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Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda - Day 2

by 52 Super Series 26 Sep 2019 04:46 BST 24-28 September 2019

Although it is Takashi Okura's Sled which holds a narrow lead of just one point after the first three races of the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week Porto Cervo 2019, the home club favourites Azzurra bolstered their bid to secure the 2019 circuit with an excellent opening day during which they added five points to their circuit championship lead.

After losing the first scheduled day to a Mistral wind which was too strong, conditions proved excellent for the first three races of the regatta, the NW'ly wind remaining steady in direction and blowing between 16 and 27 knots to provide fabulous sport for this showdown title decider.

Sled read the wind best in the early stages of Race 1, Adam Beashel and Murray Jones choosing the signal boat end of the start line, working right early to lead Bronenosec and Provezza at the top mark. Platoon were forced to stay left and rounded eighth at the first windward turn behind their title rivals Azzurra and Quantum Racing. Azzurra showed their determination and fighting spirit on the final run as they gybed early on the run to gain and steal third place.

The second race was more typical of Porto Cervo's windward-leeward set up in the Mistral direction with the left paying consistently. With Ado Stead calling tactics this regatta on Alegre, Andy Soriano's crew started nicely on the pin end of the line, used the left well and were able to lead Quantum Racing at the windward mark. At the finish line it was Alegre's victory with Sled second and Quantum Racing third. Platoon only just pipped Azzurra on the finish line, a seemingly fated one second being the time delta between them.

Azzurra looked set to dominate the third race, starting smartly and able to position themselves just to weather of the main group half way up the beat as the breeze swung very slightly left. That was enough for the Roemmers family team to lift away slightly along with Bronenosec and lead at the first windward mark. But despite setting the pace all the way round the track in a brisk 20-25kts of breeze, once more Azzurra had their thunder stolen - again by a matter of a single second - as Bronenosec, with Olympic champion Sime Fantela steering, surged through the finish line to nick their victory.

"We had a decent day all in all but it could have been better, we lost to Platoon by a couple of metres in the second race and lead the third race to lose it at the finish to Bronenosec. But we put five points on Platoon and Quantum Racing on the circuit standings and we are one point behind the regatta leaders Sled, so we are back in our 'normal situation'" smiled Azzurra's skipper-helm Guilermo Parada, referring to their missing three victories this season by one or two points.

"As long as we can keep it consistent and hopefully putting points on our opposition we will be happy. But this was a very typical Costa Smeralda day and we felt comfortable."

To improve their chances of securing their first circuit title, two times runners up Platoon needed to be taking back points from Azzurra today but their first race, first beat - when they ended up eighth at the top mark - was a modest start to their challenge here. To win the season they need to start better and be able to impose themselves early in the ensuing races.

"We had bad luck in the first race choosing the left side and half way up the beat it was twenty degrees to the right, we could not come back from that." Grimaced Platoon owner-driver Harm Müller Spreer, "The other two races were average. Tomorrow is another day."

Standings after Day 2:

1. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (1,2,6) 9pts
2. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (3,5,2) 10pts
3. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (4,10,1) 15pts
4. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (9,1,5) 15pts
5. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (5,3,7) 15pts
6. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (6,6,3) 15pts
7. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (8,4,4) 16pts
8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (2,7,8) 17pts
9. Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley) (7,8,9) 24pts
10. Team Vision Future (FRA) (Jean Jacques Chaubard) (10,9,11DNF) 30pts

Full results available here.

www.52superseries.com

Azzurra is off to a good start (from Giuliano Luzzatto)

Azzurra has ended the first day of racing in her home waters in second place and just one point behind the event's current leader, Sled. Better yet, she has lengthened her lead for the season on Platoon, with whom she had some spectacular duels on the water. The last race of this event will also be the final race in the 2019 52 Super Series, so we'll know the outcome of both on Saturday the 28th.

After yesterday's forced pause because of strong Mistral winds the first day of racing at the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week was today. The Race Committee managed to get three races in by moving the starting time up to 11 AM. The Mistral was still blowing, but at 18 to 24 knots with gusts at up to 28, less intense during the second race but almost too strong again for the third. Spectacular racing was assured with boats surfing at 20 knots and the fleet arriving compact to the marks.

With 3-5-2 placings in the day's races Azzurra had a good day, and is just one point behind the event's provisional leader, Sled. More importantly, she is now 11 points ahead of Platoon for the season overall. But Azzurra's finishes today are just part of a story of hard fought sailing: her third place finish in the first race came after some excellent tactics that brought her back up from fifth place: fourth at the second mark, Azzurra made all the right moves on the last run and finished third behind Sled and Provezza. In the second race she missed passing her rival Platoon at the finish by just a puff. The German team was fighting hard to make up for their eighth place finish in the first race. The day's final race saw Azzurra in the lead from her perfect start on the pin. Bronenosec, who started windward from Azzurra, was on her heels for the entire race, rolling her on the last gybe before the finish.

Even though Azzurra never placed first today, it was a good day as Skipper Guillermo Parada said: "It was a beautiful day for sailing today, really beautiful weather. We maybe could have done a little bit better but we have to be happy with the fact that we have lengthened our lead on the circuit overall and are very close to the current leader of the event. I'm a little frustrated that we didn't win the last race after having been in the lead for almost the whole time, but we also have something to feel satisfied about. We were in the lead but not by a lot. Bronenosec rolled us because in this breeze who follow is always able to have a change, leave the leader in dirty air and overtake. But they sailed well and fast so they deserve it. Now we need to rest, take a good look at the boat and the equipment and tomorrow the fight goes on."

Racing will resume tomorrow at noon CEST with windward leeward races that can be followed live with commentary in English on the App and on the websites www.52superseries.com and www.azzurra.it.

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