Azzurra, the 52 SUPER SERIES champions of 2015, delivered their best day of this season so far on the Bay of Palma waters where they won the World Championship title and where they built so much of their season-winning points cushion last year.
The team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda scored two second places from the pair of windward-leeward races which were sailed in relatively steady sea breeze conditions. Super sharp starting was the launch pad for race victories today. Prime position on the pin mark of the start line at the gun was key to the wins of Bronenosec and Provezza.
Azzurra achieved the best balance of risk management at the line up, not pushing too hard for the high stakes big reward position, then, critically showing that they have enough speed to hold their lane of clear air to hold or build on the early gains. On both occasions today Azzurra were second at the first windward mark and then kept it nice and tight to cement their second places.
Platoon, with Markus Wieser and local ace Jordi Calafat combining strengths as tactician and strategist, were nearly as strong today, returning two third places.
The 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week leaderboard is surely the tightest yet.
Only five points separating the top six boats. Quantum Racing sailed a fourth and fifth today and so are still leading but still only on countback. Now Azzurra and Quantum Racing are both on 14pts. Today’s race winners Bronenosec and Provezza are both on 15pts, Platoon on 17 and Sled on 19pts. Even behind them there are only three points separating Gladiator, Rán and Alegre.
Bronenosec won the pin in the first race of the day, sailing hard and fast at the pin mark, shooting it very slightly, and were then launched on the upwind leg. They had a comfortable lead at the WW1 turn and were never challenged. Azzurra were second round and managed the fleet behind them well.
But when Bronenosec tried the same start for a second time they were early and closed out by Provezza which already owned the perfect layline runway to the pin mark. Bronenosec had to bail out from their position with seconds to go, looping all the way back round. From there the scope for a comeback was limited and they could only add an eighth to their Race 3 win.
Provezza had an unstoppable momentum and already looked special half way up the first beat. From the left they crossed the fleet and had a solid lead at the first turn, pursued by Azzurra and Platoon.
In this incredibly closely matched fleet it is so difficult to be as good from one day to the next. More than ever it seems that a bad day is followed by a good day. And vice versa.
Standings after Day 2
- Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5) 14pts
- Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2) 14pts
- Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8) 15pts
- Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1) 15pts
- Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3) 17pts
- Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6) 19pts
- Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9) 28pts
- Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4) 29pts
- Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7) 29pts
- Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS, DNS, DNS, DNS) 44pts