Thursday, 16 June 2011

Audi MedCup : Audi Azzurra Sailing Team Wins Practice Race

Azzurra. Image copyright S.Gattini/Studio Borlenghi/Audi Medcup

by Guiliano Luzzatto

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team put aside pretactics and a well known sailing superstition to claim a convincing win in the Marseille Trophy Practice Race. Tradition dictates that the leading boat should not cross the finish line because the team that wins the Practice Race, so the saying goes, does not go on to win the event.

"We are very pleased," commented skipper Guillermo Parada, "when we won the Practice Race in Cascais we didn't cross the finish line to avoid bad luck, but it clearly wasn't enough to guarantee victory! Here we decided to ignore the superstition and claim this first, symbolic win. I believe that the changes made to the boat are taking us in the right direction and I can feel an improvement at the helm. It is too early to talk about performance however."

A light south-westerly thermal breeze of approximately 8 to 11 knots accompanied the eight competing TP52s in practice starts and a complete race today. In theory, Azzurra's powerful hull should prefer blustering Mistral winds but today the boat and the team showed that the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's vessel can also deal with light air. Behind Audi Azzurra Sailing Team were Quantum Racing, currently at the top of the provisional classification, and Ran, helmed by owner and inventor of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom.

Italo-Argentinian pitman, Juanpa Cadario, and Italy's Bruno Zirilli, navigator, described the entertaining vote that took place during the final downwind leg to decide whether to cross the finish line. The fact that the crew knows how to stay relaxed and cheerful in highly competitive situations can only be an advantage for Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.

Guillermo Parada - Skipper and Helmsman
Francesco Bruni - Tactician
Vasco Vascotto - Strategist
Bruno Zirilli - Navigator
Paul Westlake - Mainsail
Mariano Caputo - Bowman
Pedro Rossi - Mid Bow
Juan Pablo Cadario - Pitman
Maciel Cichetti - Trimmer
Mariano Parada - Trimmer
Simon Fry - Trimmer
Gabriel Marino - Grinder
Alejandro Colla - Grinder
Boat Captain: Pedro Rossi

Owner: Alberto Roemmers

Audi MedCup