52 Super Series resumes today
Crews are preparing to compete in the third regatta of the 52 Super Series when the Royal Cup starts at the Real Club Náutico in Palma at 1100 UTC today.
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team is hoping an artillery of new sails will help to reel in the 52 Super Series leaders Quantum Racing when the four-day regatta starts.
Azzurra skipper Guillermo Parada said there was plenty of pressure on his team to step-up in the third regatta in the world’s premier inshore monohull series, with just three points separating Azzurra and Quantum with two regattas to go.
“This could be the turning point in the series,’’ Parada said. “If Quantum manage to get more points on us it’s going to be hard for us to get them back in with only one regatta, come the Valencia Cup in September.”
Parada said his team will hit the start line with three new sails tailor made for the moderate conditions in Palma Bay and also a change in the crew, with Mariano Parada replacing tactician Francesco Bruni, who has America’s Cup commitments.
“The crew change may look big on paper, but it’s not,’’ Parada said. “As for the sails, we hope they will be give us a boost.”
Quantum Racing is no easy target. The defending champions have won seven of the 14 races in the series to date and only failed to finish on the podium twice.
Double America’s Cup winner Quantum skipper Ed Baird said his team are aiming to harness their winning momentum heading into the event. “The group right now are meshing well, there’s good information flow,” Baird said. “We had our ups and downs in the last event and with one day to go we were behind, but the guys took that in their stride and it worked out. They are really fighting to improve each and every day.”
Rán Racing skipper Niklas Zennström said his team, who are third in the overall 52 Super Series, have their work cut out for them to chase down Quantum and Azzurra. But Zennström reckons the predicted consistent winds in Palma Bay will play to his team’s advantage.
“We are third place and we have a chance to come from behind and challenge, but I also know when we race against Quantum and Azzurra they don’t cut us any slack,’’ he said. “It will be intense, it’s very close racing. If you miss a shift, if you have a bad tack, a bad gybe, you will fall behind. But this is our second year racing our boat and our training sessions have been going well, things are looking good.”
Two new comers will join the fleet, Austrian team Aquila, helmed by Rene Mangold, and Turkish team Provezza, owned by Ergin Imre and steered by double Olympic 470 silver medallist Nick Rogers.
|AUDI AZZURRA||ITA-280||ALBERTO ROEMMERS|
|QUANTUM RACING||52011||DOUG DEVOS|
|AUDI ALL4ONE||GER A40||ALL4ONE RACING TEAM S.L.|
|POWERPLAY||CAY52||POWERPLAY RACING LTD|
|PROVEZZA 7||TUR1212||ERGIN IMRE|
Racing starts at 1100 UTC. Follow the audio commentary of the action on the water here: