Artemis and Dean Barker on top form in the practice race

Dean Barker and his Team Artemis confirmed their great form today, leading the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup ahead of Team Aqua (Cameron Appleton) and Paul Cayard’s new Team Katusha.
  September 28, 2009 – With eleven top level teams on the water, the RC 44 fleet is probably at its best ever. Speaking during this morning’s press conference in Portoroz (Slovenia), Russell Coutts – co-designer of the RC 44 and founder of the Class – confirmed that „the level is incredibly high. We have eleven strict one-design boats led by some of the world’s best sailors, and we are all united in a wonderful sailing arena. It doesn’t get much better than this.“
  The results of today’s practice race speak by themselves: all the teams crossed the arrival line within less than two minutes after an extremely close race. The RC 44 regattas are obviously a team effort; however, the team’s helmsmen are worth a special mention: Dean Barker finished first (although he chose not to cross the arrival line), ahead of Cameron Appleton, Paul Cayard, Sébastien Col, Ray Davies, Michael Reardon, Russell Coutts, Karol Jablonski and the rest of the pack; an extraordinary line-up of famous skippers that clearly confirms the world level status of the RC 44 Class.  
The event starts tomorrow morning with a full match race round-robin. The fleet regatta will take place from Thursday to Saturday.  
PredictWind’s weather forecast announces light to moderate winds decreasing throughout the week.  

The teams involved:   (Name of team, owner or fleet race helmsman, match race helmsman)   Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Sébastien Col Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers / Russell Coutts  Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, José Juan Calero / José Maria Ponce Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder Team Katusha, Pieter Taselaar / Paul Cayard
Team Blue Grove Miss Slovenia, Michael Reardon / Gasper Vincec  

Photos: Copyright RC 44 Class   1. Team Artemis and skipper Dean Barker, on great form in Portoroz (c) Ales Fevzer / RC44 Class Association
  2. With eleven teams on the starting line, the RC 44 fleet is more competitive than ever (c) Ales Fevzer / RC44 Class Association