Friday, June 28, 2013

Team Aqua Looking The Goods at RC44 Sweden Cup

The penultimate day of the RC44 Sweden Cup challenged the 12 competing team’s crew work and punished small mistakes. Consistency has proved difficult in Marstrand with eight different winners coming from the first eight races. Only overall leaders Team Aqua have been able to win two races, helping them increase their lead over the chasing pack to 14-points.
With the breeze touching 20 knots for the opening race, Team Nika was eager to get their day started and were called over the line early. Katusha looked to be leading the fleet up the first beat, when their runner block broke putting them out of the race. Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing took over the gauntlet and rounded the windward mark first, followed by Aqua and Ironbound.
Aleph held onto their lead until the closing stages of the race when a broach resulted in a ripped kite, putting them back to sixth. David Murphy steering Ironbound had made a big gain staying hard left on the first run and took over the lead to take their first win of the event, Aqua crossed second and Synergy sailed another strong race to finish third.
The breeze dropped slightly for the second race of the day. With the tide pushing the fleet down the line, Team Italia lined up to leeward of the fleet ended up below the pin end layline, Ironbound stacked up next to them were forced to tack out behind the fleet. With the left favoured again Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing had the best first beat, but a costly broach on the first downwind gave Team Aqua the lead at the leeward gate.
Second placed Katusha opted to split with Aqua and take the left hand gate to snatch the lead from the overall leaders. Katusha proceeded to match race Aqua up the second half of the beat, ensuring Chris Bake’s team had no clean air. By the top mark Katusha had given themselves a 30m buffer. The team steered by Steve Howe this week stayed ahead to take their first win of the RC44 Sweden Cup. Aqua picked up another second place, with Artemis Racing staying in contention finishing third.
The breeze moderated to 14-16 knots for the final race of the day, big gennakers were back up flying, Nika was called over early again along with Aleph. With the left side being so favoured, a clean lane off the start line and good boat speed up the first beat was imperative. Aqua nailed it and led from start to finish, only challenged for the lead by Synergy. Ironbound rounded off a good day finishing third.
“I’m still trying to find out myself why the left hand side is favoured, it’s just a geographical line, there might be a little less current and it’s the way you lead into the shore. Today a couple of times there were opportunities for right shift that we hadn’t seen, but the left was still the favoured place to be, more pressure, less current and a geographical influence from the rocks and the land as it bends around the coast. There’s nothing really obviously showing it’s there but it’s happening every race,” said Team Aqua’s tactician Cameron Appleton

RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Results (After nine races)

1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 – 27
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 3 6 2 – 41
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 4 5 5 – 42
4. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 7 4 6 – 45
5. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 5 3 8 – 49
6. Ironbound 9 12 4 8 6 7 1 7 3 – 57
7. Katusha 12 5 5 4 9 9 13DNF 1 4 – 62
8. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 8 10 9 – 63
9. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 5 12 3 6 9 10 – 66
10. Team Nika 5 7 10 10 1 12 9 8 7 – 69
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 9 11 10 13 DNF 12 12 – 91
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 11 7 11 13 DNS 11 11 – 96

RC44 Media

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