Spithill joins the party

Luna Rossa helmsman racing in the RC 44's Slam Cup

Thursday September 6th 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Italy
The Italian Riviera provided the ideal backdrop and optimal conditions for the first day of racing at the RC44 Slam Cup in Santa Margherita. The Yacht Club Italiano Race Committee took advantage of the steady breeze off Portofino to run four fleet races for the six teams competing.

Team Aqua maintained their overall lead of the fleet, with Scott Kennedy at the helm. The 21 year-old New Zealander is the youngest helmsman the fleet has seen to date. Tactician Cameron Appleton commented on the increasingly high calibre of the racing: “The teams were showing very good form. The big difference is time in the boats over anything else. With more America’s Cup sailors joining the fleet, the depth of the RC44 class has suddenly stepped up!”

Slovenian Team Ceeref, the most recent addition to the Class, has an impressive selection of professional talent onboard including America’s Cup helmsman James Spithill calling tactics.

Owner Igor Lah’s team finished a strong second overall today - impressive, given that it was the owner’s first race ever and only the fifth time on board his new RC44, completed recently by Pauger Carbon in Hungary.

“It was fun and exciting! The boats are more physically demanding than I expected. It was impressive!” commented Spithill.

Another highlight of the day for the sailors was the presence of Argentinean model Keyla Espinoza, who joined the Japanese team onboard Beecom.

The weather conditions are favourable as racing continues through Sunday.

Overall Fleet Racing Results

1) Team Aqua (1,1,1,2) 5 points
2) Team Ceeref (4,2,2,3) 11 points
3) Team Omega (3,4,4,1) 12 points
4) Team Beecom (6,3,3,4) 16 points
5) Team Lightbay (Magia), (2,5,5,5) 17 points
6) Team Cro-a-sail (5,6,7,6) 24 points

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