(Friday 22nd September, Menorca) – After a thrilling two race day at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week when none of the top three title challengers could maintain a decisive high level of consistency, Azzurra carry a seven point lead into the final day of the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES Season.
But for the first time in the history of the 52 SUPER SERIES, the destination of the overall season’s title remains truly open, to be decided on the last day of the season.
In the hard-to-read, light E’ly breezes, the Italian-Argentine crew skippered by Guillermo Parada with fiery Vasco Vascotto as tactician were forced to stage yet another fight back from very deep in the first race but then steadied the ship with an excellent second place in the second contest to take the initiative into the final day of the season.
Azzurra’s lead over Harm Müller-Spreer’s German-flagged Platoon is seven points, four more than they arrived in Mahón with, and eleven over defending 2016 champions Quantum Racing.
Were they racing on any of their truly favourite, more predictable race arenas of the five venues that the 52 SUPER SERIES has already visited this season then Azzurra, in particular, might really fancy their chances of securing the title for the first time since 2015.
Azzurra’s Mariano Parada smiled:
“We knew since pretty early in the year it was going to be a very tough season, and everything was going to come to the last day. And here it is, happening. It’s great for the series and it’s great for the season. It is the first time that it’s happening that the result is resting on the last day, so that’s great and we’re looking forward to it.
Tomorrow we can’t control both boats, we’ll go race the first race as normal, play the shifts, look at the wind as we have the whole season, and then start making plans for the last race.”
But the Menorca race arena has proven extremely challenging and open, and today, again, there were telling comebacks from deep in the pack down the last run, which effectively wiped out hard-earned gains. Quantum Racing went from fifth to ninth down the last run of the second race, four points painfully shed through no significant error on their part.