by Jo Grindley
The RC44 Puerto Calero Cup has now wrapped up the final day of competition. After a three hour wait for the breeze to fill in, AEZ took their second race win in Lanzarote, but Team Aqua were not far behind giving them their first event win of the 2012 season.
RC44 Puerto Calero Cup 2012
Puerto Calero has shown to be a real test for the 14 teams competing in the first leg of the RC44 Championship Tour. After their winter break it was the reigning champions who showed they could change gear in the wide range of conditions in Lanzarote.
Chris Bake and the crew of Team Aqua (GBR) started the week slowly with a 10th and 13th, but quickly got in the groove slotting in four wins, a second, third and fourth to give them victory by 11 points over second placed Aleph Sailing Team (FRA).
The team will retain their golden wheels for another event but are wary of the competition for the rest of the season. 'Every boat out there is a concern, they all have the capacity and they all have their days,' said Bake, however the team were chuffed with their first win of the season.
Brad Butterworth tactician on Katusha - RC44 Puerto Calero Cup 2012
'For the team obviously every win is a great win, especially in this class where the teams really give you a run for your money, as you saw the first few days. It’s easy to make a mistake and once you do that its game over, so all in all its really appreciated by all the team that we were able to pull out another great event.'
For the young French team missing an eighth place in the final race secured them second overall, exceeding their own targets for the event as the team’s tactician, Mathieu explained. 'It’s a fantastic result for us second place, we couldn’t expect such a good result so it’s great. The team is improving at every event. We had a good first year and I think this year the team is pretty strong.'
Artemis made up the podium, just two points adrift of the French, Torbjorn Tornqvist teaming up with Artemis Racing’s CEO, Paul Cayard for Lanzarote.
AEZ seemed to excel in the lighter shifty conditions, the team from Austria clinching the final race of the series, adding to their win from the previous day and taking them up to fifth overall.
Team AEZ Racing - RC44 Puerto Calero Cup 2012
Rene Mangold’s team have been a regular on the Tour since 2009, over the winter they bought in new tactician, Markus Weiser (GER) who has high expectations for the season.
'The last two days have been very good for us, they worked out really well, we had a shocker in the second day, we were second to last after four races and we were really disappointed, we had a few boat handling problems but recovered quite nicely. We have a few new sails for the next event which will make us a little more competitive.'
Trophies at the RC44 Puerto Calero Cup 2012
After a challenging week in Lanzarote the fleet will now head to Cascais in Portugal the second round of the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour, with the racing being hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais from 28th March – 1st April.
RC44 Class Association website