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A good start is half the battle.

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On February 8, 2012 regatta Puerto Calero Cup opened the 2012 season in RC 44 class. From our side four teams ( Synergy, Katyusha, RUS7 and Team Nika) were defending the honor of the flag, in total there were 14 participants. The weather on the first day of the regatta was difficult, which only increased the excitement.

The organisers managed to run 9 flys during yesterday's regatta, with all the boats taking part in 6 of them. «The first day was most successful for British QUQUAQUA» (our sailors nicknamed it Aqua, the winner of last season).

Some of our teams had international sailors at the helm this time, Synergy had Ed BairdThe former helmsman of Alinghi, at Katusha - Brad Butterworth with the same Alinghi. The Legionnaires rule! (However, today our sailors are already at the helm - but here we must note that on board of Synergy Ed is the only legionnaire, while Katusha (and Team Nika, too) on the contrary, the only compatriot on board is the team owner. RUS7 have no internationals at all - a purely national team - I would like to point out that it was bolstered by Radion Luca, who recently joined it).

Team Aqua was unbeaten yesterday, winning all six of their flights. The boat literally flew, breaking away from the competition on every loop - «it felt like she was greased», as one reviewer of the regatta put it. Although, as the rowers themselves say, it's all about the boat's very careful tuning to the race. However, even there at the helm was a New Zealander, and yet this nation has made an incredible leap in sailing in recent years, becoming one of the absolutely dominant. So dominant, in fact, that the Volvo Race has not dared to exclude New Zealand from the event, as it was in 2008-2009, and the public feels there was too much outcry (with virtually no one noticing the crossing-off of Australia, also not the least country in the fleet, though the Australians are deeply offended and hardly write anything about VOR. It's as if it doesn't even exist).

We digress, though. Of course, the attention of our fans was fixed on the home teams. They didn't let you down. Synergy started winning fly after fly, trying to keep up with the British. Ed Baird was very pleased with our sailors, he praised their work: «Challenging weather conditions with different speeds and wind directions made the racing fascinating. Our team looked fantastic; all the sailors were very well prepared. I am impressed with the level we showed in the match race».


Unfortunately, Synergy's victorious march was interrupted by a broken spinnaker - we lost the last flyby, ending the day 5-1 in our favour. But it all started so well - we could have tied with the Brits and shared first place. But not so.
I can't yet judge what caused the loss of the sail, but once again I would venture to guess that it was our nerves that let us down.

I have been following Synergy for three years now and I can see that the team is capable of much, but alas, the lack of concentration after this success is almost a trademark of the team, and last year even such an authoritative source as Yachting World noted it. Nerves? Lack of training? Lack of willpower? Who knows ... I can only repeat that I have been watching the same thing for the third year. Luck, victories, and failure. I want this torn spinnaker to be my first and last disappointment on Lanzarote.
«The same successful performance was shown by our second team - Katusha (though, as I wrote above», it can be called only conditionally - except the owner Gennady Timchenko there are no Russian athletes on board). Nevertheless the yacht is flying the Russian flag and so it is ours. Katyusha also made it to shore and won five of the six flyutenesses.
RUS7 from Taganrog fared less well. This very experienced crew headed by Kirill Podolsky is already known by their performance in TP 52 class, but came to RC 44 only last year. The helmsman is still Sergey Shevtsov. While, as he complains, guys still lack of technique, especially in key moments such as turns and sail changes. Long training before the start of the regatta (RUS7 spent almost more time on the water than any other team), of course, brought results, but so far only two won flights.


The results of Team Nika (who joined RC44 less than a year ago) are even worse - alas, only one victory so far. Our helmsmen are not pulling yet, alas, against New Zealanders and Americans. Or it is not that?
Be that as it may, the start of our two boats was very successful. Well, as you know, a good start is half the battle. Today in Lanzarote it's a fleet race and the boat owners themselves are at the helm. We are waiting for news.

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