With no racing possible on the final day of the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 Super Series V&A Waterfront Cape Town regatta, the 2019 circuit champions, Azzurra, lift the first series title of the 2020 season.
Racing in South Africa for the first time represented something of a voyage of discovery for the 52 Super Series owners and crews.
The 10 teams from eight nations were rewarded with good racing in a variety of conditions, including a visit from the strong Cape Doctor wind, all set against the spectacular backdrop of Table Mountain and the Lion’s Head.
Victory for Azzurra was underpinned by a dream debut for new tactician Michele Paoletti, the Italian-Argentine team winning their first series regatta since September 2017.
After finishing runner-up at four of last year’s five regattas, the Azzurra crew were delighted to prove they can win regattas as well as secure the season-long championship, which they have won four times.
“This is something we have talked about a lot. It is a relief to know we can still do it and be consistent over the last couple of events. To win the season without winning an event is great, but the feeling of winning here is really enjoyable,” co-owner Alberto Roemmers said.
“We dedicate it to one of our crew members, Ale Colla, who could not join us here, because of a health issue. I am sure he will be back for the next event here in Cape Town, so the win is for him and also for Pedro Rossi who did a great job replacing him.”
“It is always good to start on the right foot. We worked really, really hard thinking of ways to improve our boat speed. It is hard to get more and more (boat speed) after so many years, but we achieved something and have the speed. When you have speed, it lets you race in a different way.
Second overall was a dream result too for Hasso Plattner’s local Phoenix 11 crew, tied on points with Quantum Racing, the four-time circuit champions.
Plattner’s team, which included Peter Holmberg and Andy Horton in afterguard, with local knowledge from Paul Willcox, Shane Elliot and Shaun Pammenter, led until halfway through the second day before they were compromised by a series of small technical breakdowns.
“It was a great regatta,” Plattner said. “I especially enjoyed yesterday, which was good for Cape Town and for the fleet. We had fun. We made it a little bit tight when we lost our spinnaker in the fifth race. Second is great,” he said.
“We like to sail short tacking along the waterfront. We are up to that. It has been a great week, a great regatta and things played out very well.”
Quantum Racing’s navigator Michele Ivaldi concluded: “It was an eventful regatta with a lot going on and newcomers on the boat, including me, having brought some different points of view.
“We have to improve on our communication and some systems. We had a couple of hiccups in a couple of races but we finish on a high note, we had some good racing. There are some regrets about points left on the table but that is also indicative of the level of the fleet.”
Final Regatta Standings
1. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (4,2,2,2,5,2,7) 24
2. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (1,3,1,7,8,7,4) 31
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (5,8,4,5,1,6,2) 31
4. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,10,7,1,6,8,1) 35
5. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (3,4,RDG6,RDG5.5, RDG5.5, RDG5.5, RDG5.5) 35
6. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (9,7,8,3,2,1,6) 36
7. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (7,1,DNF11+2,4,3,3,9) 40
8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (6,6,3,8,9,4,5) 41
9. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (8,5,5,9,7,5,3) 42
10. Paprec (FRA) (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin) (10,9,6,6,4,9,8) 52