The recent RC44 Sweden Cup, held in Marstrand, Sweden, produced some super competitive sailing, especially going into the final day, where the top four boats were separated by a mere four-point spread. 'At the start we managed to get ourselves in to a little bit of a situation with Ceeref,'said Chris Bake, owner/skipper of Team Aqua. 'We were coming up to the line and they tacked on top of us and got a penalty, we were neck and neck up until the first mark rounding, which was really tight there were a lot of boats there and they were a bit jammed up inside the mark, Aleph came inside of us and it was fairly hairy. We got out of that situation, had a good run downwind, [and] in the second upwind [leg] we picked off a few more boats and came in third; it was as exciting as it gets.' Team Aqua ended up taking home top honors, followed by Ceeref and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Interestingly, sixteen teams took part in this event, with several new teams quickly getting on the pace. Check out the full report, inside.
In offshore circles, the final leg of the La Solitaire du Figaro began yesterday off of Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Forty-six skippers are racing the 437-mile leg to Dieppe, where podium places will be determined. 'It's the start of the last leg so it's quite exciting, everyone wants to finish on a high and I'm definitely not giving up yet,' said Sam Goodchild, of Artemis. 'A lot could happen in this leg, there's a shifty wind and definitely lots of tidal gates to win or lose.'
Match-racers: The final count has been tallied, and the Chicago Match Racing Center's Grade 2 Invitational attracted 30,000-plus fans. Apparently Europe isn't the only place where the general public enjoys watching world-class 'stadium-style' racing, provided the venue and the event click, as was the case two weekends ago at Chicago's Navy Pier. Hopefully this is an upward trend, both for match racing and sailing in general. More, inside.
Finally, be sure to check out Ben Gladwell's video footage of this year's Fastnet. Gladwell caught a ride on the Farr 52 Bob and produced a head-cam video that documents the team's adventures. For veteran Fastnet racers, this piece should bring back the memories. Enjoy.
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