RC 44s on Lake Garda

25 year old newbie sailor takes command on day one of the RC 44s' Malcesine Cup

Friday July 13th 2007, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
Luisa Bambozzi, helmswoman on board Team Omega, got three bullets and a second place on day one of the RC 44's Malcesine Cup on Lake Garda. Team Omega leads the fifth stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour ahead of Team Aqua and Cro-A-Sail.

The Malcesine Cup started today with four fleet races held in moderate wind conditions (10-15 knots), enough wind for the five one-design RC 44s to be fully powered up, and offered a great show to the public.

Sailing on an RC 44 for the first time, 25 year old Luisa Bambozzi, left absolutely no chance to her opponents, making excellent starts and sailing precisely under Russell Coutts' supervision. Luisa Bambozzi and Team Omega won the first three races, before finishing second of the last race behind Chris Bake's Team Aqua. All four races were extremely close and intense, all boats crossing the finish line within seconds.

Despite the close action, there were clearly two groups within the fleet, with Team Omega, Team Aqua and Cro-A-Sail (with Jesper Radish calling tactics) finishing all races in the top three while the newcomers on board Magia Carbon Affairs and Antigua Ekipa 44 finished a few boatlengths behind.

Luisa Bambozzi found out that she was going to steer Team Omega the day before the event started. A member of the Fraglia Vela di Malcesine, she travelled to Lake Garda in order to give a hand to the Organising Committee. Gianni Testa, the President of the club, was supposed to steer Team Omega but he realised that organising the event and sailing was too much. So he offered the job to Luisa. "I thought it was a joke", she said. "But then I realised that they were serious. For me, this is just a once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel extremely lucky.

"Russell told me to concentrate on boat speed and not to look at the other boats, so that's what I did. I was quite nervous before the start, but I relaxed as soon as the racing started. This was an amazing experience for me."

The match racing round-robin is scheduled tomorrow, while the teams will sail a coastal race on Saturday. The event will finish on Sunday with fleet racing.

Fleet racing: Provisional results after four races:

1) Team Omega (1, 1, 1, 2) 5 points
2) Team Aqua (3, 2, 2, 1) 8 points
3) Cro-A-Sail (2, 3, 3, 3) 11 points
4) Magia Carbon Affairs (5, 4, 4, 4) 17 points
5) Antigua Ekipa 44 (4, 5, 5, DNF) 20 points

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