Azzurra in Cape Town

Azzurra in Cape Town

The "Cape Doctor" arrives but Azzurra holds on to her in the 52 Super Series


By Azzurra
07/03/2020 - 12:06

There was just one race run today in Cape Town due to strong winds. Even though she had some technical problems, Azzurra is holding on to her lead overall with a margin of seven points over the second placed team. Tomorrow will be the final day of racing at this event.

Just as announced, the “Cape Doctor,” the strong south-easterly wind that is so famous in Cape Town, arrived today. It took longer than expected for the Doctor to fill in over the course and racing got underway an hour later than scheduled, at 12:30 instead of 11:30. By then the southerly wind was gusty and shifty and blowing at about 20 knots. 

The seventh race at this event saw many changes of position at the head of the fleet because of breakage and technical problems aboard several boats. Azzurra got a good and very accelerated start at the centre of the line and sailed on the left along with most of the fleet. Alegre chose the right to then cross and capture the lead, just ahead of Azzurra, approaching the top mark from the left side of the course. But an unexpected 15 degree wind shift brought the rest of the fleet close on starboard tack and Alegre closed Azzurra off on the left. Azzurra was suddenly in sixth place in a very tightly packed group. After most of the teams did a gybe set, Azzurra was slowed down by Bronenosec who had broken a halyard. Azzurra also had a bigger problem with her retriever, the cable used to lower the huge gennaker quickly and the crew had to do it manually in 25 knots. Not surprisingly, Azzurra dropped back a couple of positions during this manoeuvre. Along the following beat she recovered by sailing on the right, the better side just then, rounding the mark seventh and holding on to that position to the end despite other problems such as a torn gennaker and a broken winch.

Before starting the second race the Race Committee clocked the wind at 27 knots and decided to send the fleet back to port for the day. Tomorrow will see the conclusion of this event and conditions are forecast to be more manageable. 

With a provisional total of 24 points Azzurra is still leading Phoenix 11 and Quantum, who placed fourth and second today and who both currently have 31 points each. Bronenosec placed first today and has climbed up the scoreboard with a total of 35 points.  

Guillermo Parada, skipper: “Today things didn’t go the way we might have expected but I have to point out a couple of positive aspects: we got a good start and our boat speed was excellent.  We made a few errors and had a lot of technical problems which is really unusual and is a problem that we have to get to the bottom of. But it could have been worse; we controlled the damage as much as possible and managed to leave two teams behind. It’s not the greatest, but today was one of those days. If you let it get to you, you could end up last and suffer a lot more damage aboard. So let’s just focus on the positives: there’s still a day of racing left in this event and the boat is fast. Now we have to check our equipment carefully and get ready for the gran finale.”

Michele Paoletti, tactician: “The seventh place we got reflects how we sailed today just like our first place overall shows how we have sailed the past four days. We were getting too used to placing in the top, today we made a mistake and lost positions and that’s just the way it goes with the sport. We got a good start, the boat is fast, but we were penalised by some unlucky coincidences that we didn’t manage to control as well as we would have liked. Our manoeuvring wasn’t as clean as usual and we paid for it. But placing seventh happens every now and again, it could even happen again, but we’ll try and make sure that it doesn’t.” 

Tomorrow, the final day of this event, racing is scheduled to start at 12:30 SAST South African Standard Time (11:30 CET) in conditions that are forecast to be more manageable than today’s. Racing can be followed on the tracker Virtual Eye, on the website, on the 52superseries app or the website Live updates from the race course will also be posted on Azzurra’s Facebook page. 

Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront – Cape Town 
Provisional Results after 7 races

1. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (4,2,2,2,5,2,7) 24 p.
2. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (1,3,1,7,8,7,4) 31 p.
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (5,8,4,5,1,6,2) 31 p.
4. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,10,7,1,6,8,1) 35 p.
5. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (3,4,RDG6,RDG5.5, RDG5.5, RDG5.5, RDG5.5) 35 p.
6. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (9,7,8,3,2,1,6) 36 p.
7. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (7,1,DNF11+2,4,3,3,9) 40 p.
8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (6,6,3,8,9,4,5) 41 p.
9. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (8,5,5,9,7,5,3) 42 p.
10. Paprec (FRA) (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin) (10,9,6,6,4,9,8) 52 p.

52 SUPER SERIES 2020 Calendar

Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES
V&A Waterfront - Cape Town
March 2nd - 6th 2020, Cape Town

Rolex TP52 World Championship Cape Town 
March 31st - April 4th 2020, Cape Town

Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino 
May 12th - 16th 2020, Scarlino

Audi 52 SUPER SERIES Porto Cervo & TP52 20th Anniversary Invitational
June 16th - 21st 2020, Porto Cervo

52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week
July 18th - 22nd 2020, Valencia

Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week
September 15th - 19th 2020, Puerto Portals

Pablo and Alberto Roemmers - Owners
Guillermo Parada - Skipper, Helm
Michele Paoletti - Tactician
Bruno Zirilli - Navigator
Giovanni Cassinari - Mainsail
Mariano Caputo - Bowman
Juan Pablo Marcos -  Midbow
David Vera - Pitman
Grant Loretz- Trimmer
Ciccio Celon - Trimmer
Mariano Parada - Trimmer
Gabriel Marino - Grinder
Alejandro Colla – Grinder
Nicola Pilastro - Grinder
Pedro Rossi- Boat Captain

Guillermo Baquerizas - Coach
Gonzalo Ramos Vertiz - Sail performances
Juan Garay - Sail Designer
Jean Martin Grisar - Sailmaker
Matias Blanco - Logistic
Sarah O' Kane - Logistic
Timothy Houghton- Rigger
Javier Feliu - Shore Crew
Ross Hunter - Boat Builder
Iñigo Losada - Physical Trainer
Miguel Moret - Physiotherapist
Sebastian Carera - Chiropractor

52 Super Series: Azzurra On the Cusp of Cape Town Success
Azzurra lift the first series title of the 2020 season