Sardinia Cup - Soto 40 and TP52 classes put to the test

TP52 - Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and Quantum Racing - Audi Sardinia Cup 2012
© Alessandro Spiga/YCCS
Audi Sardinia Cup 2012 penultimate day of racing consisted of coastal courses winding through the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago combined with patchy breeze to put both the Soto 40 and the TP52 classes to the test today.

The provisional overall team classification has Team USA, composed of the TP52 Quantum Racing and the Soto 40 Iberdrola, retaining their lead over second-placed Italy represented by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (TP52) - which claimed an important win today - and Alegre (Soto 40). Great Britain, represented by the TP52 Gladiator and the Soto 40 Ngoni sit in third place.

Today's race, the sixth in the series, had a coefficient of 1.5 and was raced in easterly breezes of 6 to 8 knots. Racing will conclude tomorrow with a maximum of three windward-leeward races to be held and all to play for in both the team and individual class results.

The six participating 52s completed a 27-mile course which saw them pass through the strait between Capo Ferro and Isole delle Bisce island, head along the coast past the islands of Caprera, Santo Stefano and La Maddalena and round Spargi island to starboard. From here the fleet headed back down the channel between Sardinia and the islands, known to sailors the world over as Bomb Alley, to the finish off the Gulf of Pevero. Azzurra got a good start and a fearsome battle ensued between the Italian boat and rivals Quantum Racing for first place as they headed on a long reach towards Spargi. Both were then forced to watch the rest of the fleet sail around them when they became stuck in a windless hole. France's Paprec Recyclage took the lead at this point but was disqualified for failing to respect the set course when they sailed a forbidden passage between Spargi and Spargiotto. Powerplay therefore headed the remainder of the fleet until she too hit a hole about 50 metres from the finish whereupon first Azzurra, then Gladiator and Quantum all sailed by her. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team now sits at the top of the TP52 classification - valid for the 52 Super Series circuit - just one point ahead of Quantum

The five Soto 40s were set a 14 mile course rounding the Secca Tre Monti rock and heading up the east coast of Caprera to leave Monaci island to starboard before racing to the finish. Today's was the first ever coastal race for this one-design class who are more used to racing round the cans and Bigamist took the lead early on with Iberdrola and Ngoni vying for second place. The British boat won out in the end with Iberdrola in third. Thanks to three bullets gained yesterday, however, Iberdrola remains at the top of the individual Soto 40 classification, six points clear of Bigamist.

Vasco Vascotto, America's Cup sailor and strategist aboard Audi Azzurra Sailing Team: 'You build the result brick by brick, even when the situation seems impossible, like what happened to us today when we were leading from the start and then fell into a windless hole together with Quantum who we were battling with.'

Soto 40 - Bigamist - Audi Sardinia Cup 2012
© Alessandro Spiga/YCCS

Andrea Casale, former J24 World Champion, aboard Bigamist: 'Iberdrola won the start but we chose the correct side at the Isola delle Bisce and led for the rest of the race. It was our first coastal race and I loved it, there were more manoeuvres, different scenery, it was better fun than a windward-leeward race even if today's conditions weren't the most thrilling due to the light air. We're not sure what will happen tomorrow, the teams are all competitive and we have a great crew which includes Afonso Domingos who will sail in the Olympics, as well as Hugo Rocha and Nuno Barreto, tactician and trimmer, won bronze in the Olympics in 1996. They are people who know how to win so tomorrow we will be pushing everything to the limit.'

Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Sunday 17th June at 11 a.m. Easterly breezes of approximately 5 knots are forecast.

Audi Sardinia Cup - Provisional Team Results
1. USA: Soto 40 Iberdrola Team (3/3/1/1/1/4,5=13,5) - TP52 Quantum Racing (1/1/3/1/3/4,5=13,5) 27 points
2. Italy: Soto 40 Alegre (1/1/5/2/4/7,5=20,5) - TP52 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (3/2/2/4/1/1,5=13,5) 34 points
3. Great Britain: Soto 40 Ngoni (5/5/2/5/3/3=23) - TP52 Gladiator (2/3/1/2/5/3=16) 39 points
4. Sweden: Soto 40 Black Pearl (4/2/3/4/2/6=21) - TP52 Ràn (4/4/4/3/2/7,5=24,5) 45,5 points
5. Cayman Islands: Soto 40 Bigamist (2/4/4/3/5/1,5=19,5) - TP52 Powerplay (5/5/5/5/4/6=30) 49,5 points

Audi Sardinia Cup - Provisional Soto 40 Results
1. Iberdrola 3/3/1/1/1/4,5=13,5
2. Bigamist 2/4/4/3/5/1,5=19,5
3. Alegre 1/1/5/2/4/7,5=20,5

Audi Sardinia Cup - Provisional Tp52 Results
1. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 3/2/2/4/1/1,5=13,5
2. Quantum Racing 1/1/3/1/4/4,5=14,5
3. Gladiator 2/3/1/2/6/3=17

YCCS website
52 Super Series website
Soto 40 website