Peninsula Petroleum ahead
Tricky conditions on the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup saw no one team able to finish in the top half of the leaderboard in all three races. There were race wins for Team Italia, Artemis Racing and Team Aqua, but the most consistent performers of the day were John Bassadone and Vasco Vascotto onboard Peninsula Petroleum. The Gibraltar-based team scored two seconds and a seventh to take a two point overnight lead over Artemis Racing.
Race one started in seven knots, with the breeze from the northwest, but quickly increased to 12 knots as the rain increased. Aleph Racing, Katusha, Team Aqua and Ironbound were all called over at the start of race one and struggled to get back through the fleet. Massimo Barranco’s Team Italia with Flavio Favini calling the shots got the jump on the fleet to round the windward mark first, Artemis Racing (SWE) close behind and competing in their first ever RC44 fleet race was Bronenosec Sailing Team in third.
Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing and Team Italia swapped positions throughout the race, but in the closing stages it was the Italian team who took win. The Swedes had to settle for third after letting Peninsula Petroleum slip into second.
Aleph Racing started at the committee boat on port in race two, Team Nika and Synergy also headed off to the right. A big left shift halfway up the first beat put the advantage to the boats on the opposite side of the course; Artemis Racing rounded ahead of Peninsula Petroleum and Aegir. The top two boats didn’t change for the rest of the race, only Team Aqua able to make a charge back through the fleet to finish third, climbing from ninth at the first mark.
In the third and final race of the day, it was Chris Bake’s Team Aqua which led from start to finish after starting at the favoured pin end of the line. Behind them places changed, Aleph Racing losing out to Synergy on the final run, Ironbound finished fourth. Peninsula Petroleum’s seventh place was enough to take the overnight lead, two points ahead of the home favourites, Artemis Racing. Synergy Russian Sailing Team is on equal points with Artemis Racing, finishing the day with a 7,4,2 scoreline. Team Aqua’s day may not have started well, but ended with a win and sit four points off the lead.
Overnight leaders Peninsula Petroleum form returned today after failing to win a race in yesterday’s match racing as John Bassadone explained. “We didn’t sail very well yesterday but that’s sailing for you. We’ve got good guys onboard and did very well tactically today; the boat is fast which showed.”
Joining the RC44 class in Marstrand is the Bronenosec Sailing Team from St. Petersburg, Russia. Vladimir Liubomirov, at the helm of his newly acquired RC44 gave his analysis of the day. “I’m happy with how the team sailed today; the first race was very good for us. The fleet is very compact when racing, two boat lengths is the equivalent to six places which is really exciting. The crew is in good condition so it is now my job to get a feel for the boat and see what we can do for the rest of the regatta.”
The fleet welcomed 12 young people from the Gothenburg Yacht Club’s (GKSS) youth squad to sail as guest racers onboard for the first race today. The Laser Radial and 29er sailors aged between 13 –20 were joined by their coach, Olympic Finn sailor, Daniel Bergmark who explained the importance of such experiences to the next generation of professional sailors: “It was a great opportunity that the young sailors from the club got the chance to come here and sail with the RC44’s, It was a big inspiration for them to join the professional teams here and see how they work onboard and how the big boats are sailed, normally they are Laser and 29er sailors so hopefully this will be the future for these sailors."
Fleet racing results after three races
1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 – 11
2. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 – 13
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 – 13
4. Team Aqua 11 3 1 – 15
5. Team Italia 1 9 6 – 16
6. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 – 20
7. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 – 21
8. Katusha 12 5 5 – 22
9. Team Nika 5 7 10 – 22
10. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 – 24
11. Ironbound 9 12 4 – 25
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 – 32