Coutts and Brady together

Racing starts in Lisbon for the RC 44 Oeiras Cup

Friday June 1st 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
The racing conditions were difficult for the first day, Thursday, in Lisbon for the first day of the Oeiras Cup. With 8 to 15 knots of wind, a little chop, loads of current and a great sunshine, the Portuguese coast proved to be a challenging but extraordinary venue to stage an international sailing event such as the RC 44 Championship Tour.

The strong current surprised all the competitors, as well as the Racing Committee. Indeed, the first race had to be cancelled as one of the racing marks got washed away by the current. But three superb races followed this incident, allowing the six-strong fleet to establish a provisory hierarchy.

Team Aqua, led by Chris Bake, won the first race, confirming its fantastic potential later on in the afternoon with a 2nd and a 3rd place. Joint leader of the RC 44 Championship Tour before the Oeiras Cup, Cro-A-Sail suffered from some crew rotations, finishing the first two races in fourth position. Darko Supuk, helmsman for this regatta, needed some time to get his bearings but he proved his value by winning the last race, to his fellow team member’s delight.

Also in great form, Team Beecom sailed consistently, with two second and a third place, to end up one point behind Team Aqua on the general provisional ranking. Team Omega, with Russell Coutts calling the tactics and Nicholas Verwilghen at the helm, is currently third, just two points away from the leader. The followinf days will be hot!

Six RC 44’s are involved in the 2007 Oeiras Cup. The arrival of Team V1 Racing (UAE), competing for the first time in Lisbon, confirms the growth of the class and brings the total number of entries in the RC 44 Championship Tour to eight. More than ten boats are expected by the end of the season. The sailors on board Team V1 Racing struggled at the back of the fleet, working hard to improve their manoeuvres and understanding of the boat.

Also involved for the first time in the RC 44 Championship Tour, Team Light Bay – formerly known as Team Magia Alikè – is fifth of the provisory ranking. But they proved on many occasions that they can do better and they surely will.

More and more world class sailors are joining the circuit. Indeed, Gavin Brady is sailing on board Russell Coutts’ Team Omega whilst Rasmus Kostner is tactician onboard Team V1 Racing. With also Cameron Appleton, Morten Henrikson and many more, the RC 44 fleet proves its attractiveness.

Results (provisional – no discard):

1) Team Aqua (1, 2, 3) 6 points
2) Team Beecom (2, 3, 2) 7 points
3) Team Omega (3, 1, 4) 8 points
4) Cro-A-Sail (4, 4, 1) 9 points
5) Team Light Bay (5, 5, 5) 15 points

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