52 Super Series – Azzurra within reach of Valencia Cup win

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team - 52 Super Series, Audi Valencia Cup 2012
Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
In the 2012 52 Super Series, Azzurra is unstoppable and with two fantastic bullets in today's two races, she is the virtual winner of the 52 Super Series and puts one hand on the Audi Valencia Cup.

The yacht flying the burgee of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has achieved the goal it had set when arriving in Valencia: recover the six-point deficit with Quantum, leader of the 52 Super Series, and win the championship. In the last race scheduled for tomorrow it will be enough for Audi Azzurra Sailing Team just to cross the finish line. Moments after docking in under the Veles y Vents building in Port America’s Cup, Azzurra's skipper Guillermo Parada wanted to thank everybody for their intense efforts but asked them, at the same time, not to lose their concentration in view of tomorrow's race, a formality that still has to be carried out in the best way.

Azzurra sailed two perfect races today, with brilliant starts and inspired tactics that allowed them to be fully in control of their adversaries and win both races from start to finish. At the same time, Quantum struggled just to score two third places, bringing Azzurra's advantage to four points. This will crown Azzurra champion even if they finish fifth and Quantum takes the last race. In that case, the tiebreak would be Azzurra's better score in the last event. As for the Audi Valencia Cup, only Jochen Schuemann, at the helm of All4One by Audi, can still aspire to victory ahead of Azzurra.

Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'We are obviously extremely happy to have reached our goal for the season, win the 52 Super Series! It's a victory we want to dedicate first of all to Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Roemmers family, our owners. However, we also dedicate it to ourselves. We have shown we are a strong and close-knit team, both on the water and ashore, because without our shore crew, our sailmakers, our technicians we would have never reached our goal. We also share a thought for the Quantum guys, we know how they feel right now as we went through it ourselves! Nevertheless, we must now think about finishing our job tomorrow and then immediately start scheduling the next season that starts as early as next January, in Key West'.

Vasco Vascotto, strategist: 'As far as monohull sailing is concerned, Azzurra is again king of the world! We know than in the future we will encounter more difficult moments as well as more satisfactions, that's sport, but today we have shown the team is here, definitely! Yesterday, when we were tied, I said that in the following two days one team would go back home happy and the other one sad but since Quantum is a top-notch team, they dominated the season and they will certainly find the way to come back.'

Francesco Bruni, tactician: 'Today we had two good starts, especially the first one, but it was Vasco's strategy that allowed us to achieve this result, we were perfectly in phase with the wind. I will certainly have to point out to the perfect job of the entire crew and in what regards our direct adversaries, I think they suffered from the pressure we put them on in the prestart. As far as the season is concerned, I would like to thank Luna Rossa for giving me the possibility to continue onboard Azzurra the job we started in the past. It's now three years I have been sailing with this group, I feel part of this big family and I’m happy to be able to be with them today.'

Audi Valencia Cup after seven races:

1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA) 13 pts
2 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One (FRA/GER) 17pts
3 Quantum Racing (USA) 23pts
4 Rán (SWE) 24pts
5 Gladiator (GBR) 28pts

52 Super Series, Overall standings:

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 72.5
Quantum Racing 76.5
Rán Racing 93.5
Gladiator 121
Audi ALL4ONE 127.5

Azzurra website