Onboard videos from the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup
Stating that conditions on the opening day of the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup were ideal would be a major understatement. Add to that a fleet of racing machines and world-class crews and you get some spectacular races.
Valencia Sailing was aboard two RC44 yachts - Banco Espirito Santo and Artemis - today and shot, as much as possible, the action on these sailing thoroughbreds. It was tough at times to just hold on with one hand and shooting with the other. The RC44's are narrow, heel as hell and have no rail and when you are in prestart procedure with Dean Barker at the helm against Larry Ellison and Russel Coutts on the other yacht the last thing you worry about is holding the camera still.
I was onboard Banco Espirito Santo and Artemis when each boat raced Team Aqua, helmed by Cameron Appleton, and BMW Oracle. Unfortunately, the last race - Artemis against BMW Oracle - took place under 25 knots of wind and choppy seas so it was a choice between filming or not falling overboard, so I chose the latter.
Banco Espirito Santo - BMW Oracle: 0-1
Larry Ellison didn't have much trouble winning the race against the Portuguese boat, helmed by Mark Mendelblatt. The crew mistakenly thought they were early over the line and by the time they realized they were not it was too late. BMW Oracle got ahead and had no problem holding on to their lead.
Banco Espirito Santo and BMW Oracle race in the first day of the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup. Puerto Calero, 10 December 2008. Video copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing
Artemis - Team Aqua: 0-1
Another understatement today would be that Dean Barker didn't sail as well as he did a couple of weeks ago in the NZ Match Racing Championships. The Team NZ helmsman found a very tough opponent in Cameron Appleton. Despite getting a penalty in the prestart for a port-starboard incident, Appleton got ahead and was able to offload the penalty in the second beat and win the race. Crew work aboard Artemis was sloppy at times in the downwind legs.
Artemis and Team Aqua race in the first day of the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup. Puerto Calero, 10 December 2008. Video copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing