Photo: Hans Osterauer

RC44s move to Lake Traunsee

Team Aqua and Synergy lead the 15-boat RC44 fleet going into this week's Austria Cup

Monday May 28th 2012, Author: Jo Grindley, Location: Austria

The RC44 circuit moves to Lake Traunsee, Austria this week for the Austria Cup.

Last year at this event, the Russian Team Nika owned by Vladimir Prosikhin and the French Aleph Sailing Team made their RC44 circuit debuts, while Chris Bake’s Team Aqua (GBR) got to sail their brand new boat, in which they went on to claim the 2011 RC44 Championship title.

It has been a memorable year for Team Nika, with Croatian Olympic sailor Tomislav Basic is tactician. The team quickly established themselves as serious competitors within the RC fleet winning one fleet race and two match races at their debut event.

Vladimir Prosikhin, owner of Team Nika said: “Racing in the RC44 fleet has exceeded my expectations and has given me the best sailing experience I have ever had. The level of sailing in the fleet is vey high; with virtually no weak teams it is fierce competition out on the racecourse. Last year in Austria just before my first race Russell told me that I would win my first RC44 race probably sooner than I expected, but the real challenge would be to stay consistent for the race after race, and he was right! With some luck I won a fleet race and two match races in my first RC44 regatta. It has taken time and effort to establish Nika as a competitive team and we still have a lot of things to improve on.”

For Team Aqua, Austria presents the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the 2012 fleet racing leaderboard and to try to cut into the three point gap which currently separates themselves in fourth and leaders Synergy (RUS) in the match racing.

Having opened their 2012 account with fleet racing victory at the RC44 Puerto Calero Cup in Lanzarote, Team Aqua settled for second behind Katusha (RUS) at the second event in Cascais, Portugal. Aqua now holds a healthy six-point lead over nearest challengers, Artemis Racing (SWE).

Meanwhile, Synergy, with 2007 America’s Cup winning helm and ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Ed Baird (USA) as the boat’s new pro for the 2012 Tour – holds a two point advantage over fellow countrymen Katusha in the match racing. But Katusha is breathing down their necks with Brad Butterworth on board replacing Russell Coutts in Austria.

Home interest in Austria again comes courtesy of the Rene Mangold-owned AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team. Although made up largely of amateur sailors, AEZ boasts Christian Binder, who represented Austria in the 470 class at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics and is a former Soling European champion, plus Portugal’s Nuno Barreto, a veteran of three Olympics, a 1996 470 Games bronze medallist and a member of the Desafío Español 2007 America’s Cup crew, in his second season with the AEZ team. Top match racer Markus Wieser (GER) is on tactics.

No matter how many times the Tour visits, the flat water and unpredictable weather conditions on Lake Traunsee often create tricky tactical situation that can catch out even the most experienced of sailors.

Teams competing: 

AEZ Sailing Team (AUT44) - Rene Mangold (AUT) / Markus Wieser (GER)
AFX Capital Racing (ITA7) - Massimo Barranco (ITA) / Gabriele Bruni (ITA)
Aleph Sailing Team (FRA17) - Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA)
Artemis Racing (SWE44) - Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Morgan Larson (USA)
Katusha (RUS 007) - Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) /Brad Butterworth (NZL)
No Way Back (NED 18) -Pieter Heerema (NED) / Jonathan McKee (USA)
Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) -John Bassadone (GBR) / Vasco Vascotto (ITA)
RC44 TEAM CEEREF (SLO 11) - Igor Lah (SLO) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA)
RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by (RUS7) - Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Sergui Chevtsov (RUS)
Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) - Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS) / Ed Baird (USA)
Team Aqua (GBR 2041) - Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appleton (NZL)
Team Nika (RUS 10) - Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tomislav Basic (CRO)

Overall Match Race Ranking after two events

1 Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 11
2 Katusha – 9
3 Aleph Sailing Team – 9
4 Team Aqua – 8
6 AEZ RC44 Sailing Team – 6
7 Puerto Calero – 6
8 No Way Back – 6
9 Artemis Racing – 6
10 Team Nika - 6
11 RUS-7 Sailing Team – 5
12 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 4
13 Ironbound – 1
14 Aegir -0
15 AFX CapitalRacing – 0

Overall Fleet Race Ranking after two events

1 Team Aqua – 3
2 Artemis Racing – 9
3 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 9
4 Katusha – 11
6 Aleph Sailing Team – 14
7 AEZ RC44 Sailing Team – 14
8 Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 16
9 Ironbound – 16
10 No Way Back- 17
11 Puerto Calero – 18
12 Team Nika – 21
13 RUS-7 Sailing Team – 25
14 AFX Capital Racing – 26
15 Aegir – 29


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