Thursday, June 30, 2011

RC44's Smoking Start in Sardinia

It was plain sailing today in light conditions for the the 15 teams competing in the RC44 Cagliari Cup in Cagliari in southern Sardinia. Today's match racing schedule saw the fleet race six flights with four teams coming away undefeated; Team CEEREF, Oracle Racing, Katusha and Team Aqua.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
Team Aqua cruised to victory in each of their four races. Leading the match race ranking coming into Cagliari, their form today cemented their place at the top of the leaderboard, two points ahead of Paul Cayard on Katusha and Russell Coutts steering Oracle Racing.

Oracle Racing remain undefeated despite an action packed day.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
“The first race we lost one of our crew members overboard (Matt Coutts) at the windward mark and had to circle round and go back for him. Our second race was really close with No Way Back, they were ahead of us but we managed to pass them. There was some good racing out there,”  Russell Coutts said after racing.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
On a day where the professional skippers steered, Igor Lah, helmed his own boat, Team CEEREF, and achieved three straight wins from Ironbound (USA), Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP ) and Aleph (FRA) helmed by 2010 World Match Racing runner up, Mathieu Richard.

Team CEEREF are fourth overall in the match racing on nine points, after three events. On equal points is Artemis Racing who had good fortune on their side in their match against David Murphy’s Ironbound (USA). 
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
“We had an interesting race with Ironbound where we both went around the mark the wrong way. We managed to unwind ourselves, so even though they beat us on the water they didn't sail the correct course, so didn’t get a result. Torbjorn (Tornqvist owner of Artemis) was the only one on the boat that noticed the mistake which was key to us doing well,” Morgan Larson said.

The two new teams who join the tour in Cagliari also added points to their scoreline with Poland’s MAG Racing winning two out of their four races with team tactician Piotr Przybylski, at the helm. 
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
“We are very happy with our performance today. We finished with good results in my debut on the helm and although I have sailed on these boats for a few years before it has always been in different positions from front trim to back trim but never on the helm, so for me it was a really great day. It was so important for us to have won two races; it allows us to push forward for the future,” Przybylski said.

RUS 7 Racing team powered by picked up their only race win against fellow Russian’s Team Nika, whose owner Vladimir Prosikhin described their day as “Unlucky, but very enjoyable”.

Tomorrow the fleet racing begins.

Lulu Roseman

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