Wednesday, 10 March 2010

LVT: Second Consecutive win for Azzurra in the Louis Vuitton Trophy

Azzurra vs. Synergy. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

by Jill Campbell

Second convincing win for team Azzurra of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, who in the second day of the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland defeated the Russians of team Synergy with a superb match held in perfect sailing conditions. Wednesday the race course was positioned very close to the shore of downtown Auckland with its futuristic SkyTower in the background. Francesco Bruni, skipper and helmsman of the all-Italian team Azzurra, gained an early lead at the first top mark and comfortably controlled his opponent, helmed by match racing veteran Karol Jablonski from Poland with New Zealander Rod Dawson calling the tactics. The great precision and determination that Bruni displays during the races comes from the great experience that the skipper from Sicily has gained in two America’s Cup campaigns and three Olympic Games sailed in the Laser, 49er and Star.

Wednesday the Louis Vuitton Trophy enjoyed a great turnout of public, both on the water near the action and on shore in the race Village that is the heart of this City of Sails, that this week is also hosting the Auckland International Boat Show. “Today we had a great race, with perfect sailing conditions and an amazing scenery,” commented Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and President of team Azzurra, adding: “the crew of Azzurra sailed a superb match and the merit goes not only to the afterguard but also to the rest of the crew who completed each maneuver with great precision and perfect timing. I admire how Francesco [Bruni] manages the stress of the races with great calm and determination.” Bonadeo is the key figure that links the first Italian challenge to the America’s Cup in 1983 to the participation of the new Azzurra team at the Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Giovanni Maspero, Team Principal of Azzurra, today went out again as 18th man and enjoyed a great day of sailing. Tomorrow the 18th man probably won’t have such a comfortable ride, since a cold front is expected over Auckland with winds of up to 25 knots gusting to 30 knots and frequent rain squalls. Tommaso Chieffi, tactician of Azzura, wished to dedicate today’s victory to the memory of Alberto Ormas, a friend of his son’s who tragically died at the beginning of the year.

In the first match of the day the British of Team Origin, with triple Olympic gold Ben Ainslie at the helm and Iain Percy calling the tactics, vindicated yesterday’s loss to Azzurra with a convincing win against the French/German team of All4One, who have an all-star afterguard with Jochen Schuemann as skipper, New Zealander John Cutler calling the tactics and French Sebastien Col at the helm. The following match between Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, the other Italian team who has only three Italians out of 17 sailors on board, and the local favourite Emirates Team New Zealand was very close right until the moment when the jib clip broke on the Italian boat; the match ended with a second consecutive win by the Kiwis. In the final match of the day, Artemis helmed by American legend Paul Cayard who has seven world titles, five America’s Cup campaigns, two round the world races and two Olympic games to his credit, defeated the French team Aleph with America’s Cup veteran Bertrand Pacé at the helm.

Azzurra defeats Synery at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

The Race Committee is doing a really great job in managing the regatta on this course that can be really complicated due to currents, tides, channels, islands and shifting winds. The director at sea is Peter “Luigi” Reggio, one of the most respected Principal Race Officers of the international yachting scene. In his career Reggio has managed many events including the America’s Cup and the Olympics. Reggio has been President of the Louis Vuitton Trophy Race Committee since its debut.

Reggio feels at home in Sardinia, since the Sporting Director of YCCS Edoardo Recchi often calls him to manage the major regattas of the YCCS. Recchi is a key figure for the success of the sporting events of the Club, which every year hosts an impressive racing calendar.

Thursday, Azzurra will face All4One in the second match of the day.

ALEPH Sailing Team (France) 1
All4One (France/Germany) 1
Artemis (Sweden) 1
Azzurra (Italy) 2
Emirates Team New Zealand 2
Mascalzone Latino Audi Team (Italy) 0
Synergy Russian Sailing Team (Russia) 0

Azzurra Crew
Francesco Bruni – Skipper/Helmsman
Tommaso Chieffi – Tactician
Tom Burnham – Strategist
Bruno Zirilli – Navigator
Daniele De Luca – Mainsail trimmer
Stefano Rizzi – Jib Trimmer
Pierluigi De Felice – Spi trimmer
Gabriele Bruni – Runner trimmer
Piero Romeo – Runner grinder
Nicola Pilastro – Mainsail grinder
Massimo Galli – Left grinder
Francesco Scalici – Right grinder
Cristian Griggio – Pitman
Luca Albarelli – Mast
Pietro Mantovani – Mid Bow
Matteo Auguadro – Bowman
Michele Cannoni – Pit Assist
Gabrio Zandonà – Coach
Ben Durham – Reserve
Michele Gnutti – Reserve
Giuseppe Leonardi – Reserve

Louis Vuitton Trophy

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