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North Sails NEWS
AZZURRA ON TOP
This is Their Fourth Overall Season Win In the 52 Super Series
At the end of the final TP 52 Super Series event in Porto Cervo, it was Azzurra sitting on top of the podium. North Sails is proud to have played a part in this big win, says Grand Prix sales leader Paul Westlake.
“As predicted, this season was the closest on record,” explains Westlake. “Every inch counted.” The season had three distinct highlights, he continues. “One, the 2019 Worlds, where first through third were separated by just three points. Two, Sled winning five straight races here in Porto Cervo. And three, Azzurra securing the circuit win with one race to spare! All proud moments for everyone who played a part.”
Only two teams have won the Super Series since its inception, and this is Azzurra’s fourth season victory. Even better, all ten of the teams who worked with the North Sails group of designers and Grand Prix racing experts achieved great results throughout the season.
“2019 was the most competitive and equally matched season,” remarks Azzurra skipper and team manager Guillermo Parada. There was not one team that had a big competitive edge, and the results were decided by minor details. Our focus was on the meters we could gain on the race course and positing ourselves well. All of the boats were capable of winning every race, but our team delivered a well-executed game plan.”
“The key to winning the season was consistency,” says Azzurra’s tactician Santiago Lange. “The competition in this fleet is intense because the boats are well-matched in terms of speed and quality of the sailors. In the end, the winner of the season is the team that can deliver the most consistent results.”
Azzurra did not have a lot of big wins throughout the season, explains Lange. “But we have a good boat, which performs well in any condition and wind speed. We were always able to secure one of the top positions anytime we were on the water, Every single day, we have enough speed to get the points needed to stay on top.”
Lange and Parada know that having the right people will deliver the best results. “The team is also on the same page in terms of how we approach each race, Lange says. We have a lot of experienced sailors on the boat who bring a good perspective. The Super Series is a long season, and it’s important that everyone has the same understanding of the game.”
“We have a good team who have been sailing together for a long time,” explains Parada. “Consistency of crew is not something that is immediately noticed but its impact is felt throughout the season and in our ability to continually sail well. In 2018 we promised ourselves we were to do better. Our biggest challenge now is defending out #1 bow in 2020.
It’s also important to have the right sail designer, and Juan Garay has been working with Azzurra for several years. “The TP52 is very demanding on sails,” explains Lange. “On a normal day we will use two or three jibs, so we’re always speaking with Juan on how to keep our sails competitive.” A daily feedback loop helps review strengths as well as areas of improvement. “We’re constantly thinking ahead as to how we’re going to spend our sail cards in the most efficient way.”
For North Sails, this feedback loop is how we learn, improve, and continually look to the next development that will give all our clients a competitive edge. The worldwide North design team has already begun a full design debrief of the 2019 season, in order to take the developments learned in 2019 forward to next March when the 2020 Super Series meets for the first time in Cape Town. “Next year the racing will be even tighter,” Paul Westlake predicts, “and we’ll be ready again to take on the best in the world.”