Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2021 Boots - LEADERBOARD

44Cup Portoroz World Championship - Day 1

by 44Cup 13 Oct 2022 11:34 PDT 12-16 October 2022

An ultra-light onshore breeze at the 44Cup Portoroz World Championship should have made for a straightforward opening day to the high performance one design's pinnacle event of the season. In fact it demonstrated how the nimble RC44 can race meaningfully in practically no wind, but still scores were high with all eight teams suffering at least one big result.

Despite a seventh place in today's opening round when they were late for the start line, Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing went on to post a 2-1 in today's final two races leaving the French team, at the end of the first day two points ahead of a trio of boats: Nico Poons' Charisma, local hero Igor Lah on Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 and Chris Bake's Team Aqua. After three races the mid-fleet remains close with second to seventh place separated by just four points.

"We had a very bad start on the first one - we thought that the door was going to be shut by Ceeref so we did a double tack and then we were very late," admitted Aleph Racing's star Italian tactician Michele Ivaldi. "We had a chance to get back into the race but we missed the left shift. But we learned and in both races after that we played the left side of the course. There was more pressure there."

Ivaldi was kicking himself they hadn't chosen the favoured left sooner as it had been recommended. Today guests on the eight RC44s were exclusively local Oppie sailors: "We asked Philippe, who is a local Optimist sailor, which side we should go and he told us 'left'. We should have followed his advice from the outset. It is good to have the guest program back," concluded Ivaldi.

The course today had the race committee boat positioned less than a mile from Marina Portorož with the weather mark 1.1 miles away and with St Bernadine's point protruding into the course on the right. Technically a 'left banana' course, according to Ivaldi the favoured parts were "right at the bottom and left at the top and a little bit of pressure at the end of the left lay line."

The opening race was won in convincing style by Torbjörn Törnqvist and Artemis Racing. "It was a good race," recounted the Swedish team's US tactician Andy Horton: "We got off the line, had a good beat and got ahead and that was pretty straightforward. The guys sailed well and we were fast.

"It was questionable whether the right hand shore would work down by St Bernadine. We thought that might be 20% of the beat and the other 80% would be on the left. We didn't get into a fight with that and just worked up the left side and that is how we got across of everyone. There was pressure on that side as there was most of the time." Christian Zuerrer's Black Star Sailing Team, #27 and the first new RC44 to be launched in eight years, came home second in the Swiss boat's race debut.

In his usual 'zero to hero' (and back) style, Nico Poons' Charisma finished dead last in the opening race (having won both of the last two 44Cup events this season in Cascais and Marstand) only to win today's second. Typically the Dutchman's team don't like light conditions, but his highly experienced crew, led by tactician Hamish Pepper, seems to have overcome this. "The first race was very bad - we were on the wrong corner and we guessed we had something around the keel," recounted Poons. "The second race went well and the third race was our best race because we fought back. It is too early in the event to look at the score."

Racing is expected to again be light tomorrow with the start of racing already delayed to 1300 CEST.

44Cup World Championship Portoroz Results after Day 1: (three races)

1. Aleph Racing - 7 2 1 - 10pts
2. Charisma - 8 1 3 - 12pts
3. Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 - 4 6 2 - 12pts
4. Team Aqua - 5 3 4 - 12pts
5. Artemis Racing - 1 4 8 - 13pts
6. Black Star Sailing Team - 2 7 6 - 15pts
7. Team Nika - 6 5 5 - 16pts
8. Peninsula Racing - 3 8 7 (2) - 20pts

Related Articles

44Cup returns to mainland Spain in 2023
Five events scheduled for what will be the 16th season of RC44 racing The 2023 season of the 44Cup has been unveiled, with five events scheduled for what will be the 16th season of racing between the high performance owner-driver one design monohulls. Posted on 27 Jan
44Cup Oman overall
Victory for Team Nika in Oman, but Charisma dominates the 44Cup season On the concluding day of the 2022 44Cup's final event, the 44Cup Oman, PRO Maria Torrijo defied the odds and was able to stage three races. Posted on 11 Dec 2022
44Cup Oman Day 3
Team Aqua into the lead as local team shines The forecast for the penultimate day of the 44Cup Oman was for either a moderate northeasterly or for a light northwesterly. In fact the near non-existent gradient breeze and the similarly soft sea breeze made it a tricky day. Posted on 10 Dec 2022
44Cup Oman Day 2
A-Teams on the rise After a light start, conditions were optimum off Muscat's Al Mouj Marina for day two of the 44Cup Oman, the fifth and concluding event of the 2022 44Cup. Posted on 9 Dec 2022
44Cup Oman Day 1
Team Nika back on form After a light World Championship back in October in Portorož, Slovenia, the nine teams competing today off Muscat's Al Mouj Marina at the 44Cup Oman were well dialled in for the opening day of the 2022 44Cup's grand finale. Posted on 9 Dec 2022
44Cup Portoroz World Championship overall
Three in a row for Charisma as Nico Poons is crowned While racing in 44Cup events usually goes to the wire, decided in the last few metres of the final race, this hasn't been the case this year when the dominant force has been Monaco-based Dutchman Nico Poons and his Charisma team. Posted on 16 Oct 2022
44Cup Portoroz World Championship day 3
Ceeref fights back as Team Aqua get their world champion back onboard With a race lost on Friday at the 44Cup Portorož World Championship, to recoup the schedule four races were held today (Saturday). Posted on 16 Oct 2022
44Cup Portoroz World Championship Day 2
The Poons downwind express train Another slow start for day two of the 44Cup Portorož World Championship saw the fleet held ashore with racing not getting under way until 1400. However when it did fill in, the breeze was a crucial two knots more than it was for the opening day. Posted on 14 Oct 2022
Revving engines for 2022 44Cup World Championship
Official racing starts on Thursday in Slovenia Official racing starts at the 44Cup Portorož World Championship in Slovenia on Thursday, but on Wednesday the eight boat fleet enjoyed some warm-up competition. Posted on 12 Oct 2022
44Cup Portoroz World Championship preview
Whose mantlepiece will the trophy be residing on? While between themselves 44Cup teams may appear nonchalant that the annual World Championship for their high performance RC44 one designs is "just another regatta", in fact this is far from the case with teams saving their best gear for the major event. Posted on 5 Oct 2022
SailGP_Technologies_Metal_1456x180 BOTTOMDoyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOMC-Tech 2020 Battens 2 728x90 BOTTOM