Sunday, August 21, 2011

Team Aqua Win RC44 Sweden Cup By A Whisker

Only four points separated the top four teams going into the final day of racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup and in the end it was a match race between Team Aqua and CEEREF that decided the eventual winner.
Photo: © Dan Ljungsvik
A steady 10 knot southerly breeze built to 15 knots as the day progressed. In the first race Team CEEREF  lead from start to finish, while Team Aqua  crept inside No Way Back at the first leeward mark to take second place. Synergy lost a man overboard as they hoisted their kite at the first windward mark but managed to retrieved him and finish in 14th position.
Photo: © Dan Ljungsvik
No Way Back jumped the gun in the second race and after an individual recall the Dutch team pulled out all stops to finish seventh and still be in the hunt for a podium finish.While No Way Back was playing catch up, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) took control and led from start to claim their second win of the event.
Photo: © Dan Ljungsvik
The fight was on at the top of the leader board as CEEREF finished in third and Aqua in fifth. This left just one point separating the pair going into the final race of the day. Team Aqua with no race wins needed to put a boat between themselves and the Slovakians to take the overall event win.
Photo: © Dan Ljungsvik
“At the start we managed to get ourselves in to a little bit of a situation with CEEREF. We were coming up to the line and they tacked on top of us and got a penalty, we were neck and neck up until the first mark rounding which was really tight. There were a lot of boats there and they were a bit jammed up inside the mark. Aleph came inside of us and it was fairly hairy. We go out of that situation, had a good run downwind and in the second upwind we picked off a few more boats and came in third. It was as exciting as it gets.,” said Chris Bake, owner/driver of Team Aqua.
Photo: © Dan Ljungsvik
Aqua clinched the overall title by a narrow four point margin.

“This is the first time in the last two years we’ve been on the podium so it’s good, we’ve been waiting for this.” said Igor Lah, owner/driver of Team CEEREF.
Daniel Calero Photo: © Dan Ljungsvik
Behind the top two third place was still up for grabs. Daniel Calero back steering Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) was having a good day after two races, that was about to get better and was lying seventh going into the final day. But the team from Lanzarote racked up in a 4, 2, 1 and crept past No Way Back in the rankings and into third. 

There was disappointment for Pieter Heerema, Mark Mendelblatt and the team on No Way Back as their two OCS’ had cost them their place on the podium.

Lulu Roseman

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