Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coutts wins RC 44 fleet race Worlds at Puerto Calero - Spithill overall winner

Yacht 17 takes overall title after BMW ORACLE Racing wins feet racing
LANZAROTE, Canary Islands (16 October 2010) – Australian Jimmy Spithill, Anders Myralf of Denmark and the international crew of the yacht 17 concluded a banner week in the Canary Islands by winning the inaugural RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.

After three days of match racing at the outset of the week, the regatta wrapped up today with the conclusion of the fleet racing, which counted 10 races in total. The yacht 17 won the match racing and finished second in the fleet racing to claim the championship.

Spithill, Myralf and the 17 crew entered the day in the lead, but an early start in one race and penalties in the other two nearly scuttled their regatta.

“We’re feeling great,” said Spithill, 31, of Sydney, Australia. “It was a tough day on the water for us. We tried to stay clean but got tangled up a couple of times. It was really unpredictable on the water, but at the end of day we hung tough and got it done.”

Heading into the final heat of the fleet racing portion of the regatta the top three boats – No Way Back, BMW ORACLE Racing and 17 – were within 1 point of the title.

No Way Back and 17 each had to perform penalty turns in the race, which allowed BMW ORACLE Racing, led by tactician Russell Coutts and local helmsman Jose Juan Calero to claim the win.

“I’m very grateful to Russell Coutts and Mr. Ellison for giving me an opportunity to steer the boat,” said Calero, whose family hosted the regatta at the Puerto Calero Marina. “It means a lot for me because we organized the event as well. It was very stressful at times, but big fun at the end of each race.”

No Way Back, led by owner Pieter Heerema of The Netherlands and tactician Ray Davies of New Zealand, finished third in the fleet racing with 55 points. Coupled with their sixth-place finish in the match racing, they placed third overall.

“It was a great event. I love Lanzarote and Puerto Calero,” said Heerema, last year’s RC 44 season champion. “Being third makes me very happy. We’ve struggled a bit this season. We’ve just never sailed to our level. We were feeling we were sliding down, but to be a strong contender before the last race makes us feel good.”

Top honors on the final day of racing went to Chris Bake’s Team Aqua, with New Zealander Cameron Appleton calling tactics. Team Aqua posted the low score of 6 points on finishes of 1-1-4, a welcome day after two days of struggles.

“We redeemed ourselves a bit; finally figured out the racecourse and got our boat figured out,” said Bake, who swept all three titles at the previous RC 44 event in Valencia. “It was massively difficult out there with the shifts and the bias in the course. It felt good to be leading the pack again.”

With just the Miami RC 44 Cup remaining on the schedule, BMW ORACLE Racing leads the season standings with 8 points, followed by No Way Back with 10 points, 17 with 12 points, Artemis with 12 points and Team Aqua with 15 points.

The Miami RC 44 Cup is scheduled Dec. 7-12.


Fleet Racing (after 10 races)
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Jose Juan/Russell Coutts – 2-5-2-3-5-4-11-10-4-3 – 49
2. 17 (USA) Anders Myralf/Jimmy Spithill – 3-11-1-1-7-3-2-7-12-7 – 54 points
3. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 5-6-8-2-4-1-10-4-6-9 – 55
4. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 4-1-12-10-1-9-7-9-3-2 – 58
5. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 13-7-10-5-2-7-3-5-5-1 – 58
6. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 11-8-3-6-3-10-4-3-7-6 – 61
7. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 10-3-5-4-8-8-6-2-9-8 – 65*
8. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 6-10-7-8-13-12-9-1-1-4 – 69*
9. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 1-9-9-9-10-5-14-13-2-5 – 79*
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 8-13-4-11-6-13-1-11-8-11 – 86
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 7-2-13-13-9-6-8-8-11-12 – 89
12. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 12-4-6-7-12-2-14-12-13-10 – 92
13. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 9-12-11-12-11-11-5-6-10-13 – 100
(*Points total includes 2-point penalty for on-water infraction)

Final Standings (including match and fleet racing)
1. 17 1-2 – 3 points
2. BMW ORACLE Racing 3-1 – 4
3. No Way Back 6-3 – 9
4. Katusha 4-5 – 9
5. Artemis 2-7 – 9
6. Sea Dubai 8-4 – 12
7. Ceeref 7-6 – 13
8. Aqua 5-8 – 13
9. Mascalzone Latino 9-9 – 18
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team 10-10 – 20
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 11-11 – 22
12. Peninsula Petroleum 12-12 – 24
13. Synergy 13-13 – 26

Photo Copyright: Nico Martinez / RC44 Class.
1. BMW ORACLE Racing, helmed by José Juan Calero, had to wait until the last race to grab the RC 44 fleet race world championship title

2. James Spithill, Anders Myralf and their team 17, winners of the RC 44 World Championship overall title (fleet and match combined)