On day one of the RC44 Sweden Cup, light winds eased the twelve competing teams gently into action in Marstrand, owners and pro’s took to the helm for the sole match race day of the event. And with three match racing events out of five now completed, Katusha still cling to the top of the match race leaderboard, with the fleet pushing hard behind.
The annual RC44 Match Racing Championship is a rolling round robin raced for on the first day of each event throughout the season. Russia’s Katusha (Andy Horton) led the match race standings heading into the RC44 Sweden Cup with a three-point buffer over second placed Team Aqua (Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton).
Despite the breeze never blowing over eight knots, eight flights and 44 matches were completed in Sweden. The tough level of competition meant no team managed to keep a clean sheet, on a day where the breeze continued to shift and you really needed to be in phase with the conditions.
Team Aqua, with Cameron Appleton at the helm, won the day with a 6-1 scoreline, losing just one match to Katusha, who in turn finished their day on 4-2. Appleton poured praise on the race committee for providing such a great days racing. 'It was a fantastic day when you think about how many races were accomplished, the team headed by Peter 'Luigi' Reggio probably had the best day! For us it was great, we had six wins, one loss in a really fickle breeze. We had a good race with Katusha that could have gone either way.' Team Aqua is now just one point adrift of Katusha on the overall match race leaderboard.
Torbjorn Tornqvist at the helm of Artemis Racing, was one of just two teams to finish the day with just one loss. The Swedish team’s 5-1 scoreline moves them up the leaderboard into fourth. Synergy Russian Sailing team, helmed today by Ed Baird, matched Team Aqua’s six wins but lost two matches to the French Aleph team and Artemis Racing. The Russian defending match race champions now move up into third overall.
Tornqvist clearly enjoyed his days racing and feels Artemis Racing is well prepared for the rest of the competition. 'It’s really nice to sail in in Marstrand; it’s actually one of the very few opportunities I have to come back to Sweden, so it’s nice to spend a few days here. We are well prepared after today for the fleet racing the boat is going well, the crew work is excellent so it’s up to us, we are ready.'
A team making good progress in the match racing this season is Team Nika. Owner Vladimir Prosikhin took the helm in Sweden and won five out of their seven races to move up from eleventh to sixth overall. However the team is still trying to recover from the first match racing event of the season in Oman where they ended up with -1 point after two collisions.
Russian match race Olympian Ekaterina Skudina was at the helm of Bronenosec Sailing for the team’s debut today, even with experienced RC44 tactician Michele Ivaldi onboard, standing in for Tommaso Chieffi, the new team failed score a point. Tomorrow owner Vladimir Liubomirov will take the helm for the start of four days of fleet racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup.
Racing continues in Marstrand until Saturday 29th June.
1. Katusha – 14 2. Team Aqua – 13 3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 12 4. Artemis Racing – 11 5. Aleph Racing – 10 6. Team Nika – 7 7. RUS7 Sail Racing Team – 7 8. Aegir Racing – 6 9. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team– 6 10. RC44 Team CEEREF – 5 11. Team Italia – 5 12. Bronenosec Sailing Team – 2 13. MAG Racing – 2 14. Ironbound – 2
RC44 Championship Tour Fleet Race Ranking
(After two events)
1. Team Aqua – 3 2. Katusha – 4 3. Artemis Racing – 7 4. Team CEEREF – 8 5. Team Nika – 9 6. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 11 7. Ironbound – 17 8. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 18 9. Aleph Racing – 19 10. Team Italia – 20 11. Aegir Racing – 20 12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team – 20 13. MAG Racing – 26 14. Puerto Calero Sailing Team – 28
Teams competing in the RC44 Sweden Cup:
Aegir Racing (GBR22)
Brian Benjamin (GBR) /Ian Williams (GBR)
Aleph Racing (FRA17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA)
Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Morgan Larson (USA)
Ironbound (USA 1)
David Murphy (USA) / Paul Goodison (GBR)
Katusha (RUS 007)
Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) / Andy Horton (USA)
Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1)
John Bassadone (GBR) / Vasco Vascotto (ITA)
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)
Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS) / Michele Ivaldi standing in for Tommaso Chieffi (ITA)
RUS-7 Sail Racing Team (RUS7)
Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Serguei Chevtsov (RUS)