RC44 RACING – A round up of the weeks action at the RC44 Sweden Cup.
Posts tagged RC44
RC44 RACING – Watch the highlights from day one of fleet racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup 2013! These boats are always pretty to watch.
RC44 RACING – Watch the video highlights from match racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup!
RC44 CLASS – The RC44 Trapani Cup really did go down to the wire, the eventual winner not decided until the final metres of the final race of the event. Team Aqua had laid the gauntlet down to Team CEEREF winning the first two races of the day. Going into the final decider Aqua led by just one-point, CEEREF needed to put a boat between them and Aqua to win the regatta. CEEREF thought they had done enough down the final run with Katusha between the pair, but in the final 100 metres the long term partnership of Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton snatched victory.
Perfect sailing conditions greeted the 13 strong RC44 fleet as racing got underway an hour early. 15 knots and a big swell creating some great surfing conditions. Team CEEREF took the early advantage, the furthest boat left benefitted from the left shift, they rounded the top mark just ahead of main rival Team Aqua. Down the first run, Aqua managed to squeeze inside at the leeward gate and took control.
Up the next beat the leading pair seemed to have a magnetic force pulling them together, Chris Bake’s experienced team managed to avoid the traffic and stay out of trouble to take the first race in of the day, the Slovenian team finishing fourth, Team Nika and Aleph Racing squeezing between the leading pair. Aqua were now just two-points behind Igor Lah and Michele Ivaldi’s Team CEEREF with Katusha seven-points off second.
The breeze dropped off slightly for race two, Aqua started safely in the middle of the line, CEEREF two boats below. CEEREF were first to tack out, Aqua tacked underneath them. From then Aqua were in control leading from the top mark to the finish. A fourth for CEEREF gave Chris Bake’s team a slim one-point lead going into the final race. Behind them Katushas’ ninth place meant Steve Howe and Andy Horton were now fighting for third, with Artemis creeping into contention behind them.
The breeze increased ready for the final showdown. CEEREF needed to finish two places ahead of Aqua to lift the trophy. Neither team engaged pre-start, CEEREF starting towards the pin end of the line, Aqua six boats to windward. First blood went to Aqua, as CEEREF tacked across, Aqua responded tacking on top, forcing the Slovenian team back left. At the top mark Aqua were third, CEEREF seventh.
An early gybe from the Slovenian bought them right back into the game, they rounded the leeward gate in second. Throughout the second beat, Lah’s team defended, by the final windward mark, it was advantage CEEREF, with Katusha firmly positioned between the pair. It was looking as though the Slovenian team had done enough, Aqua rounded gybing straight off, CEEREF didn’t cover.
In the last 100 metres to the finish line, Aqua came storming in from the right to cross in front of Katusha for third place. With Peninsula Petroleum getting the gun, CEEREF in second, Team Aqua had snatched victory from the jaws of defeated, Team Aqua were crowned champions, on count back of most race wins, and handed the Vito Corte designed RC44 Trapani Cup trophy.
Chris Bake, owner/driver, Team Aqua was first to give his analysis of the thrilling finale. “It was a great day of racing and CEEREF were the team to beat. We lined up with them at the start and were fairly even so I knew we had a chance to compete and sure enough we found ourselves there with them neck and neck for all three races. You can never assume you have it in the bag in this class, but it was a pretty strong statement coming out today and doing so well in the first two races. At the top mark (of the final race) we knew we had to beat Katusha to keep the lead so we were taking every wave we could, and keeping the boat going as fast as we could to just nip them to confirm the win.”
For Michele Ivaldi , tactician, Team CEEREF, they had enjoyed the battle. “It was a great day of sailing, we had been close to each other all day and it was really good that it came down to the last leg of the very last race. On the first run we had a bit of traffic so we had to go out and try something to get clean air, we had a good lane coming back in putting us ahead. We knew that there was someone between us and Aqua so we went for the last run and felt pretty comfortable with where we were going, hoping that either Katusha or Artemis would cover us, but they were fighting their own battle for third place which is a pity, at the top mark we were winning the event and a the bottom mark we had just lost.”
Third place was equally as hard fought; Katusha did enough to take third place, two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing.
With two events completed in the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour, Team Aqua takes over the overall lead from Katusha, with Artemis Racing third and Team CEEREF fourth. The Tour now moves to Sweden for the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand from 25 – 29 June 2013.
RC44 CLASS – Three separate teams each took race wins on the first day of fleet racing at the RC44 Trapani Cup in Sicily. But the team at the top of the overnight leader-board didn’t win a race, instead it was consistency across all four races that was the key to Team CEEREF from Slovenia success on day one.
Racing started in a moderate north easterly sea-breeze. Series leader Katusha (RUS) got off the blocks well leading at the top mark from Team CEEREF and Team Aqua, the top three held their positions until the final gun, round one to the Russian team, with Steve Howe at the helm.
Valentin Zavadnikov’s Synergy Russian Sailing Team like banging a corner or two in the RC44 fleet. In race two they were quick to tack off the start-line and head right into the Sicilian shoreline, a move that would prove very valuable as they led the fleet into the windward mark. Poland’s MAG Racing rounded in second with the home town heroes Team Italia in third, again the top three positions didn’t change to the finish, Team CEEREF moving up to fifth by the finish, with Katusha two places behind in seventh.
Synergy may have been spurred on by having a double Olympic Champion and CNN Mainsail presenter Shirley Robertson as their ninth man in race two, but their form carried onto the next race. With the fleet favouring the committee boat end, 12 RC44s were crammed into one very small space. Synergy however bucked the trend and started in space at the pin end with no other boat even close to them. The Russian’s led from start to finish for their second win of the day. Katusha gained places throughout to finish second, and Team CEEREF continued their consistent form slotting in a third.
Tactician, Ed Baird explained the tactics on-board Synergy for their two race wins. “The second race today just seemed like the left was getting lighter and the little pressure that was remaining on the race course was out to the right. It felt that way all day but in that start in particular I just wanted to be up there on the right hand side, be early to tack and stay on the shore which turned out to be more valuable than I expected. All three boats that started up at the committee boat end and tacked early were the three boats that lead at the top mark by quite a long way.
In the third race the fleet thought they had better head to the right but you could kind of see the breeze had filled in more and actually on the last run of the previous race we felt we were getting headers on starboard gybe downwind so when I saw the pin was a little favoured and all the boats were at the committee boat we separated, got down to the left and there was just a little bit more pressure of the line there and no one in our face so we could cross the fleet from there.”
In the final race of the day it was Chris Bake’s Team Aqua who picked the right end of the line, got a clean start and stayed ahead of the fleet. Team Aegir were their closest rival as they rounded the windward mark, but it was Team CEEREF who were again making the move through the fleet. Their second place in the final race left the Slovenian with a 2,5,3,2 score-line and a six-point overnight lead over Synergy; Team Aqua sit in third, two-points ahead of Katusha in fourth.
Team CEEREF’s owner Igor Lah (SLO) was pleased with their day on the water. “Everything was working in our favour today, Michele (Ivaldi) was choosing all the right sides, the team did a great job downwind, the wind was pretty stable, everything just worked. It’s amazing how hard the competition is now within the fleet.”
MOVING PICTURES – Sea Master Sailing brings you a brand new year of RC44 action starting in Muscat, Oman. We check in on the Vendee Globe team as the front runners make it back home, but for others their final strides aren’t so fortunate. We look at the ISAF World Cup Melbourne regatta where the Nacra and 49er FX make their Olympic debut plus the Sydney to Hobart Race. Lastly we see Oracle USA sea trial their modified AC72.
RC44 SAILING – In the RC44 Class match racing takes the form of a round robin rolling throughout the season, held on the first day of each regatta. After four regattas – in Puerto Calero, Canary Islands; Cascais, Portgual; the Austria Cup on Lake Traunsee and Marstrand, Sweden – Synergy started today in Rovinj with a three point lead over Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Sailing Team from France.
The day was characterised by light winds, a major shift to the right half way through the afternoon and despite dropping below 5 knots towards the end of play, there was still enough to keep the nimble black RC44s moving.
While the Russian team and their American skipper Ed Baird could have had secured the 2012 match racing title half way through today, getting the result finally sealed in their favour proved extremely hard. Not only were they scheduled to sail less races than their competition at the start of the day, but they managed to lose two of their first three races. As a result come flight six, there was the almost unimaginable possibility for not only Aleph, but also Chris Bake’s Team Aqua – which had started the day in third place, four points off the lead – to draw level on points with leaders. Yet, just as surprisingly, both Aleph and Team Aqua managed to let this opportunity slip through their fingers, losing their respective matches against the John Bassadone-steered Peninsula Petroleum and Vladimir Prosikhin’s ever improving Nika, with local Croatian hero Tomislav Basic on the wheel today.
With Synergy winning its last match against Massimo Barranco’s AFX Capital Racing Team and with the schedule of flights shortened due to the dying breeze, only then was the championship finally theirs.
“The conditions were really challenging,” explained a delighted Baird. One issue was the current flowing left across the course, which built to around a knot as the afternoon progressed. As a result there were precious few dial-ups today. “Trying to get across from the port end in the two minute period that you have, against the current, to the other [starboard] end of the line, which was generally favoured, was hard,” continued Baird. “The port boats were generally disadvantaged today and we did not do a good job of getting out of jail basically in two races.”
On board Synergy, Baird is the lone American in an otherwise purely Russian crew. However the team has been together for a long time, both in the TP52 class and for the last two seasons in the RC44. “The guys on the boat have been training, working and improving,” says Baird, who helmed Alinghi to America’s Cup victory in 2007. “They haven’t seen every scenario and we don’t do everything perfectly, but they are certainly getting better as we do all of this. They are really wonderful to me and listen very carefully to everything I try to ask when we are racing. So far the language hasn’t caused us any issues. They are doing a great job.”
For Team Aqua, a couple of races could have gone better. In their match against Artemis, the Swedish boat had a penalty against them from the pre-start but this was nullified when they luffed during the first top mark rounding and Aqua failed to keep clear. Then in a near identical scenario at the weather mark in their match with Team Nika, they failed to round the top mark properly, handing the point to Vladimir Prosikhin’s team.
Meanwhile Aleph Sailing Team was initially on a roll, winning their first three matches of the day, only to lose their last in flight six.
“It was a bit frustrating to get so close,” admitted Mathieu Richard, Aleph’s match racing helmsman. “But if we look back over the full season it’s a great result to come second: Our goal was to finish in the top three, so we are happy with that.”
In the crucial match against Peninsula Petroleum, Richard admitted making some mistakes, both in manoeuvres and tactics. “But,” he added, “it is almost impossible to be on top for all of the match races, so I think we did a good job and I’m pleased with the way we have sailed all season.”
While honours and respect go to Baird and the Synergy Russian Sailing Team, highest scorer of the day was American David Murphy and his Ironbound team, including tactician Andy Horton and Kiwi America’s Cup legend and main sheet trimmer, Warwick Fleury. Scoring five wins they lost just one match to Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back.
This is the third event of the season the Ironbound crew has sailed in the RC44 Championship after the first two events. “I wish that I could sail more,” admits Murphy. “I have got young kids, so I have some conflicts I had to deal with…”
Murphy said that he felt they showed good speed today over the rest of the fleet in the light breeze. “We are looking forward to the fleet races with the kind of power we have in the boat and the pace we had today is very encouraging. The last race was a lot lighter. It encouraged you to go looking for power, but there was quite a bit of twist in the wind too, so it was easier than I thought to stay powered up, even in 4.5 knots…”
MOVING PICTURES – Watch the video highlights from match racing day at the RC44 Austria Cup 2012 including interviews with Ed Baird (USA), Markus Wieser (GER), Mathieu Richard (FRA) and Cameron Appleton (NZL),
MATCH RACING – The RC44 class kicked off in Cascais yesterday with Match Racing, teams fought in champagne conditions leaving Synergy on top with no losses and
taking the overall match racing leader board for 2012.
MOVING PICTURES – Watch the Seamaster sailing feature on Team Aqua with interviews with Chris Bake (GBR) and Cameron Appleton (NZL)
MOVING PICTURES – 2012 RC44 Puerto Calero Cup – Match Racing Highlights
Puerto Calero in Lanzarote produced some unexpected results on the first day of the RC44 World Championships.
There was no standout performance on the fleet race opener. Three boats took race wins with ORACLE Racing, (Stuart Hebb /Russell Coutts) winning the first and third race, Artemis Racing, (Torbjorn Tornqvist/Morgan Larson) taking the second and Team Aqua (Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton) the fourth and final race of the day.
Watch the highlights from day one of match racing at the Adris RC44 Cup 2011.
Video highlights from the final day of the RC44 Sweden Cup
Coutts must have lots of frequent flyer miles. He’s off the AC multis and back on his RC44 at the RC44 Sweden Cup.
Video highlights from day one of fleet racing in the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstand.