Sunday, 10 April 2011
Image © Stefano Gattini.
by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
The prestigious Yacht Club Costa Smeralda have confirmed that they will compete on the Audi MedCup Circuit 2011 in the colours of the new Audi Azzurra Sailing Team with a crew built around a core group of sailors from the 2009 TP52 World Champions Matador. Guillermo Parada, Francesco Bruni and Vasco Vascotto will lead the team.
A large media congretation convened Wednesday morning in the beautiful Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica in Milan to enjoy the presentation of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 2011 ambitious sailing program.
The project's key strand is the Audi Azzura Sailing Team which marks the return to top level racing again this year of the legendary Azzurra colours, which will compete on the Audi MedCup Circuit 2011 for the first time, under the guidance of Riccardo Bonadeo, the Yacht Club's commodore, who said:
“At this stage this is the most exciting sailing you can find in Europe, and Azzurra just could not miss out on being part of it. We've had the chance to join again with a perfect partner in Alberto Roemmers, Matador's owner, with whom this partnership already worked well before, with Maspero. We hope that the same succes can be achieved by Azzurra.”
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team's project is a collaboration between the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Audi, who are Official Automotive Partner of the yacht club. Michael Frisch, Audi Italy’s General Manager: “ This is big and prestigious collaboration showing the perfect relationship between two very important entities. Both Audi and the YCCS always have and continue to display a passion for excellence, class and elegance, a showcase of dynamism and fair and clean competition.”
The crewfor the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit campaign will include some of Italy’s most important sailors, such as tactician Francesco Bruni (Azzurra's helmsman since 2009), and strategist Vasco Vascottowho won the inaugural MedCup Circuit season in 2005 and has been a key player each year since, accumulating considerable knowledge of the class, the circuit and the venues: “ We've got one only goal: to sail well. This has always been our mentality, and the one that has helped us up to were we are now. We are true sportsmen, who go on the water to perform at the maximum, and in each regatta we will try to bring home the best result. We are proud of being here and to wear these colors, and we want to represent such an important sponsor and the colours of the Yacht Club through our professionality. We've worked hard throughout the winter, and we are very motivated because we know this project means everything.”
Nacho Postigo, Audi MedCup Circuit Technical Director, echoes the enthusiasm about the team joining the Circuit:
“For the circuit, the participation of Azzurra and the Yacht Club Costa Esmeralda is very important, and we are happy to welcome them. It is a nice mix, carrying on the strong Argentinian core but infused with the Azzurra's soul and spirit. I believe they will be able to have good results, thanks to a strong crew and a new boat, which are some of the foundations needed to win. That doesn't mean it will be easy, since they'll have to beat the best sailors in the world, on a Circuit with so many competitive boats”.
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team's new boat has been designed by Rolf Vrolijk and is being completed currently at King Marine in Valencia, due to be launched Sunday April 10th. The boat will be baptized on the first day of the first regatta trophy, planned for May 16th.
It will be skipperd by Argentinian Guillermo Parada, which has been involved in the Matador project for many years, guiding Matador to third place on the podium in 2008 and 2010 and fourth in 2009 . “Our mentality will be the same as last year, but this is a very important step forwardfor the team. Having the support of two sponsors like Audi and Azzurra is a big responsability, which we assume with pleasure. We consider it the reward to all the things we've achieved in the past years, and we hope that our commitment will show in the results. For the team this is the beginning of a new era”.
Besides Parada, Vascotto and Bruni, the other members of the crew will be Italian Bruno Zirilli (navigator), Juan Pablo Cadario (pit), Mariano Caputo (bowman), Alejandro Colla (grinder), Pedro Rossi (mid bow), and the trimmers Maciel Cichetti, Paul Westlake, Simon Fry and Mariano Parada.