Menorca: Winning the final regatta of the year to become the only crew to win two events in 2017, the Roemmers family’s Azzurra, which represents the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, is the new 52 Super Series champion.
With three teams in the frame for the overall season title, Azzurra, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing, the final day was thwarted by a lack of breeze.
Although the fleet went afloat for several hours on the strength of a forecast for marginal light winds, there was only a short period when the wind showed any promise.
Azzurra, skippered by Guillermo Parada and tactics by Vasco Vascotto, finished an incredibly close fought season seven points ahead of the German flagged Platoon, winners of this year’s Rolex TP52 World Championship. They were 11 points clear of outgoing champion, Quantum Racing.
It is the first time since 2012 when the Series started, that three teams went into the final day with a chance of lifting the title.
Azzurra’s win reflects a higher level of consistency over the six-regatta season. While Platoon started the season with second at Key West and Miami before winning the world title, plus the third event of the year in Scarlino, she could not replicate that form in Sardinia where they finished sixth.
Quantum Racing won the first regatta, but slumped in Miami, 18 points behind Azzurra, then lost six places on the last day in Porto Cervo in June she suffered a mechanical failure and nearly lost her mast while leading the regatta and the last race.
Azzurra won in Miami and here in Menorca – on countback with Tony Langley’s Gladiator, which had her best ever finish. She was third in Scarlino, fourth in Porto Cervo and third in Puerto Portals.
The winning crew dedicated their win to the late Jimmy Kerkoc, Vice President of the YCCS Board and a passionate Azzurra fan who died two months ago.
Tactician Vascotto, who has been in the TP52 class since the Mediterranean fleet was set up in 2005, and winning the first ever year of competition on Pisco Sour, could hardly contain his relief.
“This has been the hardest season to win; the hardest I can ever think of with such a high, high level of competition,” Vascotto claimed.
“You can see that with five different teams winning regattas and for the first time having three boats in with a chance on the final day.
“I just feel so relieved and proud of this whole team. We changed our setup, our sails towards the end of last season and so thanks to the coaches who support us, we are very happy with how we worked this year.”
Disappointed, but unbowed, Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing’s tactician explained: “I am disappointed, a bit let down. The conditions were not easy. So much of the season is dictated by things four to five months ago, and the building blocks you take in each regatta.
“We did a lot of good things this year, but if I was to be ultra-critical of us, we were let down a little bit by the detail. Not reading the sailing Instructions in Porto Cervo cost us five points and gear failure cost us another six points. And if you do nothing else, but capture those 11 points back, we’d be sitting in a very different spot.
“Reliability is pretty key and Azzurra demonstrated that all season long. They made some great comebacks in this regatta. They took some risks, especially on the day that we went 2-2, then battled back. That’s the mark of the Championship winning team and so they earned it.”
The 2018 season will start in Croatia in May next year. Latest confirmation is that there are eight new build boats expected for next year.
Final Regatta Standings:
1. Azzurra (Roemmers Family, ITA/ARG) (1,4,6,3,6,2) 22 points
2. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (2,3,7,4,2,4) 22 p.
3. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), (4,7,2,2,1,9) 25 p.
4. Platoon (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER), (6,2,1,6,4,6) 25 p.
5. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (9,1,5,1,10,1) 27 p.
6. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) (5,6,3,7,11,5) 37 p.
7. Paprec Recyclage (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) (8,9,4,9,5,3) 38 p.
8. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA), (3,8,8,10,3,10) 42 p.
9. Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), (7,10,9,8,8,8) 50 p.
10. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA) (10,11,UFD12,5,7,7) 52 p.
11. Sorcha (Peter Harrison GBR) (11,5,10,11,9,11) 57 p.
Final Overall Standings:
1. Azzurra 192 p
2. Platoon 199 p.
3. Quantum Racing 203 p.
4. Provezza 240.3 p.
5. Bronenosec 260 p.
6. Rán, 266 p.
7. Sled, 293 p.
8. Gladiator, 309.6 p.
9. Alegre, 345.3 p.
10. Sorcha, 427 p.
For full results, visit: http://bit.ly/2w4n8lS