A bright sun was shining today,  and a good wind started blowing like it should in a sailboat race, allowing the Race Committee to launch four sailing races and reshuffle the cards in the overall ranking of the RC 44 Austria Cup. In the end it was Team Aqua that blasted the other teams away winning the Austria Cup. Cameron Appleton, tactician for Team Aqua said: “I am very proud of our result. We fought until the last race and it was amazing to see the top three boats sailing so close from each other in this last regatta. We had control over the situation half way through, but then I didn’t manage to prevent Artemis’ come back.”
Sailing

Sailing

After a last race sailed this morning in this week’s typical gray, cold and unstable weather, the sun and the breeze came back for the final showdown, allowing the Race Committee to launch three fantastic races in Ebensee, at the other end of the lake.
Pieter Heerema and his team No Way Back were looking good at this stage thanks to their victory in the day’s first race. But the racing in Ebensee is all different, with the boats sailing as closely as possible to the cliffs in order to benefit from the land effect.
Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis was the best at adapting to those conditions, starting race 6 at the pin end of the line, going as closely as possible to the land in order to benefit from a good lift and tack ahead of the pack to take the lead. Alternating the worse and the best throughout the week, Team Sea Dubai also had an excellent regatta, finishing second just a couple of seconds behind Artemis after a fantastic dual. Other teams had ups and downs, with BMW ORACLE Racing finishing third despite sailing without their bowsprit, Team Austria ripping a spinnaker and Organika incurring a penalty at the windward mark. Team Aqua finished 4th and No Way Back 7th, closing the gap dramatically at the top of the leaderboard before the last races.
The next regatta turned out to be the most exciting one of the week, with a pre-start collision between Team Sea Dubai and Ceeref and further penalties for the same Ceeref as well as Organika and Team Austria in a hairy leeward mark rounding. Team Aqua benefited from this chaos to grab the lead and win ahead of No way Back and Organika.
The scenario couldn’t have been any better before the start of the last race of the event, with No Way Back sitting just two points ahead of Team Aqua and Artemis. The three teams knew the situation, and said after the regatta that they sailed “their own race”, without looking too much at the others.
No Way Back twisted a sheet in a winch one minute before the gun and was forced to start at the Committee end of the line when the middle and pin end were clearly favoured. Artemis started as usual at the pin end, but a touch too late. As for Aqua, it took an average start in the middle of the line, momentarily taking the lead of the “race in the race” despite sailing in BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Sea Dubai’s wake. The Team from the UAE seemed to have the regatta under control until Artemis – on great form today – made the best of the land effect to grab the temporary third place, just ahead of Aqua and No Way Back. The three teams sailed the last run in each other’s wake, trying to attack ahead without taking too much risk behind. BMW ORACLE Racing’s beautiful win and Team Sea Dubai’s second place were anecdotic compared to this fight for the overall victory. Artemis finally crossed third, Aqua fourth and No way Back – threatened until the last meters by the brave Austrians – in fifth, grabbing the fleet race ranking title on a tie with Artemis. Team Aqua concludes the fleet regatta in third but grabs the overall RC 44 Austria Cup title ahead of Artemis and No way Back, and increases its lead in the Championship Tour.
The next RC 44 sailing regatta will take place on July 8-12 in Malcesine, Lake Garda.
RC 44 Fleet race, final results after nine 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, 1, 7, 2, 5 – 34 points
2) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1, 4, 2, 9, 7, 3, 1, 4, 3 – 34 points
3) Team Aqua, Chris Bake 8, 2, 6, 1, 4, 5, 4, 1, 4 – 35 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers, 6, 6, 4, 5, 9, 2, 3, 8, 1 – 44 points
5) Team Sea Dubai, Stefan Linder, 11 (DNF), 11 (DNS), 0, 3, 5, 8, 2, 5, 2 – 47 points
6) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 2, 1, 12, 4, 2, 9, 6, 6, 7 – 49 points
7) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 3, 8, 10, 6, 3, 4, 8, 3, 8 – 53 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 4, 5, 14, 7, 6, 6, 5, 7, 6 – 60 points
9) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 7, 7, 16, 8, 8, 7, 9, 9, 9 – 80 points
RC 44 Austria Cup overall ranking
(Ranking, team, owner, match race, fleet race, points)
1) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 1, 3 – 4 points
2) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 3, 2 – 5 points
3) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 6, 1 – 7 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts, 5, 4 – 9 points
5) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 2, 7 – 9 points
6) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 4, 6 – 10 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, DIMC Markus Wieser, 7, 5 – 12 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 9, 8 – 17 points
9) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 8, 9 – 17 points
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