The RC 44 sailing team from the UAE recovered from yesterday’s performance today with a great victory in the DHL Trophy followed by a 3rd and a 5th. Thanks to its wonderful sailing results (4, 2, 1), Team No Way Back is now the fleet race provisional leader. Pieter Heerema, owner of No Way Back said: “We were leading the DHL regatta during the first half of the beat, but then the ghost of the lake started playing with us… All together we had a very good day and Ray Davies did a fantastic job. He is great at reading the course, but also at communicating with us and that’s essential. It was cold and wet but we enjoyed it a lot. The training we did in Copenhagen this winter certainly paid off today.”

Today’s sailboat races won’t be remembered in the sailing history as the most pleasant ones. Indeed, most of the races took place under a rainy gray sky,  and shifty winds made it very hard for the tacticians to establish a reliable strategy.

The first sailing regatta of the day, the long distance DHL Trophy, was the best and most regular race of the day. The race started soon after 10:00 AM, with a light but fairly stable breeze. The RC 44 fleet immediately split in two, with Puerto Calero, Artemis and Ceeref choosing the right side of the lake whilst the others opted for the left and mountainous side. The “countrymen” looked good for a while, until the “mountaineers” – and particularly Team Aqua – benefited from a massive shift to get back to the top.

Most boats reached the stunning Traunkirchen monastery at the same time, except for Ceeref, Organika and Puerto Calero who remained in a windless spot for too long. The tacking dual alongside the picturesque coast was interesting, with the RC 44’s gliding like ghosts on flat water, controlling each other’s moves as they neared the mark. Artemis was first up there, just ahead of Team Sea Dubai and BMW ORACLE Racing.

The downwind ride proved tricky, with unpredictable puffs of wind coming down from the mountain and a breeze dying closer to the arrival line. Markus Wieser had the best understanding of the situation and led his helmsman Stefan Linder in the right spot, winning the double points race. This was a welcome recovery following yesterday’s counter performance, when they had to retire after a spectacular broach in order to re-establish their spinnaker halyard.

Artemis finished the DHL race in second, ahead of BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Aqua. Two standard windward leeward races took place after the DHL Trophy, in very difficult, light and unpredictable conditions. Team Austria was leading the first one with style when the wind completely dropped. Light puffs came from here & there, propelling some teams randomly towards the arrival line but avoiding the poor Austrians. Team Aqua crossed the arrival line first, followed by No Way Back and Team Sea Dubai. Artemis, who had been in the lead alongside the Austrians for most of the race finished last.

The second regatta took place in similar conditions; so much so that Race Officer Peter Reggio had to shorten the course and establish the final ranking at the windward mark. Pieter Heerema and Ray Davis had a lot of confidence in the left side of the course and this proved to be the right choice; team No Way back won the race ahead of Organika, Ceeref and Team Aqua. The Dutch team leads the overall ranking with 19 points, just ahead of Ceeref and Team Aqua (21).

RC 44 Sailing Race, provisional results after five races (no discard):

(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results (in bold, double points for the DHL Trophy), points)

1) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 5, 3, 8, 2, 1 – 19 points
2) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 2, 1, 12, 4, 2 – 21 points
3) Team Aqua, Chris Bake 8, 2, 6, 1, 4 – 21 points
4) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1, 4, 2, 9, 7 – 23 points
5) Team Sea Dubai, Stefan Linder, 11 (DNF), 11 (DNS), 0, 3, 5 – 30 points
6) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 3, 8, 10, 6, 3 – 30 points
7) BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers, 6, 6, 4, 5, 9 – 30 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 4, 5, 14, 7, 6 – 36 points
9) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 7, 7, 16, 8, 8 – 46 points

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