Cascais, Portugal (October 14, 2016) – The chances of Azzurra halting the regatta winning run of 2016 champions Quantum Racing were given a boost today when the team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda sailed to a first and second place in modest breezes at the EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup, beating their American rivals twice.
Azzurra now lead Quantum Racing into the final day of the last regatta of the season by five points. But their tactician Vasco Vascotto considers that their positive progress, having closed the performance gap on the circuit’s benchmark team is more exciting for him than the prospect of winning their first event of a season, which has so far been dominated by Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing.
“It’s very nice for us to feel like all the work we’re doing is taking us in the right direction,” said Vascotto. “For me, that’s the most important thing. This is an important event, and Cascais is a wonderful place, but the most important thing for us is to know that with the next season being just around the corner now we know that our benchmark that is Quantum Racing are not too far away and that we’re going in the right direction. I’m proud of what we are doing, and it looks as if everything is perfect. No, actually not perfect, just better.”
The race arena for the penultimate day’s racing was moved east, slightly more towards Lisbon city, in the search for stronger pressure. The resulting race course was complex, with a reduction in wind strength towards the top mark and a right hand shift in the top third of the track. Downwind legs gave a growing advantage to the leaders who worked progressively into stronger breeze.
Vascotto proved particularly adept at reading the breeze. On the first run he held Azzurra closer to the shore and rolled down in extra, heading pressure that allowed them to sail round early leaders Sled. Quantum Racing were bounced by Phoenix early in the beat and finished fifth. Provezza’s third to Rán Racing’s ninth saw the two contenders for third overall for the season swap positions, Ergin Imre’s team getting a taste of third overall.
The breeze remained settled and the course marks fixed for the next race. Bronenosec followed the same strategy as worked nicely for Azzurra in the previous heat. As they made their final tack for the windward mark to claim the lead they left Quantum Racing trailing in their dirty air exhaust fumes. Slowed momentarily they were rolled by Azzurra which had the luxury of bringing their bow down very slightly on approach accelerating to second place. Vladimir Liubomirov’s crew took their second win of the regatta to move up to fourth on the event standings. Azzurra’s second earned them one more point going into the final day.
The duel for third overall saw Rán Racing seize back third place when they finished fifth to Provezza’s bogey ninth. Just as there was in Cascais last year, the third place battle goes to the wire, Rán leading Provezza by just two tiny points.
The EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day.
Day Four Standings (6 races)
1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8,1,2) 15 pts
2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3,5,3) 20 pts
3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2,2,8) 24 pts
4 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4,4,1) 26 pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1,6,7) 33 pts
6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6,3,9) 34 pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5,9,5) 37 pts
8 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10,7,4) 45 pts
9 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7,10,6) 48 pts
10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9,8,10) 48 pts
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):
“Today was a perfect day after yesterday’s bad final race. It’s the best way to recover from those kinds of mistakes. We feel that we have improved a little bit more, and that nice because there are just two days until next season. I think that if you want to be competitive next year, tomorrow is a great opportunity to learn even more. It’s very nice for us to feel like all the work we’re doing is taking us in the right direction. For me, that’s the most important thing. This is an important event, and Cascais is a wonderful place, but the most important thing for us is to know that the next season is just around the corner and to know that our benchmark that is Quantum Racing are not too far away and that we’re going in the right direction. I’m proud of what we are doing, and it looks as if everything is perfect. No, better… not perfect. After a year, we’re happy to be in a position where we can beat Quantum. Two events ago, it was impossible to think like that. To be in this position is a great feeling for us. We have one more day to learn. If we go into the water tomorrow with the right approach and try to learn something more, it will be even sweeter if that is possible. But the result is just a detail compared to what we can learn tomorrow.”
52 SUPER SERIES – Overall Standings
1 Quantum Racing, 133 pts
2 Azzurra, 195 pts
3 Rán Racing, 228 pts
4 Provezza, 230 pts
5 Bronenosec Gazprom, 236 pts
6 Platoon, 240pts
7 Sled, 268 pts
8 Alegre, 273 pts
9 Gladiator, 331 pts
10 Paprec Recyclage, 430.2 pts
2016 52 SUPER SERIES Calendar
52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino Cup
Scarlino, YCS, May 25 – 29.
Settimana delle Bocche
Porto Cervo, YCCS, June 28 – July 2
52 SUPER SERIES Portals Sailing Week
Puerto Portals, CRPP, July 25 – 29
TP52 World Championship
Mahon, CMM, September 14 – 18
52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup
Cascais, CNC, October 11 – 15.
Source: 52 Super Series