Spithill on top

As match racing concludes at the Dubai RC44 Cup

Tuesday March 4th 2008, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
Only half of the second round robin took place today due to the light winds, but the result was the Slovenian Team Ceeref winning the match racing component of the Dubai RC44 Cup for the second consecutive time ahead of Team Hiroshi-Citta de Milano and Team ES Bankers Dubai.

Despite local advice, Race Director Peter 'Luigi' Reggio sent the six strong RC 44 fleet out on the water for the second Round Robin of the Dubai RC 44 Cup. This proved a wise choice as the teams were able to sail six matches, allowing the Committee to establish a final ranking based on 21 matches. “You won’t get anything if you don’t try”, Luigi commented with a smile at the end of the day.

The matches concluded with Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref, with James Spithill at the helm coming out on top. “It’s a great start to our season”, Lah commented. “Yesterday, we were not happy with our sailing. We made a lot of little mistakes and lost matches that we could have won. We all wanted to do better today and that’s what we did.”

Meanwhile Spithill was looking forward to the fleet racing: “Igor Lah, the team’s owner, trained during two days and his progress is quite spectacular. I am very impressed by him: he has a good temperament; he is calm and has a good feeling. His results so far have been quite amazing considering that he had only sailed on power boats just a year ago…”

Equally happy with his performance was Team Hiroshi-Città di Milano’s pro helmsman Sebastien Col: “It all goes down to a couple of metres at the right moment. Yesterday, we could have won all our matches but we lost two of them because of tiny mistakes. We had a thorough de-brief in the evening and the difference was clear today. All the guys on board realised how important every single metre is. They were hiking better, our tacks were better, we focused well on what we were doing and the result is there: we had two excellent matches.

“The teams are very close. The fleet has definitely gained in consistency. Each mistake costs a lot but people throughout the fleet make less of them by the day. We are very pleased with our result, and particularly with our win against Russell’s team yesterday. It proves that we can win against any team and it is a good morale buster.”

Russell Coutts’ Team ES Bankers completed the podium following victories over Cro-A-Sail and Team Sea Dubai this afternoon.

While four teams were sharing the lead after the first round robin, one, Team Sea Dubai, lost its advantage today, finishing in fourth place. As for Team Aqua (Cameron Appleton), penalised by a collision yesterday and sailing below its usual level, she finished fifth, but ahead of Cro-A-Sail which only won one match.

Match-racing, final results
Ranking, number of victories/losses, points.

1) Team Ceeref (5/2) 3,5 points
2) Team Hiroshi (4/3) 3 points
3) Team ES Bankers Dubai (5/2) 3 points
4) Team Sea Dubay, (3/4) 2,5 points
5) Team Aqua (3/ 4 incl 1 penalty) 1 point
6) Cro-A-Sail (1/6) 1 point

More photos on page 2...

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