Menorca – Azzurra, the boat that flies the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee, edged out Platoon and Quantum in the toughest circuit in professional sailing. Her triumph is dedicated to Jimmy Kerkoc. Azzurra also won the Menorca 52 Super Series. She was tied for points with Gladiator who placed second.
The TP52 Azzurra has won the sixth edition of the 52 Super Series, the most competitive and most prestigious circuit in professional keelboat sailing. The 10 teams competing with their TP52s, docked in front of the Club Maritimo de Mahon, applauded Azzurra when she came back to port while other yachts sounded their horns. Then the party began for all, yet another demonstration of the sense of fraternity and sportsmanship that dominate the 52 Super Series.
The breeze today was not cooperative and after more than three hours of waiting and several attempts at placing the race course, Principal Race Officer Maria Torrjio hoisted the “AP over A” signal at 2:45 PM. All teams went back to port just a few minutes before 3 PM, the latest possible time to begin a race. So the scoreboard stayed the same as yesterday’s and a heartfelt celebration began aboard Azzurra who fought hard for this win in the 52 Super Series and in the final event of the season in Mahon.
The 52 Super Series 2017 began in January in Key West, Florida and there was no one team that was clearly stronger than the others. In past years the battle was between Azzurra and Quantum, who have won the same number of championships over the years. But this year there was no clear favourite and it was a fight to the end.
Proof of the high level of competition in this circuit in 2017 is in the fact that five different teams won in the six different events. Azzurra was the only team to win two, Miami and Menorca, and in the latter she was tied for points with Gladiator.
After two events in America, Azzurra arrived back to the Med in the lead of the provisional results overall. After the event in Scarlino in May she lost that lead, only to recapture it at Puerto Portals in July. She hung on to her margin to the end, but was never very far ahead of Platoon, who became the TP52 World Champion 2017 at Scarlino, an event that was both part of the Series and the TP52 World Championship, and Quantum Racing, Azzurra’s historic rival.
For the statistically minded, Azzurra’s average number of points per event over the season was four for each race. That was the same average as the second and the third placed teams overall. At the conclusion of each event Azzurra never placed worse than fifth; that was her final position in Key West where the scoreboard was so close that she was just one point behind the second placed team.
This has been an unforgettable season for Azzurra, and next year her team will be sailing aboard a new boat as will many other teams in this Series. The 52 Super Series is getting ever more popular, and is attracting important new teams and locations. The 2018 season will begin in Croatia, with two new venues for events in the upcoming year’s calendar.
Azzurra’s owner Pablo Roemmers, YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo, skipper Guillermo Parada and tactician Vasco Vascotto along with all of Azzurra’s team wish to dedicate this victory to the memory of Jimmy Kerkoc, Vice-President of the Board of the YCCS. Kerkoc was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the TP52 version of Azzurra and this result is the best way to honour him.
Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda: “There couldn’t have been a better gift for the YCCS’ 50th anniversary than Azzurra’s victory in this highly competitive circuit. This is the third time that the Roemmers’ family’s team has carried our burgee to the top of the 52 Super Series but today is special. We want to dedicate this victory to a person who has always been beside us with his passion and enthusiasm: Jimmy Kerkoc, Vice-President of the Board, who passed away suddenly two months ago. On the part of the whole YCCS I want to thank everyone, the Roemmers family- our club members and owners of Azzurra- skipper Guillermo Parada, tactician Vasco Vascotto and the entire team.”
Pablo Roemmers, owner: “It was a very hard season, the most competitive we have had so far. Every event up to here was won by a different team, so what made the difference in the end was consistency and improving little by little every day. We’re looking forward to the new season and are building a new boat. Together with this strong team we hope that we’ll have another successful season with a new Azzurra. My father is very, very happy for all of us and we want to dedicate this win to Jimmy Kerkoc, the Vice-President of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda who sadly passed away. We will always have him in our hearts.”
Guillermo Parada, skipper: “Obviously it’s a great satisfaction to win the event and the season, actually winning the event is a nice bonus to winning the season. Overall we did most things right and we deserve to be in this position. We dedicate this victory to our friend, Jimmy. We were really focused this week, we did a good job on preparing and we were leading in the event from day one, which is not easy in these challenging conditions. Everybody, not only the sailing team, but also the coaches was focused and we made it happen. Everybody deserves to be congratulated. We are really satisfied, the level in this fleet is the highest in the world and to finish on top is an excellent prize.”
Vasco Vascotto, tactician: “We sailed for Jimmy with our hearts and souls, like Latins but with Anglo Saxon consistency. It’s a huge joy for us, my sincere thanks and a round of applause to the whole team, to the Roemmers family, to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, and above all to Guille Parada, our fast and precise helmsman who is also the greatest team manager that I have ever met.”
52 SUPER SERIES Final Score
1. Azzurra (Alberto e Pablo Roemmers, ITA/ARG), 192 p.
2. Platoon (GER, Harm Müller-Spreer), 199 p.
3. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), 203 p.
4. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR) 240,3 p.
5. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), 266 p.
Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, Final Score:
1. Azzurra (Alberto and Pablo Roemmers, ITA/ARG) (1,4,6,3,6,2) 22 p.
2. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (2,3,7,4,2,4) 22 p.
3. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), (4,7,2,2,1,9) 25 p.
4. Platoon (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER), (6,2,1,6,4,6) 25 p.
5. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (9,1,5,1,10,1) 27 p.