by Jo Grindley
On the fourth day of competition at the RC44 Puerto Calero Cup, four back to back races took place shaking up the leaderboard. Michele Ivaldi (ITA) described the racetrack - 'full of traps and important to keep an eye on the pressure to cope with the shifts.'
RC44 Puerto Calero Cup 2012
With lighter winds forecast the course was moved around the coast of Lanzarote to Puerto del Carmen, in sight of Lanzarote’s capital Arrecife. A weakened north-easterly gradient breeze, with the gusts topping just 12 knots, made for a very different days racing from the strong breezes that had dominated the event thus far.
Team Aqua (GBR) was dominant. Three wins and one third place added just six points to the team’s score, taking them from sixth overnight, straight to the top of the leaderboard, five points clear of second placed Aleph Sailing Team (FRA).
For the team that missed out on the podium at the RC44 World Championships in Lanzarote last November – the only podium they missed out on last season – it could not have gone better. 'Today was a big day, we did a lot of things right and although we had some fairly tricky starts, Cameron (Appleton) was very much in phase with the wind, the teamwork was back on form. It was just a matter of not making any mistakes,' said Chris Bake, owner/driver, Team Aqua after a long day on the water.
The only other team to win a race was AEZ, the Austrian team slotted in a 5, 1, 8, 3 score-line moving them from one-off the bottom of the leaderboard to seventh overall. Owner/Driver Rene Mangold was very satisfied with the team’s efforts. 'It was a great day for us, we were a little bit unsure of how it would go as we hadn’t used the mainsail in light wind conditions, but it worked really well, much better than we expected. We’re improving all the time. We hope to build for the rest of the season, this is obviously our first regatta with Markus (Weiser), but we hope to keep this configuration and keep the performance and spirit high.'
France’s Aleph Sailing Team did enough to stay in second overall. They started well with a second and fourth, before succumbing to their first double figure score of the series, an eleventh followed by a seventh. With no discards allowed at any RC44 Championship events, tomorrow will be all about consistency and the young French team are still well in with a chance of the clinching the trophy.
Consistency is something Team Nika (RUS) need to fulfill their obvious potential on the race course. Often at the front of the fleet after the first lap, a penalty and difficult spinnaker drop regularly puts them to the back of the fleet.
Owner Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) explained their day. 'We had a good first race. The second race could have been better; we got a penalty for tacking too close to the committee boat but recovered really well in to fifth or sixth place, then got another penalty! The third race we had a chance to win, but then lost by maybe five or ten metres, that was a real shame. Then the final race of the day was just bad!' The team finished the day in sixth overall, eleven points off of Artemis Racing in third place.
Three races are planned for the final day of racing at the RC44 Puerto Calero Cup with the first warning signal due at 11.00 (GMT).
RC44 Class Association website