Friday Round Up
After 30 knot winds prevented any racing on day one of the RC44 World Championship in Scarlino, Italy, the race committee pulled out all the stops to ensure racing took place today by bringing the start time forwards by two hours. As a result the 11th RC44 Scarlino World Championship was finally able to get underway at just after 10.00. Three races were successfully held on the big bay off Marina di Scarlino in a northerly breeze that built to just over 20 knots with 25 in the gusts.
Partly due to the difficult-to-read conditions, partly due to the intense competition between the nine boats, it was a high scoring opening to the World Championship. But most incredibly after three races, and with a potential 27 points available today, just one point separates the top seven boats and two points the top eight.
The first race was the hardest fought with Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing seeming to do well on the upwinds and Nico Poons’ Charisma edging into the lead on the runs. The Dutchman’s team was first home as the Swedes had problems on the last downwind to finish fourth.
Artemis Racing turned this result around in race two. Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing led around the top mark, showing some of the same form that won her the 44Cup Cowes in August, but a gybeset around the top mark launched Artemis into the lead which she never relinquished.
In the third and final race Igor Lah’s Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 won the pin, then stayed to the mid-left and eventually crossed the fleet on port to lead around the top mark. The overall 2021 44Cup leaders then never looked back. Artemis Racing held a strong lead after race two, but lost her advantage with a seventh place finish in race three, thus ending the day the closest it has ever been in 44Cup history, or in perhaps any sailing class, after three races.
Nominally the leader after day one is Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860, but with such a leaderboard, this is all but meaningless and the 44Cup Scarlino World Championship will effectively restart tomorrow.
With a similar forecast for Saturday, racing is again being brought forward by two hours with a first warning signal at 10.00 CEST.
Text Credits: 44Cup
Photo Credits: Martinez Studio / 44Cup