52 SUPER SERIES heads for Barcelona with Azzurra leading
After two regattas in America 52 SUPER SERIES starts the Mediterranean stages of the six regatta 2013 season with Barcelona’s renowned Conde de Godo regatta which has attracted seven teams from five different nations including three from the USA.
The 40th Conde de Godo regatta sees the return of the 52 SUPER SERIES for the second year. Offering four days of racing, the popular spring time event usually offers a good mix of sailing conditions, often featuring a relatively reliable sea breeze, whilst the many attractions of the Catalan capital city ensure Barcelona remains one of the most popular venues.
Six of the 52’s which raced the US SUPER SERIES in Key West and Miami in January and March are joined Turkey’s Provezza which is owned by Ergin Imre and steered by Britain’s double Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers with Peter Lester (NZL) as tactician. Provezza (ex Cristabella/Desafio), which raced at the Royal Cup in Mallorca last year, has been updated since they put a toe in the water last season and is now expected to compete at all of the Mediterranean regattas.
From the USA Manouch Moshayedi and his crew of Rio (ex Synergy) and Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge both make their first foray into European waters.
Two different teams have won so far this season. Form in the USA suggests that any one of four or five crews have the potential to win a regatta. Whilst it was the current 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra (ITA) which opened with a win at Quantum Key West 2013 in January, at the Gaastra 52 World Championships in Miami it was Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing which won the title. But in the overall series standings to date Azzurra lead by just six points ahead of Rán Racing.
Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing, the 2011 MedCup champions, lie third overall and welcome the return of former skipper Terry Hutchinson (USA) who will sail the Mediterranean season as tactician with skipper-helm Ed Baird. In preparation for their first 52 regatta together Hutchinson recently joined Baird at the Congressional Cup match racing regatta along with Quantum Racing’s Tom Burnham and Brett Jones.
Up to nine races will be sailed over the four days for the 52’s at the Conde de Godo regatta. The seven boat fleet is likely to be even bigger in early July in Ibiza at the Royal Cup whilst up to ten boats are expected to compete at Palma’s showcase regatta, the Copa del Rey.
We are especially happy that the American teams have made their effort to join us to compete in Europe and we are sure that they will enjoy the variety of competition and the venues this season. It is pleasing to be able to report that the fleet has actually grown on last season and we are experiencing a period of stability which should allow us to build for next season with some confidence.
Concludes Rob Weiland, class manager for the 52’s.
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