Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TP52s and Soto 40s Are Ready For Audi Sardinia Cup in Port Cervo

Six TP52 teams, partners to six Soto 40’s, are lined up at the dock, fully prepared for whatever Sardinia’s famous Costa Smeralda waters might deliver them for the Audi Sardinia Cup, the international team regatta which starts Wednesday.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
A buffeting Mistral put paid to Tuesday’s official practice race, the race officers deciding that too much was at stake on the eve of regatta’s first races to risk unnecessary damage, but the prospects remain for a breezy, brisk opening day.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Indeed the talk around the dock at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda was that patience might be required to allow the strong wind to subside enough to get this famous regatta series under way Wednesday. While Guillermo Parada and the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team are on their home waters, carrying the hopes and aspirations of the fiercely proud host club, two teams are entirely new to the 52 Super Series, of which this five day regatta is the second stage of four.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team’s afterguard of Francesco Bruni, tactician and Vasco Vascotto, strategist, have raced these waters since they were teenagers but Cayman Islands based Peter Cunningham, owner-skipper of PowerPlay is loving his first visit to race here with a team he has put together a little over a year ago to sail the Reichel-Pugh design which started life as the regatta winning USA-17.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
The French team on Paprec Recyclage are also new to this circuit, with a crew which is comprised mainly of top level amateur sailors. They have only lined up against the cream of the fleet on Monday for a while, moderately satisfied with where they found themselves, but today the Paprec team were completely at home in the breeze, enjoying the sheer adrenalin pumping exhilaration of sailing the TP52’s in strong winds.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
There was a sudden reminder of the price which is paid for any small gear failure in these testing conditions today when Tony Langley’s Gladiator suffered a running backstay failure. A potentially dangerous chain reaction was halted when Langley turned the boat abruptly to unload the rig, but not before the mainsail and job were badly ripped. Gladiator's shore crew had a busy afternoon and evening ahead, but Langley is confident they will be in good shape for the first start.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
This regatta is an important step forward for the famous Sardinia Cup which was first held in 1978 forming a foundation event for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda to build from in organizing annual and biennial world-class sailing events. It was originally held in alternate years to the Admiral's Cup.
Photo: © Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Sailors love Costa Smeralda for its variety of conditions, and though the breeze has been up for more than 48 hours, by the weekend it is likely to be much lighter conditions which are forecast to test the 12 crews. Among the most potent partnerships is that of the two winners of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit Quantum Racing, the Botin Partners designed 52 alongside the Soto champions Iberdrola. Quantum Racing lead the 52 Super Series but only on countback from Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

Audi Sardinia Cup 52 Super Series Entries:

Quantum Racing (USA)
Rán Racing (SWE)
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA)
Gladiator (GBR)
Paprec Recyclage (FRA)
Powerplay (KY)

52 Super Series Media

No comments: