How did the first races of the new RC44 Championship season go?

How did the first races of the new RC44 Championship season go?

In Bermuda, where the first stage of the new season RC44 Championship Tour took place, the weather and the rivals presented many surprises - not always pleasant - to the Russian teams.
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From 2 to 6 March in the waters of the famous natural pool Great Sound in Bermuda, the first race of the new season RC44 Championship Tour. According to the results of the competition, the teams of St«. Petersburg Yacht Club Battleship» and «Nika» won the second and third places respectively in a serious competition with the strongest yachtsmen of the planet.

The format of the RC44 Championship Tour did not change: the first day of the Bermuda Cup was dedicated to match race, and then the competition continued in the fleet racing format.

On the first day the Russian teams performed very well: out of six flies «Nick» and «Battleship» celebrated four and five victories, respectively.

These victories were not easy for the Russians. In the first match-race against British Penninsula Petroleum« Battleship» was fined at the start, but thanks to the break on the distance he managed to get rid of the penalty and cross the line first.

Then the situation developed even more dramatically.

If in the club «derby» with «Nika» team of Vladimir Lubomirov confidently won, then at the start of the next match with the youth team Artemis« Battleship» suddenly found himself in the role of catching up after a false start. The first stretch was left behind by the Swedes, but a fierce duel of overstags on the second maneuver allowed the St. Petersburg Yacht Club team to take the lead.

In the match against Slovenian Ceeref« the Battleship was» again behind on the first stretch. The situation was saved by an opponent's mistake, when former Slovenian world champions wrongly bypassed the «gate» and had to return. The surprises did not end there: in the match against the «adult» Artemis team, both teams were late to start, but came almost simultaneously. «Battleship was already in the» lead on the first bench and it seemed that the fate of the match had been decided. But here the case intervened: the strongest gust of wind overturned the blue boat in the broaching, which was used by an experienced opponent. And it was not the only bad news for Vladimir Lubomirov's team.

Apart from the lost victory in the meeting with Swedes, the «Battleship» team was also fined for two points in the first match of the day with the British because of the touch. Thus, Vladimir Lubomirov's crew managed to score only three points instead of five in the annual qualifying round.

«Nik»'s day was very confident: four victories against two defeats. Apart from his classmates, Vladimir Prosikhin lost to the veterans of the class - the British «Akva».

«Katyusha» won two victories and suffered four defeats.

If on the first day of the RC44 Bermuda Cup, when the match flight was held, there was a lot of wind, on the contrary, at the start of the fleet races - not enough. The first race was held at a comfortable 15 knots, and then, during the day, the wind dropped to 10 or less knots, adding difficulties in the tactical construction of teams.

Such an unstable wind partly determined a significant variation of results in the four races fleet. Few managed to perform consistently.

The collision between the Slovenian Cereef and the Swedish Artemis at the start of the first race caused the Swedes to leave the distance.

Cereef, as a rule-breaker, was disqualified in the first race and received 2 penalty points in the overall standings. However, the 2013 World Champions spent the remaining three races of the day very confidently: two victories and a third arrival.

The Russian «Battleship» managed to win the first race. In the gentle wind, the second race was not successful at all and «the Battleship» was only sixth in the first sign. Then we managed to win back a little - the fourth finish. After two races «Aqua» and «Battleship» shared the first line with five points. In the third race the» opponent's «overtaking failed: «Aqua» wins, «Battleship» the fourth. As a result of the day«, Battleship» took second place, losing to Team Aqua.

Team Nika of Vladimir Proshihin spent the day with varying success. It started with the third arrival, and after the second race was the fourth in the standings. Then, she returned to the third line, but could not hold back and slipped back to fourth place.

«Katusha» finished the sixth day.

On the second day of the fleet races RC44 Bermuda Cup, March 3, the results at the top of the table even more tightened.

The three races took place in a close fight between the leaders of the standings: British «Akva», «Battleship of St. Petersburg» Yacht Club and Slovenian Cereef. According to the results of the day the first three were divided only by 2 points.

The third day of the fleet's stay in Bermuda differed from the previous two days: a strong 20-25 knots wind came from the new southwest direction. Warm sunny weather, which reigned during the match-race and the first day of the fleet races, was replaced by dense cloudiness and low temperatures. By the start of the third race of the day there was heavy rain.

The start of the day on March 3 looked promising. Both teams of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club were in the lead group. «The battleship» finished third, «Nika» was fourth. «Aqua» was seventh, which allowed Lubomirov's crew to lead the scoring with a 2-point advantage over the British. «Nika» continued to take fifth place.

By the start of the second race Aqua class «veterans» managed to navigate in the changing power and wind direction, and finished third. «The Battleship» was fourth and kept its position at the top of the standings, aided by another Cereef victory that held back the progress of the British.

For «Nicki, the» second race was a failure. In the leeward section, the team dropped the gennaker, missing the entire fleet - the eighth finish and the sixth place in the standings.

By the start of the third race, the wind increased, which played into the hands of the Russian teams. «The battleship» came in third again, «Nika was» rehabilitated by victory. For Slovenians, the rain and wind did «not go» - the fourth coming. «Aqua» was the second.

At the end of the day «Battleship» shared the first place with «Akva», and Vladimir Prosikhin's team remained in fifth place. The same positions were maintained by the Russian teams the next day.

For Vladimir Prosikhin's crew, the penultimate day of the competition was a turning point, when «Nika» won one of the races and was second twice. This result allowed the team to climb to the top three.

For «Bronenosts, March» 5, on the contrary, was the most unfortunate day. The team of Vladimir Lubomirov and Michele Ivaldi made a number of serious tactical mistakes, which pushed the team to the fourth line with the deficit of 6 points to the leader of all days in a row Team Aqua. The fate of the stage medals was to be decided on the final day of the competition.

The morning of March 6 was unusually windless. We had to wait for several hours for the first race to start. And when the fleet reached the starting line, the wind force did not exceed 5 knots.

It was under these conditions, according to commentators, Michele Ivaldi seemed to «have a direct connection with the gods of wind».

Italian tactician «Battleship» crew unmistakably directed the boat to those points of the distance where there was an increase in wind. Moving from spot to spot«, Battleship» built up the lead and ended the day with two much-needed victories.

«Yesterday we made some unforgivable mistakes and ended up in fourth place. The conditions were good, so there was no one to blame but ourselves. Today, in very difficult conditions, in a weak and very unstable wind, our tactician did not make any mistakes and we won two races. I think that this is a great start to the season. The team performed at a high level»- commented on the results of the competition the owner of «Bronenostsa» Vladimir Lubomirov.

Ed Bird, the tactician of «Nick»'s team, also had a difficult task. Prosihin's team finished the penultimate day with the same number of points from Slovenian Cereef, which had already won 4 out of 10 races held at that time. At the decisive moment, the Russian team managed to hold on to its rival, while the Slovenians finished sixth and fifth in two races of the day, while «Nika» was third and fourth. This provided the crew of the 2015 World Champions with the third place in the RC44 Bermuda Cup.

RC44 Bermuda Cup 02-06 March, official results after 12 fleet races:

1. Team Aqua - 37
2. Bronenosec Sailing Team - 39
3. Team Nika - 42
Peninsula Petroleum - 49
Artemis Racing - 57
Katusha - 68
Artemis Racing Youth - 83.

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