RC44s in Valencia
Featuring 11 crews ready to battle in match and fleet racing, the RC 44 2010 Season Championship resumes in Valencia tomorrow.
Pieter Heerema of The Netherlands leads his No Way Back crew into action at the top of the overall season leaderboard. Last year’s season champions have amassed the low score of 8 on finishes of 3-3-2, but Heerema sees trouble on the horizon: “We’ve been consistent, but this isn’t the moment to talk about the standings. After this regatta each team gets to discard its worst finish, so the standings will change.”
Three points behind is the Russell Coutts-led BMW Oracle Racing crew aboard Deal Breaker. Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis holds third on 12 points, followed by Chris Bake’s Team Aqua with 14 points and Harm Mueller-Speer’s Team Sea Dubai in fifth on 16.
“They’ve been very consistent,” said Team Aqua helmsman Cameron Appleton. “Pieter has put in a lot of time and effort and it’s paid off. They’re a strong unit.”
Other competitors in the event include Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref of Slovenia, BMW Oracle Racing’s Boat 17 with skipper James Spithill, Guennadi Timtchenko’s Katusha from Russia, Daniel Calero’s Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and René Mangold’s AEZ RC44 Sailing Team from Austria.
The class is also pleased to welcome back Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino Audi Team. One of the original boats in the class, Mascalzone Latino will be racing its first event of the season. Vincenzo Onorato will take the helm during the fleet races on Friday, alongside his team comprising Tommaso Chieffi, tactician, Matteo Savelli, helmsman in the match races and trimmer in the fleet races, Paul “Flipper” Westlake, mainsail trimmer, Andrea Ballico and Lorenzo De Felice, trimmers, Danilo Arvigo, grinder, Davide 'Manolo' Scarpa, pitman, Daniele Fiaschi, bowman and Benedetta Danti, afterguard.
As usual for RC44 events, the Valencia Cup will comprise two parts. The first on Tuesday and Wednesday will be match racing with pro sailors on the helm, followed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with fleet racing and amateur owner-drivers helming.
The forecast looks promising: Valencia’s hot summer help a strong east/southeasterly sea breeze of up to 15 knots develop by mid-afternoon.
RC 44 Championship standings - after three of six regattas
1. No Way Back/Pieter Heerema (NED) 3-3-2 – 8 points
2. BMW ORACLE Racing/Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts (USA) 9-1-1 – 11
3. Artemis/Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) 2-7-3 – 12
4. Team Aqua/Chris Bake (UAE) 1-9-4 – 14
5. Team Sea Dubai/Harm Mueller-Speer (UAE) 5-4-7 – 16
6. Ceeref/Igor Lah (SLO) 4-5-8 – 17
7. 17/James Spithill (USA) 11-2-5 – 18
8. Katusha/Guennadi Timtchenko (RUS) 6-8-6 – 20
9. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero/Daniel Calero (ESP) 8-6-9 – 23
10. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team/René Mangold (AUT) 7-10-10 – 27