The second event of the RC44 Championship Tour has commenced at another new venue, Trapani on the west coast of Sicily. The opening day was a little unpredictable with wind shifts that caused major headaches for Race Officer, Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio on the sole match race day of the RC44 Trapani Cup. The thirteen team’s still got six flights completed before the wind finally departed, and one team dominated.
At the RC44 Muscat Cup in Oman back in February, Katusha with new tactician Andy Horton onboard made their mark on the match racing winning all six of their races. In Trapani, the team owned by Gennadi Timchenko, kept their feet firmly on the gas clocking up another four wins. Horton’s take on the day was, 'It’s crazy that were doing well but you’ve just got to keep your head down, there are so many good people out there. We’re only in the second event of a long series so we need to just keep doing what we do and hope it keeps going our way.' Andy Horton, Match Race Helm and Tactician, Katusha.
Many of the owners used to leave the RC44 match racing day to the pros, but in recent events there has been a move to the owners driving the match race day along with the compulsory fleet racing.
Asked what he thought of the owners opting to take the helm for the match racing, leading match race helm Horton response was: 'It makes me nervous that the owners are now all taking the helm, if I get beat by them they will never let me forget it. Really I think it’s awesome, it’s the best practice for any owner that you could ever set up.'
Katusha are now three points ahead of second placed Team Aqua. Owner Chris Bake was at the helm today, finishing with four wins and just one loss, a score-line matched by John Bassadone at the helm of Peninsula Petroleum.
Four teams are one-point further back on the overall match race results. One of those team’s is Sweden’s Artemis Racing, who this week have Paul Cayard back in the tacticians role. Owner Torbjorn Tornqvist opted to drive for the match racing, the team finished the day with three wins and three loses. 'I really enjoy being on the helm it’s very much a matter of precision and experience. You make mistakes but then the challenge is to make sure you don’t get caught up in the moment, which is easier said than done. It’s a great way to learn how to handle and react with the boats.'
Some new faces have joined the RC44 Championship Tour in Trapani including Ian Williams, four times World Match Race Champion, as tactician with Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing. Although the team could not match their form from Oman, winning just one of their five matches William’s gave his thoughts on his first day’s racing with the RC44 fleet.
'Today was obviously a tough day with really big shifts, but it’s great to see more owners starting to drive during the match racing. You often see the owners beating the pros now and it’s not really surprising, these boats are so boat handling orientated that if you can get on top of that element for the match racing you can really put pressure on the other team.'
The fleet racing gets underway at 12.00 (CET) Thursday 2nd May.
Match Race Results
(After two events)
1. Katusha – 10
2. Team Aqua – 7
3. Aleph Racing – 6
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 6
5. Artemis Racing – 6
6. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 6
7. RC44 Team CEEREF – 5
8. Aegir Racing – 5
9. Team Italia – 3
10. RUS7 Sail Racing Team – 3
11. Team Nika – 2
12. MAG Racing – 2
13. Ironbound – 0
Aegir Racing (GBR22)
Brian Benjamin (GBR) /Ian Williams (GBR)
Aleph Racing (FRA17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA)
Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Paul Cayard (USA)
Ironbound (USA 1)
David Murphy (USA) / Paul Goodison (GBR)
Katusha (RUS 007)
Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) / Andy Horton (USA)
MAG Racing (POL44)
Krzysztof Krempec (POL) / Piotr Przybylski (POL)
Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1)
John Bassadone (GBR) / Vasco Vascotto (ITA)
CEEREF RC44 SAILING TEAM (SLO 11)
Igor Lah (SLO) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA)
RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by AnyWayAnyDay.com (RUS7)
Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Serguei Chevtsov (RUS)
Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13)
Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS) / Ed Baird (USA)
Team Aqua (GBR 2041)
Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appleton (NZL)
Team Italia (ITA7)
Massimo Barranco (ITA) / Flavio Flavini (ITA)
Team Nika (RUS 10)
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tomislav Basic (CRO)
by Jo Grindley
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12:09 PM Wed 1 May 2013GMT
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