Under the skin of the new Azzurra TP52

Carlo Borlenghi / www.borlenghi.com
Downwind trimmer Simon Fry gives us the guided tour
The only new TP52 on the ’52 Super Series’ is the latest Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, the joint Argentinean/Italian effort backed by Matador’s Alberto Roemmers representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. This is the Azzurra/Matador team’s fourth new TP with three Judel-Vrolijk designs previously in 2007, 2009 and 2011, the last being one of the two ‘fat’ boats, along with the Franco-German Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4One. The latest boat however is a Botin and Partners design, a development of last year’s season winner Quantum Racing and built, like Quantum, by King Marine near Valencia. “The boat was a Volvo 52!” says Simon Fry, eminent sailmaker and downwind trimmer, last year’s Azzurra. “It was possibly a little radical. At times it was blisteringly fast, but at times it really struggled. It was quite a difficult boat to sail. The powers that be decided that we would run a Botin this year and here we are.” The new Azzurra’s hull shape according to Fry is very very similar to Quantum Racing (and sistership Synergy, which sadly isn’t racing this year), with a slight chine, although the rudder is a fraction further aft compared to the 2011 boats. There are obvious differences between the Vrolijk and Botin designs particularly under the water where the former’s keel is in a T-configuration, whereas the latter has more of an L-shape. In terms of how the new boat behaves on the race course, Fry says it is markedly different. Generally it is much easier to sail, less quirky and more forgiving to heel. “Obviously you try and sail on your heel targets, but if you want the boat to go faster you press on it, you don’t have to do a radical trim changes. Upwind it has done everything we wanted it to do. Downwind we are still