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Azzurra is off to a great start in the 52 Super Series 2020

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Azzurra is off to a great start in the 52 Super Series 2020
Azzurra is off to a great start in the 52 Super Series 2020

Azzurra, defending champion in the 52 Super Series, is off to an excellent start in the 2020 season with fourth and second place finishes in the two races run today in Cape Town, South Africa. 

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At the end of the day there is just one team ahead of the boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee and that’s the home team, Phoenix 11, who got first and third place finishes today. Sled (3rd and 4th today) is just one point behind Azzurra and all eyes were on this American team after their excellent win in the final event of the 2019 Super Series in Porto Cervo. Alegre totals eight points while the rest of the fleet trails these teams by double digits. 

Racing got underway punctually at 12:30 local time (11:30 CET) as planned with wind from the west at circa 16 knots. The regatta course was set out along the coastline so that spectators could watch, but there was only one good side because of the way the landmass influenced the wind flow.  The windward side of the course was wrapped in fog which created a special atmosphere but didn’t hinder the teams sailing. 

In the first race Azzurra started at the centre of the line and was trapped in dirty air at first. She got away and began to recover positions from sixth to at the end of the first beat to fourth along the run where she passed Quantum Racing. Azzurra held on to this position to the end of the race, covering her American rivals all along the way. The first win of the new season went to the home team, Phoenix 11, who knew the area better but still had to fight off a determined Bronenosec. Third place for Sled.

In the second race Azzurra used the same tactic at the start but managed to accelerate right away and position herself third behind Alegre and Sled at the first mark. Azzurra closed in on Sled along the run attacking and passing along the second beat on starboard tack. The boat flying the YCCS colours held on to her second place while Sled was passed again, this time by Phoenix 11, on the final gybe.

Guillermo Parada, skipper: “It’s always nice to get back on the water, really racing, after all the time spent thinking, working and adjusting during the off season when the boat is being modified and during practice sessions and trials. Today we finally saw the real results of the work we have been doing for the past five months. We’re very happy with today’s results but we also know that it’s just the beginning of the season. But we’re geared up, have worked well and the boat is showing it. We felt fast both up and downwind and Michele (Paoletti, Azzurra’s new tactician) did a great job. I hope that today’s results will be a further booster for him within the group.”

Michele Paoletti, tactician: “My debut went well, but if you don’t have a fast boat there’s no such thing as a good tactician. Azzurra is fast and always has been, that’s why she has always been in the top positions of this super competitive circuit. Her team knows every detail of the boat, they are real experts and they have an added plus: they’re a tightly knit group. They have made me feel comfortable and welcome even though I know I’m walking in the big footsteps of the tacticians who have come before me.” 

Tomorrow racing starts at the same time, 12:30 SAST South African Standard Time (11:30 CET) with wind conditions forecast to be similar to today’s. Racing can be followed on the tracker Virtual Eye, on the website azzurra.it, on the 52superseries app or the website 52superseries.com. Live updates from the race course will also be posted on Azzurra’s Facebook page. 

Azzurra is off to a great start in the 52 Super Series 2020
Azzurra is off to a great start in the 52 Super Series 2020

Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront – Cape Town 
Provisional results after 2 races 

1. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (1,3) 4 points
2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (4,2) 6 p.
3. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (3,4) 7 p.
4. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (7,1) 8 p.
5. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,10) 12 p.
6. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (6,6) 12 p.
7. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (8,5) 13 p.
8. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (5,8) 13 p.
9. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (9,7) 16 p.
10. Paprec (FRA) (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin) (10,9) 19 p.

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