Category Archives: Bermuda RC44 Class

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua Wins RC44 Bermuda Cup

Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship Racing | © Martinez Studio
Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship Racing | © Martinez Studio

A last minute charge from Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team was not enough to displace Chris Bake’s Team Aqua from the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the RC44 Bermuda Cup, the first event of the Sir Russell Coutts-conceived one design’s 10th anniversary season.

Conditions on the final day of competition on Bermuda’s Great Sound looked marginal initially with a near glass out mid-morning. After a postponement ashore, the first warning signal was finally sounded at 1410 and PRO Peter Reggio just managed to lay on two races in a shifty, patchy breeze that rarely exceeded five knots.

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua Wins RC44 Bermuda Cup

A disappointing penultimate day of racing had seen Bronenosec drop off the leaderboard, but today in the difficult light conditions the Russian team’s tactician, Michele Ivaldi, seemed to have a direct line to the wind gods. This somehow enabled the blue-hulled RC44 to win both of today’s races.

“I’ve been asleep for a couple of days – today I woke up finally,” said Ivaldi with a grin. “For sure in this kind of conditions some luck is involved, but we had good starts and we managed both times to get the first shift. That together with good boat speed and good crew work – it wasn’t easy, but it was a good effort.”

The secret was to be looking ahead constantly to ‘join the dots’ between the various puffs. “If you looked behind you, you would go crazy…” Ivaldi warned. “There were 40° shifts and big puffs everywhere. It was really hard – like Virgin Gorda again!” (Referring to the last event in the RC44’s 2015 season).

Italian navigators are typically good at these conditions which Ivaldi compared not with those typical of Mediterranean Italy, but of an Italian lake.

Bronenosec’s helmsman Vladimir Liubomirov was equally delighted with his team’s performance today. “Before we were really scared because the wind conditions were really tricky, like a casino, but Michele did an extremely good job together with the trimmers. And we did it… For us it was very important to finish this first race of the year very well.”

Liubomirov added that he had been thoroughly taken with Bermuda as a sailing venue. “I like it a lot – we have to come back for sure.” The next RC44 visit is pencilled in for 2018.

John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, which has another renowned Italian tactician, Vasco Vascotto, also had a solid day, posting a 2-3. But it was less good for Artemis Racing and Francesco Bruni, despite one extraordinary opportunity that emerged on the first run of the second race when the boats at the back of the fleet were able to sail some 20-30 degrees lower than the boats ahead. This elevated Artemis Racing from seventh to second, but she subsequently lost this position on the next beat. “It was a real throw of the dice,” admitted Bruni.

Bronenosec Sailing Team’s pair of bullets caused them to leap from fourth overall back on to the podium and then to second, finishing three points ahead of their arch-rival, Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika. But it was not enough to topple Chris Bake’s Team Aqua. Team Aqua only had two results out of the top half of the fleet, in this lengthy 12 race series.

“We’re really pleased with this week – the guys did really well,” said tactician Cameron Appleton. “We fought hard today in the first race for a start we really believed in. It didn’t quite work out in our favour, but the team did a really good job of keeping the boat fast and we got back into the race enough to take fourth.”

Their prospects were looking better in race two when they pulled out an extraordinary lead on the first beat. However they were prepared for the second leg becoming a lottery. “I said to the guys ‘at this point, if we don’t win, then we’re not supposed to, because who knows how this race is going to unfold.’”

Despite dropping back on run and for a stage on the second beat, they managed to recoup a second place and the victor’s ‘golden wheel’s as winner of the RC44 Bermuda Cup.

The margin between the leaders has impressively remained tight throughout the four days of fleet racing at the RC44 Bermuda Cup. Going into the final race four boats mathematically could still have won.

The RC44s now leave the 35th America’s Cup venue bound for the RC44 Sotogrande World Championship in May.

Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship racing.
Team Aqua wins the Bermuda Cup in RC44 Championship racing.
RC44 Championship Tour Schedule.
RC44 Championship Tour Schedule.

 

RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.

source: sailingscuttlebutt.com

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Will Begin This Week

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Series to start this week.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Series to start this week. © Martinez Studio

The first regatta in 2016 for the Russell Coutts-conceived one design class is the RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship on March 2-6. Beginning with one day of match racing, the class’ unique Match Racing Championship rolls from event to event throughout the season. The regatta then continues with four days of fleet racing on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Among the eight teams on the start line will be the RC44’s longest serving crew: Chris Bake’s Team Aqua has been part of the circuit since 2006. “It is a great class and there are great teams out here,” observes Cameron Appleton, who has been tactician on Team Aqua from the outset.

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Begins This Week

While two teams – Team Nika and Bronenosec Sailing Team – dominated in 2015, Appleton advises that any of five or six top teams could prevail this season, including Team Aqua. “There is a new level of excitement and new motivation on board – Chris is really excited to have a bit more of a permanent role.” (Work commitments kept Bake from competing in all regattas in 2015.)

New to Team Aqua is American bowman, Sean Couvreux, while the experienced Andrew Palfrey is now coach, focusing especially on post-race video analysis. As ever Chris Bake is keen to develop young talent and has brought 22-year-old British Keelboat Academy sailor James French on as reserve crewman. “He’ll fill in for anyone on the boat,” says Appleton. “Our goal is to develop him into a great sailor and to teach him and share all we can with him.”

With her golden wheels glistening in the Bermuda sun, the 2015 RC44 Fleet Racing Champion, Team Nika, is in Bermuda ready to begin the defence of her title. However, her owner Vladimir Prosikhin is talking down their position: “Honestly, we are starting a bit slow and I am slow. We have two newcomers who are very good sailors and very strong, but it takes time for them to become accustomed to the boat. Our result will depend on how quickly we can pick it up.” The ‘newcomers’ are both highly experienced, in bowman Greg Gendall and pitman Ryan Godfrey.

On the plus side, having sailed with three different tacticians in 2015, including Dean Barker and Terry Hutchinson, Prosikhin has finally settled on former America’s Cup-winning helm, Ed Baird.

As to how he feels about having a target on his back as reigning champion, Prosikhin is relishing it. “Of course we are CLEARLY the target! And at the moment we are an achievable target, but I’ll do my best to stay ahead.”

After Chris Bake, Slovenia’s Igor Lah is the second longest serving RC44 competitor, having joined the class in 2008, his Team CEEREF winning the RC44 World Championship in 2013. Fourth overall last year, this season Team CEEREF is gunning for the podium. “We try to start from where we finished in the BVI [the last event in 2015], to make the best out of it,” says Lah. “We just need to not make mistakes and not be afraid of anything.”

Lah says he is enjoying his first visit to Bermuda and is looking forward especially to the third event this season in Portsmouth, UK, when Team CEEREF will be joined by Lah’s son, who is studying in Plymouth.

After spending most of 2015 close to the leaderboard bottom, 2016 will see Artemis Racing Youth on the ascent. Following the departure of Paul Goodison, Swede Freddy Loof is now the sole Olympic gold medallist on board (Star, London 2012) and has taken over as tactician while America’s Cup winner and round the world race veteran Rodney Ardern joins as main trimmer.

According to Loof, with Aussie former Olympic Finn sailor Anthony Nossiter on board, crew language remains English, “but it’s all good. We have added 30kg to the boat, which will help. We need to mix in with the fleet, so the pressure is on, but I think we can get a couple of good results this year. We have good guys on board and we understand the boat more and more. I haven’t raced that much recently, so I am eager to get going.”

RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Crew List.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Tour Schedule.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Tour Schedule.

source:  sailingscuttlebutt.com

RC44 Class Sailing Series Coming to Bermuda

RC44 Class Coming to Bermuda

After the season opener in Bermuda, the Tour will move on to some of Europe’s most celebrated sailing venues, including Spain, Britain , Portugal and Malta.
RC44 Sweden Cup 2013 | photo: Nico Martinez / RC44 Class Association

The tenth year for RC44 Class competition will make its first-ever visit to Bermuda to kick off the 2016 season before competing at some of Europe’s most celebrated sailing venues, including a return to the beautiful Sotogrande, Spain, where an early World Championship will be held. Marking the half-way stage of the Tour with a debut in Gosport/Portsmouth, United Kingdom, the teams will then revisit Cascais, Portugal, an old Class favourite, before heading back to Valletta, Malta to finish off the season in the historic ‘City of the Knights’.

With ideal sailing conditions on offer, Bermuda was an easy venue choice for the Tour. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Regatta Chairman, Andy Cox, explained why Bermuda is looking forward to welcoming the teams: “Bermuda is honoured to be the latest host location in the RC44 series. Our island is globally recognized as providing some of the most challenging, as well as beautiful, waters for sailing competition and we hope the RC44 teams will enjoy the experience.”

Taking place just inside the Mediterranean, close to Gibraltar on Spain’s Andalucian coast, Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team will play host for the RC44 Sotogrande World Championship. Gibraltar-based owner John Bassadone commented: “It’s very special to have the Worlds in Sotogrande. We were there last year and got quite lucky with the wind. It’s great to sail where you spend a lot of time and I think everyone had a lot of fun. For it to also be the World Championship this year, it’s fantastic.”

Gosport/Portsmouth will provide a home-water advantage for five-time RC44 Championship Tour winner Team Aqua. Owner Chris Bake, who will be hoping to regain the championship title in 2016, said: “It’s a class that has a lot of appeal, not only because of the dynamic sailing, but also because of the events we go to and the social element to the class. There are some pretty good people involved and I think by bringing it to the UK, which will be the first time ever for the class, hopefully we bring some attention to potential UK owners who don’t know the class or haven’t really looked at it that much.”

The Island will host the RC44 Class event March 2 to 6 with competition in the high-performance monohull racing yachts taking place in the Great Sound.
Bermuda Sailing News – RC44 Class is coming!

The Tour is also excited to be returning to Cascais, Portugal and Valletta, Malta – both venues that have previously delivered challenging and exciting conditions for the sailors.

The competition within the Class is at an all time high. Every team has the ability to win races and many are capable of challenging for the overall victory. Proven by the fact that a different RC44 team won each of the five events this season. Embraced by owners and the world’s most talented sailors alike, the 2016 RC44 Championship Tour line up is looking as strong as ever.

The RC44 Class will celebrate its tenth year in 2016 by visiting two new sailing venues, one of which is Bermuda.
The event will take place in Bermuda from March 2 through March 6, 2016.

The

Class website: www.rc44.com

Source: RC44
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