Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three seasons in one day in the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

[Source: RC44 Class] Except for the summer, the teams involved in the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup had to deal with very varied conditions today. Strong and light wind, sun, rain, chop… Pieter Heerema’s team No Way Back leads the provisional ranking ahead of Igor Lah’s Ceeref and Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis.

PRO Peter Reggio had no other choice but to postpone racing to a couple of hours after lunchtime due to the heavy rain and light wind this morning. The racing finally got underway by 2:30 PM, and lasted until 7:00 PM, with four beautiful races completed at the end of the day.

Only nine points separate the nine top teams in the provisional ranking, with Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back leading Igor Lah’s Ceeref by one point and Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis by two. Heerema probably didn’t think he would be leading the provisional ranking when he crossed the arrival line of the first race in last. On the other hand, Daniel Calero and his team Puerto Calero – who won this first regatta convincingly – were certainly hoping for a better provisional overall result than their ninth place.

Highlights from day 4 of the RC44 Copenhagen Cup. Copenhagen, 11 June 2010. Video copyright RC44 class

Those results summarise the day pretty well: varied weather, with rain and sunshine, some rain squalls, a lot of chop around the start line and flat water at the top mark… Uneven conditions that led to uneven results, with Katusha’s owner Guennadi Timtchenko managing to win the first ever regatta in his life (he only started sailing last month during the RC 44 Austria Cup) and experienced teams such as BMW ORACLE Racing or Team Aqua struggling to be consistent.

Thanks to two race victories and a fourth place, and despite the first race’s disappointment, Pieter Heerema and his team No way Back are the event’s provisional leaders. They are however far from being in a safe spot, with two more days of racing and up to eight more races to complete.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is much better with even, perhaps, the season missing so far on the menu…

They said:

Guennadi Timtchenko, owner, Katusha: “I need to thank the team for this victory. They really help me well, and make me feel confident. I can say that now I am starting to feel the boat, it gives me great emotions. I really think that sailing is the most exciting sport I know."

Hartwell Jordan, crewmember, Team Sea Dubai: “It has been a great day, with four good races completed. We are working hard at improving our communication with our helmsman Harm Muller Spreer. Jes Gram Hansen does the tactics and it works pretty well."

Fleet race on day 4 of the RC44 Copenhagen Cup. Copenhagen, 11 June 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Igor Lah, owner, Ceeref: “It was very shifty today and I found it hard to steer well and control the boat. But I am quite satisfied. We never won but we also never finished last. It was our goal to try to be as consistent as possible. I also hugely enjoyed the sailing. This morning I didn’t think we would be sailing at all."

Daniel Calero, owner, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero: “We started the day really well with a first place. Then we made some wrong calls and didn’t do as well as we wanted, but it has been great. The level is tough, and everyone can win races. I found the shifts fairly easy to read, but the problem was the pressure. It was uneven and made it difficult to steer well."

Fleet race, provisional results after four races:

1) Team No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 10, 1, 4, 1 – 16 points
2) CEEREF, Igor Lah, 5, 2, 7, 3 – 17 points
3) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 3, 5, 8, 2 – 18 points
4) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 2, 3, 9, 5 – 19 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 8, 6, 2, 4 – 20 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, Harm Muller Spreer, 7, 4, 3, 6 – 20 points
7) Katusha, Guennadi Timtchenko, 6, 8, 1, 8 – 23 points
8) 17, Anders Myralf 4, 7, 6, 7 – 24 points
9) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 1, 10, 5, 9 – 25 points
10) Team Austria, René Mangold, 9, 9, 10, 10 – 38 points

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