Artemis and Dean Barker on top form in the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup practice race
[Source: RC44] Dean Barker and his Team Artemis confirmed their great form today, leading the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup ahead of Team Aqua (Cameron Appleton) and Paul Cayard’s new Team Katusha.
With eleven top level teams on the water, the RC 44 fleet is probably at its best ever. Speaking during this morning’s press conference in Portoroz (Slovenia), Russell Coutts – co-designer of the RC 44 and founder of the Class – confirmed that "the level is incredibly high. We have eleven strict one-design boats led by some of the world’s best sailors, and we are all united in a wonderful sailing arena. It doesn’t get much better than this."
Practice race for the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup. Portoroz, 28 September 2009. Photo copyright Ales Fevzer / RC44 Class Association
The results of today’s practice race speak by themselves: all the teams crossed the arrival line within less than two minutes after an extremely close race. The RC 44 regattas are obviously a team effort; however, the team’s helmsmen are worth a special mention: Dean Barker finished first (although he chose not to cross the arrival line), ahead of Cameron Appleton, Paul Cayard, Sébastien Col, Ray Davies, Michael Reardon, Russell Coutts, Karol Jablonski and the rest of the pack; an extraordinary line-up of famous skippers that clearly confirms the world level status of the RC 44 Class.
The event starts tomorrow morning with a full match race round-robin. The fleet regatta will take place from Thursday to Saturday.
PredictWind’s weather forecast announces light to moderate winds decreasing throughout the week.
The teams involved:
(Name of team, owner or fleet race helmsman, match race helmsman)
Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Sébastien Col
Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers / Russell Coutts
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, José Juan Calero / José Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Pieter Taselaar / Paul Cayard
Team Blue Grove Miss Slovenia, Michael Reardon / Gasper Vincec