Victory for Team Sea Dubai

Markus Wieser's team win 8-1 at the RC44's Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy

Wednesday February 24th 2010, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Arab Emirates

Unbeaten after seven flights, Markus Wieser and his Team Sea Dubai only had to avoid a penalising collision today to win the match race title of the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy. That’s what they did, winning in the mean time a difficult race against Puerto Calero and losing the last one to BMW Oracle Racing.

However the real action was behind, in the tough contest between six teams for the second and third places overall. Leader of this fight for the remaining podium positions going into the last day was the Terry Hutchinson-steered Artemis - rejoined today by owner Torbjorn Tornqvist. She started in the worse possible way by losing today's first race to Team Austria. Pushed to the right of the course during the first beat, the Austrians seemed to benefit from a better pressure: they took the lead and increased it progressively throughout the match.

The points were particularly precious at this stage, and No Way Back went from a potentially difficult situation – losing the start against Team Aqua – to a sudden solid possibility of them taking second in the overall results when they overtook Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua during the first downwind leg. Rod Davis (Ceeref) also won an important point against BMW Oracle Racing, rejoining Artemis and No Way Back in the group of candidates capable to taking second overall going into the last flight.

Sailing the last race against Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies - joint helmsmen aboard No Way Back - managed to block the Spaniards on the wrong side of the Committee boat at the moment of the start. Team Aqua did the same to Katusha five minutes later. Observing this, Rod Davis obviously liked the idea and tried to inflict the same fate to Artemis; however the trick didn’t quite work and Terry Hutchinson just managed to squeeze in between the Committee boat and Ceeref’s bow whilse Davis remained stuck head to the wind during long, long seconds, finally crossing the line one minute late.

No Way Back and Artemis therefore finish the event tied, however the Danish team claim second place overall thanks to their victory over the Swedes. Similarly Ceeref ended up fourth tied with BMW Oracle Racing.

Match-race, final results after nine flights:
(Position, team, helmsman, victories/defeats, total points)

1) Team Sea Dubai (Markus Wieser), 8/1, 8 points
2) Team No Way Back (Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies), 5/3, 5 points
3) Artemis (Terry Hutchinson), 5/3, 5 points
4) CEEREF (Rod Davis), 4/5, 4 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing (Adam Minoprio), 4/5, 4 points
6) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (José Maria Ponce), 3/6, 3 points
7) Team Aqua (Cameron Appleton), 3/6, 3 points
8) Katusha (Paul Cayard), 3/6, 3 points
9) Team Austria (Christian Binder), 2/7, 2 points


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