Racing’s coastal triumph brings them to within one point of regatta leaders Quantum Racing which has scored a first and second to Rán Racing’s first and third.

Local favourites Azzurra dropped to a disappointing fifth place today to lie third overall.

If the course was not quite as breezy as last year’s blast up and down ‘Bomb Alley’, it offered more opportunities with a diet of wind shifts and changes of pressure around the many headlands and as the channel successively widens and narrows.

A short delay until the wind settled in the west was well worth it, as was the choice to eliminate an initial short leg. Instead the fleet was straight into the cut and thrust of close quarters hand-to-hand combat negotiating the first funnelling effect.

Ergin Imre’s Turkish flagged team on Provezza sailed an immaculate long beat to the turn. After baling out from the pin end of the start they were able to lift away to the right in an early controlling position, leading for more than half of the course. They lost Quantum Racing at the island turn when the defending 52 SUPER SERIES champions just managed to slide down inside them on the kite hoist.

But the Provezza team kept their shoulder to the wheel and when Quantum Racing and Phoenix erred right into lighter, lifted pressure they were able to come back and lead again. They stayed doggedly in the mix, just losing out at the Tre Monte mark where they shed some metres to the top three, finishing a bittersweet fourth. Though it is good, solid result for the team, tactician Tony Rey explained their mixed feelings:

“At Spargi I said to the guys don’t be afraid of a close race in this class, keep doing what we are doing well, we responded and then we got jumped on at the bottom, we had the wrong kite up, there were probably a dozen small things and in the end then we ended up like a puppy at the side of the road that had just been rolled by three big trucks. But we managed to hang on to the place. But in the big picture….it was a great day for us, a really good day.”

Rán Racing, Quantum Racing, Phoenix

Rán Racing worked consistently hard to take all the opportunities that came their way. In the early part of the course they were as low as fifth, and some distance from fourth. Up to Caprera and just beyond they were in the mix but were forced to the right into lighter breeze which lost them distance. But Ado Stead and strategist Nic Asher made their best calls on the downwind, having gotten themselves into a position to attack. They used a couple of good heading gusts well off the pretty town of Palau – where the breeze swirled to a mix of light spots and very useful puffs – and were able to roll down past Provezza and Quantum Racing. From there they kept cool heads and made no mistakes to the line.

Zennström smiled: “It was a fantastic race. For a three hours course there were four boats finishing within a minute, and it was full on for three hours, so lots of concentration, lots of hard work. Great fun. Quantum Racing were right behind at the last mark and at that point if they tacked we tacked. The run from the rock all the way back was very close.”

Racing continues Friday and Saturday with windward-leeward courses.

Standings: Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy – Overall after 2 races

Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1,2) 3pts
Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,1) 4pts
Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,5) 7pts
Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,3) 7pts
Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4) 10pts
Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5,7) 12pts
Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (8,6) 14pts
Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7,8) 15pts
B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9,DNF) 19pts

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Azzurra takes second place on opening day of AUDI TP52 Worlds

Posted on 10 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Azzurra] The Audi TP52 World Championship, held on the waters off Porto Cervo and the Archipelago of La Maddalena until Saturday, June 14th, got underway today with light winds and a coastal race approximately 15 miles long. Azzurra, owned by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda member Alberto Roemmers, faced off her usual rivals, the Americans on Quantum and the Swedes on Ran, reigning world champions. Azzurra took second place, crossing the finish line just behind Quantum. Ran followed the Italian boat closely behind while fourth place went to the Brazilian team onboard Phoenix, the newest addition to the TP52 fleet, launched just two months ago.

Guillermo Parada, skipper of Azzurra, commented on the first day of the Audi TP52 World Championship: “I think it’s good to have the first race done. It’s a bit of a relief to know that the event has started, that after all the preparation and training we are now in full racing mode. We were lucky to able to complete the race because conditions today were extremely light. It was a shortened one but at least it was a nice, proper race. We had a good result that put us in the place we wanted to be in view of end of the week. We have to take each day separately, do our job properly and get to the last day with a good chance of achieving a good result.”

Vasco Vascotto, tactician: “We had a good, clean race, looking for possible opportunities but without taking excessive risks; in races like this one there is very little chance of coming back in case of an error, so we had to be very careful. Quantum got off the starting line with perfect timing and that allowed them to take a small lead which they held on to until the finish line. In what regards our performance, we are really happy since we couldn’t have done better under such extremely light-air conditions, certainly, unsuited for the design features of Azzurra.”

Azzurra’s navigator, Bruno Zirilli, sums up today’s coastal race: “It was a race marked by light winds, about 7-8 knots, especially at the start and the finish, while we observed up to 12 knots halfway through the course. We had an excellent start but so did Quantum and our bows were alternating leadership in the beat to the first mark, with Ran closely behind. Then the Americans were able to gain that half boatlength and overtake us. The most interesting part was the long run to Secca di Tre Monti, where we had an intense fight with Quantum just a few meters off the rocks of Capo Ferro, sailing through the shoals. However, the left side was favored and we stretched our lead over Ran and the rest of the fleet. From that point on, it became an upwind drag race, the whole fleet on the same tack, without any tactical options, first to the Island of Monaci and then to the finish line. In the last, short, run to the finish line we tried to attack Quantum with a “sandokan”, but they were ahead of us and positioned themselves between our boat and the finish in order to cover their position.”

An elated Catherine Roemmers, onboard guest, described her experience: “It was fantastic because I haven’t actually been onboard Azzurra since a long time and it is a different sensation to watch the crew work as a professional team. They are truly splendid, talented and professional and they performed perfectly today. It’s such a thrilling experience to be onboard that I will make sure I come back. It’s addictive!”

Audi TP52 World Championship – Porto Cervo, Italy
Overall after 1 race

1 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (1) 1pt
2 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2) 2pts
3 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3) 3pts
4 Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4) 4pts
5 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (5) 5pts
6 Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6) 6pts
7 Hurakan, ITA, (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (7) 7pts
8 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (8) 8pts
9 B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (9) 9pts

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52 Fleet ready to rock Porto Cervo

Posted on 09 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Yacht Club Costa Smeralda] The wait is almost over for the fleet that has been assembling in Porto Cervo over the weekend in preparation for the Audi TP52 World Championships 2014. Racing in the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 9th to 14th June 2014, is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday 10th June, at 12 midday with a coastal course due to be set. The event is also valid as the second leg of the Barclays 52 Super Series, the Mediterranean circuit for the class.

Light winds are forecast for most of the week off Sardinia’s north-east coast however the YCCS Race Committee has a wealth of experience in finding coastal courses around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago that take advantage of even the most difficult of light air conditions.

As always the TP52 fleet brings a treasure chest of sailing talent in the form of former America’s Cup competitors and match-racing champions. Azzurra, owned by Alberto Roemmers and representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, comes fresh from victory in the first event of the circuit in Capri last month and boasts Vasco Vascotto on tactics. America’s Cup veteran Francesco De Angelis, meanwhile, will be calling tactics aboard Michele Galli’s B2; both sailors have extensive knowledge of the race course off Porto Cervo gained over many years of racing at YCCS regattas.

The Italians won’t have the game completely down however, as a host of international yachting professionals are also ready to do battle. The UK’s Tony Langley will be relying on Australian America’s Cup winner Tom Slingsby to find the wind aboard Gladiator, while Argentinian Olympic medal-winner Santiago Lange will be tactician on Phoenix, owned by Brazil’s Eduardo Souza Ramos. Other strong competitors to watch this week will be Quantum Racing, winner of the circuit in 2013 with Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, and Niklas Zennstrom’s Ràn, current world title holder, with UK tactician Adrian Stead.

YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo was happy to have the 52 fleet back to Sardinia: “We are delighted to welcome the TP52 fleet back to the YCCS for their third World Championship in our waters. This is a great looking fleet with a lot of top sailors and with a mixture of coastal races and windward-leewards we expect to see some exciting racing this week. Obviously we will be supporting Azzurra, flying the YCCS burgee, but we wish all the competitors fair winds and a beautiful week of racing.”

A light sirocco breeze is forecast for tomorrow, Tuesday 10th June.

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Paprec to buy Rán Racing TP52 for 2015

Posted on 02 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Barclays 52 Super Series] Renowned French owner Jean Luc Petithuguenin agreed the purchase of the Vrolijk-designed current world champion boat Rán Racing, confirming that his Paprec Recyclage team are ready to write the next chapter of their 52 SUPER SERIES campaign armed with one of the best prepared and most competitive modern generation TP52’s.

The sale reflects an initiative driven by existing stakeholders of the 52 SUPER SERIES to keep their boats within the circuit fleet.

Petithuguenin, whose core crew have moved up the race boat spectrum with him over a 15 year period, was delighted with the prospect of a new boat for his team:

Jean Luc Petithuguenin (FRA) owner Paprec Recylage: “I am very happy to be the new owner of Rán Racing. In Capri it was good to see an older boat Vesper leading the regatta and I hope we can be competitive and keep getting better as a crew next season.”

Rán Racing’s owner Niklas Zennström (SWE), one of the three main stakeholders in the 52 SUPER SERIES who, correspondingly, is in the process of specifying the new successor to his existing TP52, said:

“It is really one of the things we wanted to achieve when we decided to build a new boat for next year, to sell the existing boats into the fleet. This is really good but it is also really good to see Paprec which has been getting better and better with an older boat ready to have a boat which they will be able to improve more and more with. What we saw in Capri at times was the oldest boat leading the fleet at times, and so while there should be a little bit of an edge with a new boat next season, the older 2011 and 2012 boats should still be as competitive.”

Jean-Luc Petithuguenin (left) will buy Niklas Zennström’s current TP52 for the 2015 season

It is understood that five new build TP52s are already signed up with designers and builders for next season, or are in the throes of being signed up. The split between the Botin Partners and Judel Vrolijk design offices – which have been the most active and successful in the 52 Class history – remains very close to 50-50.

Class Manager Rob Weiland (NED), based on his experiences over recent years, believes that there might be as many as ten new boats for next season, including Phoenix:

“If we are seeing five new boats signed up or being signed up at the moment in June, and normally that activity takes place in August or September, I don’t think it is unrealistic to think about the possibility of ten new boats and a fleet of 12 for the 2015 52 SUPER SERIES. That in itself is exciting but it is also a considerable tribute to the owners who have supported and embraced the changes we have made in recent years to keep developing the TP52, especially the three owners who have underpinned and driven the 52 SUPER SERIES forwards. It is gratifying then to see Phoenix, the newest TP52 racing, looking so thoroughly up to date, what you would expect to see as representative of the modern grand prix monohull which clearly owners and crews want to go racing with.”

“In fact I think the differences between the new boats and the existing 2011-2012 generation boats – once updated for next season – can be relatively small. I feel it is still possible to bring older generation boats into the game, but there comes a moment that the investment required does not balance out anymore with being quite a bit less allround than the new boats. Let’s say for 2015 the cut-off point has moved from 2007 to 2009 generation boats and once we reduce displacement further from 7,000kg to 6,900 or 6,800kg it will be only the 2011-2012 generation boats who can follow that step. But then we are talking 2017 most likely.”

Designer Rolf Vrolijk (GER) was in Capri speaking to existing and potential future clients:

“ As a design office we are trying to get as many new boats on the water as possible for next year and so far we have some very positive reactions from existing clients and at the same time we are also speaking with new people who want to come into the class. From what we hear and from the other teams it sounds very positive. It looks like there will be a very good group of boats next year. Realistically we hope to have at least three to four new boats for next season.”

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Azzurra wins the Rolex Capri Sailing Week

Posted on 25 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Azzurra] With a first and second today, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s yacht has won the Rolex Capri Sailing Week and taken command of the Barclays 52 Super Series.

The wind came back for the final day of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, allowing two races to be run and confirming Azzurra’s clear supremacy over her tough competitors. Before todays racing Azzurra was tied for first with Vesper, the American boat that finished second, four points behind Azzurra. Quantum Racing, direct opponent of Azzurra, finished in third, six points behind.

Azzurra closed the first regatta in second position, after rounding the first windward mark in third behind Ran and Vesper. She then passed Vesper during the first run using different reaching tactics.

For the second race, Vasco Vascotto, Azzurra’s tactician, wasn’t surprised by a sudden right shift shortly after the start. The best boats came into the windward mark right on each others heels, and Azzurra was the first around. From then on the YCCS yacht extended her lead to win, followed by the newcomer Phoenix, then Quantum and Vesper.

The race committee tried to get a third race off before the time limit, but an unstable breeze didn’t collaborate. With her win in the last race, Azzurra took home the Barclays 52 Super Series first event. The second event will take place from the 10th to the 14th of June at Porto Cervo, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, as the Audi TP52 World Championship.

The Rolex Capri Sailing Week was organised by the International Maxi Yacht Association together with the Yacht Club Capri.

Azzurra claims the Rolex Capri Sailing Week and takes overall lead of the 52 Super Series. Capri, 24 May 2014. Photo copyright Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

Today’s quotes:

Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda: “This is a very important victory for us, the best way to start off the Med circuit after our second place at the beginning of the season in the US. We are serene and optimistic now when thinking about the Audi TP52 World Championship, the circuits home event for us at Porto Cervo.”

Guillermo Parada, skipper and helmsman: “Obviously a great day and it was a great way to finish. After a hard month in USA we didn’t get the results we were expecting, so it was a tough wait, but we worked hard – we knew it was going to be light winds so we prepared ourselves to make sure we were giving ourselves a good chance in the light stuff. Luckily the boatspeed was really, really good and that let us do our job and have a good regatta. We are happy that we had a very good boat to go to Porto Cervo with to try to repeat our win of last year, so I’m really happy for the team, for the owners, for the yacht club, I’m saying thanks. I would like to especially thank my family which always supported me, and a very close friend who helped us a lot with the boat and is going through a not very good moment, so I would like to dedicate this win to him.”

Vasco Vascotto, tactician: “This was an important day, these consistent results are the payoff for our hard work and they give a boost to morale. We won in light air, not our favourite conditions, but Guillermo was perfect at the helm and the whole crew performed magnificently. We’re not heroes today, nor were we villans yesterday when we didn’t take home the results we expected.”

Final Results: BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES – Capri, Italy (6 races)

1 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,3,7,1,2,1) 17pts
2 Vesper, USA, (Jim Swartz USA) (5,2,1,6,3,4) 21pts
3 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (4,1,6,4,5,3) 23pts
4 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,8,2,5,1,6) 24pts
5 Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (1,7,3,8,9,2) 30pts
6 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (9,6,5,3,6,5) 34pts
7 Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,8,2,8,7) 35pts
8 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (7,5,9,7,4,8) 40pts
9 B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (8,9,4,9,7,9) 46pts

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Tied at the top Vesper and Azzurra share lead

Posted on 21 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Barclays 52 Super Series] After two days of windward-leeward races off Capri, Italy the first BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES regatta of the season has fallen very much in line with predictions that this would be a very open event with no one boat able to dominate in the light winds. Four different winners from four starts endorse this view as Jim Swartz’s American crew on Vesper and Alberto Rommers’ Azzurra today added their names to the winners roster so far, both excelling in the challenging gentle airs.

But while winning races is important in the grand scheme of things, so too is the hard grind of gaining points from a deep position to convert a high score to something less harmful. And in that regard Vasco Vascotto, the charismatic Italian tactician of Azzurra was as pleased to have come back from last place during today’s first race which they converted to a seventh in the fleet of nine 52s from seven different nations.

Those two saved points ensure they share the same points tally as Vesper. Indeed it is only on the nominal strength of a better countback that the American boat are credited with the regatta lead.

The race committee did an excellent job in moving the course area and axis slightly further offshore into the channel, negating some of the advantage on the left side of the track which had prevailed on Day 1. Gavin Brady appeared to read that nicely for the Vesper and they popped out of the pack as leaders midway up the first beat before building a lead of just over 100 metres by the first downwind, a seemingly statutory right here afforded to the team which gets in front. Able to sail the pressure and shifts Vesper were well ahead by the leeward gate while Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing pipped Michele Galli’s B2 on the finish line to regain the second place they had at Mark 1.

The second race was sailed in the lightest breeze yet, just five knots at times. Azzurra made a great start with skipper-helm Guillermo Parada working nicely with Vascotto on their final speed build which just gave them the early advantage. Tony Rey and the Provezza crew worked well on the left of the second beat, recognising some extra, local pressure which helped them to squeeze just ahead of Gladiator at the final turn. Ergin Imre’s Provezza took second with Gladiator third.

Vascotto was not just pleased with their results today, but that the optimisation that they have for Capri’s lighter airs seem to have worked and they are equipped with the speed to compete:
“ Light conditions, for our boat as everyone knows, it is not fantastic but I think we have made some nice steps forwards in terms of speed upwind and downwind.” The tactician from Trieste explained, “ We feel we can compete and that is the best news. If you are not sailing fast it is a little more difficult. The new sailors on board are making a very good job. In the first race we just sailed into a hole and we could not get back. It is very difficult if there is a boat like Quantum Racing which is tacking on you two or three times. But I felt they make a little mistake because I feel if they sailed their own race they could make more points rather than watching us. We are happy.”

Meanwhile tactician Gavin Brady is taking little store from their share of the best tally on the points table but is more pleased that the Vesper crew are ahead of expectations and have given themselves a healthy confidence boost:

“ Getting the win is really important for the team, coming from Miami at the US 52 SUPER SERIES we did not feel like we sailed to our potential and I think like today when you go out there and have a good race, everyone does their job to the best of their abilities, we all walk away feeling like we can compete at this level. And that is really important, something we feel we can build on.”

And for Australia’s Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winning strategist Tom Slingsby, if his first day on the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES proved a bit of a disappointing baptism of fire, this evening he is happier to see steady upwards progress, finishing third in Race 4:

Thursday is scheduled to see coastal race for the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES fleet.

Results: BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES – Capri – Overall after 4 races
1. Vesper, USA, (Jim Swartz USA) (5,2,1,6) 14pts
2. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,3,7,1) 14pts
3. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (4,1,6,4) 15pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,8,2,5) 17pts
5. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (1,7,3,8) 19pts
6. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,8,2) 20pts
7. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (9,6,5,3) 23pts
8. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (7,5,9,7) 28pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (8,9,4,9) 30pts

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