52 Super Series: Azzurra Make Dream Start to 2019 in Menorca
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:58 AM
Menorca has been good to Azzurra when the 52 SUPER SERIES has visited in the past. In 2016 they turned a corner at the Menorca event to convert a bad season to a clear win the last event of the season in Cascais. And in 2017 the Italian-Argentine team clinched the season-long series title, partying long into the night in Mahón.
Today the Roemmers’ family team made a very strong start to the 2019 52 SUPER SERIES with a second and first from the first two races to jump out to a clear early lead at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week.
In light winds, just six to 11 knots of patchy breezes, it was the brand-new, straight-from-the-wrapper Bronenosec that took first blood in Race 1, Day 1 of 2019, to give Russian owner Vladimir Liubomirov the best welcome back to the world’s leading grand prix mononhull circuit after a year out.
With Croatian sailing hero Sime Fantela, the 470 Rio gold medal winner, promoted to the helm on what was his first ever 52 SUPER SERIES race, Bronenosec led all the way round the course to take the first winning gun of a highly anticipated season.
Azzurra started best in the second contest, nailing the pin end of the line to be sure that they – like Bronenosec in the first heat – could not be challenged at all after the windward mark.
While the three-time circuit champions Azzurra had a standout day, the 2018 champions Quantum Racing made a modest start to their title defence with an eighth in the 11-boat fleet in the day’s first race followed by a fifth to lie seventh overall.
Skipper helm of Azzurra Guillermo Parada smiled on the dock:
“We are happy with the start to the season but there is a certain relief after all the winter jobs, the testing and training that we have done to confirm that the boat is going well and we are able to fifth in conditions that were previously a weakness, light airs were not our strength and so we have focused our efforts in particular on this. So more than the results today, which after all is just one day in what we hope with be 25 days of racing, we feel that the boat is going well.”
The champions have five key crew changes to their title winning line up and, although they won the PalmaVela warm up regatta a week ago, today they twice came off second best as they sought key positions on the start line at both starts.
During the second contest their return from the lower reaches of the fleet to earn fifth was more like the usual Quantum Racing, an improvement on Race 1. Quantum held an early second place at the first windward mark but dropped to finish eighth. They were forced to the unfavoured right of the second upwind and suffered badly.
The new French team on the circuit, Team Vision Future who sail the 2015 former Sled, showed well in the second race only just losing their fifth to Quantum Racing on the finish line.
The obvious tension and excitement of the first day of a highly anticipated season has dissipated and it is down to business on what promises to be a long and challenging season.
Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week
Regatta standings after two races
1. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto / Pablo Roemmers) (2,1) 3 p.
2. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (5,2) 7 p.
3. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (1,7) 8 p.
4. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (6,3) 9 p
5. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (7,4) 11 p.
6. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (3,10) 13 p.
7. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (8,5) 13 p.
8. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (4,11) 15 p.
9. Team Vision Future (FRA) (Jean Jacques Chaubbard) (10,6) 16 p.
10. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (9,8) 17 p.
11. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (11,9) 20 p.
Racing at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week starts on Tuesday 21st May and finishes on Saturday 25th May. The boats can be tracked online or via the 52 SUPER SERIES app with live commentary and expert analysis throughout each race. Shows start 15 minutes before racing is due to begin.