Sailing at the RC 44 Portoroz Cup

Torbjorn Tornqvist, his tactician Dean Barker and their crew onboard Artemis controlled the situation perfectly yesterday, increasing their lead in the overall ranking in the first race of the day before securing the title in the second. Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back controlled BMW ORACLE Racing throughout the day, grabbing the second place in the overall ranking and the first place in the combined fleet race / match race ranking.

The four boats who were leading the provisional ranking ahead of today’s races started the first race at the pin end of the line and headed for the left of the course. All other teams went right and benefited from a slightly better angle. Sailing fast and well, Artemis just managed to squeeze in and take the lead whilst BMW ORACLE Racing – sailing no more than one boat length behind Artemis – had no other choice but to bear away to give way to the other boats, finally rounding the top mark last!

The wind was quite irregular, provoking many changes within the fleet. No Way Back played the shifts well, grabbing the second place ahead of Team Aqua and Ceeref whilst BMW ORACLE Racing only managed to climb back up to the seventh place.

The wind started to drop before the start of the second race, leading BMW ORACLE Racing and Organika to switch to genoas whilst the others boats carried on sailing under jib. A massive left shift gave the lead to the teams who had chosen the left in the first beat, whilst the second beat heavily favoured those who went to the right. Pieter Taselaar and Paul Cayard got it right on board Katusha, winning the race ahead of Artemis and Team Aqua, finally on good form after a difficult start in the event.

Artemis was by then sure to win the event whilst only one point separated No Way Back and BMW ORACLE Racing. The last race would therefore be decisive for the second place of the podium.

The breeze was down to eight knots at this stage, and clearly favourable on the right side of the course. Team Aqua started at the Committee end of the line and immediately tacked, grabbing an early lead and extending throughout the race. Sailing in the middle of the pack, Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back never missed an opportunity to tack over BMW ORACLE Racing. The American boats suffered from this and finished the race in the ninth place, loosing its second place overall to the Dutch – fourth of this last race.

No Way Back wins the combined fleet race / match race ranking thanks to their third place in the match race, ahead of Paul Cayard’s Katusha, winner of the match and fourth in the fleet regatta, brilliant for his first participation on the 22nd and latest RC 44. Fifth of the match race, Artemis finishes third overall.

Russell Coutts, tactician for  BMW ORACLE Racing said: “We did some great racing this week and it was definitely the most competitive regatta for the class so far. Artemis had a great race, they really dominated this event. We also had a good week. We suffered a bit today; Pieter Heerema knocked us back all day and we didn’t get out of the starting line the way we wanted. But it has been great fun.”


Photo: Copyright Ales Fevzer / RC 44 Class

RC 44 Cup fleet race, final results after ten races:

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

1) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 2, 2, 5, 6, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 5 – 28 points
2) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 11, 6, 1, 1, 4, 8, 3, 2, 4, 4 – 44 points
3) BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers, 1, 1, 8, 4, 10, 1, 2, 7, 5, 9 – 48 points
4) Team Katusha, Pieter Taselaar, 3, 7, 10, 2, 8, 6, 4, 9, 1, 3 – 53 points
5) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 6, 5, 6, 3, 16, 3, 11, 3, 3, 1 – 57 points
6) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 9, 9, 2, 7, 6, 4, 7, 4, 9, 7 – 64 points
7) Organika, Maciej  Nawrocki, 8, 3, 3, 5, 20, 7, 5, 5, 7, 6 – 69 points
8) Team Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, 7, 4, 4, 9, 18, 5, 9, 10, 10, 2 – 80 points (incl 2 penalty points)
9) Team Austria, René Mangold, 10, 11, 9, 10, 12, 10, 8, 6, 8, 11 – 95 points
10) Modri Gaj, Michael Reardon, 4, 10, 11, 8, 14, 11, 6, 11, 12, 8 – 97 points (incl 2 penalty points)
11) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, José Juan Calero, 5, 8, 7, 11, 23, 9, 10,8, 6, 10 – 97 points


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