Azzurra return to winning form
Audi Azzurra Sailing Team have successfully launched their bid to return to the top of the IRC 1 leaderboard with a line honours win in the opening race on day five of the Copa del Rey on Friday.
It is a welcome return to winning form for the team who dropped from first to second overall, behind Audi All4One, after posting their worst results of the regatta yesterday. The pair wound up before the jury last night after a collision resulted in counter protests, which were later dismissed.
All4One finished second, more than one minute after Azzurra. PowerPlay were third across the line, followed by Gladiator, Provezza and Paprec. Corrected time results are pending.
Azzurra and Gladiator shadowed each other off the pin end of the start, leading the fleet on a long and hard push left towards the coast against southerly gusts in excess of 18 knots. Within minutes of the start 52 team Aquila retired.
All4One, Azzurra and Gladiator pushed furthest to the left, racing on the one tack for the opening eight-plus minutes, before the overall regatta leaders All4One tacked and started a domino effect with the other two soon following.
The fleet covered the opening 2.5 nautical mile leg in just over 20 minutes with Azzurra reaching the top mark first, followed by PowerPlay, All4One, Gladiator, Paprec and Provezza.
Audi Azzurra extended their lead downwind as Audi All4One edged into second place at the gate, followed by PowerPlay, Gladiator, Provezza and Paprec.
The two Audi teams took alternate gates, each hoping their chosen route was the best. But it was Azzurra who came out on top with a convincing 45-second lead over All4One at the final windward rounding.
PowerPlay rounded in third, ahead of Gladiator, Provezza and Paprec.
Azzurra proved too strong downwind and surged to victory.
Rán finished third across the line in the IRC 0 division, behind second placed Bella Mente and winner Stig.
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