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52 Super Series, Azzurra starts with a third place

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Azzurra sailing in Key West 52 Super Series
Azzurra sailing in Key West 52 Super Series

Key West, January 17th, 2017 - The thirtieth edition of the famous Key West Sailing Week opened with winds from the Southeast at between 15 to 20 knots. The choppy seas were hard on crews, but ideal for photographers and for video footage of the 52 Super Series.

Platoon was the boat of the day, alone at the lead with double wins, followed by Sled’s solid performance (2, 5) and by Azzurra, sixth and second in the day’s races. At the end of the day’s racing Quantum and Ran are tied at 10 points, followed by Bronenosec with 11. The newly launched Interlodge currently has 13 points. 

The first race in the new season got off to a rough start for Azzurra. The boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee wanted to start on the pin as did Provezza, and just a few seconds from the start the boats collided. A stanchion on Azzurra’s aft port side was damaged and she had to fight her way back from the back of the fleet. Seventh at the first upwind mark, Azzurra managed to recover positions up to sixth place on the downwind leg, a position that she defended to the finish.  

The second race saw Azzurra get a fast start, perfectly on time, while four boats in OCS had to turn back. One of these was Quantum but her team fought back from last place to finish seventh. Platoon, who took quite a gamble at the start, continued well, getting a bit of distance from Azzurra and holding on to her lead until the finish at the end of the third leg, upwind. She finished first in this race as well, followed by the YCCS boat and by a surprisingly fit Alegre. Bronenosec was fourth after an excellent fight back up through the fleet after her penalty at the start. 

Quotes of the Day: 
Guillermo Parada, skipper: "Given the way we sailed on this first day we have to be satisfied with the results. We got a sixth and a second place and are in third place which is fine. We know we can improve a lot in many, many ways. We saved the day and we're in contention so we're happy. In the first race at the start Provezza came too close to us and didn't give us any time to react and we ended up colliding. We needed to do a repair and lost a little bit of ground and the umpires surprisingly  put up a green flag. There should have been a penalty I don't know if for us or for them because we had damage, but that's just the way it is."

Vasco Vascotto, tactician: “If we look at the day’s result we have to say that we’re happy, but to tell the truth, we’re not pleased with the way that we sailed. There’s room for improvement the level of sailing in the 52 Super Series gets better and better. Anyone can win, as we saw today. We are the vice champions and are currently in third place, while the winner of last year’s Series is a place behind us. Ahead of us both are two teams that are good, but who we were better than last year. The field levels out, the teams improve and we have to keep working.” 

Racing will begin tomorrow January 17th at 11AM local time, 5:00pm Italian time. Fans can follow the racing in Virtual Eye with commentary in English both on the 52 Super Series' website and www.azzurra.it Updates directly from the race course will be on Azzura's Facebook page and Twitter account. Starting Wednesday, there will be live footage from the races on the site www.52superseries.com

52 SUPER SERIES
 Quantum Key West Race Week
1. Platoon (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER), (1,1) 2 punti.
2. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA), (2,5) 7 p.
3. Azzurra (Albert and Pablo Roemmers, ITA/ARG), (6,2) 8 p.
4. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), (3,7) 10 p.
5. Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), (4,6) 10 p.
6. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (7,4) 11 p.
7. Interlodge (Austin Fragomen, USA) (5,8) 13 p
8. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA) (11,3) 14 p.
9. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) (8,9) 17 p.
10. Paprec Recyclage (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) (9,11) 20 p.
11. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (10,10) 20 p.

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