RC44 Gmunden, Austria

May 28, 2009 4 Comments by

PRESS RELEASE – RC44 Championship Tour – RC 44 Austria Cup

Team No Way Back wins the fleet race ranking

whilst Team Aqua is crowned Austria Cup champion

It went down to the last hurdle between No Way Back, Artemis and Team Aqua, separated by two points only before the ninth and last regatta of the event. No Way Back wins the fleet race ranking – on a tie with Artemis – whilst Team Aqua conquers the overall title thanks to its victory in the match race.

May 31, 2009 – The sun was finally shining today and the wind blowing like it should in a sailboat race, allowing the Race Committee to launch four races and reshuffle the cards in the overall ranking of the RC 44 Austria Cup.

After a last race sailed this morning in this week’s typical gray, cold and unstable weather, the sun and the breeze came back for the final showdown, allowing the Race Committee to launch three fantastic races in Ebensee, at the other end of the lake.

Pieter Heerema and his team No Way Back were looking good at this stage thanks to their victory in the day’s first race. But the racing in Ebensee is all different, with the boats sailing as closely as possible to the cliffs in order to benefit from the land effect.

Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis was the best at adapting to those conditions, starting race 6 at the pin end of the line, going as closely as possible to the land in order to benefit from a good lift and tack ahead of the pack to take the lead. Alternating the worse and the best throughout the week, Team Sea Dubai also had an excellent regatta, finishing second just a couple of seconds behind Artemis after a fantastic dual. Other teams had ups and downs, with BMW ORACLE Racing finishing third despite sailing without their bowsprit, Team Austria ripping a spinnaker and Organika incurring a penalty at the windward mark. Team Aqua finished 4th and No Way Back 7th, closing the gap dramatically at the top of the leaderboard before the last races.

The next regatta turned out to be the most exciting one of the week, with a pre-start collision between Team Sea Dubai and Ceeref and further penalties for the same Ceeref as well as Organika and Team Austria in a hairy leeward mark rounding. Team Aqua benefited from this chaos to grab the lead and win ahead of No way Back and Organika.

The scenario couldn’t have been any better before the start of the last race of the event, with No Way Back sitting just two points ahead of Team Aqua and Artemis. The three teams knew the situation, and said after the regatta that they sailed “their own race”, without looking too much at the others.

No Way Back twisted a sheet in a winch one minute before the gun and was forced to start at the Committee end of the line when the middle and pin end were clearly favoured. Artemis started as usual at the pin end, but a touch too late. As for Aqua, it took an average start in the middle of the line, momentarily taking the lead of the “race in the race” despite sailing in BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Sea Dubai’s wake. The Team from the UAE seemed to have the regatta under control until Artemis – on great form today – made the best of the land effect to grab the temporary third place, just ahead of Aqua and No Way Back. The three teams sailed the last run in each other’s wake, trying to attack ahead without taking too much risk behind. BMW ORACLE Racing’s beautiful win and Team Sea Dubai’s second place were anecdotic compared to this fight for the overall victory. Artemis finally crossed third, Aqua fourth and No way Back – threatened until the last meters by the brave Austrians – in fifth, grabbing the fleet race ranking title on a tie with Artemis. Team Aqua concludes the fleet regatta in third but grabs the overall RC 44 Austria Cup title ahead of Artemis and No way Back, and increases its lead in the Championship Tour.

The next regatta will take place on July 8-12 in Malcesine, Lake Garda.

They said:

Pieter Heerema, owner, No Way Back: “We had a fantastic first race this morning; all worked out perfectly for us. We had such a lead that we had to stop before crossing the line to make sure that there was not too much time between us and the others. The other races this afternoon at Ebensee were fantastic. The last race was very close. We had technical problems that prevented us from starting where we wanted but ended up with our direct competitors and had a very close race.”

Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner, Artemis: “We deliberately chose to start all races at the pin end of the line because we thought it was favoured and it usually proved to be the case. Of course this sent us right to the mountainside with other boats just behind and to windward as we had to tack, but I wasn’t scared to sail so close from the cliffs; I am used to sail in the archipelago and we do this all the time. During the downwind legs we didn’t use the coastal effect enough and lost some ground. We should probably have protected our position better. All in all, it was a great and very interesting regatta.”

Cameron Appleton, tactician, Team Aqua: “I am very proud of our result. We fought until the last race and it was amazing to see the top three boats sailing so close from each other in this last regatta. We had control over the situation half way through, but then I didn’t manage to prevent Artemis’ come back.”

Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing: ”This was a great event, and a huge success. We had our moments as a team, but I am quite happy with our fourth place. It wasn’t easy for our new helmsman to fit in, but he did a good job. It is great that No Way Back had such a good regatta; they worked very hard and sailed very consistently. It is interesting to note that the winning boat’s average place is approximately fourth and that five different teams have managed to win races. It says a lot about this Class.”

Christian Feichtinger, event organiser: Last year was our premiere and this year is our break through. We have clearly promoted our sailing event in a new dimension, by proving that we can run an entire match race round robin, eight fleet races and the DHL Trophy on our lake. We are very happy that the Class committed to come back next year.”

Fleet race, final results after nine races (no discard):

(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results (in bold, double points for the DHL Trophy), points)

1) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 5, 3, 8, 2, 1, 1, 7, 2, 5 – 34 points
2) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1, 4, 2, 9, 7, 3, 1, 4, 3  – 34 points
3) Team Aqua, Chris Bake 8, 2, 6, 1, 4, 5, 4, 1, 4 – 35 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers, 6, 6, 4, 5, 9, 2, 3, 8, 1 – 44 points
5) Team Sea Dubai, Stefan Linder, 11 (DNF), 11 (DNS), 0, 3, 5, 8, 2, 5, 2 – 47 points
6) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 2, 1, 12, 4, 2, 9, 6, 6, 7 – 49 points
7) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 3, 8, 10, 6, 3, 4, 8, 3, 8 – 53 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 4, 5, 14, 7, 6, 6, 5, 7, 6 – 60 points
9) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 7, 7, 16, 8, 8, 7, 9, 9, 9 – 80 points

RC 44 Austria Cup overall ranking

(Ranking, team, owner, match race, fleet race, points)

1) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 1, 3 – 4 points
2) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 3, 2 – 5 points
3) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 6, 1 – 7 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts, 5, 4 – 9 points
5) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 2, 7 – 9 points
6) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 4, 6 – 10 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, DIMC Markus Wieser, 7, 5 – 12 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 9, 8 – 17 points

more here

RC 44 – Gmunden, Austria
Paul Cayard
Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Lake of Traunsee was not too kind to us today. Four very mediocre finishes pushed us down to 6th overall. The team from Holland in No Way Back, won the event. Artemis and Aqua followed.

The sun actually came out for the day which made things a lot more pleasant. There was plenty of snow around in the hills after all the rain of the last two days. There wasn’t much wind up at the Gmunden end of the lake so after the first race, things were moved completely down to the other end, about 10K from Gmunden.

This is a beautiful place especially when the sun is out. Idylic really. Nice weekend homes for the people of Linz and Salzberg.

The RC 44 is a great boat and I hope to do some more sailing in the class.

I am back to San Francisco tomorrow and training on Flash next weekend for Trans-Pac with Danny and Allie and the rest of the Flash team.



PRESS RELEASE – RC44 Championship Tour – RC 44 Austria Cup

Team Sea Dubai wins the DHL Trophy and moves up the overall ranking

The team from the UAE recovered from yesterday’s counter performance with a splendid victory in the DHL Trophy followed by a 3rd and a 5th. Thanks to its excellent results (4, 2, 1), Team No Way Back is now the fleet race provisional leader.

May 30, 2009 – Today’s races won’t be remembered in the sailing history as the most pleasant ones. Indeed, most of them took place under a gray sky, cold rain and shifty wind that made it very hard for the tacticians to establish a reliable strategy.

The first regatta of the day – the long distance DHL Trophy – was the best and most regular one of the day. The race started soon after 10:00 AM, with a light but fairly stable breeze. The RC 44 fleet immediately split in two, with Puerto Calero, Artemis and Ceeref choosing the right side of the lake whilst the others opted for the left and mountainous side. The “countrymen” looked good for a while, until the “mountaineers” – and particularly Team Aqua – benefited from a massive shift to get back to the top.

Most boats reached the stunning Traunkirchen monastery at the same time, except for Ceeref, Organika and Puerto Calero who remained in a windless spot for too long. The tacking dual alongside the picturesque coast was interesting, with the RC 44’s gliding like ghosts on flat water, controlling each other’s moves as they neared the mark. Artemis was first up there, just ahead of Team Sea Dubai and BMW ORACLE Racing.

The downwind ride proved tricky, with unpredictable puffs of wind coming down from the mountain and a breeze dying closer to the arrival line. Markus Wieser had the best understanding of the situation and led his helmsman Stefan Linder in the right spot, winning the double points race. This was a welcome recovery following yesterday’s counter performance, when they had to retire after a spectacular broach in order to re-establish their spinnaker halyard.

Artemis finished the DHL race in second, ahead of BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Aqua.
Two standard windward leeward races took place after the DHL Trophy, in very difficult, light and unpredictable conditions. Team Austria was leading the first one with style when the wind completely dropped. Light puffs came from here & there, propelling some teams randomly towards the arrival line but avoiding the poor Austrians. Team Aqua crossed the arrival line first, followed by No Way Back and Team Sea Dubai. Artemis, who had been in the lead alongside the Austrians for most of the race finished last.

The second regatta took place in similar conditions; so much so that Race Officer Peter Reggio had to shorten the course and establish the final ranking at the windward mark. Pieter Heerema and Ray Davis had a lot of confidence in the left side of the course and this proved to be the right choice; team No Way back won the race ahead of Organika, Ceeref and Team Aqua. The Dutch team leads the overall ranking with 19 points, just ahead of Ceeref and Team Aqua (21).

They said:

Markus Wieser, tactician, Team Sea Dubai: “We had a very bad start in the DHL race, but then we played the shifts nicely and slowly came back. I think that the conditions were stable enough for a good race. On the way back we controlled the rest of the fleet well and managed to win the race.”

Pieter Heerema, owner, No Way Back: “We were leading the DHL regatta during the first half of the beat, but then the ghost of the lake started playing with us… All together we had a very good day and Ray Davies did a fantastic job. He is great at reading the course, but also at communicating with us and that’s essential. It was cold and wet but we enjoyed it a lot. The training we did in Copenhagen this winter certainly paid off today.”

René Mangold, owner, Team Austria: “The conditions were very tricky. I think that in order to excel, you need to be very calm and wait to see what happens. We were often too impulsive, and tacked as soon as the wind changed a bit. The good news is that we were fast, but we definitely need to work our starts and manoeuvres.”

Daniel Calero, owner, Team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias: “It’s the first time we are sailing on a lake and we are definitely suffering. In the DHL race for example, we were very good and confident. One minute later we were last; it’s really painful. You have to be a good chess player and to anticipate well to be good at this game.”

Ian Vickers, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: “I got told at the last minute that I would be steering the boat and I feel very fortunate. During the races I mostly concentrate on my speed and I can’t look much out of the boat. Luckily, I get good advice from Russell. I haven’t raced much at all since 2000. Before this I was sailing as an amateur on keelboats; I also competed in the 470 Class and won the nationals (NZL) in 1990. I have been BMW ORACLE Racing’s boat captain since Trieste last year.”

Fleet race, provisional results after five races (no discard):

(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results (in bold, double points for the DHL Trophy), points)

1) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 5, 3, 8, 2, 1 – 19 points
2) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 2, 1, 12, 4, 2 – 21 points
3) Team Aqua, Chris Bake 8, 2, 6, 1, 4 – 21 points
4) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1, 4, 2, 9, 7 – 23 points
5) Team Sea Dubai, Stefan Linder, 11 (DNF), 11 (DNS), 0, 3, 5 – 30 points
6) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 3, 8, 10, 6, 3 – 30 points
7) BMW ORACLE Racing, Ian Vickers, 6, 6, 4, 5, 9 – 30 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 4, 5, 14, 7, 6 – 36 points
9) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 7, 7, 16, 8, 8 – 46 points

RC 44 – Gmunden, Austria
Paul Cayard
Friday, May 29, 2009

The Ceeref team had a great day today, winning the day with a 2nd and a 1st place in the fleet racing. The conditions were fairly windy and very shifty.

With owner Igor Lah at the helm, we got off the line well in both races. We fell a bit behind on the first leg of the first race as Artemis took control. We managed a good comeback on the second windward leg and final run to finish second.

In the second race, the wind was building. We started in 15 knots. The wind was shifting from 270 to 300 every three minutes. It wasn’t the same over the course. Very tricky! We had a good start and played the first few shifts off the line. By the first windward mark we had a 100 yard lead. Artemis was looking good again up half way up the beat but got too far left and rounded about 5th.

We got a nice puff and extended down the run. At the bottom of the run, a strong gust came through…. about 35 knots. We had just gotten around the bottom mark and were going up wind as BMW Oracle and Artemis were coming downwind straight at us, pretty much out of control. I thought they were going to hit us and told our guest to get ready to avoid them. They both missed us and both broached. There was carnage all over the place. Gennakers flagging, boats on their side, etc.

We, and the fleet, managed to sail the second windward leg with way too much sail up. The wind shifted hard to the right as this front passed very quickly and the final run was a 2 sail reach in 30 knots of wind. The boat was going 21 knots! Igor did a great job of keeping the boat under control. Igor has only been sailing for two years and clearly doesn’t know everything about the sport. But it was very clear to me that he had a great feel for “balance” and he instinctively sailed the boat to the right heel angle. This is a hard thing to teach someone but Igor seems to have that inside him.

The wind died after that front went through, then we had plenty of rain. After that it went clam and then we were told of another squall coming and ordered to the moorings. We just got to the moorings when the next line of squally hit. Lightning and hail. The call came, “Let’s just scrape the snow off the jib before we put her down below.” Mate, I don’t thing I have heard that call in a long time.

Tomorrow we will have a bit of an earlier start and hope to get about 5 or 6 races in.

I haven’t seen the scores but I know we won the day and Artemis was second with a 1, 4.

Photos : Copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association


PRESS RELEASE – RC44 Championship Tour – RC 44 Austria Cup

Crazy conditions on day one of the RC 44 Austria Cup fleet regatta

The Slovenian team Ceeref, with Igor Lah at the helm and Paul Cayard at the tactics, makes the best of the massive shifts, strong gusts and rain and hailstones showers on day one of the fleet race event of the RC 44 Austria Cup.

May 29, 2009 – The Austrian weather carries on playing tricks with the sailors on Lake Traunsee, resulting in exciting, surprising and eventful regattas.
The sky was blue for the start of the first race and the wind moderate. BMW ORACLE Racing, with boat captain Ian Vickers at the helm and Russell Coutts calling the shots started at the pin end of the line and carried on to the left of the course with Team Puerto Calero and No Way Back. Led by the local team Austria, the other teams went to the right and benefited from a big right hand shift.

However, the best strategy proved to be the middle one. Playing every shift with a great vista, Torbjorn Tornqvist and Dean Barker reached the windward mark ahead of the pack, leading Organika, Team Sea Dubai and team Austria. Winner of the match race event yesterday, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua was trailing at the back of the fleet, proving once again that everything is possible in this Class thanks to its strict one-design concept.

On great form, Dean Barker carried on calling perfect shots, allowing Tornqvist to extend its lead and win the race with a huge margin. The situation was more complicated behind the leader. Indeed, the pursuers were separated by a few boat lengths and engaged in a very tight battle, exchanging positions at each mark rounding. The wind increased to 20 knots during the last spinnaker ride, allowing Team Austria to gain four places just before crossing the arrival line whilst Team Sea Dubai broached and had to cut their spinnaker halyard, abandon the race and go back to the harbour to fit in a new halyard, hence also missing the next race. Ceeref finished second, ahead of Organika and Team Austria, only too happy to cross the line in the first half of the pack.

Big black clouds started to build up over the nearby mountains before the start of race two. Most boats decided to start at the Committee Boat, resulting in a jam that forced Organika to turn back and restart after everyone. Ceeref and Artemis came out best in the middle of the line. Paul Cayard ordered a tack as soon as possible whilst Dean Barker opted for the left. Cayard’s choice proved to be the right one and the Slovenian team reached the windward mark before its opponents. The first strong gusts of wind came down the mountain soon after the mark rounding, propelling the RC 44 fleet towards the leeward mark at great speed. The wind increased to 30+ knots, resulting in the entire fleet blasting towards the other side of the lake, with some boats broaching and others urgently taking their kites down.

Ceeref, Team Aqua and No Way Back excelled in those conditions, sailing hard and very well and building up a comfortable lead over the opposition during the last beat. Nobody put the kite up during the last run because of the strength of the wind and the close angle, Ceeref crossing the line a few boat lengths ahead of Team Aqua and No Way Back. Artemis came back a long way to cross the line in fourth, just ahead of Team Austria, excellent once again.

The sun then came back and the wind dropped, forcing Race Officer Peter Reggio to postpone the next start during two hours before sending the fleet back home just before another massive storm hit lake Traunsee, with thunder, hailstones and massive gusts of wind.

Photos : Copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association

They said:

René Mangold, owner, Team Austria: “We all come from Austria but this doesn’t mean that we are used to those conditions. This was actually very unusual, even for us. We had up to 32 knots at the top of our mast, and the spinnaker ride was just fantastic. We are happy with our result and it was great to see the public supporting us so much.”

Igor Lah, owner, Ceeref: “The second race was crazy. I never sailed with so much wind in my life, and I felt like on a rollercoaster. I was really concentrated on driving the boat and couldn’t look out much, but it was fantastic.”

Ray Davies, tactician, No Way Back: “We were clearly in survival mode in the second race, but Pieter (Heerema) did a great job at the helm. There were big lead changes throughout the regattas and it was extremely shifty. Good fun.”

Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner, Artémis: “This is the first time I sail on a lake and it is an interesting experience. It is very shifty and the steering is challenging. We have been pretty lucky with the shifts in the first race, and Dean did a great job. We were always in the right place at the right time. “

Maciej Navrocki, owner, Organika: “The first race was great but then we suffered during the second one. We broached and had to stop because the spinnaker was stuck under the boat. I have enjoyed today a lot and these are the conditions that we like most even if it is very cold. This place is great and we appreciate Lake Traunsee as a sailing destination. I am also very happy with the team; they have done a great match race and I am proud of Karol.”

Photos by Thomas Henkelmann

Photos : Copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association



PRESS RELEASE -

RC44 Championship Tour – RC 44 Austria Cup

Very talented and a bit lucky, Team Aqua grabs the match race title in the RC 44 Austria Cup

Despite leading the tournament since the onset, Cameron Appleton and his team remained under threat until the very last race. Karol Jablonski’s Organika finishes a magnificent second ahead of Dean Barker’s Artemis and Paul Cayard’s Ceeref.

May 28, 2009 – When asked what the key to his success was, Team Aqua’s pro skipper Cameron Appleton was humble enough to answer “a huge amount of luck”. But luck doesn’t explain all and it is fair to say that Team Aqua sailed very well and that the team grabbed all the opportunities available – and there were many.

Following a successful ride against Team No Way Back, Aqua won the match that would be the decisive one in Flight 8, against Paul Cayard’s Ceeref. Despite loosing the start and incurring a penalty, Aqua managed to come back during the first downwind leg, taking advantage of a massive right shift to grab the lead. Appleton and his team then perfectly executed their penalty on the arrival line, finishing a couple of seconds ahead of Ceeref.

Two teams were still in a position to beat Aqua at this stage: BMW ORACLE Racing and Organika. The Americans blew their last opportunity during the pre-start of Flight 9 against Organika, incurring a penalty and crossing the line prematurely.

With one last race to go, Karol Jablonski’s Polish team was the only one still in a position to beat Aqua. In order to achieve this, Jablonski had to win its last race against No Way Back and Team Aqua to be beaten by BMW ORACLE Racing. Cameron Appleton made it very clear in the pre-start sequence that the event was his, taking an early lead over the Americans and extending throughout the race to win the match and the event. No Way Back, with Ray Davies at the helm for the starting sequence and owner Pieter Heerema taking over for the rest of the race managed to beat Organika “for the honour”, as the result had no influence on the final outcome. The two teams had an interesting windward mark rounding, carrying on for at least two hundred meters after the mark, looking at each other like cat and dog and waiting for the opportunity to make the break. A fantastic match racing moment.

There were many other exciting matches today, including a superb dual between Team Sea Dubai and BMW ORACLE Racing in the seventh flight. The team from the UAE had successfully inflicted a penalty to its opponent and dominated most of the match but could not prevent one of those come backs that only Lake Traunsee seems to allow.

Not used to sail on a lake, the Spanish team Puerto Calero had some good moments too, beating Organika, BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Austria but this was not enough to finish any better than eighth overall.
As for Team Austria, still learning the subtleties of match racing, they had some very good and close matches but haven’t managed to win a race. A tough result that certainly doesn’t reflect their talent.

The fleet racing event starts tomorrow. The strict one-design concept of the RC 44 Class and the shifty weather will open up more opportunities to the less experienced teams. It will with no doubt be a very interesting regatta.

Photos : Copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association

They said:

Cameron Appleton, helmsman, Team Aqua: “We’ve had a huge amount of luck. We sailed very well in those races that we won fair & square. But I confess that we were lucky at times. I don’t know any other place that offers such opportunities to come back. The qualities that were necessary to win today are: patience, focus and belief.”

Dean Barker, helmsman, Artemis: “I am not very happy with our day. The conditions don’t make for great matches. You think you are doing things right and five minutes later you’ve been overtaken by your opponent without having done any mistake. This lake is really hard to read.”

René Mangold, owner, Team Austria: “I am not surprised by the result and we are not unhappy. These guys sail match races 200 days / year; it’s just normal that they beat us. But I have the feeling that we are getting closer and closer. Hopefully we will be able to win some races next time, in Malcesine.”

Karol Jablonski, helmsman, Organika: “It was complicated, exciting and intense. We’ve had lots of ups and downs throughout the day, but the crew has done a fantastic job and I am very happy. Rod Dawson, from New Zealand, is our new mainsail trimmer and he is doing a great job; it is very helpful. I didn’t know that we could have won the event when we started the last race. But it wouldn’t have changed anything.”

Match-race, final results after nine flights:

(Name of team, helmsman, No of victories / defeats, points)

1) Team Aqua, Cameron Appleton 7/1, 7 points
2) Team Organika, Karol Jablonski 5/3, 5 points
3) Artemis, Dean Barker, 5/3, 5 points
4) Ceeref, Paul Cayard, 5/3, 5 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, Rod Davis, 4/4, 4 points
6) No Way Back, Pieter heerema, 4/4, 4 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser, 3/5, 3 points
8) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, José Maria Ponce, 3/5, 3 points
9) Team Austria, Christian Binder, 0/8, 0 point


Photo : Copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association. Paul Cayard’s CEEREF momentarily  leads Cameron Apleton’s Team Aqua in the decisive match of the RC 44 Austria Cup.

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RC 44 – Gmunden, Austria

Paul Cayard
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We had a good day onboard Ceeref today winning three races and losing just one. The conditions were tricky as seems to be the norm here and this caused more than a few lead changes.

Before things got going, our boat captain Josh did a great job getting down to the boat at 0700 to check her out. He even dove on the boat and found that the trim tab had been damaged by one of the mooring lines the night before in the storm. He and a couple of the crew took the boat down to the end of the lake, about 10 miles away, hauled it and tried to put in the spare tab. It did not fit so they put the damaged one back in, sanded it a bit and we raced like that. Luckily we had a bye in the first flight of racing so we did not miss anything.

We actually led around every mark of every race we were in. In our first race, we lost the lead on the final run to the finish when the boat behind gybe set and got a puff of wind we never saw. Other than that, we never crossed behind anyone. I could not have hoped for much more than that. Most importantly, my friend and fellow team member from the 1983 America’s Cup, Rod Davis, kindly let me beat him so I could win the master division.

So tomorrow we have the last four matches. We start out with Artemis where Dean Barker is the helmsman. The forecast for tomorrow isn’t great but I think we just have to reset our idea of good wind down to about 4 knots with 40 degree shifts and then it will all be normal.

We had a nice party tonight in an old palace half way down the west side of the Lake. There was a church in this place from the 12th century. Most places we go are very international really. If you go to Palma or St. Tropez or San Francisco, you can find anything. This place is very old and very Austrian.

Standings after today:

1) Team Aqua, Cameron Appleton 4/1, 4 points
2) CEEREF, Paul Cayard, 3/1, 3 points
2) Artemis, Dean Barker, 3/2, 3 points
2) Team Organika, Karol Jablonski 3/2, 3 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, Rod Davis, 2/2, 2 points
5) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 2/2, 2 points
5) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Jose Juan Calero, 2/3, 2 points
8) Team Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser, 1/3, 1 point
9) Team Austria, Christian Binder, 0/4, 0 point

Tricky conditions on day one of the RC 44 Austria Cup

The RC 44 Austria Cup match race event started today in light to moderate and very shifty conditions. Team Aqua leads the contest after five flights, ahead of Organika, Artemis and Ceeref.

May 27, 2009 – The teams involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup faced difficult conditions on day one of the Austria Cup, with shifty and irregular winds that tested the tactician’s nerves and generated some unexpected come backs and upsets. At the end of the day, the most popular words that could be heard on the pontoons were “we should” and “we could”.

The first flight of the day immediately set the tone, with an unexpected come back from Team Puerto Calero against Organika in a situation that would have been desperate in normal conditions.
The same fate hit Paul Cayard’s Ceeref on flight two: the American was fairly easily controlling the situation against Team No Way Back – with owner Pieter Heerema at the helm – when the dutch boat executed a complicated – and pretty poorly executed – jibe set at the last windward mark, catching a nice puff right after to grab the lead.

The second flight also coincided with Dean Barker and Artemis’ first defeat since March in a tense match against Karol Jablonski’s Organika.
The local Austrian team fought with all its heart throughout the day, putting up a good show and gaining valuable experience despite missing victories through the accumulation of little mistakes; the often mentioned lack of experience. The closest call was in flight three when Christian Binder and his team managed to sail in Ceeref’s wake throughout the match, crossing the arrival line just behind Paul Cayard. Equally unlucky, Team Sea Dubai only managed to grab a point against Puerto Calero in the second flight and had a painful incident in their third match when they ripped their spinnaker and had to take their mainsail down to untangle bits of tissue wrapped around the battens.

The “match of the day” took place in the fourth flight, between Organika and Ceeref. The two teams reached the starboard layline together and engaged a brutal luffing dual. Surprised by the action, Organika’s bowman fell in the water and the jury raised a first penalty flag against the Polish team for responding too late. The second flag came up seconds later, during the mark rounding, when Karol Jablonski tried to squeeze in between the mark and his opponent in a forbidden way. The Polish executed a perfect penalty turn and bravely carried on chasing Cayard until the arrival line, loosing a great regatta by a few boat lengths.

The last flight of the day took place in a dying breeze that didn’t deliver much action, except for a very close match between Ceeref and BMW ORACLE Racing. Cayard just managed to cross the arrival line ahead of Davis before the breeze completely disappeared.

Team Aqua leads the contest with 4 points, ahead of Ceeref, Artemis and Organika (3 points). The last three flights (or four for some boats) will take place tomorrow.

They said:

Cameron Appleton, helmsman, Team Aqua: “We’ve had our share of bad luck on lakes until now but it’s over and today was our day. We sailed well and the combination with Andy (Estcourt) and I worked well. The conditions are certainly difficult but you need to create luck and opportunities; that’s what we did.”

Dean Barker, helmsman, Artemis: “I don’t think we were very lucky today. For example in our match against Aqua, we had a huge lead but they came back from behind with a gust and passed us. The conditions were quite typical of lake sailing and I sometimes had the feeling that we were not really match racing. We often had to play the weather rather than the opponent. But it was good fun.”

Rod Davis, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: “It was definitely a difficult day wind wise and sometimes a bit of a lottery but we had a lot of fun. I just had one hour to practice before the start, so I am still learning a lot. I think most of our races were good, except the one against Paul Cayard. We should have won that one.”

Karol Jablonski, helmsman, Organika: “I am happy with our day but I really believe that we could have finished with the perfect score. It was very close all along. We should never have lost the first race against the Spaniards; they were a long way behind a came back with a puff. Then we had a close situation against Cayard and my bowman fell in the water; I didn’t really agree with the Jury but that’s match racing!”

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RC 44 – Gmunden, Austria

Paul Cayard
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tomorrow will be the first day of racing for the RC44 fleet here in Gmunden. The RC44 is a relatively new class of boat designed by Russell Coutts and Andre Justin. It looks like a 1/2 scale of the America’s Cup boats from 2007. But it is relatively lighter and very high performing. It planes downwind in 16 knots of wind and it is fully powered up in 7 knots upwind. It is a one design class and the boats are very high tech being built out of carbon fiber and even having a trim tab on the keel fin.

The RC 44 fleet has a circuit around Europe and the Middle East.ᅠ So far this year, the fleet has competed two events, one in Lanzarote and one Cagliari, Sardinia.

I have been asked to sail onboard Ceeref for just this regatta as the tactician, Sebastian Col is off doing one of the World Match Race Tour regattas.

The format for racing in this class is: Wednesday and Thursday Match Racing where a professional can steer the boat and Friday-Sunday is Fleet Racing and an armature must steer the boat which is usually the owner.

So we will race each other team once in a round robin over the next two days. There are some very good match racers here and I haven’t match raced in a while so it will be a good challenge for me.

Gmunden in on Lake Traun. This lake is nestled at the bottom of some very high mountains. So far, two of the three days, the wind had trouble getting down to the lake with any kind of steadiness. Yesterday was a fantastic day with the wind blowing down the length of the lake due to thermal convection in the mountains at the far end of the lake. The lake is about 8 miles long and 2 miles wide. It makes for a beautiful setting. There are many summer homes here is Gmunden is just 40 minutes from Salzburg.

A big wind just blew through the town and knocked a couple of the boats off their mooring. I am told there was a bit of damage to one of them when another drifted into it.ᅠ We’ll see in the morning.

It has been about 33C for the past two days but the temp is supposed to drop to 15C tomorrow.

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4 Responses to “RC44 Gmunden, Austria”

  1. Sailing & Yachting says:

    Sailing & Yachting…

    [...] The last flight of the day took place in a dying breeze that didn’t deliver much action, except for a very close match between Ceeref and BMW ORACLE Racing. Cayard just managed to cross the arrival line ahead of Davis before the breeze completel…

  2. Yachtyakka Index says:

    [...] RC44 – Gmunden, Austria [...]

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