Please select your home edition
Cyclops 2022 May LEADERBOARD

44Cup Marstrand Day 1: Local heroes lead after a top opening day

by 44Cup 30 Jun 10:57 PDT 29 June - 3 July 2022
44Cup Marstrand Day 1 © Martinez Studio

Njörðr, the Norse god of the sea and the wind was clearly smiling upon both the 44Cup Marstrand and local team Artemis Racing for the first day of the 2022 44Cup's third event off western Sweden's holiday hotspot of Marstrand.

The eight teams and their high performance one design RC44 yachts were eased gently into the regatta. There was flat water and brilliant sunshine, while the northwesterly wind started at the lower end of the spectrum, at 6-8 knots, for the first race and then built to a moderate 12-14 for the third and final one.

Torbjörn Törnqvist, host of the 44Cup Marstrand, steered his royal blue RC44 to victory in the first race, taking the left side of the course on the first upwind as the rest of the fleet went right. Artemis Racing tactician Andy Horton explained: "Early in the day the left was favoured - there was pressure there, plus the pin was up, which gave us a couple of boatlengths lead. The guys are sailing the boat fast. We had three good starts and we could end up sailing straight almost as long as we wanted to."

Then in the third race, Artemis Racing looked set to score her second bullet of the day, leading at the top mark only to lose it on the first run. "We missed the gybe in," admitted Horton. "It [the wind] switched over and started working near the shore on the downwinds."

"It was good all today," said Torbjörn Törnqvist. "The boat was set up perfectly and we had speed. Everything was working well on board, like the manoeuvring. We have tried to improve. We have been training for one or two days before [each event]. And it feels good; great sailing. It was great to get going and to be here again. Tomorrow will be another nice day with warm weather."

Although he heralds from Stockholm, on the opposite side of Sweden, Törnqvist adds: "I am enjoying sailing here and the atmosphere around this place, even though I am not from here. It wouldn't be the same to be here without the RC44 teams. It is like having the family here."

Ultimately Artemis Racing has ended up leading after day one, albeit on countback, tied on points with Team Nika, a past victor here in 2017 and winner of today's second race after they started to weather of the fleet and pulled ahead by claiming the right - ironic after Artemis Racing won the first race by going left. In race two Team Nika finished narrowly ahead of Igor Lah's Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 and John Bassadone's Peninsula Racing.

Certainly the 44Cup's Swedish team looks like it has changed a gear here. As Horton muses: "The group is working pretty hard. And Torbjörn has been here training and he is relaxed. It is amazing how much time on the water does."

Victory slipped through Artemis Racing's fingers in the third race after Nico Poons' Charisma opted to gybe early on the first downwind. Gybing back to converge with the fleet they appeared to have made a substantial gain. As Charisma tactician, Kiwi Olympian and America's Cup helm Hamish Pepper explained: "The boat was going well and the guys were sailing it fast. We had a nice lane and the others may have been jostling a little bit and off VMG and in the next minutes we had gained three or four lengths and we were leading. Plus we could capitalise on the free air and maybe some pressure - it doesn't take much after that for it to become a big gain."

At the end of day one Charisma lies third overall, four points off the lead after at one stage finding themselves dead last in the first race. "That was a tough race", Pepper continued. "I didn't get us off the line well and we got pinballed a little bit. Next minute we were last, but then another boat got a penalty at the finish, so it wasn't a complete disaster."

Most teams had their 'five minutes' today. This included the newbies from Switzerland, Black Star Sailing Team which was second at the top mark in the opening race only to drop a place, coming home a worthy third. As helmsman Christian Zuerrer explained: "We had a good start and good tactics and I am happy that we finished third because we had a broken kite - it got scratched on the hoist somewhere. It was a bit scary but it wasn't getting bigger and we tried to keep the load off it while still going fast."

Zuerrer is used to racing in his native Switzerland and the Mediterranean, but this is his first time racing in Sweden. "It is a nice place", he says of Marstrand. "Sunny. Good breeze. It is a nice spot. I like to be here. The organisation does a great job to keep this all running, so I am looking forward to close racing over the next three days."

Racing continues tomorrow with a first warning signal scheduled for 1130 CEST.

44Cup Marstrand Results: (after 3 races)

1. (SWE) Artemis Racing - 1 5 2 - 8pts
2. (MON) Team Nika - 4 1 3 - 8pts
3. (MON) Charisma - 7 4 1 - 12pts
4. (SLO) Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 - 6 2 6 - 14pts
5. (FRA) Aleph Racing - 5 6 4 - 15pts
6. (GBR) Team Aqua - 2 8 5 (1) - 16pts
7. (SUI) Black Star Sailing Team - 3 7 7 - 17pts
8. (GBR) Peninsula Racing - 8 3 8 - 19pts

Related Articles

44Cup Marstrand overall
Two in a row for Poons and Charisma A miserable day weather-wise off the west coast of Sweden turned magnificent, like the fortunes of Nico Poons' Charisma, which after three races today claimed the 44Cup Marstrand over Igor Lah's Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 and Chris Bake's Team Aqua. Posted on 4 Jul
44Cup Marstrand day 3
All change on the leaderboard From southwesterly winds gusting up to 20 knots, and one of the sharpest sea states the class has endured, dropping to five to six knots and the lightest conditions sailable by the nimble RC44: the penultimate day provided a complete test. Posted on 2 Jul
44Cup Marstrand day 2
Team Aqua begins her slow ascent The waters off the Swedish holiday hotspot of Marstrand took on a different complexion on day two of 44Cup racing, with a sharp chop and the wind backed from the northwest to the south and gusting into the mid-high teens. Posted on 1 Jul
44Cup: who will win in Marstrand this week?
Visitors to this favourite holiday hotspot will also get to witness the 44Cup Marstrand July begins and so too the holidays in Sweden, with a deluge of tourists set to descend on western Sweden's most picturesque island of Marstrand for the first official weekend of the summer. Posted on 29 Jun
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
North Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTER