First Coutts regatta

Alfa Spider Match Cup gets underway in Trieste for the five RC 44s.

Thursday October 5th 2006, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Italy
The Alfa Spider Match Cup - the first ever RC 44 fleet regatta - started today in Trieste, Italy. Four races were sailed in perfect conditions, with a southwesterly breeze ranging from 6 to 18 knots.

Team Cro-A-Sail, with helmsman Miroslav Reljanovic, dominated the day, winning three out of four races and finishing second of the second race after a premature start. Mascalzone Latino, skippered by Matteo Savelli, showed good speed and manoeuvring capacities and is currently second in the overall standings in front of Dutch helmsman Maarten Morsman, sailing with tactician Russell Coutts.

“The fleet is very competitive and the races are extremely dynamic," commented Miroslav Reljanovic, helmsman of Team Cro-A-Sail, first after four races. "The boats are fast, even with light airs and quite big waves like today. Nothing is ever acquired. You need to concentrate all through the race to keep your position. But we did well, the crew did a great job and I am extremely happy with our results today.”

“This was the best sailing day in my life," enthused Maarten Morsman, helmsman of third-placed Deal. "It is a lovely class, absolutely tremendous because the racing is always very close and intense. You really need to be concentrating 100% all of the time otherwise you immediately loose places. Having Russell giving me advice all through the race was a dream come true. He is incredibly dynamic and gave me precious information all along.”

The man himself, Russell Coutts, coimmented: “I am very happy with my day and it was fantastic to see the first ever fleet race involving the RC 44 Class. The boats performed to my expectations. They are very interesting to sail and they need to be trimmed perfectly to perform well. There is a massive potential for development with all the teams and boats. The Croatians sailed extremely well and they fully deserve to be in the lead.”

The Alfa Spider Match Cup will carry on tomorrow with some more fleet races, before concluding on Friday and Saturday with a match-race opposing the professional sailors embarked on all the boats.

Rankings after four races (one discard):
1) Cro-a-sail (1, 2, 1, 1) – 3 points
2) Mascalzone Latino (2, 3, 2, 4) – 7 points
3) Deal (4, 1, 4, 3) – 8 points
4) Beecom (3, 4, 3, 2) – 8 points
5) Magia (dnf, 5, 5, 5) – 15 points

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