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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Samba Pa Ti Crowned 2012 Melges 32 World Champion

Newport, Rhode Island - USA
29, September 2012
Samba Pa Ti Photo: Max Ranchi
The final day of competition at the 2012 Melges 32 World Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), had spectators on the edge of their seats for the last race of the ten part racing series. John Kilroy, Jr. on Samba Pa Ti triumphed over the thirty-three strong fleet to claim Melges 32 World Championship.
Photo: Joy Dunigan
"We've worked so hard for so long to accomplish this." Kilroy said during the awards ceremony. "We won in Key West, then felt as though we were a little off track. Officially, we are back where we need to be with this incredible win, a win I consider one of the most treasured I have ever won."

Kilroy was joined onboard by tactician Paul Goodison and crew Federico Michetti, Harry Melges III, Luca Faravelli, Martino Tortarolo, Justin Smart and Marco Carpinello.

Proudly seated second overall is Alec Cutler on Hedgehog with tactician Richard Clarke and in third, is a deserving Steve Howe on Warpath with Morgan Larson on tactics.

Race number ten provided more surprises under overcast skies, light and shifty breezes out of the Northeast. Keisuke Suzuki from Japan on Swing, with tactician Jesper Radich put the fleet on alert when he challenged and overtook John Taylor's Ninkasi with Jeff Madrigali on tactics. Suzuki slowly but surely acquired a monster lead as the race progressed, then gained more momentum and extended furthermore earning over a two minute lead at the finish for the win. Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone had a great race finishing second, while Alex Jackson on Leenabarca claimed third.

TOP TEN RESULTS (Final)

1.) John Kilroy, Jr./Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; [20]-8-1-12-1-1-1-2-8-5 = 39
2.) Alec Culter/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog; 5-7-2-4-7-6-4-4-[11]-10 = 49
3.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath; 2-15-4-7-8-3-8-3-12-[20] = 62
4.) Benjamin Schwartz/Chris Rast, Pisces; 4-1-[19]-2-4-13-11-14-2 19 = 70
5.) Pieter Taselaar/Nick Thompson, Bliksem; 7-16-6-11-5-11-7-1-9-[18] = 73
6.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash; 3-3-12-[29]-9-9-3-21-7-14 = 81
7.) Vincenzo Onorato/Nathan Wilmot, Mascalzone Latino; 12-2-13-19-19-7-6-5-1-[22] = 84
8.) Andrea Pozzi/Gabriele Benussi, Bombarda; 1-6-9-3-2-26-21-6-[30]-16 = 90
9.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; 8-4-3-6-[22]-22-22-19-6-2 = 92
10.) Roberto Tomassini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 6-21-5-20-3-14-16-9-3-[24] = 97

Joy Dunigan

57. ACWS San Francisco Preview - AC Discovered

Saturday, September 22, 2012

56. Artemis Racing - AC Discovered

Audi Azzurra Win Audi Valencia Cup - 52 Super Series

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team crossed the finish line of the one final race of the season in a gentle sea breeze and perfect September sunshine off Valencia to secure the overall 52 Super Series title.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
When they started Race 8, all that the team which races under the burgee of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda had to do was simply cross that last finish line in any place to ensure the season-long title was theirs.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
In so doing they also won the Audi Valencia Cup, counting five first places, a second, third and fifth. Their only regatta win of the four this season, Barcelona, Sardinia, Palma and Valencia, was achieved by a margin of seven points ahead of Jochen Schuemann’s Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Niklas Zennström, the newly elected president of the TP52 class, steered Rán to a win this final contest of the season. With Quantum Racing finishing third, that was enough to give Zennström’s crew third place on the Audi Valencia Cup podium, and hird overall for the season.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
The celebrations may have started early for the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, having virtually wrapped up the title yesterday, but after seven years of trying the emotions and jubilation overflowed on the dock in front of the emblematic Veles e Vents building.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“We are very proud,” beamed tactician Vasco Vascotto.“It was a huge challenge, the standard is so high and so we are happy for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for the Roemmers family (boat owners), for everybody involved it is such an important result.”
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“But we need to start working tomorrow again, because I am sure that next year it will be harder and the teams will be ready to beat us. This is still a sport and so we have to always think not only how we won this year, but also how we lost in the past.”
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“I think the team has really endorsed the ‘leave nothing to chance’ philosophy. I think we have just been a little more diligent. I think the boat preparation has been excellent. And I think that on top of that we had the human element of a really, really steely focus. It was ‘the time has come, we have to deliver’. We have had the hardware in the past and failed to deliver. So there was a bit of personal pressure on, and a bit of peer pressure, this was the year we had to deliver,” said Simon Fry, the British trimmer on board
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
For Quantum Racing, the American flagged team who won the class title in 2008 and 20011, letting the 52 Super Series slip from their grasp at the last regatta is a bitter pill to swallow, but skipper Ed Baird stated they will learn from the experience.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“Every race is a practice race for the next one. You have to learn from every mistake you have made and add it to your bank of knowledge for the next. And we certainly have learned a lot this week,” Baird said.

The 52 Super Series concluded its inaugural season with three different boats winning regattas, Quantum Racing, Rán and Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

Audi Valencia Cup

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 15pts
2 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One 22pts
3 Rán 25pts
4 Quantum Racing 26pts
5 Gladiator 32pts

52 Super Series Final results

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team ITA 74.5pts
2 Quantum Racing USA 79.5pts
3 Rán Racing SWE 94.5pts
4 Gladiator GBR 125pts
5 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One GER 132.5 pts

Quotes:

Vasco Vascotto (ITA), Audi Azzurra Sailing Team:
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“We are very proud. It was a huge challenge, the standard is so high and so we are happy for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for the Roemmers family, for everybody it is an important result. And we need to start working tomorrow again, because I am sure that next year it will be harder and the teams will be ready to beat us. This is still a sport and so we have to always think not only how we won this year, but also how we lost in the past. It means a lot to me. This is part of my heart. We are still a young team in the sailing circles and we want to win more together. I have won other things but this is important to win because the team have been trying so hard for so long.”

Ed Baird (USA) , Quantum Racing: 
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“Obviously we are disappointed. We never want to drop boats, we never want to do that. We are still learning and trying our hardest and I have full faith in the group here. One of the things that has gone on all week, is that despite how frustrating it has been to make decisions that seemed like they were the ones, and then have them go wrong, the group was always very positive and always fighting. I appreciate that from a team."

Adrian Stead (GBR) , Rán Racing: 
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“We sailed the boat really well, we changed gears really well in the conditions. I think it was shifty enough and puffy enough that as long as you could be under the right breeze at the right time for longest, that gave you the speed and the advantage. We have come a long way. We have improved. We were weak in the light stuff an have improved there.”

Stephane Kandler (FRA), Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One: 
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“We are very happy with our season, we started late and with only little means. So we are quite happy to get two podiums over the season and won the Copa del Rey. So we are pleased to have done the season. Congratulations to Azzurra who did a great job.”

Tony Langley (GBR) , owner-driver Gladiator:
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“It has been a good season for us. I am quite happy with the way things have gone and with the progress we have made. We had better results in Porto Cervo but we have been sailing the boat quite well. The other guys are coming after us now. We were tacked on three times today. We are doing things fairly right now.

“Today we had good start, a bad shift, and then we were back in it again. And in the end we finish by taking a scalp off a team with a few gold medals between them and that’s great, that’s quite something.” “We are packing everything up now and heading to the US for the first events of next season. We are already really looking forwards to Key West and Miami.”

52 Super Series Media

Friday, September 21, 2012

Italians Close In On Audi Valencia Cup - 52 Super Series - Day Three

After seven years since joining the TP52 class as the Matador, the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team are poised to reach the perfect conclusion as Alberto Roemmers’ crew set themselves up to lift the inaugural 52 Super Series trophy tomorrow in Valencia.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
The team which sails under the pennant of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda won both races in gentler breezes and big swells on the America’s Cup racing waters off Valencia’s Malvrossa Beach today.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
With their nearest title rivals, Quantum Racing, the world champions and winners of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit, scoring a pair of third places, Audi Azzurra only an outside mathematical possibility that they can be beaten, needing only to start and finish tomorrow’s final race of the 2012 season.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
The champions elect crew, skippered by Guillermo Parada which is a mix of Argentinian, Italian, Australian, Spanish and English sailors, have been close to a season long title before. In 2011 they were in contention before their mainsail fell down while leading the coastal race in Cartagena at the penultimate regatta of the season.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
But this year they have sailed immaculately and won five races from seven starts, usually getting the better of the pre-start match race duels with Quantum Racing.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“We are prepared to do our best, we want to have no excuses," Skipper Parada said about their approach to this regatta. “This has been our goal, we have been chasing it for a long time. At some stages we started to question whether we could make it happen. But we know in the depth of our hearts that we had what it takes.”
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Ed Reynolds, long time project manager and director of Quantum Racing, was quick to congratulate the team, recognising that they had sailed exceptionally.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“Over the years what made winning this whole thing so sweet is to beat a team of their calibre and I think that had to have been a bitter pill for them over the years to watch us. It has never been easy, never been anything we’ve run away with, we have been fortunate we have sailed well and these guys deserve everything, they did a great job. But we will be back,” Reynolds said.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Audi Azzurra won the first starting duel after another spirited battle which saw both protagonists using the media and VIP spectator boats to separate from each other. The blue hulled boat was impaired slightly by Jochen Schuemann’s Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE in the first minutes as they drag raced upwind.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
They tacked to clear their wind and in so doing then took the chance to tack in the face of Quantum Racing. The afterguard of the American boat displayed a protest flag that the jury immediately dismissed and from there was no chance of Ed Baird’s crew making any impact on Azzurra.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
In the second start of the day Quantum Racing made the start they wanted in their best of the regatta so far. They were third at the first windward mark, trailing leaders Azzurra and Gladiator in the modest 6-8 knot breeze with a big swell.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team also lead the Audi Valencia Cup regatta by four points, ahead of Audi ALL4ONE, with the 52 Super Series champions elect also on course to also win their first regatta of the season.

Audi Valencia Cup
Standings Audi Valencia Cup after 7 races

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) 13 pts (1,1,5,1,3,1,1)
2 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One (FRA/GER) 17pts (2,2,4,3,2,2,2)
3 Quantum Racing (USA) 23pts (5,3,2,2,5,3,3)
4 Rán (SWE) 24pts (4,5,1,5,1,4,4)
5 Gladiator (GBR) 28pts (3,4,3,4,4,5,5)

Quotes:

Guillermo Parada ARG skipper, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team ITA
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“We know in order to win here you have to have a perfect week so we started preparing this well in advance, we wanted to make sue we were a step better in every single department that we could. We worked on the sails, boat preparation, some work on the tune up of the rig, crew manoeuvres, the starts, work on the video’s analysing, so when we came here we were prepared to do our best, we wanted to have no excuses.”

“It’s been our goal, we have been following for a long time and for sure it’s a relief, at some stage we started to question whether we could make it happen. But we know in the depth of our hearts that we had what it takes.”

Ed Reynolds, USA, Quantum Racing USA:
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“They just went and won the series this year, I don’t think we sailed that poorly, we didn’t seem to get anything going when we needed to get it going but they didn’t give us an opportunity to.”

“Maybe our philosophy early in the thing was its just us and them and it didn’t play well into our strategy, we focus on the fleet and to what we do and early on the breeze played out of our strength but today we had no excuses, we just got out sailed.”

“Over the years what made winning this whole thing so sweet is to beat a team of that

calibre and I think it had to have been a bitter pill for them over the years to watch us, but it has never been easy, never been anything we’ve run away with, we have been fortunate we have sailed well and these guys deserve everything, they did a great job. But we will be back.”

Vasco Vascotto, ITA, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team ITA:
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“My first thought is for Quantum, they had a fantastic season but at the end we beat them and I feel sorry for that, I know how they feel.”

“These guys were racing as Matador and Azzurra, its been seven years of trying hard. I joined these guys three years ago and we were very very close and I know how hard they try and I think its excellent motivation.”

“I think we sailed better this week than at any time in our lives. I’m very proud to sail with these guys, they are good friends first of all so I’m happy to get this result with them.”

Francesco Bruni, ITA, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, ITA:
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“I feel super happy because it’s something we fought for from the beginning for many years and coming into this regatta it was not easy. I had a lot going on in Auckland, with Luna Rossa and with my family and to squeeze in this week in was a big commitment, but I am so happy that I have done it and so happy that this team fought so hard to win this championship.”

“It was a fight before the warning signal to put pressure on them. (Quantum). We are very satisfied out of seven races we won five, so its a great team result. My match racing skills have come to some help this week and that’s why i was called to steer the boat at the start.”

52 Super Series Media

Nathan Outteridge Joins Artemis Racing

Artemis Racing announced today that Australian Olympic gold medalist, Nathan Outteridge has joined the Swedish Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup.

Outteridge is well known for his results in both skiffs and multihulls, having won the gold in Weymouth in the 49er Class, as well as performing well in the past four America’s Cup World Series events.
Photo: © Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing
Outteridge will begin training with the team next week in Alameda in advance of the upcoming America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco where he will helm Artemis Racing – Red. Racing will take place from 3- 7 October, in conjunction with the Bay Area’s best known event, Fleet Week.

“Joining Artemis Racing is a great opportunity for me. Artemis is a solid team all around and I’m excited to join Terry Hutchinson and the sailing team for my first America’s Cup,” said Outteridge who has just arrived in San Francisco following the Farr 40 Worlds in Chicago.

“I think anytime you add a sailor of Nathan’s calibre to a team it’s a good thing. I’m anticipating that the experience we have here, balanced with his youth and enthusiasm, will be a good mix," said Skipper Terry Hutchinson (USA).

“It’s great to have Nathan join Artemis. We have seen that his success in skiff and moth sailing have translated well in the AC45 racing. Nathan certainly has a bright future,” added Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing.

Artemis Racing Team Media

Flash Gordon Wins Farr 40 Worlds in Chicago

Chicago architect Helmut Jahn has won the 2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship after nine races over four days of competition on Lake Michigan.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
A stalwart of the grand-prix class, Jahn’s previous best result was a fourth place at last year’s Rolex Farr 40 World Championship which was contested in Sydney, Australia. After more than a dozen times racing in the world championship, it seems fitting that Jahn claims the 2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship title while racing from his home club, Chicago Yacht Club, against a backdrop of the city that is graced by some of his work.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
With the race committee hoping to run three races for the final day of the series, the first race of the day got underway in 13 knots of westerly breeze with gusts to 24. John Demourkas, on Groovederci (USA), led the fleet around the first two marks of the 6.4 nautical mile course, only to be overtaken by Hasip Gencer on Asterisk Uno (TUR) who cruised on to cross the finish just four hundredths of a second ahead of him. Enfant Terrible (ITA) was third across the line, followed by Charisma (USA) and Barking Mad (USA). Standings leader Helmut Jahn, on Flash Gordon 6 (USA), was sixth which was enough to both keep him in the lead and also increase his points cushion from 10 to 13.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
After a wait for the wind to stabilise and two general recalls, the second race finally got underway in approximately 12 knots with gusts to 17. Enfant Terrible won and was followed 10 seconds later by Nightshift and Heartbreaker, with Struntje light and Transfusion rounding out the top-five finishers. With a seventh place finish, their worst of the series, Flash Gordon 6 secured the championship crown. With the time limit for starting another race running out, the championship was determined with just nine races.
Transfusion Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“We knew we had 10 points [margin] this morning, and Transfusion was clearly our competitor,” said Bill Hardesty, Helmut Jahn’s tactician on Flash Gordon 6. 

“We were able to stay close to them in the first race. They took a little bit of risk and ended dropping back and getting a couple extra points so that made things a little bit more comfortable for us. But the race committee kept talking about doing two more races so we didn’t feel quite out of the woods yet. When the wind was so weird out there it just whittled away at the time and they could only get one more race in. It came down to us needing a top-12 finish. It was just a surreal feeling. It’s an amazing event to win.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Driving Flash Gordon 6 on the start and first beat of each race was Evan Jahn, Helmut’s son. “It’s something we’ve been after for a really long time,” he said of the win. “For many years it didn’t feel like we were getting any closer. To just achieve it is pretty tremendous for us. To sail and win with Dad, I’ve thought about that actually for the last few days. We’ve been doing this for so long. Our relationship has gotten so much stronger just by sailing together. This is a crowning achievement for a very long tenure in this class and to be able to share it with my Dad is pretty special.”
Helmut Jahn Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The senior Jahn took up sailing because, as he explained, he needed something else in life to balance a very demanding profession. “I take it very seriously,” said Helmut Jahn. “I never sailed because I thought ‘I’ll win the world championship.’ That wasn’t something I thought I had to do. But doing it [winning] is just incredible. It makes me feel that maybe I’m not a better sailor, but I’m a better architect.” 
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
He  didn’t think the team had an advantage because they were sailing in home waters. “You saw that we had different conditions every day. This is actually the great thing about sailing, its unpredictable and it’s not something you can actually prepare yourself for. Sailing at home we had somehow had a sense we were on a mission. Like so many teams, they do better at home, I think it was the belief, the concentration and the preparation that we put in the last three weeks which got us in.
PLENTY,  Flash Gordon 6 and Transfusion Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“The one requisite was that we had to have the right amount of speed. Bill Hardesty, our tactician, kept us out of trouble. We didn’t make mistakes. We didn’t think we needed to win the races. We just didn’t want a bad race. On Sunday night, I set the goal  to never have any double digits. So a lot of things fell into place. We set our goals at a level where we could win and we achieved those goals. Retire? I want to celebrate now.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The winner of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship was crowned based on the sum of all races for each yacht (i.e. no discards). Helmut Jahn on Flash Gordon 6 won the series with 41 points. The win of the last race by Alberto Rossi on Enfant Terrible (ITA) moved them up two spots in the overall standings to take second with 51 points.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
The defending champion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis on Transfusion (AUS), took the remaining spot on the podium with 52 points. Wolfgang Schaefer on Struntje light was fourth overall with 62 points, followed by John Demourkas on Groovederci(USA) with 66 points.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship

Top-Five Results after 9 Races (20 boats)
Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Country, Results; Total Points

1 Flash Gordon 6 Helmut Jahn USA 2-6-3-6-3-5-3-6-7 41
2 Enfant Terrible Alberto Rossi ITA 3-3-4-3-19-11-4-3-1 51
3 Transfusion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis AUS 1-4-8-12/ZFP-4-8-1-9-5 52
4 Struntje light Wolfgang Schaefer GER 18-1-1-21/ZFP-2-1-2-12-4 62
5 Groovederci John Demourkas USA 5-7-15-9-1-3-7-2-16 66

Regatta News

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Azzurra attack! - Audi Valencia Cup - Race 4 @52superseries

Fierce Competition at Audi Valencia Cup - 52 Super Series - Day Two

After two more races in near perfect conditions off Valencia the two top contenders for the season-long 52 Super Series title returned to the Marina Real Juan Carlos this afternoon locked on equal points.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
The two contests confirmed the growing title challenge of Audi Azzurra Sailing Team with another  victory, winning Race 5, followed by a  third place in Race 6 for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s crew.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
After starting this final regatta of the four events that comprise the season long 52 Super Series with a six points deficit on world champions Quantum Racing, the team skippered by Guillermo Parada have steadily eroded their deficit.

Now with only three races scheduled for the 2012 season, two on Friday and one on Saturday, the finish is set to be the closest seen among this class for many years.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team are the crew on the ascendancy, winning three out of  five races so far. They have proven adept at dealing with the tight match racing situations - particularly the pre-starts - when they have been toe to toe with the team  skippered by Ed Baird in the same waters he skippered Alinghi to victory in the 2007 America’s Cup.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Baird and Quantum Racing came away from today’s two races with a second, after having to restart, and a fifth in the five boat fleet to be in fourth place overall.They have a small speed deficit to the Italians when the breezes have been above 12 knots, as they mostly have been throughout the first two days of racing. The forecast is for lighter breeze over the next two days .

The spirited match racing duels pre-start have been the talk of the regatta so far.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“Yesterday they started match racing at the warning signal. Today they started at eight minutes when we still had the engine on. Tomorrow will we still be in the marina?” joked Vasco Vascotto, Audi Azzurra’s fiery strategist.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
Contested in a 11-14 knot sou' easterly wind the first race today saw Audi Azzurra  win the pin end of the start line while Baird made a small misjudgement on the line which had them mid tack on the gun with their bow across the line.They re-started smartly and fought back hard to get themselves poised to capitalise when second placed Rán twisted their gennaker at the windward turn.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
In the second race Quantum Racing made the better start of the two protagonists but Audi Azzurra  fought back with starboard tack advantage after half way up the beat.The ensuing trading of tacks dropped the pair to fourth and fifth, but Parada’s crew managed to then smoke past Tony Langley’s Gladiator on the final run for third, thus ensuring the duo finish locked on the same points aggregate.
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
After 27 races this season in Barcelona, Sardinia, Palma de Mallorca and now Valencia nothing separates the team that won the Audi MedCup Circuit in 2011 and the team which has come so close to winning over their five years in the class as Matador, and now Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

Both teams are  evenly matched, with very experienced match racers peppered throughout their crews who have plenty of America’s Cup experience.

Standings Audi Valencia Cup after 5 races

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) 11 pts (1,1,5,1,3)
2 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One (FRA/GER) 13pts (2,2,4,3,2)
3 Rán (SWE) 16pts (4,5,1,5,1)
4 Quantum Racing (USA) 17pts (5,3,2,2,5)
5 Gladiator 18pts (3,4,3,4,4)

Quotes:

Ed Baird (USA) skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA)
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“It’s virtually the same concept as it was this morning, we have still got to beat them and the guys at Azzurra are sailing really well and making very few mistakes on the course. Yesterday was ugly. Today I made a big mistake in the first start, we got the side we wanted but just got the timing a bit wrong and had to wiggle back and then got Ran a bit too close and had to defend against them so ended up going over early. But the guys did a great job to come back, it was impressive because we were pretty far behind at that point.

“The last race start we had a good start, we pushed them off the other way but then had to tack twice on the left and couldn’t quite cross Ran and those two tacks meant later on when we came back together with the blue boat, we were a quarter of a boat length from crossing them and that meant they stayed in front of us at the first mark, but we caught them up and passed them down the run and then split gates.

"But when we came together the next time the blue boat got a lee bow on us and pushed us off to the right a little bit and then they got a shift and the next time we came together they were able to cross us. That was disappointing because we were controlling the action better but the result worked out worse than the one when we had the best start.

"But we have three more races and we have had a great season. Its never been this close though."

Guillermo Parada, Skipper-Helm, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA):
Photo:  Xaume Olleros/52 Super Series
“It was another good day, we worked very well as a team, focused on the job and we had the result we were looking for, but really this will mean nothing if we don’t keep going for the next two days.

"The boat is going well, the crew are working well. We trained a lot for this regatta, we have been sailing together in Soto 40s, match racing in Buenos Aires last week for a couple of days. So everything is going the way we thought it was going to and wanted it to.

"We are tight with them, we cannot be any closer, it’s the first season I remember where it comes down to the last three races. With two boats tied on points so it must be good for all of you watching. Its what the sport is all about.As a group we are doing a good job in deciding which way to go, how to go fast, how to develop boat speed, do better tacks, gybes, hoists, drops, it all gives us the chance to be a bit more comfortable.”

52 Super Series Media