RC44 Trapani Cup regatta, the second round of the prestigious RC44 Championship Tour was held in Sicily on May 1-5. Russian sailing team «Synergy» (helmsmen - team co-owners Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev) won two consecutive races in the fleet for the first time during the RC44 class. In addition, the Russian crew won two races in match race and came in third place in the overall standings of the season in this format based on the results of the two stages.
Trapani, located in the western part of the largest Mediterranean island of Sicily, hosted the regatta for the first time in RC44 class.
During 5 days of racing the RC44 Trapani Cup participants were exposed to the weather: there were weak winds, storms and thunderstorms.
The first day of the regatta was dedicated to match racing. The schedule was rigged so «Synergy», world champion in this format, was scheduled to skip three of the first six flyts (10 of 13 yachts out of 13 would compete at the same time) and then compete in the remaining three in a row. However, the final three fleets had to be cancelled due to too little breeze. As a result, teams participated in an uneven number of races. For example, «Synergy» competed in only three races, while the other crews competed in four or six. The Russians have won twice (against reigning series champion Team Aqua and Slovenian Ceeref, which won «silver» in Trapani in fleet races) and achieved a winning percentage of 66.7%. Only Katusha, Team Aqua, Peninsula Petroleum and Nika were better on this indicator. In the overall RC44 Championship Tour 2013match race standings after two regattas «Synergy» is in third place with six wins.
Then the second part of the regatta started in Trapani - the fleet race. On the first day «Synergy» achieved a record for itself. The Russian team won two races in a row, showing the first winning streak in this format during the RC44 class. Both times the sailors analyzed the situation during the start maneuvers and made correct tactical decisions, as well as acted in a well-coordinated and accurate manner. In the table «Synergy» temporarily moved up to the second position.
On the remaining three days, unpredictable weather and unstable winds led to an intensification of the struggle and an increase in the cost of mistakes. On Saturday afternoon a thunderstorm started in Trapani and the fleet returned to the harbour. Thunderstorms were expected towards evening and on the final day of the regatta, so the teams took to the water an hour early, allowing for three races. Team Aqua won twice in a row and returned to the top of the table, before losing two places to their nearest rival Ceeref in the deciding race. Both teams scored an equal number of points, but the win went to the Brits - they had three races won, while the Slovenian sailors had one. « Synergy» was the sixth in Trapani and retained the sixth place in the table of the 2013 season.
RC44 Championship Tour 2013 calendar:
January 30 - February 3 - Muscat, Oman (completed)
May 1-5 - Trapani, Italy (completed) June 25-29 - Marstrand, Sweden2-6 October - Cascais, Portugal20-24 November- Lanzarote, Spain (World Championships)
The RC44 Championship Tour regattas have two parts. In the first part, teams compete in match racing and in the second part, fleet racing. The winner of the regatta is determined by the sum of the places taken in these parts. Teams are required to have one professional helmsman (for match race) and one amateur helmsman (for fleet race). As for the technical specifications of the boats, they are identical for all teams. This ensures a tight contest, the outcome of which depends only on the skill of the sailors. RC44 boats are 13.35m long, displacement - 3560kg, maximum crew weight - 680kg.
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