James Spithill wins RC44 match racing

RC44 Austria Cup

James Spithill and Team Ceeref won the match race event of the RC 44 Austria Cup with an eight to nil scoresheet. Unlike yesterday, the breeze kicked in just after lunch time, allowing the RC 44's to set sail and start their duals. The Race Committee established a very short course next to the beautiful city of Gmunden, allowing the numerous public to follow the races from the shore.

The last fleet of the day featured two decisive matches: Team Banco Espirito Santo, with John Kostecki at the helm, against BMW Oracle Racing, competing for the third place of the podium and Team Ceeref against Team Aqua, competing for the overall victory.

Patrick de Barros's Banco Espirito Santo started the race as it started the event: with a penalty. Leading for most of the race, the Portuguese entry didn't manage to create a big enough gap to execute its 270 before the arrival line. In a last desperate effort, Kostecki tried to force BMW Oracle Racing into its own penalty turn, but unsuccessfully.

At the same time, James Spithill managed to clearly win the last start against Team Aqua. Sailing alone in the dying breeze, Ceeref didn't have to fight too hard to win this last race. Team Ceeref's victory is neat and clear: the team hasn't lost a single race.

As for Team Aqua, it finishes at a brilliant second place after having struggled during the beginning of the season. Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts' BMW Oracle Racing are third, ahead of Patrick de Barros / John Kostecki's Banco Espirito Santo. Team Hiroshi-Citta di Milano, the leader of the Championship Tour since the beginning of the year, finishes fifth and will certainly have a long debrief tonight.

Markus Wieser's Team Sea Dubai carries on improving with three wins today, including a precious one against BMW Oracle Racing. Finally, Beecom finishes seventh of the event with owner Isao Mita courageously at the helm. The Japanese entry finishes ahead of Star World Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz and the local team Cro-Aut-Sail, who will need more time to make it to the top.

Match-race, final results: (Team, helmsman, No of wins / defeats, points)

1. Team Ceeref, James Spithill, 8/0 - 8 points
2. Team Aqua, Cameron Appleton 6/2 - 6
3. BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 5/3 - 5
4. Team Banco Espirito Santo, John Kostecki, 5/3 - 5
5. Team Hiroshi - Citta di Milano, Sebastien Col 5/3 - 5
6. Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser 4/4 - 4
7. Team Beecom, Isao Mita 2/6 - 2 8. Team Organika, Mateusz Kusznierewicz 1/8 - 1
9. Cro-Aut-Sail, Christian Binder, 0/8 - 0

Event website - http://www.rc44.com