Azzurra Are 2017 52 Super Series Champions
Sunday, September 24, 2017 12:47 PM
Winning the final regatta of the year to become the only crew to win two events in 2017, the Roemmers family’s Azzurra which represents the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are the new 52 SUPER SERIES champions.
With three teams in the frame for the overall season title, Azzurra, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing, the final, last day showdown at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week regatta was thwarted by a lack of breeze. Although the fleet went afloat for several hours on the strength of a forecast for marginal light winds, there was only a short period when the wind showed any promise.
Azzurra, skippered by Guillermo Parada with tactician Vasco Vascotto finish an incredibly close fought season seven points ahead of the German flagged Platoon, winners of this year’s Rolex TP52 World Championship, and eleven points ahead of outgoing 2016 titlists Quantum Racing. It is the first time since 2012 when the 52 SUPER SERIES started out with a complement of just four TP52s, that the circuit has seen three teams go into the last day each with a chance of lifting the title.
Their win reflects a higher level of consistency over the six regatta season for the world’s leading grand prix monohull class. While Platoon started out the season with a supreme regularity, second in Key West and in Miami before winning the world title and the third event of the year in Scarlino, they could not replicate that form in Sardinia where they were sixth, slipping back five points against Azzurra.
Quantum Racing won the first regatta of the season but slumped in Miami, eighteen points behind Azzurra’s winning tally there, and losing six places on the last day in Porto Cervo in June when they suffered a mechanical failure which saw them nearly lose their mast while leading the regatta and the last race.
Azzurra won in Miami and here in Menorca – on countback with Tony Langley’s Gladiator who had their best ever 52 SUPER SERIES finish. They were third in Scarlino, fourth in Porto Cervo and third in Puerto Portals. The winners dedicated their season win to the late Jimmy Kerkoc who died two months ago and was Vice President of the YCCS Board, a passionate Azzurra fan.
Tactician Vascotto who has been in the TP52 class since the Mediterranean fleet was set up in 2005 and won the first ever year of competition on Pisco Sour, could hardly contain his relief:
“This has been the hardest season to win, the hardest I can ever think of with such a high, high level of competition. You can see with five different teams winning regattas and for the first time having three boats in it on the final day. I just feel so relieved and proud of this whole team. We changed our setup, our sails towards the end of last season and so thanks to the coaches who support us, we are very happy with how we worked this year. I hope this crew has a very bright future, and I think Guille Parada is the best manager I’ve ever worked with in my life, he deserves this win. This circuit was always the best circuit, but this year was the hardest year, this for me was the most important victory. You have great competition; Quantum is a reference but also Platoon with John Kostecki, Gladiator, Provezza… How many boats won races this year!? It’s amazing. I think every boat here can win races and this circuit just the best. Next year with the new America’s Cup, this circuit will be even better!”