Please select your home edition
Doyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 728x90 TOP

44Cup Marstrand Overall - Team Aqua Masters of Marstrand for a fifth time

by 44Cup 4 Jul 2021 17:30 PDT 30 June - 4 July 2021

It is rare even between the ultra-close RC44s for an event to go to the wire in such an extreme way as it did at the conclusion of the 44Cup Marstrand. Going into the tenth and final race of the circuit's Swedish stopover, five of the eight strong fleet was still capable of winning the event. At this point Dutchman Nico Poons' Charisma was leading by a useful, but by no means unassailable, three points over Igor Lah's Team CEEREF in second.

Up the first beat of the final race Chris Bake's Team Aqua made great gains on the right, to lead comfortably around the top mark from where they extended.

Team Aqua had started this race in third place overall, five points behind Charisma and tied with Marstrand event hosts Torbjörn Törnqvist's Artemis Racing. Thus after crossing the finish line first there was intense scrutiny of the arrival order behind. If Charisma finished fifth then the 44Cup Marstrand would be hers, but if she was sixth she would tie with Team Aqua, causing Bake's team to win on countback. Despite a tremendous battle between the leaders, Charisma got stuck in traffic coming into the top mark leaving her in last position, and by the finish had only managed to regain two places. Victory was Team Aqua's.

"We did the best we could," said a jubilant Bake. "There were hours of pain and moments of brilliance. It was one of those race courses where if you caught the right shift there were huge, huge advantages. It was between Charisma coming fifth or sixth. You never wish bad on your friends, but at that point we wanted them to come sixth. It is still quite hard to believe frankly..."

On the race course, the rise in tension coincided some moments of aggression, notably at the congested top mark roundings. "We purposefully tried to stay out of trouble," continued Bake of their tactics. "There was one occasion when everyone was ganging up at the windward mark and we were able to sail around them."

Of their narrow defeat, Charisma's Nico Poons said: "It is pity we couldn't finish it and win the regatta, but second is not bad, especially when you consider where we finished last time in Protorož. It gives us some hope for the rest of the season."

This year's 44Cup Marstrand was the ninth occasion the series for the high performance owner-driver one designs has visited Sweden. Of these Team Aqua has previously come out on top on four occasions and is the defending champion here having won in 2019. Their win, while Team CEEREF finished fourth, means that Team Aqua also takes the lead in the 2021 44Cup and is permitted the honour of fitting the leader's 'golden wheels' to their yacht.

At the close of play just six points separated the top five RC44s. Artemis Racing claimed third overall, the third occasion the Swedish former America's Cup challengers have finished on the podium at their event. In what proved to be a high scoring day, when the odds were on that there would be no racing due to the light conditions, the race officials led by 44Cup PRO Maria Torrijo found an area of water where three races were held - testament too to the RC44's ability to race well in as little as six knots of wind. In the light 6-8 knot southerly, with considerable current pushing the nimble racing yachts around the course, Törnqvist's team was joint 'top scoring' yacht of the day with Team CEEREF, both scoring nine points.

"We came very close to winning the whole regatta," said Törnqvist. "We had a lot of work to do after Portorož, so I'm happy with where we are now, compared to where we were. In the first races we had some bad starts, but today everything worked. When we are fast over the starting line, we often get good results because out on open water we are fast. But the best thing is to be here, in this fantastic place." Törnqvist confirmed that the 44Cup will return to Marstrand in 2022.

In a classic 44Cup change of fortune, today it was the turn of Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing to take a tumble. At the beginning of the day the French team had been tied on points at the top of the leaderboard. Ultimately they finished fifth.

Pavel Kuznetsov's Atom Tavatuy achieved the third best score today but this wasn't enough to redeem them from Saturday's unfortunate results and they ended up sixth overall. The 44Cup's other Russian team, Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika had enjoyed promising moments throughout the week but otherwise lacked consistency to finish with a result they will 'put down to experience'.

Demonstrating that any team is capable of winning at present on the 44Cup, John Bassadone's Peninsula Racing claimed today's first race, but this was not enough to prise them up from the bottom of the leaderboard.

"It felt good for a short period of time!" said Bassadone. "It shows that we can do it - we started well with our timing. We just haven't been doing too well [otherwise]. It's a little bit of boat speed and few things that we haven't done right, so it was good to get one under the belt. We will lick our wounds and come back swinging."

The 44Cup now moves on to Cowes over 11-15th August.

44Cup Marstrand Overall Results: (after 10 races)

1. Team Aqua 1 8 6 7 2 1 1 7 4 1 - 38pts
2. Charisma 7 1 2 3 4 3 7 4 1 6 - 38pts
3. Artemis Racing 3 4 4 6 6 4 4 3 3 3 - 40pts
4. Team CEEREF 6 5 1 2 5 6 3 2 5 7 - 42pts
5. Aleph Racing 4 2 3 1 3 5 8 5 8 5 - 44pts
6. Atom Tavatuy 5 3 5 4 8 8 2 6 2 4 - 47pts
7. Team Nika 2 6 8 8 1 2 6 8 7 2 - 50pts
8. Peninsula Racing 8 7 7 5 7 7 5 1 6 8 - 61pts

Related Articles

44Cup Cascais overall
Charisma is the runaway winner Normally 44Cup events are decided in the final gybes of the last leg of the last race after four days of competition. But at the 44Cup Cascais, the second of the 2022 series for the high performance owner-driver one designs, the opposite was true. Posted on 15 May
44Cup Cascais Day 3
All change, but Charisma gets ever stronger After two days of sun, Atlantic swell and prevailing northwesterlies, conditions turned around for day three of the 44Cup Cascais. Posted on 14 May
44Cup Cascais Day 2
High scoring day with three different winners While the opening day of the 44Cup Cascais saw the rare occurrence of one boat - Nico Poons' Charisma - winning all three races, on day two it was back to the 44Cup 'norm' with lead changes and three different winners. Posted on 14 May
44Cup Cascais Day 1
Hat-trick for Nico Poons' Charisma Traditionally a team of black or white results, Charisma of Monaco-based Dutchman Nico Poons was very much in the latter phase, when his team defied the odds to win all three races on the opening day the 44Cup Cascais. Posted on 12 May
Lah and CEEREF lead 44Cup into Cascais
The team with the biggest target on their back Igor Lah, tactician Adrian Stead and their CEEREF powered by Hrastnik 1860 are the team with the biggest target on their back going into the 44Cup Cascais, which sets sail tomorrow. Posted on 11 May
That other category.
There are plenty of sporting superstars. Thousands actually. Then there are those who are... There are plenty of sporting superstars. Thousands actually. Then there are those who are transcendent. Posted on 8 May
44cup returns to sailing mecca of Cascais
Renowned for its northwesterly breeze blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean Joining the fleet for the first time in Portugal is the Swiss crew of Black Star Sailing Team. For owner Christian Zuerrer this will not only be his first time racing an RC44, but also his first time racing in the Cascais. Posted on 7 May
Oman confirmed for 2022 44Cup final
Muscat will be the last event of the five-stop international tour Muscat will extend a warm welcome to the fleet of ten high-performance one-design RC44s, which will be based in and racing on the warm waters off Al Mouj Marina in the heart of the Omani capital. Posted on 20 Apr
Black Star Sailing: new team joins the 44Cup
Running their 44Cup program alongside their successful GC32 Racing Tour campaign Led by passionate amateur sailor Christian Zuerrer, Black Star Sailing Team will be running their 44Cup program alongside their successful GC32 Racing Tour campaign, in which they finished third overall in 2021. Posted on 9 Apr
44Cup Calero Marinas Lanzarote overall
Ceeref takes it to the wire Going into the final day of the 44Cup Calero Marinas, Igor Lah's Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 held a strong 11 point lead. Normally this would have seen them packing their bags early, having won with a race to spare. Posted on 14 Feb
J Composites 2020 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2021 - Basic FOOTERABC Recruiting BTM