Aqua and Omega

Even stephens between two teams at the conclusion of the RC 44s' Malcesine Cup on Lake Garda

Monday July 16th 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Italy
Winner of the match-racing event on Friday and leader of the fleet ranking with a two points margin over Team Aqua, Russell Coutts' Team Omega was the favourite to conquer the Malcesine Cup (combination of the fleet and match racing ranking). However, Chris Bake and his team members had another idea - they dominated this last day, winning the fleet racing and conquering the Malcesine Cup.

For the first time this week, the start of the first race got postponed because of the light and fluky winds. But the famous thermal breeze finally kicked in, allowing a couple of fleet races to be completed in light airs.

In great shape and showing speed, Cro-A-Sail made a great start and seriously challenged Team Aqua throughout the first race, finally finishing second. As for Team Omega, she never managed to recover from a bad start, finishing the race in fourth, a couple of meters behind the brilliant Antigua Ekipa 44 led by Carlo Falcone.

And so it all came down to the last race: Team Aqua leading the new results table on one less point than Team Omega. On the water, once again it was Chris Bake that managed to make a good start and sail in clear wind while Team Omega struggled. But it was Miroslav Reljanovic's Cro-A-Sail who had the best race, winning with a comfortable margin over Team Aqua and Team Omega. Chris Bakes team won both the fleet racing title and the Malcesine Cup, level with Team Omega (but with the fleet race results going in their favour).

"Our strategy today was to sail clean and fast, and to try to get good starts, which we managed," said Chris Bake. "The courses were very short, so the starts were even more important than earlier in the week. The last mark rounding was decisive, as we almost lost the event as we were kind of stuck between Magia Carbon Affairs and Team Omega. But we remained focused and just made it."

Team Omega's Russell Coutts added : "The breeze was very different today than it was during the last few days, and we struggled to read it properly. We just had one of those days where things go wrong. Despite this, I absolutely loved this event. Malcesine is one of the best places I know in Europe, and Gianni Testa did a fantastic job organising this race."

The races of the Malcesine Cup were sailed alongside the shore, a few metres from the new yacht club of Fraglia Vela di Malcesine. Well organised both on the water and off (with a top social program), the event turned out to be a great success. The intention of the RC 44 fleet is to return to Lake Garda next year, probably In June.

Malcesine Cup overall results (fleet race points, match-race points, overall points):

1) Team Aqua (1 /2) 3 points
2) Team Omega (2/1) 3 points
3) Cro-A-Sail (3/3) 6 points
4) Magia Carbon Affairs (4/5) 9 points
5) Antigua Ekipa 44 (5/4) 9 points

Fleet racing: Final results after 9 races (no discard):

1) Team Aqua (3, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2) 15 points
2) Team Omega (1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 4, 3) 17 points
3) Cro-A-Sail (2, 3, 3, 3, OCS, 3, 3, 2, 1) 25 points
4) Magia Carbon Affairs (5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5) 38 points
5) Antigua Ekipa 44 (4, 5, 5, DNF, 4, 5, 5, 3, 4) 40 points

Match racing: Final results:

1) Team Omega (4 wins / 0 defeats) 4 points
2) Team Aqua (3 /1) 3 points
3) Cro-A-Sail (2 / 2) 2 points
4) Antigua Ekipa 44 (1 / 3) 1 point
5) Magia Carbon Affairs (0 / 4) 0 point

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