First place in the final round of the RC44 Championship Tour competition in both Cascais, Portugal, and in the overall team rankings for 2018 went to the Charisma team from Monaco. The team earned 28 points at the last tournament and 9 points in the overall standings.
Second place with 31 points during the Cascais Cup was shared by British Team Aqua and Slovenian Team Ceeref. They took the second and third places in the overall standings with 10 and 12 points respectively. Russia's Team Nika finished only third in the competition inPortugal with 33 points that moves our yachtsmen from first to second place in the overall ranking, which they will share with their Slovenian colleagues.
In a way, one can say that Charisma's victory in Cascais can be described as «technical»: although the event was to last four days, from November 15 to 18, it was abruptly reduced to three. The weather proved to be the culprit: the wind died down on 18th November in the racing area, but the six-metre waves from the Atlantic that came in the previous day didn't disappear. The decisive races that could have changed the balance of power among the leaders simply did not take place.
However, the challenging conditions on Saturday, November 17 even pleased the second Russian Bronenosec crew who finished sixth in Cascais (40 points) and ninth last (37 points) in the overall standings.
«It was great! We've been waiting for weather like this, yesterday was just awful. We like it when there is more wind, I feel better, it was "our" conditions», - said the helmsman «Battleship» Kirill Frolov.
But the leaders were not so optimistic.
«Not only wind was difficult, but also sea conditions. It's good that there were only two races. At 22-23 knots it was more survival than competition», - said helmsman of Charisma Nico Poon, despite the fact that his team was first in both races of the day.
For Russian Team Nika the waves and wind were a real problem. In the first race the team that was used to the weak wind in the first two days of competition, could not adapt to the stormy conditions. The result: the sixth place, and despite a good start. Before that Team Nika finished in the top three almost all the time and only once took fourth place. But since the last race of the second day the Russians were not lucky any more. Then for the first time in six races they finished eighth.
The last race eighth also ended in total defeat for Team Nika. In the middle of the course, apparently due to a wave impact, the boat's removable bow broke. Apart from the fact that the part began to obstruct and slow the boat, water rushed into the gap in the hull. Several tons heavier than before, the boat became sluggish and lost speed even more. To top it all off, while cleaning the gennaker, the sail was lost into the water due to entangled rigging. Several more precious minutes had to be lost to retrieve it.
«When you don't have a bow, there is a big fountain from the bow of the boat. Beautiful, sure, but unpleasant. The water was overflowing from one side to the other as if something inside the boat had a life of its own. We had only to finish, the competition was out of the question,», said Vladimir Prosikhin, helmsman of Team Nika.
The team set up to take revenge the next day, but didn't get the chance.
«I'm disappointed we failed yesterday. The weather was "ours" and we should have performed well, but we couldn't. Unfortunately, we ended the competition in such a slightly disappointed state. But that's the beauty of RC44 racing - it's not like one boat is always the best here»," said Prosikhin after learning of Charisma's win.