The boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee has finished PalmaVela on a bright note. While the event is not part of the TP52s regular season, it is a kind of dress rehearsal with all of the teams that will be racing in the upcoming 52 Super Series 2019, scheduled to begin on May 21st in Minorca, racing here to warm up and sound out the competition.
The final day of racing at the 16th edition of PalmaVela was intense, with the battle for the podium open until the end of the final race. At 12.20 the TP52s began their seventh race in breeze from the southwest at nine knots that built quickly to 16. The wind fluctuated and wasn’t easy to read because a north westerly gradient encountered thermal breeze from the south west over the course of the race. In the first race Azzurra along with Quantum, Platoon and Phoenix, went straight to the right. It was the better side in the end, but the fact that the rest of the fleet was sailing on the left shows just how hard it was to make tactical decisions given the conditions. Quantum rounded the mark first followed by Platoon and Azzurra who were neck to neck as they were in the final score too. The three teams held on to these positions right to the end. At this point Azzurra was virtually on the podium because Phoenix, who yesterday was in third place and ahead of Azzurra by just one point, was passed right before the finish by Sled. Her fifth place finish in this race bumped her off the lower step of the podium.
The final race in this event began in winds that had rotated west and built to 18 knots with gusts at 22. With Quantum almost sure to place first, Azzurra wanted to defend her third place overall by attacking Platoon and holding off Phoenix. Her team sailed especially well in this race manouvering perfectly in stronger winds and making the right tactical and strategic decisions even though the conditions were not easy to read. She even managed to recover a position along the second beat finishing second behind Sled and ahead of Quantum, who placed third. Overall, Azzurra was tied for second place with Platoon with both teams at 33 points. As if this weren’t enough, the two teams were also tied for the same number of first and second place finishes. In the end, Platoon edged out Azzurra for second place because her team had more third place finishes: two compared to Azzurra’s one.
“I’m very proud of this team,” said Riccardo Bonadeo, YCCS Commodore. “You see the quality of real champions when the going is tough. We finished third overall, but tied for points with a high profile team like Platoon. I can’t remember ever having to go back as far as the number of third place finishes to decide a team’s position overall. Congratulations to the entire team Azzurra!”
Guillermo Parada, skipper: “Yesterday I said we were going to fight for the podium and we did. I’m glad to end this event with positive results and we’re looking forward to Mahon where we have to make sure that we start like we ended here: sailing with consistently good results. We were happy with the boat speed, any problems were down to us not sailing as well as we should, so I’m glad we have worked that out and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Santiago Lange, tactician: “We ended this event on a good note. It was a long winter and we paid the price for not sailing more, but now we’re back in top form. For sure it’s going to be a tight fleet in the Super Series and we’ll have to sail very well. We need to make sure that we learn from the mistakes that we made at the beginning of this event and I’m glad that we were able to compete here because we needed it as a warm up.”
Final results after 8 races
1. Quantum USA (5,4,1,4,4,5,1,3) 27 p.
2. Platoon GER (3,3,9,2,6,1,2,7) 33 p.
3. Azzurra ARG/ITA (6,6,5,8,1,2,3,2) 33 p.
4. Sled USA (1,2,11,11,2,4,4,1) 36 p.
5. Alegre GBR (4,7,3,3,7,3,6,4) 37 p.
6. Phoenix RSA (1,7,4,1,8,6,3,5,8) 40 p.
7. Bronenosec RUS (5,8,2,6,3,8,8,6) 46 p.
8. Provezza TUR (9,2,8,7,5,9,9,9) 58 p.
9. Gladiator ENG (9,8,7,9,10,7,7,5) 62 p.
10.Team Vision Future FRA (10,10,6,5.9.10,10,11) 71 p.