22nd of May, 2013

Provezza lining up in Barcelona

Renowned Turkish owner Ergin Imre and his crew of Provezza join the 52 SUPER SERIES in Barcelona for the 40th Trofeo Vela Conde de Godo.

After testing the waters in Palma, Mallorca last season when they raced at the Royal Cup, the Provezza team have stepped up to race the European season with their Vrolijk design which was originally developed and run by the Spanish Desafio America’s Cup team before being raced as Cristabella.

Updates to the boat since last year include new carbon rigging, while the team that remains largely amateur has been augmented by one or two new names and faces. Tony Rey (USA) will sail as tactician supporting double Olympic medallist Nick Rogers (GBR) on the helm.
Imre has a long and distinguished sailing history including racing at the Admiral’s Cup. In 1993 he sailed with the British team, forging friendships and links which have continued since then.
The 52 is the seventh of eight Provezza yachts.
As part of their training for the 52 SUPER SERIES, Provezza already raced at Palma Vela regatta in Majorca where they conclusively won IRC Class 1 with four first places:

Some of us have been racing more than 25 years together. We have always changed the boat. This boat number seven although there were three or four other boats along the way which did not count. Now for two or three years we have sailed the TP52 with this group. It is a boat which fits my size a little bit more. Otherwise I cannot get around it so well!
Ergin Imre, Provezza

Rogers, who won Olympic silver as 470 helm in in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Qingdao, loves the 52, sailing with the Turkish crew and remains realistic and objective about their learning curve.

We have some reinforcements from some professionals now. We have Nick Rogers here who is a two times Olympic medallist. Going back we have a lot of good relations with many English sailors all going back to 1993 when we raced for the British in the Admiral’s Cup then, so we have maintained good relations there. Now, here we have two Americans, two New Zealanders and one Dutchman, one Italian and one Spanish. We have more or less fifty per cent amateurs on the crew.
Ergin Imre, Provezza

The owner is confident that the changes made to the boat will allow them to be more competitive:

We have changed the rig which now has carbon standing rigging. That saves us 50-60 kgs on the mast. We already had a so called turbo keel which all helps to compensate for the fact that our boat is a little older than the other ones. Our crew is a little less experienced. But if you see us out there, speed wise we have our chances. We really have to be as aggressive at least as the other crews. We should be there when others make mistakes, we need to be there to take the opportunity. Last year there were eight boats in Palma de Mallorca when we raced and we finished seventh, so this year hopefully we are a little better and can make sixth!
Ergin Imre, Provezza

And, while Palma Vela was a good morale boosting win for the crew, he acknowledges that racing with the other 52’s on the 52 SUPER SERIES will be at a very much higher standard:

Yes, we won the IRC class at PalmaVela but that is just no match to the quality and the standard that we have here. We could start the way we liked and were always first at the first mark. Here, other boats make mistakes and we aim to be in the mix when they do. Even if we are just getting a feeling that we are all just getting more into, getting better day by day then that is good for us.
Ergin Imre, Provezza

Rogers, who most recently raced in the 470 again in Hyères last month, enjoys the challenge of the 52:

I love it. And on board I think we are now at a stage where more and more people are learning what they are doing. We are just trying to make sure we don’t have any one big mistake, and if we can do that we are making progress. It can actually be fine. I’d like to think that over the course of the series if we get a bit lucky we can win a race.

I know Barcelona and it is a bit like Palma where sometimes you can get crucified for local knowledge. I have been here a bit. I think the best thing for us here is to find it feeling like the team is pulling together and then get the best result we can. Realistically we need to feel like we are pulling together, organising things better and better. There are things we are struggling a bit at the moment. There is usually one bit that is just a bit loose.

We have Tony Rey on board now who is just fantastic. He has taken on a lot of the organisation of things on board. I just concentrate on steering the boat. And of course the boats are just great, fantastic.

We will take whatever comes for wind.
Nick Rogers, Provezza

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Provezza Trofeo Conde de Godo

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