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James Spithill wins Day 2 - Dubai RC 44 Cup

by Bernard Schopfer on 5 Mar 2008
Dubai RC 44 Cup Th.Martinez © http://www.thmartinez.com
Despite local advice, Race Director Peter “Luigi” Regio sent the six strong RC 44 fleet out on the water for the second Round Robin of the Dubai RC 44 Cup.

A wise choice as the teams could sail six matches, allowing the Committee to establish a final ranking based on 21 matches. “You won’t get anything if you don’t try”, he commented with a smile at the end of the day.

The winner of the event is Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref, with James Spithill at the helm. “It’s a great start to our season”, he commented. “Yesterday, we were not happy with our sailing. We made a lot of little mistakes and lost matches that we could have won. We all wanted to do better today and that’s what we did.”

Equally happy with his performance was Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano’s pro helmsman Sebastien Col: “It all goes down to a couple of meters at the right moment”, he explained. Yesterday, we could have won all our matches but we lost two of them because of tiny mistakes. We had a thorough de-brief in the evening and the difference was clear today. All the guys on board realised how important every single meter is. They were hiking better, our tacks were better, we focused well on what we were doing and the result is there: we had two excellent matches.”

Russell Coutts’ Team ES Bankers completes the podium with victories against Cro-A-Sail and Team Sea Dubai this afternoon.

Four teams were sharing the lead after the first round robin. Team Sea Dubai, leader of the provisional ranking after day one, lost its advantage today, regressing to the fourth place. As for Team Aqua (Cameron Appleton), penalised by a collision yesterday and sailing below its usual level, it finishes fifth, ahead of Cro-A-Sail who only won one match.

The team owners will be back at the helm tomorrow for the fleet racing event. The weather forecast is good, with North-Westerly winds of up to 20 knots expected.

James Spithill, Team Ceeref: “We are all looking forward to starting the fleet racing event tomorrow. Igor Lah, the team’s owner, trained during two days and his progress is quite spectacular. I am very impressed by him: he has a good temperament; he is calm and has a good feeling. His results so far have been quite amazing considering that he had only sailed on power boats just a year ago...'

Sébastien Col, Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano: “The teams are very close. The fleet has definitely gained in consistency. Each mistake costs a lot but people throughout the fleet make less of them by the day. We are very pleased with our result, and particularly with our win against Russell’s team yesterday. It proves that we can win against any team and it is a good morale buster.”

Match-racing, final results

Note: half points have been awarded to teams who have competed against each other only once (in both round robins).
Ranking, number of victories/losses, points.

1) Team Ceeref (5/2) 3,5 points
2) Team Hiroshi (4/3) 3 points
3) Team ES Bankers Dubai (5/2) 3 points
4) Team Sea Dubai, (3/4) 2,5 points
5) Team Aqua (3/ 4 incl 1 penalty) 1 point
6) Cro-A-Sail (1/6) 1 point
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