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2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship Is Open

Posted on 27 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Melges20 Class Association] Riva Del Garda, Italy – Registration, measurement and practice day are officially complete at the 2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship, hosted by Fraglia Della Vela Riva. An unprecedented 57 entries will take to the starting line on Wednesday, 27 August for the first of four competitive days of premium performance racing.

The weather pattern in Garda over the last few days has been a bit on the light and rainy side. Even today, teams waited for several hours before leaving the docks to practice due to no breeze. They tinkered with the boats, walked the docks, had lunch at some of Riva’s beautiful outdoor cafe’s, while others relaxed in the Audi hospitality area and caught-up up on sleep due to jetlag. The breeze came up around 3 p.m. and teams rushed off the docks to practice. Unfortunately, no practice race was held as a storm developed with incredible wind forcing everyone back to shore.

The entry list is star-studded, not to mention loaded from top to bottom with some of the very best amatuer drivers in the world.

“It is impossible to predict what will happen on Lake Garda over the next few days and with 57 teams on the line it will surely will be a spectacular event,” said International Audi Melges 20 Class Chairman, Manfredi Vianini Tolomei. “So much work has gone into making the next four days unforgettable. From the Melges organization, to the International Class Association as well as the regional fleets, everyone has worked very hard to make it the greatest regatta ever. We are happy to have so many entries and among them, two lady helms as well as three youth sailors – one of them also a helm.”

“The Audi Melges 20 is fitting for sailors of every age, gender and level of experience. I am very proud to chair this class and think that on Lake Garda, our owners will race hard with great sportsmanship, honesty and through many friendships,” concluded Vianini Tolomei.

Racing commences at 12:30 p.m. with a maximum of three races scheduled.

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Three-way shoot out at the top as Oman fly the flag on British waters

Posted on 25 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Cardiff Bay saved the best for last for the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet, where Alinghi, The Wave, Muscat and J.P. Morgan BAR battled it out until the bitter end for the top positions, in one of the closest – and most exciting – three-horse fights seen in the Series, which resulted in a three way collision and three consecutive penalties too boot in the final race. You couldn’t have scripted a better final, with the three leaders leaning on each other hard as they tried to gain the upper hand and The Wave, Muscat took advantage of the tussle to sail away with the win at Act 5 presented by Land Rover – and importantly homing in on Alinghi on the overall 2014 Series leaderboard as a relieved McMillan commented: “We’re on track this season, there’s nothing more we can do that’s for sure. The competition is very tight and Alinghi have been really slick this year and have brought in some unbelievable performances. To get one over on them here kind of brings it back down by a point and if we are going to keep pushing them hard, and they do the same to us it’s going to go down to the crunch.”

That left Ben Ainslie and Morgan Larson in a straight shoot out for second, but the British skipper couldn’t break the domination of Switzerland’s Alinghi, with Larson snatching it from the grasps of J.P. Morgan BAR. Alinghi’s Olympic champion tactician Anna Tunnicliffe talked through the final race: “We were waiting for Leigh to tack and he drove us right into the boats rounding the mark and boats started coming at us head first. We ended up above the mark so we couldn’t bear away and at the same time, Ben (Ainslie) was coming round into the side of us and it all turned into a mess. All three boats were tangled on each other. It’s very frustrating, but hopefully we can learn from our mistakes, we’re still on top which is good – the damage could have been worse. We need to move on to Istanbul and refocus for that event.”

Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR were on fire and threatening all day, posting a steady stream of consistent results and slowly chipping away at the leading pack to put themselves in the running. Despite just missing out on second place, the team’s four-times Olympic champion skipper Ainslie was satisfied with the final position, who this week were joined by local lad, Bleddyn Mon. “It has been a great improvement to see us on the podium and great to challenge with the top teams today. It’s a big step forwards and hopefully we can continue this for the rest of the Series. Sailing with Paul Campbell-James was fantastic, he has taught us a lot about these boats and Bleddyn was a great addition, he worked incredibly hard. We are looking forward to sailing with Paul Goodison in Istanbul and as we develop further in the event.”

In traditional UK Bank Holiday style, the day started with an onslaught of rain, before the clouds lifted, the breeze picked up and the fleet played out the final races in a beautiful 15 knots of breeze, with lots of ducking and weaving, hitting top speeds of 20 knots. In a programme of eight races on the final day, Red Bull Sailing Team made a late surge with their best results of the week, including a pair of wins on the tight racecourse, to upgrade their overnight position from eighth, to fourth at the close of play. Their double Olympic champion skipper Roman Hagara commented: “We found out how to start well on the racecourse which was key. We had good boat work and were good at approaching the marks; we did almost everything right. We finished the Act in fourth so that’s a really good result for us, and looking ahead to Istanbul, we need to start the first day as we finished it here.”

A further four points back in fifth place is the Swiss Realteam – and significantly for them, a disappointing 11th place for Emirates Team New Zealand, has seen Jerome Clerc and his Swiss team leapfrog up the Series leaderboard, to third place.

The battle in the bottom half of the leaderboard was just as fierce, with only three points separating eighth placed Gazprom Team Russia to 11th placed Emirates Team New Zealand – and with Act 6, Istanbul less than three weeks away, you can bet that the there will be some stern locker room debriefs, before the teams meet again.

Cardiff has once again delivered an outstanding event, with 90,000 spectators getting front row seats to the action, as part of the Cardiff Harbour Festival. Act 6 Istanbul takes place from the 11-14 September, and with news of a local team entry in the coming days, it will be a packed startline of 12 teams, as the fleet head to the city where East meets West.

Cardiff Harbour Festival hosts Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 Cardiff, presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 33 races
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan 210 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, 205 points.
3rd J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, 203 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, 186 points.
5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, 182 points.
6th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, 175 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner,  174 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, 154 points.
9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, 154 points.
10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, 153 points.
11th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, 151 points.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 47 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 45 points.
3rd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 34 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 33 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 25 points.
6th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 22 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 20 points.
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) 16 points.
10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 15 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 5 points.

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British Challenge accepted for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Royal Yacht Squadron Racing] Royal Yacht Squadron Racing (RYSR) has had its challenge accepted by the America’s Cup defender, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. RYSR is the affiliate club of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the challenging club for Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), now the official British entry for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

Signing of the America's Cup Notice of Challenge. Photo credit Jessica Dobbs

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), having won the 34th America’s Cup, holds the America’s Cup in accordance with the terms of a Deed of Gift dated 24 October 1887 and will be hosting the event in three years’ time, although the location is yet to be confirmed, being either San Diego or Bermuda.

RYSR submitted its Notice of Challenge to the GGYC during the two-month open entry period which closed on Friday 8th August. The entry has now been formally accepted.

Each team that challenges for the America’s Cup is required to do so through a host club.  The America’s Cup started its long history at the Royal Yacht Squadron when the schooner America beat a fleet of British racing yachts to the finish line there on 22 August 1851, watched by Queen Victoria.

“We are delighted that Ben Ainslie Racing, led by Sir Ben, has asked Royal Yacht Squadron Racing to challenge on his behalf and are sure that, if anyone can bring the Cup back to its original home, he and his excellent BAR team can,” commented Simon van der Byl, CEO of RYSR.

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Big Fleet Racing In Store For Audi Melges 20s On Lake Garda

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Melges20 Associoation] Riva Del Garda, Italy – More than 50 Audi Melges 20 teams will compete this weekend at the Riva Del Garda edition of the 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series, the fourth act of the five-part European program that also serves as a prelude to the World Championship. The Worlds is scheduled to take place in late August (25-30) in the same location, hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva, organized by B.Plan Sports & Events and Melges Europe.

In Riva, the International Class is proud to present representation from nine countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Russia and the United States. Italy is best represented with 23 entries, followed by Russia with 7, Monaco and the U.S.A. share 4 each.

Much is at stake in Riva Del Garda. For 2014 Melges 20 Audi-Tron Sailing Series leader (after three events) Dario Levi aboardFremito D’Arja with crew members Nicolo Bianchi and Stefano Lagi, will attempt to sustain their lead. On the newly presentedWorld Ranking stage, Richard Davies and his Section 16 team comprised of two-time Olympic Bronze Medallist and U.S. Sailing High Performance Director Charlie McKee as tactician along with the young and highly skilled Matt Pistay, will work exceptionally hard to push past Wes Whimyer’s Slingshot (not present in Riva) and place some space between themselves and the rest of the fleet on the scoreboard.

 

The general Entry List is long and well-endowed. Reigning Melges 24 World and European Champion tactician Gabriele Benussi will call the shots on Guido Miani’s Out of Reach, while fleet newcomer Corrado Augusta’s Customly will employ America’s Cup Luna Rossa team member Pietro D’Ali. Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig will feature Danielle Cassinari, and sailing with Roberto Martinez on Audi g-Tron Fratelli Giacomel is none other than Enrico Fonda.

On the family side of the fleet, Russ Lucas will sail his very famous Shimmer Audi Melges 20 with the help of multi-world and national champions Harry Melges and Federico Michetti. Russ’ daughter Grace Lucas, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston and an extremely accomplished young sailor will sail on Shimmer 2 with the talented husband and wife team of Chris and Dani Rast.

Racing officially commences on Saturday and concludes on Sunday. Six races are scheduled.

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Eight NEW TP52s for next years 52 SUPER SERIES and events’ dates announced

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: 52 Super Series] Eight newly built TP52s will compete on the 2015 52 SUPER SERIES circuit in fleet which is expected to comprise 12 to 14 boats, including three teams who will be new to the series in Europe, over a five regatta circuit at venues which are presently being finalised.

The high number of new boats for next season reflects the controlled evolution and success of the class and the 52 SUPER SERIES circuit in delivering fast, exciting, close racing at desirable venues, competing against like minded owners and teams.

Ten years after the TP52s were first adopted into Europe the class remains true to a box rule concept which has been well managed to racing remains tight but there are still sufficient design opportunities to develop and design performance differences.

The new 2015 generation boats will be faster still and more challenging to sail. Sail area increases – mainsails, jibs and gennakers all get bigger – overall displacement reduces but draft and hence righting moment or power increases – carbon rigging is adopted, bowsprits are longer, new generation carbon rigs will be stiffer and deflectors are allowed and cockpit volume is opened up.

The eight new boats include those for existing 52 SUPER SERIES teams, Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos USA), Azzurra (Roemmers family ARG), Sled (Takashi Okura, USA/JPN), Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR), Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR). Two teams are choosing to remain anonymous but have boats already commissioned.

Interestingly the new boats which have been ordered are split 50:50, four apiece between the two established design houses Botin Partners and Judel/Vrolijk.

While the performance of the new generation of TP52s is expected to step up significantly from the main crop of boats which compete currently on the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES, what is especially exciting is that with fleet will converge back to a much closer design envelope. With such a high proportion of the fleet new, or much more recent designs, then the playing field for the 2015 season will be level. There will be no hiding place. There will be no excuse to lose.

“In a way that is terrifying.” Smiles Tony Rey, the project manager for Ergin Imre’s Provezza team. Imre is without question one of the circuit’s most experienced and enthusiastic owners, with his Provezza projects dating back 25 years through one design, IMS and IOR. A new Vrolijk designed Provezza is being built at Cooksons in New Zealand with Chris Hosking managing the construction for the team which is expecting the new boat to be ready around Christmas.

“ That is the thing I find most exciting.” Rey expands, “ A new boat does not make us faster than the old boat. It highlights any weaknesses that we have compared to other teams. A new boat will shine a light on all aspects of our team, our maintenance, our organisation, our crew work, our communication, that is what a new boat does.”

“We are on the level playing field and we can’t hide any more with ‘oh this old boat’”

Of the publically confirmed projects four will build in Europe, Provezza in New Zealand and one at Premier Composites Dubai facility.

And with a bigger fleet the critical design decisions are opened, taken or have been taken, how to mode the new boat to gain an edge upwind. Now it becomes key to design in the ability to be in the very top spots at the first upwind mark:

Guillermo Parada, skipper of Azzurra, explains:

“It is very exciting for our team, for the SUPER SERIES and for the class that there will be eight new boats for next season. That means the competition will be really tough and also having 14 boats expected on the start line next season it is a very different challenge that we are facing as a team. The new boats need to be more upwind orientated because in a bigger fleet you need to make sure you get to the top mark in good shape and from there on you plan your race, otherwise in a small fleet you can have very good downwind boat that is not so good upwind. That will be the biggest change. And with all the changes in the rule, the carbon rigging, deflectors, more draft, lighter boats those are parameters which will make the boat even more challenging to sail.”

TP52 World Champions and 52 SUPER SERIES champions Quantum Racing’s project manager Ed Reynolds elaborates:
“ The new boats will be a lot faster, more manageable and I think they will level off the playing field quite a bit between the pro drivers and some of the owner drivers because they are going to be balanced a little better and they will be faster downwind. It’s exciting.”

But along with the design differences in design, Ed Reynolds highlights the enduring appeal which keeps the TP52 popular with owners and crews:

“I think we have been around 7000kgs on our headstay loads and the new boats will be around  7500kgs, we are going to carbon rigging, these boats get loaded up. But the really nice thing about the 52’s is that we feel it is the biggest boat that you can really have that you are still racing it like a dinghy. Any bigger then some of the crew work, the kinetics, the things you can do with smaller boats that you can with the 52, you can’t do above this size. Racing these boats everybody loves it.
For us they have done such a great job with the box rule it will be hard to come out and leapfrog the opposition. Our focus is on moding the boat. How high a drag do we want our fin? Where do we want to be against fleet downwind? Which wind range? I think that is the technological advantage you look for in this fleet. It is indisputable. This box rule has been as level and as well thought out as anything outside of one design boats I have ever seen.

“We are so excited about this. For the Class it means the total of TP52s built in 15 years is set to rise now above 70 boats which is quite an achievement if we recognise that these are large one-off racing yachts built to the highest standards at the time of construction.”

“ In a way it is logical to see these bursts of construction activity such as we have now. We have seen them in the past as well. The TP52 owners are fans of level, real time racing and when so many start building it is represents a very good moment to jump on the train and have a realistic chance to be at par with the majority of boats for some years to come.” TP52 Class Manager Rob Weiland highlights.

CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES Agustin Zulueta summarises: “The circuit is shaping up well for 2015 we are finalising the venues right now so that we reflect a genuine pan European spread of locations, five regattas over five months, exciting places and established favourites. The 52 SUPER SERIES is ever growing and exceeding expectations set out at the beginning of the year. There is no doubt that the formula we offer is a recipe for success. In 2014 we formed strong links with international companies such as Barclays, Zenith, Gaastra and in the last weeks Peters & May. Continued interest in the BARCLAYS 52 SUPER SERIES and eight new boats for next year, confirms that the 52 SUPER SERIES is the place to be in the years to come.

Build Table for 2015 at 18th August 2014:

  • TBA  (sistership Quantum)
  • Quantum Racing USA- Botin – Longitud Cero (ESP)
  • Azzurra ITA – Botin – King Marine (ESP)
  • Sled USA/JPN – Botin – Cookson (NZ)
  • Rán Racing SWE – Vrolijk – Persico (ITA)
  • Gladiator GBR (sistership Rán)
  • Provezza TUR – Vrolijk – Cookson (NZ)
  • TBA,  Vrolijk – Premier (Dubai)

2015 52 SUPER SERIES DATES (PROVISIONAL)

  • May, 18th – 23rd
  • June, 08th – 13th
  • July, 13th – 18th
  • August, 03rd – 08th
  • September 15th – 20th

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Artemis Racing launches its challenge for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 19 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Artemis Racing] Today, Artemis Racing officially launched its challenge to win the 35th America’s Cup at an inspirational event in Sweden’s capital. Guests were treated to a rare chance of seeing the America’s Cup trophy first hand at the Moderna Museet, on Skeppsholmen Island at the heart of Stockholm’s proud maritime history.

Torbjörn Törnqvist, Team Principal of Artemis Racing said: “Sailing is my passion, and I’m very proud to once again represent Sweden in the America’s Cup. Given our experience from the 34th America’s Cup, what the team went through and achieved, we have an incredibly strong culture, a belonging to the team. Building on our core group from the last campaign, we have been able to secure talent across all areas, and I strongly believe that Artemis Racing is a team capable of winning the 35th America’s Cup”.

Artemis Racing will again challenge alongside Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS), the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, for what will be their second campaign together in the pursuit of winning the oldest competition in sport.

“The America’s Cup is the pinnacle of international sailing. KSSS is proud to be a challenger once again through Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing team. We are also very excited by the prospect of involving Swedish sailors in various ways in the project. We want to extend our gratitude to Torbjörn Törnqvist for making this possible” commented Staffan Salén, KSSS Commodore.

From left, Torbjörn Törnqvist, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Percy officially set their sight on the 35th America’s Cup. Stockholm, 19 August 2014. Photo copyright Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

New team members were announced, including Swedish Olympic champions, Fredrik Lööf and Max Salminen, as well as America’s Cup veteran Rod Davis.

Lööf is one of the most successful Swedish sailors of all times and a long-time friend and competitor of Team Manager Iain Percy. With a wealth of experience, he has participated in an incredible six Olympic campaigns, winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics and bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Star class, and at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the Finn class. Lööf’s career highlights also include three Finn World Championships, two Star World titles and a third place finish in the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race.

On joining the team Fredrik said “I’ve been fascinated by the way sailing has been evolving over the last few years, with these new foiling boats and incredible TV production. I was really inspired by Artemis’ last campaign and having a Swedish boat on the start line again, and being part of it this time, is very exciting. Winning the America’s Cup and bringing it to Sweden for the first time would be something very special”.

One of the most promising talents in Swedish sailing, Max Salminen, still just 24, struck gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games alongside Fredrik Lööf in the Star class.

Artemis Racing also welcomed Sailing Coach Rod Davis. In his extraordinary America’s Cup career –now his 9th campaign – Davis brings an unparalleled wealth of experience to the team, having covered a variety of roles from bowman to mainsail trimmer, skipper, and more recently coach of Emirates Team New Zealand. Rod won a gold medal in the Soling class at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, and Olympic silver in the Finn class in Barcelona 1992. His track record also includes winning the Admiral’s Cup and the Sardinia Cup several times, as well as seven World Champion titles.

The Team has already amassed an incredible 61 America’s Cup Campaigns between its members, including 14 victories. Team members (including two designers) have competed in 21 Olympic Games, winning 11 medals, including seven Gold medals.

“Where some teams may have one Olympic gold medallist, we have six of them, however the focus is very much on the team, and there is no individual bigger than the group. We are not only in this competition to win the 35th America’s Cup, but to dominate the America’s Cup arena for the next decade.” Said Team Manager and Tactician Iain Percy. “I’m also passionate that Artemis Racing is more than simply winning, it’s about producing a legacy and winning in a certain way”.

The crew that aims to take on Oracle Team USA. Stockholm, 19 August 2014. Photo copyright Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

Harnessing fresh talent and inspiring younger team members is at the core of Artemis Racing’s new challenge, and the Team launched an internship programme which will give top Swedish students a chance to become directly involved in the key areas that make up a successful America’s Cup Team, spending up to 12 weeks working in the team base in Alameda, CA, USA, across different departments.

Artemis Racing also aspires to be the most sustainable and responsible team in the America’s Cup, announcing a number of initiatives including plans to ‘up-cycle’ or, ‘re-purpose’, their future base at the 35th America’s Cup venue.

The Team also announced partnerships with Pelle P, as the official clothing supplier and Cosworth Group, as technical supplier.

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RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec

Posted on 17 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] After four action packed days of match racing and fleet racing, near gale force winds and substantial breaking waves on the race course caused the concluding races of the 2014 RC44 Marstrand World Championship to be cancelled.

Principal Race Officer Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio explained: “The wind was over our normal limit of 26-28 knots at 2-3m, so at the top of the rigs it would have been 28-30. We were anticipating it dying down, but unfortunately the sea state wouldn’t die with it. So ultimately it was down to the sea state. You know the seas are rough when you have to pick the waves you turn the power boat around in and with occasional 3-3.5m swells there is no way the committee boat would have held.”

After nine races Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team has been crowned the RC44 Marstrand World Champion, finishing six points clear of Nico Poons’ Charisma, in turn four points ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua in third place.

“I am very happy,” said Liubomirov, who is Commodore of the St Petersburg Yacht Club in Russia. “What is very symbolic for me is that my first experience with the RC44 was here in Marstrand one year ago. Michele (Ivaldi) was the coach for our team then, because we didn’t know this boat. This season he has become our tactician and I think this is really his victory, because he is our teacher, along with Cameron Dunn.”

This is Liubomirov’s second World Championship victory in as many weeks, coming to Sweden directly from winning the Gazprom Swan 60 Worlds in Palma last week.

Italian Tactician Michele Ivaldi was especially satisfied with the result as this is his second consecutive RC44 World Championship title having won as tactician for Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF in 2013. “Coming out top on the podium was unexpected, but we worked hard for it and we had the tools to do it. For sure it is great success,” he said.

As to the secret of winning back to back World Championships, he confided: “It’s down to the group. We started with a good group and after the first regatta I suggested some changes, bringing some of the core trimmers from last year, people I have been sailing with for the last two years in the class.” Specifically this was mainsail trimmer Paul Westlake and jib trimmer Maciel Cicchetti. “They are the real engine of the boat. They make the boat so fast, and speed always makes a tactician look smart! So we had good starts all week and being fast upwind we could always make the first shift.”

With three races scheduled today mathematically nine teams still could have won the World title if racing had proceeded. Realistically the competition was down to the top six with 14 points separating Bronenosec from local host Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing, up to sixth place after winning two of yesterday’s races.

34th America’s Cup winning strategist Tom Slingsby, tactician on Nico Poons’ second placed Charisma, felt that Peter Reggio had made the right call. “It is the sea state more than the wind. It is a shame because we were only six points away, plus we feel we are better in the strong conditions, so we were hoping to get out there. It’s disappointing because we finished on a bad race yesterday and we thought we had a chance to get it back today. Personally I wanted to win this one, but as a result for a new team – this is only our third regatta together – to beat Team Aqua and teams like that, who have been at it for a long time, is very good for Nico [Poons] and the team.”

Team Nika’s Vladimir Prosikhin also felt cancelling correct, particularly remembering what had occurred in the marginally better conditions on the final day here last year: “Our boat was taking on water – we had to hide behind the island to bail water out! Today it is quite rough outside and I believe it is the owners’ opinion that it is better to stay safe. We have had an excellent regatta, nothing’s broken, no one has been injured and that is very important.”

Peter Reggio concluded: “We have got nine really fair races in and you really don’t want to screw that up. If they had gone out today it would have been survival. It would not have been racing.”

For Chris Bake, a third place finish at this World Championship, along with a discard coming in for the overall 2014 series, has put his Team Aqua back on top of the leaderboard, reclaiming the coveted ‘golden wheels’ from John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum.

The RC44 Championship continues with its final event of 2014, the RC44 Oman Cup in Muscat over 19-23 November.

RC44 Marstrand World Championship Overall Ranking
(After nine races)

1. Bronenosec Sailing Team 6 9 3 2 1 3 6 4 2 – 36
2. Charisma 4 2 2 8 7 2 4 2 11 – 42
3. Team Aqua 2 4 5 3 5 4 10 10 3 – 46
4. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 3 11 4 10 2 1 3 12 1 – 47
5. Team Nika 1 3 8 5 6 11 2 6 5 – 47
6. Artemis Racing 9 5 6 6 9 7 1 1 6 – 50
7. Katusha 13DNF 7 1 11 3 9 7 7 4 – 62
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 5 13DNF 11 1 12 10 5 3 8 – 68
9. Bombarda Racing 7 8 10 9 4 5 11 5 9 – 68
10. Artemis Racing Youth 11 6 7 4 10 6 8 11 12 – 75
11. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 8 1 9 12 11 12 9 8 7 – 77
12. MAG Racing 10 10 12 7 8 8 12 9 10 – 86

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Artemis Racing advances in RC44 World Championship

Posted on 17 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] Local Swedish fans were rewarded on the penultimate day of the RC44 Marstrand World Championship when Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing dramatically improved its performance, following mid-fleet finishes over the last two days.

The shifty on-shore southwesterly today provided good racing, despite the wind rarely gusting over 16 knots.

In the first race Artemis Racing got the inside berth on Team Nika at the second weather mark, enabling her to pull into the lead and extend down the final run into the finish.

In winning the race, the Swedish team became this World Championship’s seventh individual winner in as many races, giving some indication as to the intense level of competition. However Torbjörn Törnqvist’s team bucked this trend, going on to make it two in a row, by claiming race two. This proved similar to the first race only with the Swedish team faster out of the start, again pulling into the lead at the second top mark rounding but then hanging on down to the finish line within the tight confines of Marstrand Fjord.

With a sixth place in today’s third and final race, Artemis Racing now lies sixth overall, but only five points adrift of the podium.

“The biggest different today was that we were all very focussed, we had great boat speed and no real issues on the boat – when you have that it is easier,” admitted Törnqvist. There were no changes made overnight, however Törnqvist felt he had steered better “and everything worked well on board in terms of the teamwork and the tactics. It was one of those days…”

In the moderate conditions, boat handling was vital, but going the right way was paramount and Artemis Racing tactician and triple Olympic medallist Iain Percy felt his team had had some lucky breaks. “In a fleet of this standard, if you get some breaks, any of the boats is good enough to win. And we got some breaks… We had really good starts in all three races and the shifts fell our way upwind and we also had some good pace: Put that all together and suddenly we were at the front!”

Current tour leaders John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum have struggled to find consistency in Sweden with results solely in either the top four or the bottom three. While lying second in race two today, an umpire call went against them, the result of an incident with Bronenosec prior to the second leeward mark rounding. Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto was thrown by this and in error made to call to gybe once they were into the Marstrand Fjord, a move that caused them ultimately to finish the race last.

However the Gibraltar-based team regrouped and came out firing on all cylinders to win the final race. “We have had a very inconsistent regatta so far,” observed Bassadone. “In three races we have scored 33 points and in six races we have scored 14 points. We have had a 10, 11, 12, which is just unacceptable, all from different things: One OCS, one issue on the boat, which happens, and then the penalty. At least we showed character in the way that we came back and won the last one.”

Conversely showing the greatest consistency has been Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec, which with a 6-4-2 today has taken the lead overall, six points ahead of Nico Poons’ new RC44 team, Charisma.

“It was a tough day for us, because the first race was not successful,” said Liubomirov. “In the second unfortunately we had the small incident with Peninsula and they got the penalty, but we lost two places. The last one was amazing, a good recovery after the first two.”

Tomorrow, three more races are scheduled and with a return to the big conditions of the first two days of this regatta and winds gusting into the mid-20s, there remains a lot of racing still to go in this RC44 World Championship. As John Bassadone put it: “Tomorrow is going to be very tough because there are a lot of very good boats – Bronenosec is on fire, there’s Charisma and Artemis Racing today has shown its true form today…”

RC44 Marstrand World Championship Overall Ranking
(After nine races)

1. Bronenosec Sailing Team 6 9 3 2 1 3 6 4 2 – 36
2. Charisma 4 2 2 8 7 2 4 2 11 – 42
3. Team Aqua 2 4 5 3 5 4 10 10 3 – 46
4. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 3 11 4 10 2 1 3 12 1 – 47
5. Team Nika 1 3 8 5 6 11 2 6 5 – 47
6. Artemis Racing 9 5 6 6 9 7 1 1 6 – 50
7. Katusha 13DNF 7 1 11 3 9 7 7 4 – 62
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 5 13DNF 11 1 12 10 5 3 8 – 68
9. Bombarda Racing 7 8 10 9 4 5 11 5 9 – 68
10. Artemis Racing Youth 11 6 7 4 10 6 8 11 12 – 75
11. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 8 1 9 12 11 12 9 8 7 – 77
12. MAG Racing 10 10 12 7 8 8 12 9 10 – 86

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