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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Azzurra Take Victory In Capri - Barclays 52 Super Series

For the first visit to Capri by the Barclays 52 Super Series it was the Italian team Azzurra which came away with top honours, clinching the first regatta title of the 2014 European TP52 season with an impressive second and a first place from the two difficult races on the final day.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Theirs was a hard won overall victory, one which is attributable as much to their hard work and preparation put pre regatta in readiness for the light, unsettled breezes of Capri, as it is to their consistency and guile on the race course.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
While the crew which sails for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda were at their imperious best in today’s light and unsettled breezes, able to hold off the challenge from the American crew of Vesper in both races to roll out winners by four clear points, Jim Swartz’s US crew which had started the final day level with Azzurra had to settle for second overall just ahead of Quantum Racing, the defending 2013 52 Super Series Champions.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Consistency proved elusive for some but Azzurra only finished out of the top three once and delivered a 1,2,1 salvo from the final three races. The team skippered by Guillermo Parada were the only one to win two races, four different boats, Vesper, Quantum Racing, Rán Racing and Phoenix, winning the other contests.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Capri lived up to its longstanding reputation for light airs. The coastal race and one day of windward leeward races were lost to calm or unsettled breezes, but the last day of racing was blessed with 7-10kts of breeze from the SE for the finale.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing won the penultimate race, leading from half way up the first beat. Azzurra rounded the top mark with Vesper second and Azzurra very close behind in third.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
On the second run the two top title rivals were still locked together. Azzurra feigned a dummy gybe, Vesper – whether they bought it or not - gybed away and Azzurra were able to hold on to take second across the line behind Rán Racing.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
In the second race, sailed in a lighter wind with big differences between left and right, Azzurra’s Vasco Vascotto proved most adept at reading the conflicting breezes, picking the best path up the middle of the course to earn the lead around the first turning mark.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
With Eduardo de Souza Ramos’ Brazilian Phoenix in close contention, it proved an uphill task for Vesper in third, though keeping their American compatriots Quantum Racing behind them on the overall standings will be a source of satisfaction to Swartz’s team on their first visit to Europe to race.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
The Azzurra team were elated at their victory while Quantum Racing’s visibly disappointed tactician Terry Hutchinson promised that the 2013 champions would harness their disappointment and be back stronger in two weeks time in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the second regatta, the 52 World Championships.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
“It is important for us as a team to win because we did not sail well at the last couple of events we did, so we sailed in a good way here. We worked hard to improve our speed here, especially for the light air," said winning tactician Vasco Vascotto.
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
"Ours is not a boat for light airs and so I think everyone did a great job on and off the water. Guillermo had not steered at the start for many, many regattas and he was good off the start line and I am happy with the way we sailed. This sport never gives you the chance to feel that you are unbeatable. Every day is a different and next time it will be tough again,” he added. 
Photo: MartinezStudio/52SuperSeries
Final Results: Barclays 52 Super Series - Capri, Italy

1. Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,3,7,1,2,1) 17pts
2. Vesper, USA, (Jim Swartz USA) (5,2,1,6,3,4) 21pts
3. Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (4,1,6,4,5,3) 23pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (2,8,2,5,1,6) 24pts
5. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (1,7,3,8,9,2) 30pts
6. Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (9,6,5,3,6,5) 34pts
7. Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,4,8,2,8,7) 35pts
8. Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (7,5,9,7,4,8) 40pts
9. B2, ITA, (Michele Galli ITA) (8,9,4,9,7,9) 46pts

Barclays 52 Super Series Media

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