Victory to Team Aqua

A super shifty final day for the RC44s at the Oeiras Cup

Monday June 4th 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
The six RC 44’s teams involved in the Oeiras Cup started final day on Sunday with a challenging coastal race across the Tagus River. Team Omega and Cro-A-Sail, the principal contenders to Team Aqua’s domination, made an unexpected gift to their opponent by crossing the line a couple of seconds before the start gun. However, this proved later on not to be a real issue.

The course was taking the competitors in a tricky area alongside the Tower of Belem (where Vasco de Gama set sails on its way to India in 1498) and the famous Lisbon bridge; an area with windless patches followed by unpredictable 20 knots gusts…

As a consequence, Team Aqua - leader at the first mark - suddenly found itself at the back of the fleet, before fighting its way back to the top. Going from zero to hero, the Japanese team Beecom benefited from a gust to overtake the whole fleet and take the provisory lead.

The game of cat and mouse lasted approximately fourty minutes. The first boats to reach the stronger offshore wind were naturally the first to fly away. Team Aqua was the one, followed by Beecom and Team Light Bay. As for Team Omega, V1 Racing and Cro-A-Sail, they lost all their hopes at this stage, seeing their opponents fly away whilst stuck in the heart of the town…

A few minutes before the end of the race, Beecom managed to overtake Team Aqua. Team Light Bay finished third, followed by Team Omega, Team V1 Racing and Cro-A-Sail.

Russell Coutts, Team Omega said: "This regatta proved that the venue is great for international sailing events. The racing was tough and the courses were too short, which made it really challenging. The standard of the regatta increases after each event. Team Aqua proved that they have an edge over the other teams. They really sailed very well."

The Race Committee then organised two more fleet races, allowing the competitors to conclude the event after a total of nine races.

Team Omega took its revenge by winning both. Race eight saw a nice dual between the two leaders, Omega finishing slightly ahead of Team Aqua. Further back, Beecom got once again stuck in a rounding mark and had to abandon the race; kind of a Japanese speciality this week. Beecom's Isao Mita commented: "This was a very challenging week-end. It is important to always sail with the same crew. We have had only a few changes, so this helped us."

Finally, the last race of the Oeiras Cup 2007 saw another victory of Coutts’s team ahead of Team Aqua and Beecom. Very short and intense, the race saw a crewmember onboard Cro-A-Sail fall over board, luckily with no further damage.

The races were a great conclusion to the Oeiras Cup. All together, the six teams involved sailed a whole round robin, eight fleet races and one coastal race. A great achievement. Winner of the Portoroz Cup and second of the Croatia Boat Show Cup earlier this season, Team Aqua increases its lead in the RC 44 Championship Tour, ahead of Cro-A-Sail, Team Omega and Beecom.

The next regatta on the calendar is the Lugano Yacht Club Cup, in Switzerland, between June 20-23.

Oreias Cup final ranking (Fleet race, match race, total)

1) Team Aqua, 2 points
2) Team Omega, 4 points
3) Team Beecom, 7 points
4) Team Cro-A-Sail, 8 points
5) Team Light Bay (Magia), 9 points
6) Team V1 Racing, 12 points

Fleet racing final results (no discard)

1) Team Aqua, 1, 2, 3, 1, 3, 2, 2. 2, 2. 18 points
2) Team Omega, 3, 1, 4, 2, 1, 6, 4, 1, 1, 23 points
3) Team Cro-A-Sail, 4, 4, 1, 4, 2, 1, 6, 4, DNF. 33 points
4) Team Beecom, 2, 3, 2, 5, dnf, 5, 1, DNF, 3. 35 points
5) Team Light Bay (Magia), 5, 5, 5, 3, 4, 4, 3, 3, 5. 37 points
6) Team V1 Racing, 6, ocs, 6, 6, raf, 3, 5, 5, 4. 45 points

Match racing final results: (Name of team, wins, losses, points)

1) Team Aqua (4/1) 4 points
2) Team Omega (4/1) 4 points
3) Team Beecom (3/2) 3 points
4) Team Light Bay (2/3) 2 points
5) Team Cro-A-Sail (2/3) 2 points
6) Team V1 Racing (0/5) 0 points

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