Please select your home edition
2024 fill-in (top)

44Cup Calero Marinas Day 1

by 44Cup 29 Feb 14:37 PST 28 February - 3 March 2024
44Cup Calero Marinas 2024 © Nico Martinez

The Canary Islands are renowned for their breezy northeasterly trade wind conditions and today Lanzarote fully delivered this, with 20-25 knot winds and occasional gusts of 30. In this wind, plus the lumpy sea state, playing it safe and carrying out well executed manoeuvres was order of the day for the nine teams.

Despite American Andy Horton replacing New Zealander Hamish Pepper as tactician on board, Nico Poons' Charisma in the first race demonstrated why they are the defending 44Cup champions: they won the pin, and the left subsequently coming good, enabling them to lead around the top mark and continue to score the first bullet of 2024 comfortably.

In the third and final race Charisma looked set to repeat this, extending their lead down the first run until this was abruptly halted as they were laid flat in a massive gust. "It was a big, big puff, while we were out in front on our own" explained Horton. "We were on the edge, trying to get down, but it was just a moment in time that wasn't kind to us..."

Of today's conditions, which peaked in the second and third races with the wind blowing obliquely offshore from 020-030 degrees, Horton continued: "It was full on, awesome. It got to the point where we were easing sails upwind and just going high, because it was so windy. Then downwind you just held on. The gybes were manageable - not out of control, if you did a good job." Coming last in the final race, dropped Charisma to fourth overall, albeit just one point from the podium.

In the final race, Charisma's loss in her broach was Team Aqua and Team Ceeref Vaider's gain. As Charisma floundered, Chris Bake's team powered into the port leeward gate in first with Igor Lah's Team Ceeref Vaider close astern. But up the next beat Ceeref's crafty tactician Adrian Stead put in a small hitch to the right and with this side slightly favoured and coming in with rights, the Slovenia team finally got the upper hand over Team Aqua, leading into the final top mark and on to the finish.

"It was amazing - it felt like being on a submarine!" commented Lah. "We caught a few waves and got completely wet. I was extremely careful not to broach, but it was so close! It is really fun in those conditions - I really love it, even if it looks dangerous."

Stead added: "It definitely was on the edge - the gybes were getting interesting especially with the seaway slightly twisted. But it was Lanzarote at its 'shiftiest best'. The breeze was flicking around by about 40 degrees and quite gusty and as the day went on the gusts got more vicious and unstable. But it was a great day all round and Igor did a great job driving."

Team Ceeref Vaider's 5-2-1 today left them second overall, but behind Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika, which with three podium finishes today currently leads the 44Cup Calero Marinas.

"Today was good, pretty consistent," mused Prosikhin. In the second race, John Bassadone's Peninsula Racing had led Team Ceeref Vaider around the port leeward gate mark as Team Nika had split right. A shift had subsequently propelled Team Nika into the lead which they held to the finish. But their most outstanding result was in the last race when they recovered from a start line penalty (infringing Team Aqua) to finish third.

Of today's conditions Prosikhin commented: "It was fun - this is why we are sailing - days like this are very special. Our top speed was 24.7 knots - very close to the record. It was fun, very exciting and the crew worked well. The trimmers were great because they didn't let me broach the boat even though I was very close a couple of times."

Of their secret today, tactician Nic Asher explained it was about keeping it simple and to the basics - handing, staying in phase with the shifts, etc. "We didn't start too well. The guys did a good job, so it was easy to place the boat where we wanted to. Downwind we were solid - in fact we were able to catch up if we got it slightly wrong on the beat."

One of the most radiant coming ashore was Daniel Calero, skipper of Calero Sailing Team, the RC44 being fielded at this regatta by the event hosts Calero Marinas. Given that the 'black boat' is used by inexperienced teams looking to join the 44Cup, their 8-7-5 was commendable as they didn't once finish last.

"I am super happy about the day," said Calero. "We enjoyed it a lot. We were a little afraid of the conditions, but I think we had some luck and were getting better during the day. The conditions were really tough, but the boats react well to it. Alfredo [Gonzales, tactician] did a great job in difficult conditions, because the strong wind increased the difficulty. We are all super happy. We have seen we can at least be in the fight."

Due to an even stronger forecast tomorrow (Friday 1 March) the schedule has been brought forward with a first warning signal scheduled for 0930 UTC.

44Cup Calero Marinas Results: (after three races)

1. Team Nika - 2 1 3 - 6pts
2. Team CEEREF Vaider - 5 2 1 - 8pts
3. Peninsula Racing - 3 3 8 - 14pts
4. Charisma - 1 5 9 - 15pts
5. Team Aqua - 9 4 2 - 15pts
6. Aleph Racing - 4 6 6 - 16pts
7. Black Star Sailing Team - 6 9 4 - 19pts
8. Calero Sailing Team - 8 7 5 - 20pts
9. Artemis Racing - 7 8 7 - 22pts

Related Articles

44Cup Calero Marinas overall
Team Nika seals the deal at the breezy event Four bullets from nine races was enough to secure Team Nika victory in the 44Cup Calero Marinas, opening event of the 2024 44Cup. Posted on 3 Mar
44Cup Calero Marinas day 3
Third big breeze day and third bullet for Team Nika After Friday's brutal conditions, the forecast indicated a slightly lighter day three of the 44Cup Calero Marinas. Posted on 2 Mar
44Cup Calero Marinas day 2
Maxing out the wind conditions For some time the Lanzarote forecast for day two of the 44Cup Calero Marinas showed conditions exceeding the RC44 class' theoretical upper wind limit of 25 knots. Anticipating this PRO Maria Torrijo brought the start time forward to 09:30. Posted on 1 Mar
44Cup 2024: Return of the Caleros
Lanzarote's Calero family was lured by Russell Coutts into joining his high performance RC44 class After stints in the IMS 500 and GP42 grand prix classes, Lanzarote's Calero family was lured by Russell Coutts into joining his fledgling high performance owner-driver RC44 class for its second season in 2008. Posted on 28 Feb
44Cup 2024: fresh influx of crew
The 44Cup resumes next week with the 44Cup Calero Marinas After a brief winter break, the 44Cup resumes next week with the 44Cup Calero Marinas, first of the five event 2024 series, taking place out of Puerto Calero in Lanzarote. Posted on 23 Feb
Three new venues for 44Cup: 2024 season announced
It's all change for the 44Cup's 16th season While the circuit for the high performance owner-driver one designs will still comprise five events, including one World Sailing-sanctioned World Championship, this year it will visit three venues for the first time. Posted on 30 Jan
2023 44Cup Calero Marinas overall
Two in a row for Charisma as Aleph Racing tops the table Dutchman Nico Poons was unable to stay dry once ashore from the final day of racing at the 44Cup Calero Marinas. Posted on 26 Nov 2023
2023 44Cup Calero Marinas Day 3
Aleph consolidates off Puerto Calero as Charisma eyes the 2023 title The 44Cup Calero Marinas, the final event of the 2023 44Cup, has become a two horse race going into the final day. Posted on 25 Nov 2023
2023 44Cup Calero Marinas Day 2
Aleph racing to the fore on light and shifty day They say in yacht racing that when conditions are light, flukey and difficult to predict, it is all about keeping a cool head and avoiding the big results. Posted on 24 Nov 2023
2023 44Cup Calero Marinas Day 1
Charisma survives snakes and ladders opening day Leaders, favourites and defending champions, Nico Poons' Charisma got off to a solid start on the opening day of the 44Cup Calero Marinas, the final event of the 2023 44Cup. Posted on 23 Nov 2023
ETNZ-STORE-728X90 one B BOTTOM37th AC Store 2024 - 728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTER