52 Super Series - Key West victory and setback for Azzurra

Azzurra in action during day one at the Quantum Key West Race Week on January 21st 2013 in Key West, Florida, USA.
Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series
Commanding victory in the opening race of the 52 Super Series 2013 season in Key West, while in the second one, Azzurra suffered an unfortunate setback as the keel got tangled up with the line of a lobster trap.

The TP52 professional circuit is growing in 2013 and enjoying a warm January start in Florida, where Azzurra is called to defend the title conquered last season.

'Today was a day where everything and their opposite took place,' commented tactician Vasco Vascotto moments after docking in. 'The first race was perfect: we got the start we wanted on the left, we were in phase with the breeze and crew work onboard was flawless. The second race was the complete opposite: after a more difficult start that forced us to a trailing position, we got tangled up with the line of a lobster trap right during the gennaker hoist, when everybody was focused on his own maneuver. In fact, our race was over right at that moment. However, the positive thing is that we are absolutely competitive, I feel we can do well. Undoubtedly, in top-level sport you pay dearly any small distraction but that's part of the game.'

The problem of a line from the numerous lobster traps scattered in front of Key West getting tangled up with the keel, as unfortunate as it might be, was already taken into consideration. In fact, during the training sessions, Azzurra's crew had already practiced the untangling maneuver which sees pitman David Vera dive immediately while each crew member has his own task in order to reduce any loss of time as much as possible. However, trailing the penultimate boat of such a competitive fleet by 300-400 meters, makes recovery virtually impossible. Azzurra managed to close in on newcomers Rio, the former Synergy now flying the stars and stripes, but didn't make it.

This is what Azzurra's skipper Guillermo Parada had to comment: 'In the first race we sailed really well and this gave me more satisfaction than the victory we achieved. As for the second race, Vasco already talked about it, however I really enjoyed the crew's performance: everybody rushed to resolve the problem and then tried to stage an impossible recovery without blaming anyone and with a positive attitude. I'm truly happy about that.'

Two more races are scheduled for tomorrow with starting at 11:40am local time, 5:40pm CET.

52 Super Series - Quantum Key West 2013:

Overall after two races:

1 Quantum Racing 5pts
2 Gladiator 5pts
3 Azzurra 7pts
4 RÁN Racing 7pts
5 Interlodge 7pts
6 Rio 11pts

52 Super Series – 2013 Racing Schedule:

20 - 25 January – Quantum Key West Race Week
5 - 9 March - 52 World Championship, Miami
23- 26 May - 40th Trofeo Conde de Godo, RCNB, Barcelona
3 - 6 July - Royal Cup, Ibiza
29 July - 3 August - Copa del Rey, RCNP, Palma de Mallorca
10-14 September – Week of the Straits, YCCS, Porto Cervo

Azzurra website