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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Tricky day for Calero Sailing Team at the 44Cup Baiona

by Calero Sailing Team 10 May 14:36 PDT 8-12 May 2024
The high calibre Calero Sailing Team includes several Olympic sailors © Nico Martinez / 44Cup

Calero Sailing Team has a very high calibre, 100% Spanish crew which includes several Olympic sailors such as the reigning World Champion in the former Olympic Women's 470 class, Silvia Más and Pablo Arrarte, who represented Spain in the Star keelboat in Athens in 2004. However, their most successful recently is Iago López Marra, who represented Spain twice in the 49er skiff at the last two Olympic Games, coming fourth in Tokyo.

Marra may have now hung up his Olympic sea boots and is not going to Paris 2024, but is busy forging a career as a pro sailor on larger race boats, including the RC44 on which he is Calero Sailing Team's headsail trimmer. He is also technically the 'local' on board, coming from Portosin, further north in the Rías Baixas estuary complex where Baiona resides. However, Marra admits he hasn't sailed too much in this week's venue.

Despite their world-class credentials, the Lanzarote team, backed by Centros de Arte, Cultura y Turismo de Lanzarote (the Art, Culture and Tourism Centres (CACT) of the Cabildo of Lanzarote) struggled on the water for the second day of the 44Cup Baiona, sailed in high performance RC44 one design keelboats. Due to today's light conditions, only one race was successful held and this on a course close by, on the Bay of Baiona itself.

"Basically, we knew that the right was going to pay a lot and was going to be key to get a top position - we wanted to be the first one to hit the rocks," explained Marra of their tactics, using sailing vernacular for going in as close as possible to the shore...without hit the rocks...

Highlight of Calero Sailing Team's day was carrying out a 'port tack start'. Traditionally in windward-leeward races all boats start on starboard tack and today, because the right side of the course was so favoured, everyone started on starboard, but tacked immediately on to port to head out to the right. Anticipating this, and to counter the popularity of the right, the race committee had favoured the pin [left] end of the start line, moving it further upwind. In this scenario pulling off a 'port tack start', if successful, can allow the brave crew that attempts it to start from the pin end and cross clear ahead of the fleet on port tack - generally a race winning move. Sadly this did not work quite as planned.

Marra continued: "Today we placed too much risk starting on port because everyone wanted to go to the right. It could have been okay, but we are new in the class and we don't know the boat very well still. We don't know all the tools we have on the boat. That is our weak point and means we aren't consistent. But every day is a learning day.

"The second key point today was when Artemis tacked on us to leeward and we were unable to hold our lane. So we had to tack back and when you went to the left today you were wasting your time."

Due to the light winds off Baiona, only one of the scheduled three races was held today, mid-afternoon. To make up the lost races the race committee is intending to sail four races tomorrow if it can.

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