The weekend’s Grand Prix monohull racing news comes from Italy and the RC44 Trapani Cup, where 'Team Aqua' took top honors, followed by 'Team CEEREF' and 'Katusha'. According to reports, the action literally burned down to the last few hundred feet of racing of the entire event, with the British-flagged team beating-out their rivals in a memorable last few moments of racing.
2013 RC44 fleet in Trapani
'It was a great day of racing and 'CEEREF' were the team to beat,' said 'Team Aqua’s' owner/driver, Chris Bake. 'We lined-up with them at the start and were fairly even so I knew we had a chance to compete and sure enough we found ourselves there with them neck and neck for all three races. You can never assume you have it in the bag in this class, but it was a pretty strong statement coming out today and doing so well in the first two races. At the top mark (of the final race) we knew we had to beat 'Katusha' to keep the lead so we were taking every wave we could, and keeping the boat going as fast as we could to just nip them to confirm the win.'
According to reports, the 13-strong fleet enjoyed great racing conditions throughout the event, with the final day featuring 15-knot breezes and a great, surfing-friendly swell. Get the full multi-media debriefing, inside.
Meanwhile, in America’s Cup news, Russell Coutts, Oracle Team USA’s CEO, and Grant Dalton, boss of Emirates Team New Zealand, had an interesting public squaring-off about their views and philosophies on the future of the America’s Cup racing at a recent fund-raiser dinner in Auckland. 'Can I just bring up Russell’s point about having a plan?' asked Dalton. 'I agree—you should have a plan. But the difference between a dictatorship plan and a consensus plan, is that you ask the other teams what they think and you probably go with what they say.'
Inside, do not miss the exclusive feature-length story about this public airing of differences by Sail-World’s New Zealand editor, Richard Gladwell.
And speaking of high-performance multi-hulls, 'The Wave Muscat' took top honors at Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series, which just wrapped-up in Qingdao, China, followed by 'Alinghi' and the 'SAP Extreme Sailing Team'. According to reports, the event featured light airs for the majority of its duration, with the best pressure coming on the final day. Like the RC44 Trapani Cup, the top step on the podium was determined in the final few minutes of racing.
'We had 'The Wave, Muscat' on starboard so we hunted them a little bit, made them tack back and forth and then we just held them and pinned them out until Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team got in there,' said Morgan Larson, 'Alinghi’s' helmsman. 'We just managed to get our spinnaker up in time to be ahead of 'Red Bull' and 'SAP' and that was with the points we needed, but you have to hand it to 'The Wave, Muscat'. Those guys were sailing so sharp all week they didn’t give up, they fought back and passed the two boats to the finish.' More, inside.
Also inside, be sure to get the post-racing report from Antigua Sailing Week, don’t miss the latest insight on the Laser-class crisis, and check out the latest updates from the 2013 Ulsan PWA World Cup. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,