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Azzurra works her way back at the Puerto Portals 52 Super Series

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 Azzurra works her way back at the Puerto Portals 52 Super Series
Azzurra works her way back at the Puerto Portals 52 Super Series

With excellent 3-5-2 placements in the three races run today in the Bay of Palma, Azzurra is back up in third place, just a few points behind the top boats: Provezza and Platoon. Tomorrow will be the final day of racing at Puerto Portals with two races scheduled. Six teams are in the running for victory. 

It was a very exciting day in the waters off Palma de Mallorca at the Puerto Portals 52 Super Series Sailing Week: three races were run in thermal breezes from the southwest at 10 to 12 knots. The fleet was very close in all of the day’s races with frequent changes of position and ups and downs for all of the teams. There were spectacular photo finishes with three or four boats within yards of each other.

Azzurra sailed well and got even results placing third, fifth and second. The first race was the most thrilling where Azzurra finished third after regaining ground after a penalty at the start. Vice versa the second race saw Azzurra get a perfect start on the Committee Boat, but the right side of the course, which had looked better at first, turned out not to be so along the second beat. Azzurra fought back along the second run to fifth place, a position she held on to until the finish. 

Owner Pablo Roemmers' wife Catherine was aboard for the first and the third races today. The third race saw Azzurra get a spectacular and fast start on the Committee Boat. After dominating in the first moments, the boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee was overtaken by Quantum, who came back to take the lead. Azzurra came in second after fighting off Platoon, another one of her closest rivals on the Circuit overall, who placed third.  

Only Provezza did better than Azzurra today, with first and a second place finishes in the first races. The Turkish team ruined their run by anticipating the start in the final race, but they managed to recover positions to fifth place and now have the leadership at this event.

Overall standings in the 52 Super Series see Azzurra currently tied for points in first place with Platoon. Quantum is just seven points behind these two teams.

Quotes of the day:

Guillermo Parada, skipper: "On average it was a good day. In the first race we had to work very, very hard to recover from yet another penalty. It looks like the Umpires are looking hard at us this week. Most of the time we don't agree with their calls, but that's the way it is, we need to do the penalty turns and keep going. In the second race we were a little unlucky, we won the Committee Boat and were on the right which had been the best side all day, but this time it didn't pay off and we found ourselves in the middle of the fleet and had to work our way through it. We got a few positions back so that's ok. Again in the third race we won the Committee Boat and the right, but the breeze arrived two minutes too late so Quantum was able to tack below us and control us from there on. But all in all it was a good day, we're in a good position, tomorrow we have to get out there and win."

Vasco Vascotto, tactician: “I have mixed feelings about today. On one hand we sailed very, very well, today's were really great races and I'm happy about that: if we keep this up we could go home happy at the end of the season. On the other hand, if it's fair that Azzurra gets penalized when we make a mistake, then our competitors should get penalized too in similar situations. I'm sure the Umpires aren't doing it on purpose, but I would like to see more fairness out there. That has been the cloud over an otherwise sunny day."

Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week after 8 races
1. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) (6,1,7,3,5,2,1,5,) 30 p.
2. Platoon (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER), (5,9,3,2,3,4,4,3) 33 p.
3. Azzurra (Alberto e Pablo Roemmers, ITA/ARG), (3,6,1,7,7,3,5,2) 34 p.
4. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), (4,4,6,5,2,5,8,1) 35 p.
5. Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), (1,2,2,8,6,8,2,7,) 36 p.
6. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA), (8,3,8,1,1,7,3,6,) 37 p.
7. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (7,5,5,4,4,1,9,8,) 43 p.
8. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (9,7,4,6,9,6,7,4)52 p.
9. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA) (2,8,9,9,8,9,6,9) 60  p.

52 SUPER SERIES PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
1. Platoon (GER, Harm Müller-Spreer), 180 pts.
2. Azzurra (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers, ITA/ARG), 180 pts.
3. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), 187 pts
4. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) 210.3 pts.
5. Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), 222 pts.
6. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), 243 pts.
7. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA), 263 pts.
8. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) 271.6 pts.
9. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA), 315.5 pts.

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AZZURRA
Pablo and Alberto Roemmers - Owners
Guillermo Parada - Skipper, Helm
Vasco Vascotto - Tactician
Bruno Zirilli - Navigator
Giovanni Cassinari - Mainsail
Mariano Caputo - Bowman
Juan Pablo Marcos -  Midbow
David Vera - Pitman
Maciel Cichetti - Trimmer
Ciccio Celon - Trimmer
Mariano Parada - Trimmer
Gabriel Marino - Grinder
Alejandro Colla – Grinder
Nicola Pilastro - Grinder
Klaus Lange - Guest
Pedro Rossi- Boat Captain

Coach: Guillermo Baquerizas
Coach: Marco Capitani