Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Team Ceeref wins but not before a battle

by MaxComm Communications on 15 Dec 2008
RC 44 Puerto Calero Gold Cup - Team Aqua owner Igor Lah celebrate its victory in Puerto calero Gold Cup Gilles Martin-Raget/ RC 44 http://www.rc44.com

Having dominated proceedings all week in the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup, Igor Lah nearly let victory slip from his grasp as Team Ceeref struggled to make sense of the big windshifts that tumbled off the mountains of Lanzarote in gusts that sometimes blew up to 27 knots.

Meanwhile the Slovenian’s closest rival - both at this event and for overall honours in the 2008 RC44 fleet racing season - was having a much better time in the tricky, puffy conditions. Owner of Banco Espirito Santo, Patrick de Barros credited Russell Coutts for making sense of the 40 degree shifts as the Portuguese boat picked up a 1,2 in the first two heats while Team Ceeref struggled with a 3,4.

The Portuguese were now within striking distance of the Slovenians for winning the event in Lanzarote, and were looking more secure in the defence of their lead in the 2008 rankings. Going into today, de Barros held a slim 3-point advantage over Lah in the season points scoreboard, and Ceeref had been the class act of the past week. Now de Barros had a bit more breathing room, and if he could win the final race with Ceeref last then perhaps he could steal the Gold Cup trophy too. With the strength and variable direction of the northerly wind, anything was possible.

Unfortunately Artemis had to bow out of the final race as keel problems forced Torbjorn Tornqvist to head home early. The battle for the remaining five boats was intense, with the whole fleet nose to tail at the leeward mark. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero led round that mark and while the other four boats tacked inshore, Daniel Calero kept on driving out to the right. When Calero tacked back to converge with the fleet, he was well ahead. The local spectators were getting excited at the prospect of a surprise win by a young and inexperienced team over some of the best professional sailors in the world.

The Canaries crew sailed a beautiful beat to lead handsomely around the final windward mark. However the chasing pack poured down behind them in a huge gust. At this stage Team Ceeref was way back in last place, and looked in danger of losing the Gold Cup if Banco could find their way through to first. But Ceeref tactician James Spithill called for an early gybe with the new breeze as the Slovenian boat hit 22 knots boatspeed in a gust of 27 knots. BMW ORACLE Racing was next to gybe and these two boats were locked in a high-speed battle for the lead. Ceeref prevailed, surging across the finish line in first place and securing victory in Lanzarote, to go with their match racing victory three days earlier.

Banco Espirito Santo was second in the fleet racing, followed by Team Aqua who edged third place by just a point from BMW ORACLE Racing.

Any disappointment that Patrick de Barros had for not winning the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup was easily compensated for by his season victory. And Daniel Calero was happy despite having lost that last race which seemed to have been his. He is hugely encouraged by his team’s progress over the past week, and will be training harder than any team in the two months before the fleet returns to Lanzarote in late February.

Patrick de Barros, owner, Banco Espirito Santo: 'Mission accomplished, thanks to Russell, and a fantastic crew. It was a great season, and today was very exciting. Russell did a great job, the boat was fine, we didn't blow anything up, everything went well.'

Igor Lah, owner, Team Ceeref: 'Patrick was dominant today, so congratulations to him, fortunately we won the last race. In sailing you need some skill and a bit of luck. That's what we had on the last run to the finish. I think it was exciting, racing here is great. No matter about the result, the sailing is so nice, I really look forward to coming back.'

Daniel Calero, owner, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero: 'It was extremely good fun. I wasn't frustrated by losing the last race. We chose the good side of the run, but then a big gust came from the left, nothing we could do, and we were happy to finish like this. We had a lot of fun this week. We have learned so much in this regatta.'

Mark Mendelblatt, tactician, BMW ORACLE Racing: 'The races we had a third and second in, we were last in both of those at some stage. And the race we were last in, we were leading at one point. With these boats and this kind of wind there were quite a few passing opportunities.'

Chris Bake, owner, Team Aqua: 'I think we sailed phenomenally well today, other than ending up in the wrong spot downwind on a few occasions. In these races we were second round the windward marks, only to lose it on the downwind. But we had great boatspeed upwind, and managed to position ourselves much better on the start. This was a great venue, fantastically well organised.'

Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner, Artemis: 'Life has its ups and downs. Sailing has its ups and downs, that's for sure. Yesterday was a good day, today not so good. The boat broke down, we had to retire. That was disappointing. But the positives were that this was our first event as a team, and we were able to sail competitively in challenging conditions. I'm going to take away the experience of a very fun boat, and look forward to come back better prepared in February.'

Russell Coutts, tactician, Banco Espirito Santo: 'It was an awesome week for sailing, you just don't get much better than that. It came down to almost the last race of the season to decide the series. I'm really happy with the season. Obviously we've got to get the boats a bit more reliable, having more breakdowns than I'd like, so we'll be working hard to iron out all those things for next season.'

Fleet-Race, Puerto Calero, final results after 10 races (including the DHL Trophy):
(Name of team, helmsman, results, points)

1) Team Ceeref, Igor Lah, 1,1,2,1,2,4,4,3,4,1 - 23 points
2) Banco Espirito Santo, Patrick de Barros, 5,4,3,3,3,1,3,1,2,3 - 28 points
3) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 2,2,4,4,1,6,5,2,1,5 - 32 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 4,3,1,2,5,2,6,5,3,2 - 33 points
5) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 3,7,7,7,4,3,1,4,6,7 - 49 points
6) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 6,5,5,5,6,5,2,7,5,4 - 50 points

2008 Fleet-Race Season (top six boats only)
(Name of team, nationality, helmsman, points)

1) Banco Espirito Santo (Portugal), Patrick de Barros - 154 points
2) Team Ceeref (Slovenia), Igor Lah - 159 points
3) Team Hiroshi (Italy), Armando Giulietti - 180 points
4) Team Aqua (United Arab Emirates) Chris Bake - 182 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), Larry Ellison - 242 points
6) Sea Dubai (United Arab Emirates) DIMC - 276 points


Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82T Clewring - Generic

Related Articles

2014 RC44 Championship Tour trophy – Video highlights
The 10 competing teams at the RC44 Oman Cup enjoyed a great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman for the penultimate day of t The 10 competing teams at the RC44 Oman Cup enjoyed a great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman for the penultimate day of the 2014 Championship Tour. Terry Hutchinson continued to guide Vladimir Prosihkin’s Team Nika the right way around the course, extending their lead in the overall standings, adding another race win to their scoreline, Team Aqua stay second with Charisma hanging onto third.
Posted on 24 Nov 2014
RC44 Oman Cup - Nika wins and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 title
RC44 Oman Cup: With no team able to discard last event of season, podium positions were by no means secure on last day. With no team able to discard the last event of the season, the podium positions were by no means secure as last day of racing got underway at the RC44 Oman Cup, in a sedate seven-knot breeze. Going into the final day Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, with tactician Terry Hutchinson calling the shots, sat at the top of the leader board having shown an unmatched level of consistency in Muscat.
Posted on 24 Nov 2014
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman
At the RC44 Oman Cup the 10 competing teams enjoyed a great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman At the RC44 Oman Cup the 10 competing teams enjoyed a great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman for the penultimate day of the 2014 Championship Tour. Racing started in a seven-knot north-westerly breeze which built steadily throughout the day.
Posted on 23 Nov 2014
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos
Oman RC44 Cup delivered another challenging sailing day for the fleet competing in the final event of 2014 Champs Tour. 2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency was hard to come by and no team managed to stay in the top half of the fleet in all three races. Chris Bake’s Team Aqua (GBR) was the most consistent team of the day picking up 11-points, Nika and Charisma both added 12-points to their overall score.
Posted on 22 Nov 2014
RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency hard to come by
The Oman RC44 Cup delivered another challenging sailing day for the fleet competing. The Oman RC44 Cup delivered another challenging sailing day for the fleet competing in the final event of the 2014 Championship Tour. Consistency was hard to come by and no team managed to stay in the top half of the fleet in all three races. Team Aqua was the most consistent team of the day picking up 11-points, Nika and Charisma both added 12-points to their overall score.
Posted on 22 Nov 2014
RC44 Oman Cup - Team Nika gets a taste for the podium + Video
After finishing third in the annual RC44 match race championships, Team Nika seem to have got a taste for the podium. After finishing third in the annual RC44 match race championships, Team Nika seem to have got a taste for the podium. It was a tough day on the water for the start of fleet racing at the RC44 Oman Cup, with many teams struggling for consistency.
Posted on 21 Nov 2014
RC44 Oman Cup - Synergy crowned RC44 Match Race Champions
The RC44 Oman Cup opened with the season’s final day of match racing. The RC44 Oman Cup opened with the season’s final day of match racing. Defending champions Team Aqua held a slim one-point lead over Synergy Russian Sailing Team who were fighting for the trophy they last won in 2012. Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika started the day in third, with Hugues Lepic just two-points adrift in fourth and keen to get the French flag onto the podium.
Posted on 20 Nov 2014
RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup - Kinky and quite difficult conditions
At the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup, PRO Peter Reggio and his race management team made up for yesterday’s single race. At the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup, Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio and his race management team made up for yesterday’s single race by successfully holding four on the penultimate day. Racing was held in conditions which Nico Poons, skipper of Charisma, described as: 'Quite kinky! Quite difficult with the shifts.'
Posted on 29 Jun 2014
RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup - Day 3
Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, on which RC44 circuit founder Russell Coutts is calling tactics, takes a win. After two days of strong winds, conditions turned light with a change of wind direction into the northeast for day three of RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup
Posted on 28 Jun 2014
RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup - Challenging conditions on day 3
For day three of the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup, the Mediterranean laid on different conditions to the first two days. For day three of the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup, the Mediterranean laid on different conditions to the first two days. While the sun remained, there was initially no wind and when it did fill in, it was blowing down the coast, from the northeast, rather than the westerly offshore breeze of the first two days.
Posted on 28 Jun 2014