Dubai team victorious

At conclusion of the first RC44 regatta of the season, the Portoroz Cup

Sunday April 1st 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Italy
Team Aqua, from Dubai, concluded the Portoroz Cup with a victory in the last fleet race, confirming - if necessary - its domination over the seven strong RC 44 fleet. Both Cro-A-Sail and Team Omega sailed consistently too, finishing respectively second and third in both the fleet and the match race events.

The weather was similar to the previous days, with a light sea breeze and a flat sea. Four regattas were at the program today, bringing the total number of races competed to seven fleet races and two complete round robins and making the Portoroz Cup a total success.

As the teams headed to the race course this morning, four of them were still in contention for the overall win in the fleet race. Two hours and three races later, there were only four points between Team Aqua, Cro-A-sail and Team Omega. The last race of the day was going to be decisive!

Team Aqua’s helmsman, Scott Kennedy, showed strong nerves despite his young age by taking an excellent start and controlling the fleet from the beginning to the end. His team won the last regatta ahead of Beecom and Team Omega. Only 21 years old, Kennedy comes from New Zealand. He was previously well known in the 29er and 49er circuits (three times top six at the worlds), and ambitions to become a professional sailor. He proved to be a huge talent, winning two races and finishing twice fourth today.

"This was a fantastic day," said Kennedy. "We knew the situation before the last race (one point lead over Cro-A-Sail). We just decided to keep cool and sail simply. Cameron (Appleton) was great throughout the week, being a real leader and coach for all of us. The format is great. I have appreciated the mix of fleet and match races, as well as the atmosphere between the teams."

Miroslav Reljanovic, helmsman of Cro-A-Sail countered: "It was a very interesting week. The fact of having seven boats on the line makes it more challenging, and we look forward to having even more boats. The great lesson from this week is that a new team can arrive and be immediately at the top. It is great for the Class."

The Portoroz Cup ended up under a superb sun, with a commitment from the organizing Committee. The organisers have done a fantastic job," said Russell Coutts, tactician on Team Omega and founder of the RC 44 Class. "They have delivered on all their promises, and organised a great event both on and off the water. I am thrilled to see the Class evolving the way it is. Today, as we were racing in Slovenia, the first RC 44 produced by V1 in Dubai touched the water for the first time. It will join the fleet in Lisbon."

Results

Team Match Racing Fleet Racing Overall points
1) Team Aqua 1 1 2
2) Cro-A-Sail 2 2 4
3) Team Omega 3 3 6
4) Beecom 5 4 9
5) Magia Alikè 4 6 10
6) Ekipa 44 6 5 11
7) Mascalzone Latino 7 7 14

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