Coutts slips ahead

After a dramatic day three of the RC44 Lugano Yacht Club Cup

Friday June 22nd 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Italy
The intensity reignited among the RC44 class today, for the third day of racing at the RC44 Lugano Yacht Club Cup.

The Lugano Yacht Club Race Committee executed four seamless fleet races. As the wind filled in, spectators lined the shore, revelling in their proximity to the start/finish line and all of the action on the water.

The close starts and tight mark roundings kept the International on the water judges’ attention. Member of the international jury, ISAF Umpire David Lees (GBR) commented: “The level of racing is extremely high - the professional crews and amateur helmsmen are very talented and manoeuvre the RC44s beautifully.”

The owners and sailors are not the only ones who have enjoyed this week’s racing on the RC44s. The Class Rules allow each boat to have one guest, likewise in between races a new guest steps onboard each of the RC44s.

Helming Mascalzone Latino today was Italian Mumm 30 Champion, Federico Strocchi. The Latin Rascals had no shortage of excitement on board when they lost team member, Matteo Savelli, overboard at the leeward mark. When the retrieval line for the gennaker broke, it was actually the Croatian guest on board who was the first to lend a hand.

For the newcomers to the fleet, Team Lightbay enjoyed their first ever win with a bullet in Race 4. The RC44 Lightbay is the third and most recent addition to the Italian fleet. Owner Armando Giulietti also is the driving force behind Lightbay - Sails for Life. For two years now, the Lightbay racing teams (which includes a Farr 40 and Mumm 30) have been raising funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.

Lorenzo Bodini, Tactician, Team Lightbay said: “Sailing in unstable conditions with light winds is always complex. Today, I am pleased because at last we had our first win and for the team this is a positive result.”

Giulietti added: “We’re learning and improving all the time. It is only our second event with the RC44. In Lisbon, we handled the boat well in the heavy air conditions while here in Lugano it is the opposite. I am happy with our win today and look forward to the next event for our team which will be Portofino.”

Despite two wins today, Dubai-based Team Aqua, leaders of the RC44 Championship Tour, slipped into second place today moving Russell Coutts’ Team Omega to the top of the leaderboard. Coutts commented: “It is obvious that Ronnie Pieper has sailed a lot on the Swiss lakes. He helms well in the shifty conditions. I spend most of my time trying to keep him relaxed!”

Tomorrow is the final day of racing and the event will draw to a close with the prizegiving ceremony. The next regatta for the RC44 Class takes place in Lake Garda (Malcesine) from 12-15 July .

Lugano Yacht Club Cup
Day 3 - Fleet Racing Provisional Ranking – no discard

1) Team Omega, (1,3,2,3,2,2,1) 14 points
2) Team Aqua, (2,1,3,4,1,1,3) 15 points
3) Mascalzone Latino (3,4,1,2,4,DSQ,2) 21 points
4) Team Lightbay (Magia), (4, 2, 4,1,3,3,4) 21 points

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