13th of July, 2012

Friday the 13th, lucky for some

Bananas, green boats and never win a practice race – – you don’t have to look far to find superstitions in sailing or among the 52 Super Series crews, especially as they prepare to compete in the Royal Cup today, Friday the 13th.

It is a day considered by many to bear bad luck based on old superstitions that Friday is an unlucky day and 13 is an unlucky number.

Gladiator are one team who are hopeful that their share of bad luck is over, having been forced out of yesterday’s Royal Cup racing after a collision, and finishing last in a race on day one after a major spinnaker fumble.

Today, the team are ready and rearing to go after their shore crew completed bow repairs last night, and they remain hopeful that it’s more a case of third time’s a charm.

Royal Cup and overall 52 Super Series leader Quantum Racing skipper Ed Baird said his team have a much revered green boat and “were doing OK despite that”. He was optimistic that would remain the case when racing on Friday the 13th.

“Our guys are fairly loose about superstitions,’’ Baird said. “There’s been too many times I’ve been on both sides of this, sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re unlucky.”

Audi Azzurra Sailing Team skipper Guillermo Parada said he was unfazed by Friday the 13th, in fact he reckons it’s lucky. But don’t dare mention the 17th.

“We have lots of superstitions,’’ he said. “I’m very, very superstitious. But for me 13 is good luck, Friday the 13th will be a big day for us.

“We hate 17, though. That was the day of the last race at Porto Cervo we didn’t do very good. But Friday the 13th will be good for us.”

Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One tactician Jordi Calafat like most Spanish is most concerned by Tuesday the 13th, so his greatest concern today is ensuring there is little to no yellow on board.

The Olympic gold medallist has a thing about all things yellow, and glasses that are turned upside down.

“I’m quite superstitious,” the 44-year-old Spanish sailing legend said. “I don’t like the colour yellow, it’s not good luck, and I don’t like glasses to be upturned.”

Rán Racing owner/skipper Niklas Zennström said he’s less than superstitious; it’s a Northern Europe thing he reckons.

It’s a good thing given his team broke a widely accepted sailing superstition: never win the practice race; it’s believed to be the kiss of death for any regatta hopeful.

The Swedish team cleaned up in Tuesday’s practice race, but have since competed with success enough to situate them second overall in the Royal Cup.

“We’re not superstitious, there are some boats that when in a practice race they won’t want to win, but most of us are from Northern Europe so we’re not very superstitious,’’ Zennström said.

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