They may be the best sailors in the world; they still have a lot to discover in the world of sailing. With its exceptional scenery, snow capped mountains and lovely thermal breeze, Lake Traunsee certainly delivers on this respect, to the delight of all the sailors involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup.
Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano (the leader of the RC 44 Championship Tour) and Team Ceeref, with James Spithill at the helm, sailing in front of Gmunden during the practice race of the Austria Cup Photo: Coypright Martina Wohlesser
Will the lake conditions reshuffle the cards? The question raised last week is still open but the first practice brings initial clues. Indeed, the winner is Team Beecom from Japan; a team that has often had very good results in light and flat conditions during the first RC 44 Championship Tour. Sailing with a genoa, unlike the other teams who opted for a jib, Beecom benefited from some light wind patches to make it to the top.
Second in the practice race Team Banco Espirito Santo with John Kostecki at the helm confirms it's good form (after a good race in Cagliari last month), just ahead of Markus Wieser’s Team Sea Dubai.
Team Austria Cro-a-Sail, considered as the local team thanks to the involvement of Christian Binder and Sylvia Vogl, (who will compete in the Olympic Games this summer in the 470 Class) was also fighting for victory today and finishes a good fourth.
Organised by PROFS Marketing KG, the Austria Cup begins tomorrow with the match racing event. After a full round robin held in two days, the team owners will take the helm for three days of fleet racing. A long distance race - the DHL Trophy - will take the fleet around Lake Traunsee on Saturday.
Practice race ranking:
(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)
1) Team Beecom, Isao Mita / Kelvin Harrap
2) Team Banco Espirito Santo, Patrick de Barros / John Kostecki
3)Sea Dubai, DIMC, Markus Wieser
4) Team Austria Cro-A-Sail, Miroslav Reljanovic / Christian Binder
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts
6) Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Mateusz Kusznierewicz
7) Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano, Armando Giulietti / Sébastien Col
DNF: Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
DNF: Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / James Spithill
RC 44 Championship Tour 2008 (after 2 events:
1) Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano, 40 points
2) Team Banco Espirito Santo, 75 points
3) Ceeref, 78 points
4) Sea Dubai, 81 points
5) Team Aqua, 84 points
6) Cro-A-Sail, 112 points
7) BMW ORACLE Racing, 120 points
8) Team Organika, 136 points
9) Beecom, 138 points
10) Mascalzone Latino, 164 points
11) Magia Alike, 184 points
11) Jelik, 184 points