27 April 2017

2017 RC44 Class Regatta, Sotogrande, Spain, April 27 - 30

Day 4 RC44 Sotogrande Cup - Chris Bake grabs victory from jaws of defeat

Video above published Apr 30, 2017: After two severe days, Sotogrande and the Andalusian coastline laid on perfect conditions for the final day of competition at the RC44 Sotogrande Cup. Mountainous seas gave way to a short chop, torrential rain gave way to brilliant sunshine and a stiff but shifty 20 knot, westerly offshore wind, to provide the tacticians with some welcome head scratching. Despite this idyllic scenario for the crews and a tight leaderboard to resolve, today was formidably taxing for PRO Peter Reggio and team as the wind repeatedly shifted causing numerous general recalls. It also proved treacherous for the crews with numerous 'hero to zero' moments across the fleet. None was worse than that of Team Aqua. Having increased their lead to five points after the first race, Team Aqua were on track to consolidate their position in the second race until they caught a decent sized wave that buried the bow breaking the bowsprit. The crew rallied to fit a replacement just before the shut-off for the final race of the day. In this, amazingly, the three frontrunners were last to the weather mark. At the second weather mark rounding Team Aqua had recovered fourth place, which they hung on to the finish. winning them the RC44 Sotogrande Cup title while Peninsula Petroleum, which came home last, took second overall. Kirill Frolov, joint helmsman on Bronenosec Sailing Team rounded-up the Sotogrande Cup podium in third, a fine result considering it was their first regatta with an almost entirely new crew.

Day 3 RC44 Sotogrande Cup - Team Aqua takes control of RC44 Sotogrande Cup

Video above published Apr 29, 2017: Once again the wind was not the issue today but an initially massive sea state that had the nimble RC44s disappearing in the troughs up to their spreaders. To make matters harder the wind and the wave train weren't aligned with boats sailing along the giant waves on starboard tack and crashing directly into them on port. And then there was the torrential rain that made the decks extremely slippery and helped cause two man overboard incidents – both crew successfully recovered.

The day had three different winners with Russian Alexander Novoselov's Katusha for a second time winning the opening race of the day, while John Bassadone and his team of local heroes on board Peninsula Petroleum claimed race two and Bronenosec took today's third and final, marking a first ever race win in the RC44 for new co-helmsman Kirill Frolov, despite this only being his second day of racing in the class.

Day 2 RC44 Sotogrande Cup - Rain does not stay on the plain - Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two of the RC44 Sotogrande Cup. While the wind was not excessive, the sea state decidedly was.

Day 1 RC44 Sotogrande Cup--Snakes and ladders on opening day of 2017 tour

Apr 27, 2017: The opening day of the RC44 season and the RC44 Sotogrande Cup proved extremely trying for PRO Peter Reggio and his race management team as they valiantly strove to keep the course orientated to the wind, an operation that required course changes on nearly every leg of all today's four races.

With the heavy guns out in the RC44 fleet, today's four races had four different winners with giant victories especially for Alexander Novoselov's Katusha in race one and the local heroes on John Bassadone's Gibraltar based team Peninsula Petroleum in race four. Team Nika ends the opening day two points clear of Chris Bake's Team Aqua in turn three points ahead of Bronenosec Sailing Team. The light blue RC44 was widely considered star performer today as all but three of her crew, including the helmsman are new to the fleet.

Results: rc44.com/results

2017 RC44 Class Regatta, Sotogrande, Spain

2017 RC44 Class events season and host venues will be comprised of five European events. Starting in Sotogrande, Spain, April 27-30.

2017 RC44 Championship Tour Calendar of Events:
  • RC44 Sotogrande Cup 27 - 30 Apr 
  • RC44 Porto Cervo Cup 29 Jun - 2 Jul 
  • RC44 Marstrand World Championship 10 - 13 Aug 
  • RC44 Cascais Cup 28 Sept - 1 Oct 
  • RC44 Calero Marinas Cup 23 - 26 Nov

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