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52 Super Series: It's a day of fighting back for Azzurra

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52 Super Series: It's a day of fighting back for Azzurra
52 Super Series: It's a day of fighting back for Azzurra

Azzurra had to fight her way up from the back of the fleet in both of today’s races, but she closed in fourth place overall, one position up from yesterday. Quantum is firmly in the lead followed by Sled in second. Platoon dropped back to third place. Tomorrow will see the final two races at this event.  

Today’s first race got underway punctually at 1 PM with winds from the southwest at 10 knots. Conditions were good but Azzurra got an OCS, On Course Side, penalty because her crew was distracted for a fraction of a second by a gear problem and she was about 1m over the line at start. The problem was with the mainsail sheet that came up again along the first upwind leg.

It was a long fight back after the penalty, but the crew was concentrated and recovered positions thanks to good tactics and perfect manoeuvres: tenth at the mark, ninth at the gate, seventh at the end of the second upwind leg. Azzurra’s fans were at the edges of their seats  when she got stuck in a wind hole just yards from the finish line. But arriving from the right side of the course, Azzurra managed to edge out Alegre and Paprec who arrived from the left. The event’s sixth race was won by Quantum followed by Sled and Platoon.
The Race Committee had to wait for a long time before the wind picked up again, this time from the northwest gradient, and they could get the second race started.  The start was called at 4:20 PM in winds from the northwest at 12- 13 knots that were very difficult to predict and interpret.

Azzurra got an excellent start at the centre and was leading the fleet along the upwind leg. But the wind rotated left 15 degrees near the weather mark and Provezza and Quantum, who were on that side of the course, got a good advantage.  Azzurra slipped back to sixth place at the mark, but fought back again: fifth at the gate, fourth at the end of the second upwind leg. In the final meters of the race she was catching up on Quantum in third place, but the American team managed to cover Azzurra and hold on to their ranking.

Provezza won easily followed by Sled who is now in second place overall thanks to two second place finishes today. Platoon placed tenth in today’s second race and has slipped back to third place overall ahead of Azzurra who has passed Onda.

Tomorrow the event’s final two windward/leeward races are scheduled to begin at noon in winds are predicted to be from the southwest at 6 to 12 knots. As always, racing can be followed via Virtual Eye on the website 52superseries.com and on azzurra.it. Azzurra’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will have real time updates directly from the regatta course.

Guillermo Parada, skipper: “Today’s results are tough to swallow. We got started on the wrong foot, we had a gear issue at the start of the first race and we were distracted for a second and were over by a meter and got a penalty. That conditioned our strategy from the beginning: we were last and had to fight our way back up the fleet. We managed to do it well and we saved what we could. The second race we had a good start and were heading to the left but at some point we needed to make a decision about the lane to chose after crossing the fleet. The wind kept clicking to the left so we lost out again to the boats that were at the far left. We were sixth and worked back to fourth and could have got third but at the very end we lost a little battle with Quantum. That’s life, there are two more races at this event and forty more races this season, so it’s far from over.”

Santiago Lange, tactician: “It was another tough day that began with an OCS penalty that didn’t make our lives easier. But we managed to recover positions up to seventh and that’s a good result considering how competitive the 52 Super Series fleet is. In the second race we were just a hair off of finishing third. I can’t say that it was a good day, but it could have been worse and tomorrow is another day. We have gotten a lot better in some ways but we had some technical problems aboard. But we have to remember that this is a Series with 50 races and no discards, we have to fight for every point.” 

Sebenik 52 Super Series, Provisional results after 7 races

1. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (4,1,8,1,4,1,3) 22 p.
2. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (12,3,1,8,3,2,2) 31 p.
3. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (1,4,3,5,7,3,10) 33 p.
4. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto Roemmers) (3,10,10,4,2,7,4) 40 p.
5. Onda (BRA) (Eduardo de Souza Ramos) (2,7,5,3,10,6,8) 41 p.
6. Luna Rossa (ITA) (Patrizio Bertelli) (7,5,9,9,5,4,7) 46 p.
7. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (5,9,4,7,12,9,1) 47 p.
8. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,8,6,2,8,8,6) 47 p.
9. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin) (6,12,2,12,1,10,9) 52 p.
10. Phoenix (RSA) (Hasso/Tina Plattner) (8,6,11,6,6,11,5) 53 p.
11. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (10(+2 PEN),2,7,11,9,5,12) 58 p.
12. XIO Hurakan (ITA) (Marco Serafini) (11,11,12,10,11,12,11) 78 p.

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May 23rd - 27th, Sibenik, Croatia

52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup
June 20th - 24th, Zadar, Croatia

ROLEX TP52 World Championship Cascais 2018
July 17th - 21st, Cascais, Portugal

Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week
August 21st - 25th, Mallorca, Spain

52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week
September 18th - 22nd, Valencia, Spain

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