Porto Cervo, Italy: The final day of the Audi 52 Super Series Sailing Week, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS, was a thrilling one, which in the end was won by the US entry, Sled.
Nine windward-leeward races were completed over the course of a week in total, and the overall classification ended with Sled triumphing by a wide margin over her closest rivals, Azzurra and Quantum Racing.
Today also brought the general classification of the circuit to a close, and it was Azzurra that claimed the title of Champion of the 52 Super Series 2019. Flying the YCCS burgee, the boat is owned by club members, the Roemmers family.
This morning at 11am, the 10 teams gathered on the starting line for the first race of the day. Three windward-leeward races were held, with a mistral wind blowing at 12-15 knots and reaching up to 20 knots by the third race.
Sled rounded out the last day of competition with three wins from three races, to finish 19 points ahead of Azzurra, which was engaged in a match race with Platoon, her closest rival in the fight for overall series victory.
With today's results – a third, fourth and sixth place – Azzurra also managed to take second place in this wee-long event and claimed the series champion title for a fourth time. On the third step of the podium was America's Quantum Racing, owned by another YCCS member, Doug DeVos, who today notched up two second-place finishes and a sixth.
Don Cowie, mainsail trimmer on Sled, owned by Takashi Okura, commented on the victory: “The owner is very happy, we are very happy. The guys did a great job, the shore team was also a great help. We raced very well, with excellent starts and the whole team did really great work.
“It's been a great week for us. For five years now we have been sailing together and during that time we've reached the third step of the podium three times. This is the first time we've won.”
Pablo Roemmers, owner of Azzurra said: “It’s been a long season and although we’ve never won an event, we have consistently achieved good performances. We have finished four events in second place, very close to the winning team. Consistency paid off in the end.
“Every day we tried to improve little things, at times the sails, at others the tuning of the boat for speed. I really believe that being consistent has been the key to success.
“I'm really happy to celebrate today, especially because we're at my own club. In addition, today is also the 52nd birthday of our skipper – Guillermo Parada – one more reason to celebrate the victory in the 52 Super Series.
“Racing on home waters is always a source of tension because all eyes are on us, including those of our friends at the YCCS. We must also congratulate Sled on her victory in this event with so many first places, maybe tomorrow we'll try to figure out what they did that we didn't do.”
Doug DeVos, owner of Quantum Racing commented: “The mood is positive, we sailed well, over the course of the season we have improved, including in this event. We’ve talked a lot about how to perfect our performance. This sport is very difficult and the challenge is to learn more every day.
“You never know how these races will turn out, I think about how many we have raced over the season and in the end only a couple of points separate us from our competitors. The results we have achieved give us the motivation to work hard to prepare for next season.”
Riccardo Bonadeo, YCCS Commodore said: “Every time the 52 Super Series visits Porto Cervo it's an incredible occasion. This year was an even more intense experience, because the event closes the YCCS season and because Azzurra, which represents the club, was racing to clinch the title of circuit champion – and she happily did.”
Full results and all information: www.52superseries.com/events/2019/eu/audi-52-super-series-porto-cervo-sailing-week