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44Cup Marstrand 2024 - Day 2

by 44Cup 21 Jun 12:49 PDT 20-23 June 2024
44Cup Marstrand 2024 - Day 2 © Nico Martinez

After day one of the 44Cup Marstrand was called off due to strong winds, the worry for day two of racing off the west coast of Sweden's paradise island was, ironically, a lack of breeze.

The schedule was brought forward by two hours to 10:00 both to make the most of the available wind, while also allowing competitors to be docked and packed up ready for the Swedish traditional Midsummer Eve celebrations culminating in a late lunch/early dinner with entertainment for the 44Cup teams and entourage at Marstrand's renowned Society House.

In the event, today's first race was held in a slightly sketchy southwesterly in the belief that it might be the only race sailed given the wind was forecast to die off. Ultimately after race one the wind did strengthen and stabilise marginally in direction and three races were sailed, racing laid on with the help of volunteers from the local Marstrands Segelsällskap and support from Artemis Technologies.

In the first race there were high hopes for local heroes when Torbjörn Törnqvist's Artemis Racing overtook Chris Bake's Team Aqua down the first run and going into the second held a strong lead. However after rounding the top mark for a second time an early gybe proved the wrong move for both and as they wallowed in a hole it was Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika that led the starboard tackers to take the win from Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing. The second placed French team's performance was exceptional given that they had been called OCS at the start.

"It was a difficult race - sometime you cannot find a pattern," admitted Prosikhin, the 2024 44Cup's overall leader. "Marstrand with this weather - sometimes it is really tricky and you cannot predict what is going to happen."

Team Nika Tactician Nic Aisher commented of the last run: "There were big holes and gusts - we came around the mark into a big leftie, so we were like 'stick with it'." An approach that worked... "there were massive holes and wind direction changes - it was hard to know what was going to happen: Two thirds of the way up the first beat - we were on starboard and Artemis was on port and we were basically heading at each other!"

After a pause in proceedings, contrary to the forecast, the wind did fill in slightly and stabilised on 200 degrees. In this Charisma came back from the left on the first upwind and popped out in front, with Artemis Racing again doing well, rounding the top mark second. This remained the scenario for the remainder of the race.

"If we could have more races like that I would have a lot less grey hair and Roscoe would have some hair!" commented Charisma's main sheet trimmer Chris Hoskings referencing his headsail trimmer Ross Halcrow. Nico Poons' team followed this up with a second to Team Aqua in the following race to lead at this halfway stage of the 44Cup Marstrand, but tied on points with Aleph Racing, a point ahead of Team Aqua and two in front of Igor Lah's Team Ceeref Vaider and Artemis Racing. That Poons' team wasn't clear ahead was the result of Charisma' lowly eighth place in race one. "We got a bit compromised with Black Star on the line there - we were early and with them to leeward of us with just nowhere to go and we incurred a penalty...AND were OCS. That was a great way to open the regatta..."

Held in the best breeze of the day, the third race saw an intense fight between Team Aqua and Charisma. Poons' team seemed to have a piece of Team Aqua approaching the second top mark until Bake luffed them hard, bearing away to lead onto the last run. "It was very 'laney' and puffy - it was about keeping the boat in pressure and keeping it moving," commented Chris Hoskings. On the last run both gybed early and coming down the middle of the course Charisma was attempting to stay on Team Aqua's wind. Meanwhile Aleph Racing was out to the right and John Bassadone's Peninsula Racing was left, both looking threatening. In the end Team Aqua, traditionally the most successful team in Marstrand, kept her nose in front to gain her first bullet here ahead of Charisma with Aleph Racing third - Hugues Lepic's team having scored another dramatic comeback having started the race in last position.

An early finish allowed the 44Cup community to descend on Marstrand's Society House for a late lunch/early dinner that was reverberating around the fjord until late into the evening.

44CUP Marstrand: (after three races)

1. Charisma - 8 1 2 - 11pts
2. Aleph Racing - 2 5 4 - 11pts
3. Team Aqua - 7 4 1 - 12pts
4. Team CEEREF Vaider - 4 2 7 - 13pts
5. Artemis Racing - 5 3 5 - 13pts
6. Black Star Sailing Team - 3 6 6 - 15pts
7. Peninsula Racing - 6 7 3 - 16pts
8. Team Nika - 1 8 8 - 16pts
9. FarStar - 9 9 9 - 27pts

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