by Jo Grindley
In RC44 Puerto Calero Cup, new faces are emerging at the top of the leader board on day three. In anticipation of strong winds, the fleet left to dock early, slotting in three races by early afternoon. There were high velocity changes and shifts that kept tacticians busy.
RC44 Puerto Calero Cup 2012
Team Aqua (GBR) won the day’s opener, before making a rare error which left them back in 13th place at the finish of the second race, as owner Chris Bake explained. 'Consistency has not been part of today! We had a good start to the day, then in the second race I made a mistake and broached pretty badly, I came around way too aggressively, we didn’t have the shoot ready, came up too high and ended up on the wrong side of the course. Then the last race we were a bit more on form, just a few issues. It was a full on day.' A fourth place in the final race keeps Team Aqua well in contention in sixth place overall.
The French Aleph Sailing Team had been leading the day’s opener before finishing third. They then turned the tables in the second race, third at the final windward mark, they passed No Way Back (NED) and Katusha (RUS) on the final run to secure their first race win of the year. 'It was another great day on-board Aleph, especially in the first two races we were very fast in the strong breeze and the team is doing a great job in these conditions,' explained tactician Mathieu Richard (FRA).
'It was very difficult out there in the last race, the wind was shifting all the time which was a nightmare for the tactics but we finished ninth so it’s still a great day.' Aleph sit second overall after four races, three points off the leader.
A team that seemed to relish the shifty conditions was John Bassadones’ Peninsula Petroleum (GBR). Having teamed up with tactician Vasco Vascotto (ITA) at the end of the 2011 season, the new partnership leapt onto the podium at the RC44 World Championships last November and now find themselves leading the season opener, their worst result a fifth.
Starting at the pin for every start today, Peninsula Petroleum proceeded to play the shifts and slot in a very consistent 2,4,1 scoreline. 'The team sailed very well, it was very tricky out there, it was very shifty but we had a couple of good starts and tactically we were solid.' Said owner John Bassadone once ashore.
Peninsula Petroleum has a three point cushion over their French rivals, but with no discard at RC44 events tactician Vascotto had a clear message for the team. 'We had three great races and were really happy about the results today, but we need to only enjoy this for 15 minutes and then forget this kind of result to come back to our plan of learning, learning, learning! We still have a lot to learn.'
Synergy Russian Sailing Team suffered minor damage after their halyard broke in the first race of the day, putting them out of the last two races of the day.
Four more races are expected tomorrow for the penultimate day of the RC44 Puerto Calero Cup with the first warning signal due at 11.00 (GMT).
RC44 Puerto Calero Cup – Fleet Race Results (After four races) :
1 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 5 2 4 1 – 12
2 Aleph Sailing Team 2 3 1 9 – 15
3 No Way Back 1 9 3 7 – 20
4 Artemis Racing 3 4 12 3 – 22
5 Team Nika 4 12 5 2 – 23
6 Team Aqua 10 1 13 4 – 28
7 Katusha 12 12 2 5 – 32
8 AFX Capital Racing 9 7 8 8 – 32
9 Ironbound 14 5 6 10 – 35
10 Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 6 14 10 6 – 36
11 RUS-7 Sail Racing Team 11 6 7 12 – 36
12 RC44 Team Ceeref 7 8 9 13 – 36
13 AEZ RC44 Team 8 10 11 11 – 40
14 Synergy Russian Sailing Team 3 11 15DNS 15DNS – 54
RC44 Class Association website