Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard

2019 44Cup Palma - Day 2

by Jessica Gray 15 Nov 19:47 PST 14-17 November 2019
44Cup fleet lines up in front of Palma's Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca - 2019 44Cup Palma © Martinez Studio / 44 Cup

Racing in Palma in November was always going to be challenging not just for crews but especially for race officials more used to racing here in summer, in a sea breeze you can set your watch by.

Yesterday racing was canned with the breeze gusting to 40 knots. Today, despite a large residual swell, conditions appeared more sailable, but for almost two hours the wind failed to settle, its direction pulled around due to the giant clouds crossing the Bay of Palma race area. Although light to moderate, the wind randomly shifted between southwest and northwest and back before finally settling close to the former when, on their fifth attempt, the race committee was able to lay a course successfully.

From there the day improved and the hero was certainly 2018's defending 44Cup champion, Nico Poons and his Charisma. The Dutchman's team, which has had an up and down 2019 season, made most sense of the tricky conditions to win both of today's first races. In the first they played the shifts in the centre of the race track and led around the top mark and were then aided by a left shift making the course more one way, thereby benefitting the leader. In the second it was initially harder when they followed Chris Bake's Team Aqua and Bronenosec around at the top mark, but crossed ahead on the run.

"It was quite challenging, but it was okay because we were all in the same conditions. May the best team win!" said Poons, not yet contemplating a return to form for his team.

New on board Charisma for this event is Kiwi Hamish Pepper who is standing in for regular tactician John Kostecki. "It was a tough day. It was very shifty and puffy and we sailed well in the first two and got behind in the last one and when we just struggling a bit," explained Pepper. "The boat was going pretty quick and is sailed well up and down - the guys did a good job with that and we got some lucky breaks and managed to say in front."

The conditions did improve for race three. In this the arrival of a fresh set of clouds caused the wind to build into the high teens and there were at least three lead changes with Pavel Kuznetsov's Tavatuy Sailing Team and John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum fighting at the front on the first lap only for Igor Lah's Team CEEREF to nose ahead going into the leeward gate. On the second beat Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing chose the favoured left and was ahead at the final top mark rounding before going on to take the bullet. This win enabled Lepic's team, on which American Steve Howe was steering today, to come out on top, ending the day one point ahead of Charisma, thanks to an average result by Poons' team in the last race.

"It was a really difficult day," confessed Aleph Racing's tactician Michele Ivaldi. "The wind was all over the place. There were big shifts of 30-40 degrees and puffs coming from the sky. It was very difficult to read. Plus we were in the lee of the island and there were all of the rain clouds passing by. You definitely needed some luck..."

Meanwhile there is some concern for the two teams currently topping the 2019 44Cup overall leaderboard. Holding first place there is Chris Bake's Team Aqua which is currently lying in last place after one day of racing, five points and three places behind their main rival for this year's title, Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika. Team Aqua's position was not helped by their spinnaker blowing up in the second run of race two.

On the dock at the event's hosts, the Real Club Nautico de Palma there were some minor celebrations for the Tavatuy Sailing Team crew, after their third race when they had led at the top mark. "It was very difficult today," admitted the Russian team's towering tactician Evgeny Neugodnikov. "The third race as nice. We had a good start and we had good speed and were first to the top mark, but then we came third..."

Tomorrow conditions are forecast to be in the 8-10 knot range, fortunately with a much reduced sea state.

Results after Day 2:

Pos Team R1 R2 R3 PP Pts
1 Aleph Racing (17)
Hugues Lepic
3 2 1   6
2 Charisma (15)
Nico Poons
1 1 5   7
3 Artemis Racing (26)
Torbjörn Törnqvist
2 6 6   14
4 Bronenosec (18)
V. Liubomirov & K. Frolov
4 3 7   14
5 Peninsula Petroleum (22)
John Bassadone
7 4 4   15
6 Team Nika (10)
Vladimir Prosikhin
8 7 2   17
7 Team CEEREF (11)
Igor Lah
5 5 9   19
8 Tavatuy Sailing Team (21)
Pavel Kuznetsov
9 9 3   21
9 Team Aqua (25)
Chris Bake
6 8 8   22

Related Articles

North Sails Weekly Debrief
RC44 Season Champions, #NSVictoryList: Mini-Transat Igor Lah's 3Di powered Ceeref seals the deal in the series finale after taking four bullets to win them the tiebreaker and the 2019 season title. Posted on 24 Nov
44Cup Palma overall
Incredible come from far behind victory decides 2019 44Cup It was supposed to be a heavyweight bout between Chris Bake's Team Aqua and Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika. These two, among the oldest, most successful teams in the high performance one design monohull class, started the 44Cup Palma Posted on 18 Nov
44Cup Palma day 3
CEEREF could turn 44Cup on its head If Charisma and Aleph were the stand-out teams yesterday, today, the penultimate day of the 44Cup Palma, belonged to Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. In a return to their 2016-17 season-winning form, the Slovenian team won both of today's races. Posted on 16 Nov
44Cup Palma day 1
No play on the opening day Winds gusting up to 40 knots and a heinous seastate out on the Bay of Palma, kept the 44Cup fleet at the dock on the opening day of the 44Cup Palma. Posted on 14 Nov
Title still open going into 44Cup's grand finale
Two teams, Chris Bake's Team Aqua and Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika, are top contenders Starting tomorrow is the 44Cup Palma, concluding event of the 2019 44Cup where the overall winner will be decided. At present two teams, Chris Bake's Team Aqua and Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika, are top contenders. Posted on 13 Nov
44Cup Cascais overall
Team Aqua wins with a race to spare Whether it is in big waves or small, gale force or sub-10 winds, Chris Bake's Team Aqua has shone this week and as a result today won the 44Cup Cascais with a race to spare. Posted on 6 Oct
44Cup Cascais day 3
Russian bears wake up While at the 44Cup Cascais there has been a light first day, a medium second day with a large swell, on day three the Portugese sailing mecca saw winds exceeding the forecast, gusting up to 25 knots, with a short wind-driven chop and a reduced swell. Posted on 5 Oct
44Cup Cascais day 2
Team Aqua shows her golden wheels form At the halfway stage of the 44Cup Cascais, Chris Bake's Team Aqua has joined Nico Poons' Charisma at the top of the leaderboard and is even ahead on countback. Posted on 4 Oct
2019 44Cup Cascais day 1
Charisma and Team Aqua stride ahead at 44Cup Cascais In contrast to their tail end of the fleet finish in Marstrand in July, Nico Poons and Charisma showed the way around the race track on the opening day of the 44Cup Cascais, posting a most respectable 2-1-2. Posted on 4 Oct
44Cup Cascais just out of Lorenzo's reach
The annual 44Cup pilgrimage to the sailing mecca of Cascais The annual 44Cup pilgrimage to the Portugese sailing mecca of Cascais is being held this week with racing for the high performance one design monohulls taking place over Thursday to Sunday, 3-6 October off the northern shore of the Tagus estuary. Posted on 2 Oct
Zhik ATR Aroshell SW FOOTERNaiad 660x82px_RescueNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer