Team Hiroshi confirms lead, Dubai RC44 Cup day 4

Day 4, Dubai RC44 Cup
With Armando Giulietti at the helm and Sébastien Col calling the shots, the Italian team took a decisive advantage over the rest of the fleet. With only two more races on the programme, it sits in an enviable position ahead of Patrick de Barros and Russell Coutts’ Team ES Bankers Dubai.

Dubai, 6 March 2008 – Consistency seems to be the key word to win RC 44 fleet race events. Indeed, Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano extended its lead thanks to two 3rd, one 2nd and a 1st place in today’s races. The conditions were light (6-10 knots of wind) and fairly unstable, with 30 degrees shifts and unpredictable puffs of wind.

The first race of the day saw the come-back of team Cro-A-Sail, finally winning a race after a long period of average results. The Croatian team was the first leader of the RC 44 Class back in 2006. With Miroslav Rejanovic at the helm, the team proved that it still has the potential to beat the best.

The second race was also very close, with Team Ceeref swapping the lead with Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano to finally win the race by a couple of boat lengths. Igor Lah, the team owner and helmsman confessed after the races that he was feeling much more comfortable in these onditions than in yesterday’s big seas.

Race three saw another expected come-back: that of Team Aqua, disappointing earlier in the week. The team from the UAE spent most of the race in the lead, and won with a small margin over Team Sea Dubai and Hiroshi, always pushing till the arrival line.

Armando Giulietti, the owner of Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano, finally got the bullet he deserved in the last race of the day, building up a 7 points lead over second placed Team ES Bankers Dubai. With only two more races to go – including the coastal DHL Trophy – Armando Giulietti is in a good position to win the event. The game is more open behind, with only twelve points separating Team ES bankers and sixth placed Team Aqua. No doubt the last two races of the Dubai RC 44 Cup will be intense!

They said:

Armando Giulietti, owner, Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano (1st):
“We are extremely fast in these conditions. We worked on this over the winter, and developed some sails that are very good. Sébastien Col was very smart today, he made the right strategic choices.”

Chris Bake, owner, Team Aqua (6th): “These boats are very sensitive and I needed time to get the right feeling at the helm. It’s very tough, because the fleet is so tight. Mistakes are just not allowed. But it is good to be back in form. I think the guys did a good job. They focused well on what they needed to do.”

Miroslav Reljanovic, owner, Cro-A-Sail (5th): “We have had problems with our starts this week, but we managed to get a good one on the first race and we won it. Our speed is good, but we lack training. My goal this year is to improve in fleet racing; this is really where we want to put the focus.”

Igor Lah, owner, Team Ceeref: “I had never sailed a boat in tough conditions like yesterday and I found it quite hard. It was much better today, I had a better feeling at the helm and I felt that we were improving. I think we have a good mixture between fun and good results. It’s what I want: sail well but also have fun and beat the others...”

Fleet-racing, provisional results (no discard)

1) Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano (1, 1, 2, 4, 3, 2, 3, 1) 17
2) Team ES Bankers Dubai (3, 4, 1, 1, 2, 4, 4, 5) 24
3) Team Ceeref (5, 3, 5, 2, 5, 1, 5, 2) 28
4) Team Sea Dubai, (2, 2, 6, 3, 4, 6, 2, 6) 31
5) Cro-A-Sail (4, 5, 4, 5, 1, 5, 6, 4) 34
6) Team Aqua (DNF, DNF, 3, 6, 6, 3, 1, 3) 36