The Adris RC44 Cup fleet were today visited in Rovinj by the Croatian President. The President was one of a number of VIP’s and spectators who came to witness the penultimate day’s racing. Although the sea-breeze didn’t make an appearance until late morning and the winds stayed light, the competition was as fierce as ever, right up to the spectacular finish of the third and final race of the day, inside the Port of Rovinj.
It was another outstanding day for Team Aqua (GBR) who didn’t seem to put a foot wrong. Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton took up where they had finished the day before, starting clean with space and winning the opening race of the day. They followed with two thirds, increasing their lead over the fleet to an impressive 16 points.
The other team that seemed to have mastered the conditions was the French Aleph Sailing Team. They won two races and coupled with their fifth place from the days opener only added seven points to their score-line. Tactician Mathieu Richard put their performance down to: 'Very good boat speed and the driver (Hugues Lepic) and the trimmers doing a fantastic job to keep the boat fast all the time, it helps me a lot with the tactics.' The team are now third going into the final day of racing, on equal points with Oracle Racing.
The third and final race of the day was probably the closest fought. AEZ RC44 Team from Austria led at the windward mark but made the wrong choice at the leeward gate. Aleph squeezed in front of the Austrians at the second top mark and proceeded to sail away. Behind them Aqua attacked AEZ as they entered the narrow channel to the Port of Rovinj. The two were locked in their own match race putting in multiple gybes, which allowed Team Ceeref (SLO) to creep into second place in the final metres of the race as owner Igor Lah explained.
'The last race for us today was extremely exciting. At the first top mark there were only centimetres of space around the buoy and other boats. On the downwind we were able to keep our position entering the harbour and it was pretty special to be able to pass two boats in that last stretch.' Team Ceeref finished the day second overall four points ahead of Aleph.
Accompanying the Croatian President, Ivo Josipovic, on his visit to the Adris RC44 Cup today were some of the Croatian Olympic Sailing Team in training for the 2012 Olympics. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (Finn), Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic (470 men), Tina Mihelic (Laser Radial), Tonci Stipanovic (Laser) are all ranked in the top five in the world in their respective Olympic classes, showing the depth of sailing in Croatia right now.
The top six boats are all very much in contention for a podium finish tomorrow watch it play out in the final day of racing of the Adris RC44 Cup on Sunday October 2nd with the first start due at 11.30 CET.
Quotes of the day:
Russell Coutts – tactician – Oracle Racing: It was light winds today and the starts were really important, it was all about getting off the line clean and if you wanted to get in the top three that what you had to do. Our last two races we didn’t get away that well but still sailed ok through the fleet, it was all very close, it made great racing. Coming in to finish inside the harbour in the last race was great I’d like to see more of it.
Igor Lah – owner/driver – Team Ceeref: The last race for us today was extremely exciting. At the first top mark there were only centimetres of space around the buoy and other boats. On the downwind we were able to keep our position entering the harbour and it was pretty special to be able to pass two boats in that last stretch (through the harbour).
Paul Cayard – tactician – Katusha: We had some good races at the beginning of the day but I made a big mistake on the run of the last race where we just got trapped below the fleet with no wind. We were about last around the first leeward mark which was painful. It was light today and shifty which is a big factor, it becomes very difficult to manoeuvre when you’re in a lane, and expensive to get out of it.
Vladimir Prosikhin – owner/driver – Team Nika: This is probably one of the best days we’ve had in an RC44, we were doing well and what is just as important as a good result, is that we were quite sustainable and stable, which means what we learn in each race is gradually paying back. This is really important, it’s a lot of satisfaction getting things right and when you fail a few times but then you get some small parts right, it comes together to be a good result.
Coming in to finish in the harbour was challenging for us we had Synergy just in front and the light wind and we were lucky to do a slightly better gybe and get slightly more wind and crossed the line only two meters ahead.
Chris Bake – owner/driver – Team Aqua: It’s pretty shifty out there with the light breeze today, we seem to get some decent lanes and stayed in front. Once you’re in front it’s much easier than trying to get through the fleet, we’ve had good starts apart from the last race, we were over a bit early and had to duck the fleet but we got a clean lane and just went for it. Aleph and Ceeref are both doing really well and have good boat speed, Oracle and Artemis are up there so it’s still very competitive.
Mathieu Richard – tactician – Aleph Sailing Team: The wind today was a typical sea breeze conditions, it was a light one today, no more than eight knots and also shifty. Not easy to predict the good wind shifts but everyday it seems there is more or less the same things that happen, there is a big left wind shift at the end of the beats and now everyone knows it they are fighting to get the left at the end of the beats which makes some very close sailing and compact fleet.
John Bassadone – owner/driver – Peninsula Petroleum: We had a mixed day. I defiantly feel that were sailing in a position where we really shouldn’t be, the boat seems to be fast, but we seem to just be missing a little bit, but it’s still enjoyable. Sailing with Paolo (Cian) is fantastic, he’s a great guy and obviously very experienced and I’m learning a lot which is important.
Paolo Cian – tactician – Peninsula Petroleum: The fleet is very competitive and this team is working very well. We are still missing something in the sail programme which I think in the end on a very light day like today makes a huge difference. There are different areas that can be improved but the team itself I think is potentially very strong.
Today has been a little different two day, a little lighter, and when it’s light like this on the limit of seven knots the wind is shifty and the course is more affected by the difference in pressure so today has been a tricky day for the tacticians.