Sunday, August 1, 2010

Team Aqua rules the “agua” at RC 44 Valencia Cup

Copyright: Ignacio Baixauli / RC44 Class.
Artemis misses chance to shoot past on final day

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua pulled an enviable treble by winning the match racing, fleet racing and overall championship at the RC 44 Valencia Cup.

Bake, a Canadian living in the U.A.E., and crew Cameron Appleton, Jeff Brock, Matt Cassidy, Andrew Estcourt, Ben Graham, Nigel King, Rome Kirby and Chris Noble completed the feat today with a 3-point win in the fleet racing portion of the regatta.

Team Aqua entered the final day with a 4-point lead over Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis of Sweden. After today’s first race Artemis looked set to shoot into first when it whittled that lead to 2 points by placing third in Race 9 to Aqua’s fifth.

“We were 45 seconds late off the line in that race,” said Bake, who described his team as “boxed out and going backwards” when the start gun fired. Aqua had been shut out by No Way Back at the committee boat end of the line.

Bake and crew, however, got a much better start in the 10th and final race, and then covered Artemis like a blanket to secure the clean sweep with a three-boatlength win.

In celebration Bake may have sacrificed his cell phone when he was pushed into the water by class founder Russell Coutts upon returning to the dock.

“Russell sacrificed my phone for me,” said Bake. “Everyone is a worthy competitor in this class. A tiny set up change or a good wave can make the difference between winning and losing.”

Tornqvist and his Artemis crew Noel Drennan, Andy Fethers, Terry Hutchinson, Dave Munday, Ivan Peute, Mark Towill, Morgan Trubovich and Chris Welch also pulled a treble. They placed second in the match racing, fleet racing and overall.

“Congratulations to the Aqua crew,” said Tornqvist. “They won the match racing and fleet racing and not by coincidence. They sail well and have a quick boat. Well done to them.”

Aqua’s win also creates a log jam at the top of the championship leaderboard. Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, which Coutts helmed in the match racing, is the new leader with 6 points. Although Russian Maxim Logutenko drove for the fleet racing, the crew placed fifth in the fleet racing and third in the match racing for fifth overall.

The next three teams – Aqua, Artemis and Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back – are just 1 point behind.

“This class is always tight and it won’t get easier,” said Bake. “But this afternoon it feels good to have a clean sweep.”

The RC 44 2010 Championship Tour resumes in October with the RC 44 World Championship Puerto Calero Islas Canarias Cup, scheduled Oct. 11-16 in the Canary Islands.

1. Team Aqua/Chris Bake (UAE) 2-3-5-4-3-1-1-4-5-1, 29 points
2. Artemis/Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) 5-7-2-6-1-3-2-1-3-2, 32 points
3. 17/Anders Myralf (USA) 1-4-1-1-5-4-5-10-2-3, 37 points*
4. No Way Back/Pieter Heerema (NED) 8-2-7-5-2-8-9-2-1-6, 50 points
5. BMW ORACLE Racing/Maxim Logutenko (USA) 10-6-4-2-4-6-6-5-10-7, 60 points
6. Katusha/Guennadi Timtchenko (RUS) 9-1-8-3-10-9-3-6-7-9, 65 points
7. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero/Daniel Calero (ESP) 3-9-9-10-6-5-8-8-4-4, 66 points
8. Team Sea Dubai/ Harm Mueller-Speer (UAE) 7-8-11-9-7-2-7-3-8-5, 67 points
9. Ceeref/Igor Lah (SLO) 6-11-3-7-8-10-4-7-6-8, 70 points
10. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team/Rene Mangold (AUT) 4-10-10-8-11-7-11-9-9-12, 91 points
11. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team/Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) 11-5-6-11-9-11-10-11-11-10, 95 points
(* includes 1 point penalty by International Jury)

(Final results, match racing, fleet racing, overall)
1. Team Aqua/Chris Bake (UAE) 1-1 – 2 points
2. Artemis/Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) 2-2 – 4 points
3. 17/James Spithill (USA) 5-3 – 8 points
4. BMW ORACLE Racing/Larry Ellison (USA) 3-5 – 8 points
5. No Way Back/Pieter Heerema (NED) 7-4 – 11 points
6. Katusha/Guennadi Timtchenko (RUS) 6-6 – 12 points
7. Team Sea Dubai/ Harm Mueller-Speer (UAE) 4-8 – 12 points
8. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero/Daniel Calero (ESP) 9-7 – 16 points
9. Ceeref/Igor Lah (SLO) 8-9 – 17 points
10. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team/Rene Mangold (AUT) 11-10 – 21 points
11. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team/Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) 10-11 – 21 points

(After four of six regattas, one discard)
1. BMW ORACLE Racing, 6 points
2. Team Aqua, 7 points
3. Artemis, 7 points
4. No Way Back, 7 points
5. 17, 11 points
6. Team Sea Dubai, 13 points
7. Katusha, 17 points
8. Ceeref, 19 points
9. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 24 points
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team, 28 points
11. Mascalzone Latino, 34 points