Please select your home edition
Edition
P&B 2019 - Leaderboard

Nine teams line-up for 44Cup season opener in Montenegro

by 44Cup 6 Apr 06:01 PDT 10-14 April 2019
Returning regulars Team Aqua and Bronenosec Sailing Team © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio

Nine RC44 teams are set to make their debut on the beautiful waters of Kotor Bay, Montenegro for the first event of the newly christened 44Cup over 10 14 April.

While the majority of teams have opted for strategic consistency, retaining the same crew as last year, a few key changes promise to mix things up. Entering the fray for the 2019 season are a fresh crop of tacticians: Tom Slingsby takes over from Dean Barker on defending World Champion Team Nika and Ed Baird joins Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, replacing long term tactician Vasco Vascotto.

His Australian team having recently won the debut SailGP event in Sydney, Slingsby explains why competitive fleets such as the 44Cup are important to a professional sailor: "The process of adapting between the classes is really important. There are few sailors who are successful in slower, tactical boats all the way through to fast, technical foiling boats. I learn from the people I race with every day and so, it doesn't matter if it's a Olympic champion or a club racer, if someone can do something better than I do, whether it's a tactical move or a boat handling, I want to learn and put it in my arsenal."

The former Oracle Team USA tactician and London 2012 Laser gold medallist adds: "Owner driver circuits place a real challenge on communication. The full professional programs are usually unbelievably quiet boats because you know what people are thinking, but the semi-pro teams place a huge importance on good communication skills."

The 44Cup has long prided itself on offering the owner-drivers and tacticians as level a playing field as possible with its strict one design rule. However, the first event of 2019 takes this to a new level, as none of the sailors have previous experience of racing in Tivat, Montenegro making it the ultimate test of each team's communication ability and skill.

"Montenegro looks like a beautiful venue, but sailing knowledge or an understanding of the area and what to expect is zero," explains Team Aqua's tactician Cameron Appleton. "The racing area is in a beautiful bay surrounded by massive mountains so we are expecting flat water and lighter shifty winds. This becomes tricky as no one will have a clear advantage."

Returning regulars, with only small changes to their crew line-up and looking to monopolise on their consistency, include long term favourites Chris Bake's Team Aqua, Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing, Vladimir Liubomirov and Kirill Frolov's Bronenosec Sailing Team and Torbjörn Törnqvist's Artemis Racing.

However in 2018 the teams topping the leaderboard showed surprisingly little consistency. Nico Poon's Charisma won the 2018 season by a single point over Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika and Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Throughout 2018 both Poons and Prosikhin struggled desperately with consistency and only prevailed in the final event of the season. Going into the new season Poons, again like Prosikhin, will be struggling as he too takes on a change in tactician, as American team coach and Olympic 470 silver medallist Morgan Reeser steps into the role left open by Kiwi America's Cup legend Ray Davies.

"Our main challenge for 2019 is not the other teams but the change of our tactician and one of the key crew member (Sean Clarkson) who's also left for the America's Cup. Nothing can be predicted!" said Prosikhin.

Perhaps these crew changes will create a chink in the armour that will allow back in one of the strongest teams in the fleet and the kings of consistency, Team CEEREF.

The only crew to glean a fraction more experience over the rest of the fleet in terms of the 2019 44Cup's first venue is the newest: Tavatuy Sailing Team. Having joined the fleet for a single regatta in 2018, they have committed to the 44Cup for the full season and in preparation have already put in a week of training in Montenegro: "Porto Montenegro is a great place for a regatta. We were lucky with the weather in February and we were able to do a good training session in the strong north-east Bora wind. It is a beautiful marina and I'm sure the other teams will be as impressed as we were," said boat captain Sergejs Filatovs.

Hosted for the first time by Porto Montenegro over 10 14 April the 44Cup Porto Montenegro will be the first event of what promises to be a close, hard-fought 44Cup season span five regattas between now and its conclusion in Palma in November.

Teams competing in the 2019 44Cup

Aleph Racing (FRA17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA)

Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Torbjörn Törnqvist (SWE) / Andy Horton (USA)

Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS18)
Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS) and Kirill Frolov (RUS) / Cameron Dunn (NZL)

Charisma (MON69)
Nico Poons (NED) / Morgan Reeser (USA)

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR1)
John Bassadone (GBR) / Ed Baird (USA)

Team Aqua (GBR2041)
Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appelton (NZL)

Team CEEREF (SLO11)
Igor Lah (SLO) / Adrian Stead (GBR)

Team Nika (RUS10)
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tom Slingsby (AUS)

Tavatuy Sailing Team (RUS21)
Pavel Kuznetsov (RUS) / Evgeny Neugodnikov (RUS)

Related Articles

Adris 44Cup Rovinj overall
Aleph Racing: 44Cup winner finally after nine years of trying Banging in podium positions in both today's races was enough to earn Nico Poons' Charisma second overall, a fine turnaround from their last place in Montenegro. Posted on 2 Jun
Adris 44Cup Rovinj day 3
Leader change as Aleph Racing goes turbo While conditions seemed similar to yesterday with a light northwesterly, results on day three demonstrated how fortunes between the slippery, high performance RC44 one design monohulls and their ultra-competitive crews can change in a heartbeat. Posted on 1 Jun
Adris 44Cup Rovinj day 2
Two bullet day for Charisma With Rovinj's picture postcard old town forming the backdrop, the sun out and a relatively stable breeze, the 2019 44Cup's Croatian stopover lived up to tourist board promises. Posted on 31 May
Adris 44Cup Rovinj day 1
A difficult opening day sees just one race completed A difficult opening day of the Adris 44Cup Rovinj saw just one race completed and a worthy winner in Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. But perhaps never in the history of the 44Cup have so many different teams led during one race. Posted on 30 May
44Cup star attraction of Rovinj
Nine teams due to set racing tomorrow Since the high performance one designs last visited Rovinj for their World Championship in 2012, Adris Group's hotel company Maistra has constructed this five star masterpiece. Posted on 29 May
44Cup returns to Rovinj
Nine boats have travelled 840km north up the Adriatic Having first raced off the picturesque, historic town of Rovinj in 2011 and then returned again in 2012 for the World Championship, many of the teams will have a good feel for what to expect. Posted on 25 May
Porto Montenegro hosts successful RC44 regatta
Brilliant for top-level sailing, pro racers say The 44Cup Porto Montenegro (10-14th April 2019) has been hosted by world-renowned superyacht marina, Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro, for the first time ever. Posted on 16 Apr
44Cup Porto Montenegro navigator's race
Crews taken out of their comfort zone today With the navigator's race taking the boats through the narrow channel between the Bay of Tivat and the Bay of Kotur, the RC44s were set off on an America's Cup-style reaching start. Posted on 14 Apr
44Cup Porto Montenegro overall
Team CEEREF claims golden wheels at Porto Montenegro's conclusion The Bay of Tivat came good for the final day of the 44Cup Porto Montenegro with three races held and a most worthy winner in Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. The Slovenian team led this first event of the 2019 44 Cup from the outset. Posted on 14 Apr
44Cup Porto Montenegro day 3
Team Nika wins penultimate day in Porto Montenegro Dramatic cloud formations over the mountains surrounding the Bay of Tivat and an overcast sky suggested that 44Cup Porto Montenegro competitors would be in for another day of adrenalin-filled competition with winds in the high teens. Posted on 13 Apr
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterHenri-Lloyd 2019 FooterZhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90 BOTTOM