Azzurra clinched the 2015 52 Super Series title today at the Cascais Cup, reaching their mathematical finish line with a day to spare. Their points margin over 2014 champions Quantum Racing rendered them unbeatable. It is the second time that the crew which wear the emblematic colours of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda have won the overall title after triumphing in the circuit’s first year in 2012.
With a maximum points yield of 26 from a possible two races Sunday, the crew lead by skipper-helm Guillermo Parada with tactician Vasco Vascotto have a points aggregate of 168 points, 29 points ahead. Azzurra complete the TP52 class’s dream double adding the 2015 Series title, won over five months and five regattas to the TP52 World Championships title they took with a runaway victory in Puerto Portals, Mallorca in July.
Azzurra have won two regattas this season, the Settimana delle Boche on their home Costa Smeralda waters in June and the world title. And they remain firmly in the fight for a third, now lying four points behind Quantum Racing with one day of racing left at the Cascais Cup in Portugal.
Theirs is a triumph attributable to a complete team effort, from the unflinching support and passion of the Roemmers family to an excellent technical design and build programme, experienced sailing team the line-up of which was tweaked very slightly for this season with some key additions, and a committed and talented shore team which has ensured their programme has been breakdown free for the whole season.
“The job is done.” Vascotto smiled, pointing to the main reason they won as….
“ I think that this team is a real team, for number one (reason why they won). The team is a team that has stayed together for many years, we have a couple of new guys on board but the heart of the team is the same for many years. The Roemmers family and Guillermo Parada the skipper are the key of this success and the crew work is always fantastic.”
“We have had, maybe today, a couple of mistakes but I think that that is something that comes out just when we had found out that the work was done. It’s the classic mistake that when you have done the job, you have done what you need to you are relaxing a little more. But, again, today is about today and winning. I cannot have a different emotion than happy after the season that we have done.”
“I am very, very proud of all of the Azzurra guys, they did a fantastic job and I hope that we have a next season that is the same.”
“I think that we built the success of the season in Valencia (the first regatta of the season) because we there figured out that we were in the wrong direction with some sails and we analysed that we had to change straight away and this is what we did. Guillermo, after Valencia, we had very good starts during the season. It’s good that he took more confidence every single event and makes my life easier to call tactics.”
Their substantial and prolonged celebrations remain on ice as Azzurra seek to finish with their preferred flourish. Vasco Vascotto admitted later that the high emotion attached to completing their task today contributed to a less than perfect pair of races today. After two wins Friday today they could only make a fifth and tenth today. Up against Quantum Racing’s one, three from the two windward-leeward races today, contested in 15-18kts, slightly smaller seas and beautiful sunshine, Azzurra will start the final day of the season looking to overturn a six points deficit. The impetus is the with the 2014 champions who are seeking to add their second regatta title in a row after winning the showcase Copa del Rey Mapfre last month.
The battle for third overall for the season twists and turns. Platoon and Bronenosec were both over the start line in Race seven and had to return and restart together. That seemed to let key rival Sled off the hook, but Takashi Okura’s crew fouled Alegre on the approach to the leeward gate and were forced to take a penalty. Platoon finished seventh, Bronenosec eighth and Sled ninth.
Platoon maintained their advantage after Race eight and Harm Müller Spreer’s crew go into the last day of the season with a lead of six points ahead of Sled with Bronenosec one point behind.
And the podium challenge for the Cascais Cup is wide open too after Provezza complemented their Friday aggregate of six points with a five points tally today, now lying third four points up on Jim Swartz’s Vesper.
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA): “I am happy. I am very, very happy.”
“I think that this year goal number one was winning the Super Series and we worked hard during the winter and I think that we should be very proud that we did it. The second goal was the world championship and we did it so the top two goals for the team are done and if we are not happy today then I think that we must have a problem but we are very happy. The job is done.
I think that the team is a team, for number one. The team is a team that has stayed together for many years, we have a couple of new guys on board but the heart of the team is the same for many years. The Roemmers family, Guillermo Parada the skipper are the key of this success and the crew work is always fantastic. We have had, maybe today, a couple of mistakes but I think that that is something that comes out just when we had found out that the work was done. It’s the classic mistake that when you are doing well you are relaxing a little more but again I cannot a different emotion than happy after the season that we have done. I am very, very proud of all of my guys, they did a fantastic job and I hope that we have a next season that is the same.
I think that we built the success of the season in Valencia because we figured out that we were in the wrong direction with some sails and there are guys that we had to change straight away and this is what we did._____ after Valencia I think we had very good starts during the season. It’s good that he took more confidence every single event and makes my life easier to call tactics.
In Palma____ I think that we were better prepared compared to the others and maybe we didn’t realise that we have some problems and so when we went to Valencia we woke ourselves from that and realised ‘This is not working,’ but the best thing about our team is when something is not working we have a nice discussion, we have very good coaches, we have a nice team that is happy to change not frozen. All the time our mind changes everyday to think what we can do to go faster.
Now I want to think about today. Tomorrow is another day, obviously we go sailing, we will try to do our best at the committee boat, at the pin, try to decide which side we like and try to go the right way.”
Ado Stead (GBR) tactician Quantum Racing (USA): “Maria did a great job ensured we waited and were patient and went to the right are and as a result had two absolutely phenomenal races in 16kts to 22kts.
I am pleased today, we had two very god results. I mean we are pretty disappointed after yesterday, our boat handling wasn’t that good and it wasn’t the usual Quantum standard so we decided today that we would come out fighting with the goal being that the last four races of the regatta were the best four races we have sailed and I’m very pleased with how we sailed today. The first race was a good win, the second race was a big fight of the start and we scrapped away and got a third out of it.
We were a little bit deep early on but we just took our opportunity in the right hand corner of the first beat and it turned a seventh into a fourth, fourth or fifth at the top I think, and just managed to sneak our way around. Probably my gate selection could have been better but we didn’t want to take any risks, jibing on port at the gate but we got a good third and got some good points back on Azzurra today.
Tomorrow? More of the same, we take every race with the goal to keep sailing the best race of the season.”
52 Super Series – Cascais Cup (After eight races)
1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,3,1,1,4,6,1,3) 22pts
2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (5,2,2,2,1,1,5,10) 28pts
3. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (9,4,3,9,2,4,4,1) 36pts
4. Vesper USA (Jim Swartz USA) (1,6,4,3,10,8,6,2) 40pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (4,5,7,6,3,3,7,5) 40pts
6. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (12,10,11,4,5,2,3,8) 55pts
7. Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (2,1,8,8,13,13,12,4) 62pts
8. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (7,8,9,5,11,7,9,6) 62pts
9. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (6,9,6,10,7,9,8,7) 62pts
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (8,7,12,12,9,5,2,12) 67pts
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,11,10,7,6,10,11,9) 74pts
12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (11,12,5,11,8,11,10,11) 79pts