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  • Team Beecom wins the fleet race

    Team Beecom wins the fleet race as Cro-A-Sail conquers the Portoroz Cup

    The Japanese Team Beecom, with Isao Mita at the helm, have won the fleet race event of the Portoroz Cup, hosted by the Slovenian Yacht Club of Portoroz, ahead of Team Cro-A-Sail and Magia. Thanks to their victory in the match race, the Croatians are the overall winners of the event.


    The Portoroz Cup finished on October the 29th with a big surprise: the Japanese team sailing on board Beecom has won the fleet race after an excellent performance, with two wins, two second places and two fourths. They concluded the event with the same number of points as the local favourites from Team Cro-A-Sail, but got the title thanks to their higher number of victories. Magia, helmed by Fabio Apolonio, finished third.

    Despite the light winds, no less than seven races have been sailed by the five strong fleet. The organisers from the Yachting Club Portoroz couldn't have dreamed of a better outcome, although a little bit more breeze wouldn't have hurt. The organisers have done a great job. They have proved that they are good enough to organise an international sailing event, commented Russell Coutts after the last race.

    Many interesting features have been tested during the event, proving the desire of the RC 44 class to be innovative and dynamic. The courses were very short, which guaranteed a permanent show for the public and a lot of action for the teams. The races were also judged directly on the water, avoiding long protests in the evening and bad feelings between the teams. If a boat is penalised, the crew will be upset with themselves and the jury. But in the evening they will share a beer with their competitors rather than spending the time working on their protest and arguing, commented Coutts.

    The races were very short and dynamic, and the situation within the fleet changed every minute. During most of the races, the five teams crossed the arrival line within less than 50 seconds. Before the last race, four teams were able to win the event. The suspense was constant and the event very interesting to follow for the numerous public and media, who were invited to sail as guests on board the RC 44's.

    The Portoroz Cup is the last event in the 2006 calendar for the RC 44 fleet. Six regattas will take place next year. The first one will again be the Portoroz Cup, in March, followed by regattas in Trieste (Italy), Lugano (Switzerland), Split (Croatia), Lisbon (Portugal) and Dubai.


    Competitors comments:
    Miroslav Reljanovic (CRO), helmsman, Team Cro-A-Sail: "We are extremely happy with our overall victory. The races were fantastic, with constant changes and challenges for the crews. I really like the format, with professional sailors steering the match races and amateurs like me helming the fleet regattas. I am glad that we have chosen to sail on RC 44's at the beginning of the season. It's the best decision we have made."

    Isao Mita (JAP), helmsman, team Beecom: "I can't believe that we have won the fleet regatta! We wouldn't have expected such a result at the beginning of the week. It is the best sailing I have ever done in my life. The regatta was superbly organised, both on the water and on land, and the hospitality was fantastic. We look forward to competing next year. And in the future we want to achieve another dream: take the RC 44 class to Japan, for some regattas in Yokohama, celebrating the 150th anniversary of our port."

    Wolfgang Shaefer (GER), helmsman, Team Mascalzone Latino: "This is a very interesting class for people who like challenges. I normally sail on Farr 40, which is a much more conservative class. The RC 44 is more difficult to steer, and also harder for the crews. They are like little America's Cup boats, who need perfect trimming and crew work to perform. We expected a better result, but we have learned a lot. Particularly that we need a lot of training to reach the right level."

    Fabio Apolonio (ITA), helmsman, Magia: "Our sailing was up and down but the event was great. The boat is new for us, so we have a lot to learn. This winter, we will train in Trieste and join some other teams in Portoroz for some practice."

    Russell Coutts, founder and co-designer of the RC 44 Class: "The formula, with both fleet and match racing, is good. The match race forces the teams to improve their manoeuvres, and as a consequence they sail much better in the fleet races. These boats reward good team work. Cro-A-Sail have excelled in this, and they fully deserve their victory. It's also interesting to see how quickly some teams progress, as the Japanese have shown for example. As for us, we have won the regatta in Trieste and finished last here... It shows that the fleet is very homogenous and that everything is possible with one-designs."


    Portoroz Cup, final results:



    Position Team Match race Fleet race Total
    1 Cro-A-Sail 1 2 3
    2 Team Beecom 3 1 4
    3 Magia 4 3 7
    4 Mascalzone Latino 2 5 7
    5 Team Omega 5 4 9

    The RC 44 is a light displacement high performance One Design sailing boat. It was designed by three-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts, together with Slovenian naval architect Andrej Justin. The RC 44 was created for top level racing in international regattas under strictly controlled Class Rules. The concept and the design features of the RC 44 are dedicated to the amateur helmsmen racing in fleet and match racing sailing events.


    More Info on Portoroz Yacht Club

    More Info on the RC44 Class

    Read more...

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