The fight for the podium positions, between Team Aqua, Artemis, BMW ORACLE Racing and No Way back has been fantastic. Showing great stamina, Chris Bake’s squad managed to overcome a backstay breakage to remain in the fight. But Artemis dominated the last race and won the event.
July 12, 2009 – Everyone knew this morning – as the teams were getting ready on the pontoons – that this last day would be a tough one. Indeed, four teams were merely separated by seven points ahead of race 6 and everything remained possible with four more regattas to complete.
Quite unfortunate at times earlier in the week, Torbjorn Tornqvist, Dean Barker and their team on board Artemis started the first race in the middle of the line whilst the provisional leader Team Aqua chose the pin. The racing was very close until Aqua’s runner clip suddenly broke. The loose runner slashed Chris Bake in the back and put an end to their hope of winning this regatta despite the team’s bowman Matt Cassidy climbing up the mast in no time to secure the rig. Unable to hoist a spinnaker, the Aqua boys had no other options than to see Artemis sail away, win the race and take the provisional lead of the event. Team Sea Dubai finished second, proving once again how much progress they have made since the beginning of the year.
Chris Bake later on described the incident as an « adrenaline rush ». It certainly made a strong effect on the team, who won the next two regattas. The top three boats of Race seven (Aqua, BMW ORACLE Racing and Ceeref) crossed the arrival line within two seconds whilst Artemis and Team Sea Dubai were separated by half a boat length in fourth and fifth!
The eighth race – the last before lunch break and the final race – turned into a spectacular Aqua show, the team from the UAE winning the regatta with a massive lead over Ceeref and Artemis. At this stage and ahead of the last race, Team Aqua had a 2 points advantage over Artemis and seven over BMW ORACLE Racing with No Way Back one point behind. Everything remained possible!
Both Artemis and Team Aqua took good starts, with a little advantage to Artemis. As soon as the opportunity arose, Tornqvist tacked on top of Aqua, forcing the latter to head back to the shore. This was the (premature) end of the regatta, which turned out to be a procession. After winning the match race event on Thursday, Artemis conquers the fleet regatta and the overall Malcesine Cup. Team Aqua finishes second of both the fleet regatta and the overall ranking, whilst BMW Oracle Racing completes the podium.
The next regatta will take place on September 30 – October 4 in Portoroz (Slovenia).
Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner, Artemis: « We didn’t look at Team Aqua at all during the last race; we did our own regatta. We tacked over them in the first beat, but we would have done so with any other boat; it was just a race situation. I think that we have found the right balance between speed and height. We also changed our set up after the morning races and this helped our speed a lot. »
Chris Bake, owner, Team Aqua: « When Artemis tacked on us, we knew that we couldn’t win the race. We finish the event in second, which is very good. I am proud of what the team has done. This morning, when we broke our halyard, the guys reacted fantastically. What they achieved is a real testament to their seamanship. Cam is also a great leader; he took the right decisions. »
Russell Coutts, tactician, BMW ORACLE Racing: « This was a great regatta and we have seen some new teams performing very well. Artemis was very fast and dominant during this regatta; Team Aqua also has a little edge over the other teams. But I am very pleased to see that team Austria or Team Sea Dubai performed well. The standard is now really high. »
Markus Wieser, Tactician, Team Sea Dubai: « We are definitely catching up in fleet racing and we are very close from the top guys. Unfortunately, we sometimes penalise ourselves with mistakes, and this is what we will have to work on in the future. We missed the first two events of the season and now we pay the price for this. »
Frank Pong, owner, Team Jelik: « I am very happy with our fifth place in the last race. However, one thing at the time… Now I am going to concentrate on the Asian circuit but I will definitely come back on the RC 44 circuit. I have enjoyed this very much. It is fantastic to sail against the best sailors in the world. At first, I was intimidated but looking back at it I can only recommend to people who hesitate to join this Class. »
Daniel Calero, owner, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero: « Our goal has always been to compete in the 2010 Championship Tour at the top level. In 2009, we said that we would compete in one regatta to check the Class and the people, but we liked it so much that we said « OK, let’s go for two more » and then one more now… But the reality is that if you want to be at the top you need to train very hard and we haven’t done this. We are very competitive people and we like to win so this is not our best result but it was good fun. »
Fleet race, final results after nine races and the double points DHL Trophy (no discard):
(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results, points (DHL Trophy double points in bold)
1) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1, 9, 10, 5, 1, 1, 1, 4, 3, 1 – 36 points
2) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 2, 5, 6, 1, 5, 2, 10, 1, 1, 9 – 42 points
3) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 6, 2, 4, 8, 3, 4, 5, 2, 7, 4 – 45 points
4) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 7, 3, 2, 4, 7, 3, 3, 7, 4, 6 – 46 points
5) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 3, 4, 12, 7, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 3 – 47 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, 5, 1, 18, 2, 2, 6, 2, 5, 6, 2 – 53 points
7) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki, 4, 8, 16, 3, 6, 8, 7, 6, 5, 8 – 74 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 8, 6, 8, 6, 8, 10, 6, 9, 8, 10 – 79 points
9) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 9, 7, 14, 10, 9, 7, 8, 8, 9, 7 – 88 points
10) Jelik, Frank Pong, 10, 10, dnf 22, 9, 10, 9, 9, 10, 10, 5 – 104 points
RC 44 Malcesine Cup overall ranking:
(Ranking, match race, fleet race, points)
1) Artemis, 1, 1 – 2 points
2) Team Aqua, 4, 2 – 6 points
3) No Way Back, 2, 4 – 6 points
4) Ceeref, 3, 5 – 8 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, 6, 3 – 9 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, 5, 6 – 11 points
7) Team Organika, 8, 7 – 15 points
8) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 7, 9 – 16 points
9) Team Austria, 9, 8 – 17 points
10) Jelik, 9, 10 – 19 points
Photo: Copyright Loris Von Siebenthal / RC 44 Class Association