Monday, October 3, 2011

TP52 Worlds Porto Cervo - Quantum Win Practice Race

The charismatic Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto of Audi Azzurra Sailing Team has his work cut out for him this week at the Audi TP52 World Championships in Porto Cervo. Azzurra represent the colours of the host club, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and would love nothing more than to claim victory in home waters.
Photo: Nico Martinez/WSM
With helmsman Ed Baird (USA) at the controls, Quantum Racing won the Practice Race with their new Italian navigator Francesco Mongelli replacing Kevin Hall (USA). 

Azzurra may have finished on the podium at four of the season’s five Audi MedCup regattas to claim third overall on the Circuit but remains the only TP52 team to have contested the full season and not won a 2011 Trophy regatta. 
Photo: Nico Martinez/WSM
Today’s light nor'westerly winds that peaked at seven knots in the practice race didn't seem to faze Vascotto as Azzurra struggled in conditions their boat doesn't excel in.
Photo: Nico Martinez/WSM
“Look, that is the answer. Tomorrow we will again have light winds but later in the week we have better conditions for us. All that we can try to do we have tried and so we stay calm and focused and will just have to see how it goes.”

According to current forecasts this fourth edition of the TP52 World Championship looks likely to be a regatta of very different winds with very light conditions expected for the early races that are expected to strengthen by Friday and Saturday.
Photo: Nico Martinez/WSM
“The big thing is looking to the outlook for the week,” says Adrian Stead (GBR), who guided Quantum Racing to their world title in Valencia last year. “Potentially it will be very breezy Friday-Saturday so people know you have to be in the lead or very close to it in the first couple of days because Day 4 and 5 might not even happen.”
Photo: Nico Martinez/WSM
With helmsman Ed Baird (USA) at the controls, Quantum Racing won the Practice Race with their newly Italian navigator Francesco Mongelli replacing for Kevin Hall (USA).
In the light winds it was Container (GER) and Gladiator (GBR) which were successive leaders on the water. Container jumped the start gun and were latterly disqualified, but the German team had decided it was more valuable to line up against the fleet rather than re-start. In their quest to improve boat speed  twice Audi MedCup winning Kiwi mainsail trimmer Don Cowie has joined the crew.

Tony Langley’s Gladiator (GBR) has two key changes and only lost out on the final run today. Chris Larson (USA), recent Melges 32 winning tactician, stepped into the team as tactician and Nacho Postigo (ESP) is a late substitute for injured navigator Graham Sunderland (GBR).
Photo: Nico Martinez/WSM
The Costa Smeralda waters have been kind to Niklas Zennstrom’s RÁN, winning back to back Mini Maxi world titles with his 72 footer, but this will be an different kind of contest for the team who won the year's final Audi MedCup regatta in Barcelona last month.

Racing will be held over five days including Thursday’s 1.5 point premium coastal race around the islands to the north.

Lulu Roseman

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