Tag Archives: RC44

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

Bermuda Cup | Team Aqua takes early lead at RC44 Championship

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua was more definitely the stand-out performer on the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Bermuda Cup.
Results – Chris Bake’s Team Aqua was more definitely the stand-out performer on the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Bermuda Cup.

Having come out on top in yesterday’s match racing after some complex countback mathematics, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua was more definitely the stand-out performer on the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Bermuda Cup.

Great Sound was also in more pleasant mood. While yesterday the wind was 20+ knots, conditions felt more summery today with the wind just about gusting to 15 knots, but more regularly 10. It was extremely shifty too, varying in direction between 325 and 025°.

In today’s four races Team Aqua never dropped off the podium. Scoring 2-3-1-3 saw her return to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club leading, two points clear of Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team.

Following yesterday’s requirement for brute force and survival skills, today’s lighter winds placed a premium on tactical calls and crew finesse, “Key was the guys doing a fantastic job,” explained Team Aqua tactician, Cameron Appleton. “It was a very active day for the crew and the guys trimming the sails did a really good job. We sailed well.”

Their races were not flawless – attempting to shoot the top mark in race one, they came to a standstill, fouling Bronenosec Sailing Team and picking up a penalty.

After scoring the most wins in yesterday’s match racing, Bronenosec Sailing Team continued her winning streak by claiming today’s first race. However as was the case yesterday, there was drama from the outset, when, soon after the start, a major collision occurred between Artemis Racing and Team CEEREF. In this, Team CEEREF, in the wrong on port, T-boned Artemis Racing leaving the Swedish boat’s topsides with a massive Slovenian bow-shaped hole in them.

In this, Team CEEREF, in the wrong on port, T-boned Artemis Racing leaving the Swedish boat’s topsides with a massive Slovenian bow-shaped hole in them.
In this, Team CEEREF, in the wrong on port, T-boned Artemis Racing leaving the Swedish boat’s topsides with a massive Slovenian bow-shaped hole in them.

“We wanted to tack and then there was a shift and we just misjudged it,” admitted Team CEEREF owner Igor Lah. “It was our mistake. It was a big one, a major and for our boat there was almost no damage. We are really sorry.”

Thankfully as the collision was with Artemis Racing’s leeward side, no one was hurt. “We were a little bit shocked though,” admitted tactician Francesco Bruni.

To make amends Lah offered the use of his RC44 to Artemis Racing for the rest of the day, but they declined. Once ashore, Team CEEREF tactician Adrian Stead was off to buy the local tipple, Gosling’s rum, in quantity for the Swedes.

The hole in Artemis Racing is not small – an upside down triangle immediately below the gunnel on the port side two thirds of the way back from the bow, its top side measures 1m across. Fortunately the incident occurred close to Artemis Racing’s giant America’s Cup base on the shore of Great Sound. There their RC44 was hauled out and the boatbuilders set to work immediately to build a replacement panel. If the repairwork goes to schedule, Artemis Racing should be racing once again tomorrow.

For redress the jury awarded Artemis Racing four points/race, leaving them third overall.

Surprisingly after sitting out the rest of race one, Team CEEREF rallied, impressively posting a 1-3-1. Despite being disqualified from the first race and receiving a three point penalty for the collision, this left them fourth overall, one point behind Artemis Racing.

“All the guys were upset,” recounted Igor Lah. “I said ‘guys, reset – let’s do it. Let’s show what we can do without making stupid mistakes.’”

Stead said that they had relished the shifty conditions. “You had to chip away at it. In races two and three we were probably fourth or fifth at the top mark, but there were opportunities. You just had to believe in what you saw and try as much as possible to sail your own race.

“Otherwise it was testament to Igor’s driving and concentration and all the guys on the team for bouncing back.”

With the RC44 celebrating its 10th anniversary it was appropriate that the class’ creator, Sir Russell Coutts, took time off from his duties as architect of the 35th America’s Cup to visit the fleet.

“It is good to see them in Bermuda,” said Coutts. “They have been around for a while now and it is good that they have come here. All the owners I have spoken to are surprised at what this place is. They were expecting to be in the Caribbean, but Bermuda has its own unique style – I think they are enjoying it.”

RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Results after four days of racing.
RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Results after four days of racing.

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 Bermuda Cup 2016 The stage is set for RC44 Championship Tour

RC44 Bermuda Cup - Virgin Gorda | © Martinez Studio
RC44 Virgin Gorda | © Martinez Studio

The stage is set for the opening regatta of the 2016 RC44 Bermuda Cup Championship Tour, with some of the biggest names in the world of professional sailing and international business lining up on the starting grid for the RC44 Bermuda Cup, from the 2 – 6 March.

The landmark 10th RC44 Championship Tour season starts in style next week, as the beautiful blue waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound plays host to the fleet of eight international teams, including 56 world-class sailors representing 15 nations.

2016 RC44 Bermuda Cup The stage is set for RC44 Championship Tour

The team to beat in 2016 is undoubtedly Team Nika. Defending both his 2015 World Champion and 2015 Fleet Racing Champion crown, owner Vladimir Prosikhin is pulling-no-punches in 2016 with American sailing legend Ed Baird joining the crew.

RC44 Bermuda Cup - Virgin Gorda | © Martinez Studio
RC44 Virgin Gorda | © Martinez Studio

As the only American helm to win the America’s Cup since 1992 Baird’s list of achievements is extensive, with multiple world championship titles and a several years with the RC44 fleet under his belt the team are a formidable force for 2016.

But contesting Team Nika’s lead every step of the way Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team has been a consistent challenger for the podium over the past two years, finishing 2015 as Match Racing Champions and runners up in the Fleet Racing. Liubomirov is joined by an experienced crew of Italian and Russian sailors once again headed up by Michele Ivaldi.

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua returns for their 10th season with top match racer Cameron Appleton the permanent fixture as the team’s pro sailor. Holding an impressive track history as five times Fleet Racing Champions and three times Match Racing Champions, Team Aqua will introduce some fresh blood into their crew for 2016 in the form of American sailors Sean Couvreux and Westy Barlow.

Bursting back on to the RC44 scene in 2015 and leading the mid fleet charge, Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF finished the year in fourth tied on points with John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team.

With the cool clam British Olympian and multiple world champion Adrian Stead retuning as tactician for Team CERREF and legendary hot-headed Italian Vasco Vascotto calling the shots for Peninsula Petroleum the RC44 Bermuda Cup will be the first opportunity for the two teams to go head to head in the race to break onto the podium.

Tipped as the favourites for the RC44 Bermuda Cup Artemis Racing and Artemis Youth Academy’s star-studded line-up includes three times America’s Cup and three times Olympic sailor Francesco Bruni, joined by fellow America’s Cup team mates Christian Kamp and Pieter Van Nieuwenhuijzen.

Onboard Artemis Racing Youth, Sweden’s most successful sailor Freddy Loof and British Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison use the Class as a platform to encourage young Swedish sailors into the world of professional racing.

Both teams will be hoping the wealth of local knowledge their sailors have gained from training out of their team base ahead of the 35th America’s Cup will give them the competitive edge needed next week.

The Russian team Katusha completes the line-up, with new owner Alexander Novoselov in the driving seat and experienced tactician Andy Horton hoping to continue their upward trajectory through the fleet.

The RC44 Bermuda Cup will kick off with a day of match racing followed by four days of fleet racing on the Great Sound.

source:  sail-world.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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