Thursday, March 6, 2008

RC44 Humbling Experience

Photo Jacques Vapillon
After a difficult start in the Dubai RC 44 Cup, Team Aqua was back on form today, with two third places and a victory.

After three difficult days, Team Aqua proved its value today, sailing for most of the time in the first half of the fleet and winning race 7. The smile on Chris Bake’s face said it all: confidence is back. The conditions were light (6-10 knots of wind) and fairly unstable, with 30 degrees shifts and unpredictable puffs of wind. Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano extended its lead thanks to two 3rd, one 2nd and a 1st place, sailing very well and consistently.

The first race of the day saw the come-back of team Cro-A-Sail, finally winning a race after a long period of average results. The Croatian team was the first leader of the RC 44 Class back in 2006 and before Team Aqua’s arrival on the circuit. The second race was also a very close one, Team Ceeref winning by a couple of boat lengths ahead of Team Hiroshi – Città di Milano and Team Aqua.
Race three was Team Aqua’s race! After a good start, Chris bake and the boys fought hard to maintain their position and win ahead of Team Sea Dubai and Hiroshi, always pushing till the arrival line. Hiroshi – Città di Milano got the last bullet of the day, ahead of Ceeref and Team Aqua, building up a 7 points lead over second placed Team ES Bankers Dubai.

With only two more races to go – including the coastal DHL Trophy – Hiroshi is in a good position to win the event. The game is more open behind, with only twelve points separating Team ES bankers and sixth placed Team Aqua. No doubt the last two races of the Dubai RC 44 Cup will be intense!
From Aqua's cockpit:

Chris Bake: “It is definitely harder than last year. The level has increased and the fleet has become tighter. On top of this, some teams have new sails and they are definitely faster than us in those conditions. But we are back on form and I am happy about this.”

Kevin Kelble: “It is good to get humbled. It reminds us how good the other teams are: you just need to sail perfectly to win races. Yep, I really think that somehow it is a good thing for us: it just shows how hard we have to work.” - Team Aqua