Azzurra is the sporting symbol of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), the name that brought the Club and its burgee to international regatta courses and can be credited with introducing the America’s Cup to the Italian public.
Following the relaunch of Azzurra in the Louis Vuitton Trophy in 2009, in 2011 the YCCS team participated in the Audi MedCup circuit in the TP52 Class and finished in third place overall. Alberto Roemmers, YCCS Member and owner of Azzurra, commissioned a new boat for the coming season which will participate in the 52 Sailing Series, including a leg on the waters of the Costa Smeralda during the Audi Sardinia Cup.
In 2012, the new Azzurra clinched the 52 Super Series, the top-level monohull circuit that took the place of the MedCup.
In 2013, Azzurra continued its positive streak with a victory at the US 52 Super Series and an excellent second place – a mere point short of the winner Ran – at the TP52 World Championship in Miami. The 52 Super Series, that traditionally takes place in the Mediterranean, saw Azzurra finish in second, behind Quantum Racing. The season came to a conclusion with the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, in Porto Cervo, where Azzurra was victorious on her home waters, honoring thus in the best way possible the 30th anniversary of the challenge that saw the first Azzurra involved in the America’s Cup in Newport, RI.
In 2014 Azzurra won the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, first event in the Barclays 52 Super Series 2014. She closed the season in second place, behind Quantum Racing.
2015 was a year of triumphs. The new Azzurra TP52, once again designed by Botin & Partners on a commission from the Roemmers family, was launched in the Spring. The new boat was designed to take advantage of the latest innovations in TP52 class rules that made the boats even more competitive. Today the TP52 fleet counts nine new model boats and others that have been updated for a total of twelve highly competitive teams on the circuit. Azzurra won both the TP52 World Championship held at Puerto Portals and the 52 Super Series that concluded at Palma de Mallorca handily. It was an incredible, possibly even unrepeatable, season, but the boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s colours will be back as defending champion in 2016, more determined than even to hold on to her title.
In 2016 Azzurra’s historic rival, Quantum Racing, fights all the way to the end of the 52 Super Series season. Azzurra is runner up, and ends the season on a positive note by winning the final event in Cascais in conditions that show her crew’s expertise in stronger air. Heavier conditions are also perfect for Azzurra’s hull.
In 2017 Azzurra wins the 52 Super Series again, but with a narrower margin than in her record-setting season in 2015. The season opens with two events in the USA: Azzurra wins the Royal Cup in Miami and ends the season by winning the final event in Mahon, Minorca.
In 2018 there’s an important change aboard Azzurra: Vasco Vascotto, Azzurra’s tactician, becomes part of the Luna Rossa team for the 36th America's Cup and is replaced by a sailing legend, the Argentinian Santiago Lange, winner of three Olympic medals including a Gold in Rio 2016 just months after recovering from lung cancer. For a tightly-knit team like Azzurra’s it takes some time to adjust to the change and the season’s first two events, held for the first time in Croatia in light and shifty breeze, are especially difficult. The team doesn’t get the hoped for results and the rest of the season is a fight. Azzurra ends the 52 Super Series 2018 in third place overall, tied for points with Platoon who places second thanks to the German team’s performance in the final event in the season.
In 2019 Azzurra wins the championship again even though the level of competition gets higher every year. There is very little gap between the top team and the rest of the fleet; any team can be a winner. Azzurra holds on to the lead thanks to a strategy based on consistent and dependable performance: the team is always amongst the top placed but never places first in an event even though they come very close in Puerto Sherry, Cascais and at the World Championship in Puerto Portals. At the final event in Porto Cervo, team Azzurra celebrates and raises the 52 Super Series trophy to the sky on the YCCS terrace. Could it be just by chance that this historic victory coincides with skipper Guillermo Parada’s 52nd birthday?
The 2020 season kicks off from Cape Town, South Africa. Michele Paoletti, from Trieste, joins Azzurra’s team as tactician after having won the Audi MedCup aboard Mutua Madrilena while Santiago Lange leaves the team due to the Tokyo Olympics campain. Azzurra gets a winning start to the season!
But in the following days the world goes in to lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the 52 Super Series is suspended. The TP52 fleet is loaded onto cargo ships and brought back to Europe in mid-May. The season will pick up again in September with an event in Puerto Portals, Palma de Mallorca. This event will also count as the TP52 World Championship.
Guillermo Parada - Skipper, Helm
Michele Paoletti - Tactician
Bruno Zirilli - Navigator
Giovanni Cassinari - Mainsail
Mariano Caputo - Bowman
Juan Pablo Marcos - Midbow
David Vera - Pitman
Grant Loretz- Trimmer
Ciccio Celon - Trimmer
Mariano Parada - Trimmer
Gabriel Marino - Grinder
Alejandro Colla – Grinder
Nicola Pilastro - Grinder
Pedro Rossi- Boat Captain
Guillermo Baquerizas - Coach
Gonzalo Ramos Vertiz - Sail performances
Juan Garay - Sail Designer
Jean Martin Grisar - Sailmaker
Matias Blanco - Logistic
Sarah O' Kane - Logistic
Timothy Houghton- Rigger
Javier Feliu - Shore Crew
Ross Hunter - Boat Builder
Iñigo Losada - Physical Trainer
Miguel Moret - Physiotherapist
Sebastian Carera - Chiropractor
Cathrine Roemmers - Social Media
Giuliano Luzzatto - Press Office