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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Team Aqua Come Up Trumps - RC44's Cagliari Cup Day 4

There was plenty of action at the RC44 Cagliari Cup today as teams fought tooth and nail, copped a few penalties and pushed themselves and their yachts to the edge.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
Conditions eased and with winds peaking at 15 knots Team Aqua continued their domination with three wins from the four races sailed. In the first race of the day they rounded the windward mark first leaving the rest of the fleet in their wake their first bullet of the day.

They had a tougher time in race two fighting it out right to the finish line.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
“Islas Canarias Puerto Calero lead around the whole course and we were chasing them but also had Artemis chasing us. On the last run the three boats were in a bit of a gybing duel and we were trying to carry any puff that we could catch but at the same time watching what Artemis did, they did a good job of splitting the three of us, luckily we got split the right way and ended up at the favoured pin end, so Islas Canarias Puerto Calero gybed with Artemis Racing and we carried on straight and crossed the line ahead which was perfect,” Team Aqua's tactician Cameron Appleton said.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
In race three Team Aqua rounded the first windward mark then gained another place on the next lap only to be penalised on the final run for gybing to close to CEEREF (SLO). Their penalty turn dropped them back down to 11th place.

No Way Back were on fire as they rounded the first windward mark within inches of Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Ironbound (USA) overlapped behind, but by the leeward gate the Dutch team grabbed the lead, and match race Ironbound up the next beat, never giving them space to breath.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
Ironbound were under attack from all sides as they rounded the final windward mark overlapped with Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Both boats were desperate to get the jump and hoisted their spinnakers in record time. Ironbound were just too close and were penalised for not keeping clear as their spinnaker billowed out to leeward touching the Spaniards. A perfectly executed manoeuvre and a quick re-hoist saw the American team drop just one place, finishing fourth.

Another second place for Islas Canarias Puerto Calero made them the most consistent boat of the day, their two second’s and sixth place moved them up the overall leader board into second place, just three points off the leaders.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
Series leaders ORACLE Racing had an eventful day. By not being in the top ten at the first windward mark, they struggled picking their way back through the fleet and then copping three penalties on the way. Their score-line said it all, 10, 14, 7, dropping them from second on the overall leader-board to fifth. Katusha fared no better picking up two thirteenths and a seventh to drop one place to seventh.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
Sweden’s Artemis Racing are still in contention after another consistent day on the water and are just 11 points off the leaders in third place. “Aqua is a couple of steps in front of everybody and I don't see any reason why they won’t continue with the form they are on. They are a sharp team, they've been doing it for a long time and they’re on their game right now. So we just want to round this event up on the podium and look forward to putting some pressure on them for the next event in Sweden,” tactician Morgan Larson said after racing.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC44
And as for the leaders, they seem quietly confident ahead of tomorrow’s final day of racing. “We've got a bit of a bullseye on us at the moment,” said Aqua’s Chris Bake. “A few of our friends out there are making our life a little difficult which is fun, we've had three great days of sailing were just going to go out there tomorrow and do our best, I’m thrilled with the boat and the team, there’s an air of quiet confidence that we can cope with whatever an event throws at us which is nice.”

Lulu Roseman

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