With a lack of wind preventing racing on the final day of 52 SUPER SERIES Cape Town, the 2019 circuit champions Azzurra lift the first series title of the 2020 season.
Victory for Azzurra was underpinned by a dream debut for new tactician Michele Paoletti, the Italian-Argentine team actually winning their first series regatta since September 2017. After finishing runners up at four of last year’s five regattas, the Azzurra team were delighted to prove they can win regattas as well as secure the season long championship, which they have won four times.
“This is something we have talked about a lot,” admitted Guillermo Parada, Skipper/Helmsman on Azzurra. “It is a relief to know we can still do it and be consistent over the last couple of events. To win the season without winning an event is great, but the feeling of winning here is really enjoyable.
“We dedicate it to one of our crew members Ale Colla who could not join us here. He has a health issue that he is dealing with and I am sure he will be back for the next event here in Cape Town, so the win is for him and also for Pedro Rossi who did a great job replacing him.
“It is always good to start on the right foot. We worked really, really hard thinking of ways to improve our boatspeed. It is hard to get more and more [boatspeed] after so many years, but we achieved something and have the speed. And when you have speed it lets you race in a different way.
“So thanks and congratulations to Michele who is new to the team but has done a fantastic job and I think this will help him with confidence going into the next regatta.”
And second overall was a dream result too, ahead of hopes and expectations for Hasso Plattner’s local Phoenix 11 crew, tied on points with Quantum Racing, also four-times circuit champions. Plattner’s team, which includes Peter Holmberg and Andy Horton in afterguard, and relied on local knowledge from Paul Willcox, Shane Elliot and Shaun Pammenter, lead until halfway through the second day before they were compromised by a series of small technical breakdowns.
“It was a great week for us when everything really came together,”noted Horton. “It all clicked. We had no major breakdowns and did not make any big mistakes. We did a bit of two-boat testing and training down here, which helped us; it helped me learn the race course because I had not been here and did not even know what it looked like, and so that gave me ten days. And Hasso, top owner driver tying with a team like Quantum Racing is great.”
Quantum Racing’s navigator Michele Ivaldi saw the event as a productive building block. “It was an eventful event with a lot going on in the boat with the newcomers on the boat – me – having brought some different points of view. We have to improve on our communication and some systems, we had a couple of hiccups in a couple of races but we finish on a high note, we had some good racing. There are some regrets about points left on the table but that is also indicative of the level of the fleet.”
Racing was from March 2 to 6.
Final Results (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.
The 2020 season marks the ninth edition of the 52 SUPER SERIES which is established as the world’s leading grand prix monohull yacht racing circuit.
March 2-6 – Cape Town 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, Cape Town, South Africa
March 31-April 4 – Rolex TP52 World Championship Cape Town 2020, Cape Town, South Africa
May 12-16 – Royal Cup 52 SUPER SERIES Scarlino 2020, Scarlino, Italy
June 17-21 – Audi 52 SUPER SERIES Porto Cervo & TP52 20th Anniversary Invitational, Porto Cervo, Italy
July 18-22 – 52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week, Valencia, Spain
September 15-19 – Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, Puerto Portals, Spain
Alegre – Andy Soriano (USA/GBR), 2018 Botin
Azzurra – Roemmers Family (ARG/ITA), 2018 Botin
Bronenosec – Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS), 2019 Botin
Gladiator – Tony Langley (GBR), 2017 Botin
Paprec Recyclage – Jean-Luc Petithuguenin (FRA), 2015 Judel/Vrolijk
Phoenix 11 – Hasso/Tina Plattner (RSA), 2018 Botin
Phoenix 12 – Hasso/Tina Plattner (RSA), 2014 Botin
Platoon – Harm Müller-Spreer (GER), 2018 Judel/Vrolijk
Provezza – Ergin Imre (TUR), 2018 Judel/Vrolijk
Quantum Racing – Doug DeVos (USA), 2018 Botin
Sled – Takashi Okura (USA), 2018 Botin
Team Vision Future – Jean Jacques Chaubard (FRA), 2015 Botin
Source: 52 Super Series
Published on March 6th, 2020