Italians secure victory at the Audi Valencia Cup


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The Independent Online

The Italians are the champions. Whatever happens in Saturday’s final race, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s (YCCS) Azzurra team made sure of the 2012 52 Super Series with another pair of wins in the Audi Valencia Cup.

They have come from six points behind at the start of the regatta to overhaul 2011 Audi MedCup champions, the American Quantum team, to be four points ahead. In the space of three days and seven races they have notched up five wins.

They have both hands on the overall trophy and one on the Valencia Cup. It has been an impressive, disciplined, and talented display. There was a special hug from the team’s Argentinian backer, the 86-year old Alberto Roemmers, for tactician Vasco Vascotto, who said: “We have sailed like never before in our lives. We did something this week that was unbelievable. Perhaps there was extra motivation because we have been trying for seven years, so we are becoming older.”

Also watching was the commodore of the YCCS, Riccardo Bonadeo, who said the win had set the seal on a pair of ambitions for the Sardinia club. “The first is to restore the international standing of the club and establish the new club in Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands,” he said.

“The second is to grow again the Azzurra racing team brand.” As part of that the club was investigating the possibility of entering the next Volvo round the world race, which will be in the new 65-foot design and starts in 2014.

America’s Cup challenger Dong-Young Kim, without saying that Australian Nathan Outteridge is leaving, confirmed that the 21-year old Kiwi Peter Burling, who came second with Blair Tuke to Outteridge in the 49er class at London 2012, is taking over as skipper of Team Korea’s 45-footer at the world series regatta in San Francisco at the beginning of October.

Mr. Young said the only other change to the crew would be New Zealander Andy McLean replacing Britain’s Mark Bulkeley, who is getting married.

Outteridge has moved to the Swedish-backed Artemis challenge for the America’s Cup. “Joining Artemis Racing is a great opportunity for me. Artemis is a solid team all around and I’m excited to join Terry Hutchinson and the sailing team for my first America’s Cup,” said Outteridge in San Francisco.

“It’s great to have Nathan join Artemis. We have seen that his success in skiff and moth sailing has translated well in the AC45 racing. .Nathan certainly has a bright future,” added Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing.

Progress, but slow, was being made by the five-boat fleet of MOD70 trimarans as they headed for the Straits of Gibraltar on their European tour leg from Cascais, Portugal, to Marseille.