Thursday, November 17, 2011

RC44 Worlds Off And Running in Lanzarote

There were some unexpected results on the first day of the RC44 World Championships at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote as the tricky conditions threw a spanner in the works for the fourteen competing teams.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC 44 Class
Peninsula Petroleum snared Italy’s Vasco Vascotto as their pro skipper for the last event of the season and the new team dynamic is paying off. They were the comeback kids of the day. In the first race of the day they were last around the first windward mark, but after slowly ticking of places on each leg they finished second and repeated that pattern in each race.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC 44 Class
Vascotto had some high praise for the team whose best result so far this season has been a seventh. “John and the guys did some fantastic manoeuvres and perfect driving in the shifts and we enjoyed it. It’s good. At least one of the days of the Championship has gone our way.”
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC 44 Class
Two seconds and a fourth gives Peninsula Petroleum a two point advantage at the top of the leader board, but the team won’t be popping the champagne corks just yet.

“We start again tomorrow from scratch, we have built into the plan that we might have some bad results during the week. It’s so shifty here that you have to take it on the chin and carry on, which is exactly what we did after the first beat of today, we were literally last but we carried on and managed to climb up the leader board,” owner John Bassadone said after racing.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC 44 Class
With Morgan Larson (USA) by his side, Artemis Racing's owner and helmsmanTorbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) has his sights set on making the podium. While Team Aqua have already nabbed the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour with an event to spare, econsd place is still undecided. A 4, 5, 1 score-line means the Swedish team are well positioned for both.

“We are aiming for the top like everyone else. It would be nice to finish in the top of the fleet for the last regatta of the season. There are pretty high stakes behind Aqua, so we are going to fight for it.” Tornqvist said.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC 44 Class
Daniel Calero owner and helm of Islas Canarias Puerto Calero might have the home team advantage but only managed  to add a third and seventh to their race win, finishing the day in third overall.

“I think this week we are going to have a the full range of wind conditions, today we had medium pressure and shifty conditions, tomorrow I think it will be less pressure and we will just have to wait and see how the teams perform in those conditions. After tomorrow (Friday) until Sunday the wind will increase, which will suit us and hopefully we will be able to stay in the top five, which is our goal this week,”  Calero said.
Photo: Nico Martinez/RC 44 Class
No Way Back had kamikaze day, winning the first of three by over two minutes, quite a feat in a race that lasted 45 minutes. In the second they could only manage an 12th, but finished well with a third, leaving the Dutch team, led by Pieter Heerema, in fourth overall.

Ironbound had to pull out of yesterday’s match race day due to mass illness onboard, today they came out fighting, finishing the day in fifth overall. What was the mystery illness? Owner David Murphy explained. “I think there’s been an intestinal bug going around. We had eight of the twelve team members yesterday all face down in bed, ill. So we couldn’t race and they had to go to the doctors to get IV’s and steroids before going home and sleeping it off. But we’re back today and did better. After that start to the regatta the plan for the week is to have fun.”

Team Aqua were in unfamiliar territory today. A seventh place was their best result of the day, leaving them ninth overall.

The RC44 World Championships in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote also doubles as the final event of the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour. There are still two places on the podium to be won in the Tour and today Artemis put themselves firmly in pole position, while the other main contender Team CEEREF have some catching up to do.

The RC44 World Championships continues until Sunday 20th November. Follow the racing via the live interactive blog at

2011 RC44 World Championship Ranking
(after three races)

1 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team
2 2 4 = 8
2 Artemis Racing
4 5 1 = 10
3 Islas Canarias Puerto Calero
3 1 7 = 11
4 No Way Back
1 12 3 = 16
5 Ironbound
9 3 5 = 17
6 AEZ Sailing Team
5 7 9 = 21
7 Katusha
8 11 2 = 21
8 RC44 Team CEEREF
6 10 8 = 24
9 Team Aqua
7 8 10 = 25
10 Synergy Russian Sailing Team
12 9 6 = 27
11 Team Nika
10 6 13 = 29
12 Aleph Sailing Team
14 4 12 = 30
13 RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by
13 13 11 = 37
14 MAG Racing
11 14 15 = 40

Lulu Roseman

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