Photos: © Bozidar Vukicevic

Artemis and Oracle tied

Four fleet races held at the Adris RC44 Cup in Rovinj, Croatia

Thursday September 29th 2011, Author: Jo Grindley, Location: Croatia

Sailed under the backdrop of Rovinj’s old town with the beautiful grand St Euphemia Church towering above the start line, the 14 teams competing for the Adris RC44 Cup enjoyed four great fleet races in the Croatian northwesterly thermal ‘mistral’ wind today.

Mistral winds may conjure up ideas of 25+ knots winds, but the fleet saw no more than 12 all day. It’s a term used in Croatia for the northwesterly sea breeze that begins in the mid morning, reaches its peak early afternoon and disappears around 1600 each day.

There was no stand-out performance on the fleet race opener. Three boats took race wins with Oracle Racing, (Stuart Hebb /Russell Coutts) winning the first and third race, Artemis Racing (Torbjorn Tornqvist/Morgan Larson) taking the second and Team Aqua (Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton) the fourth and final race of the day.

It was hard to be consistent competing against 13 other one design boats in the fluctuating winds. Both Oracle Racing (USA) and Artemis Racing (SWE) picked up a 10th place to add to the race wins and finished the day on equal points – 16 apiece – the American’s two wins seeing them at the top of the leaderboard.

But as ever in yacht racing, it could have been very different had the Spanish team not been caught out by the final shift of the day. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero were looking to end the day on a high, they led the fleet in the final race of the day, extending out to have a clear lead at the leeward gate. But on the final beat a big left hander trapped them on the wrong side of the course, they consolidated and finished fifth. Their consistent score-line (3, 7, 2, 5) leaving them just one point adrift of the leading duo.

The series leaders, Team Aqua, day didn’t get off to a good start picking up a thirteenth place in the day’s opener. “It was a very tough day and we had a tough first race and got a stupid penalty on that one because I put the boat in the wrong place, it took a while to get up to speed and once we got back in the flow and figured out the wind conditions it was a bit better. A win was a nice way to end the day,” said owner Chris Bake after racing.

But as Artemis Racing’s Torbjorn Tornqvist was quick to point out “Aqua is a great team and they always come back.” The team finished the day fourth overall with 22 points. "We had very good day, in particular the first three races everything went our way, the last race it was lighter winds and it was difficult, we chose the wrong side of the course and the result wasn’t that good but overall a great day," Tornqvist continued. "This is the first day of four and tomorrow could be completely different, we’ve seen it before. Aqua is a great team and they always come back, they won the last race of the day which shows how good they are. It was a big disappointment with the crash (in Sweden) at the last event but coming back now the boat is repaired, they did a great job and it looks like we haven’t lost anything we have the same good boat speed and it’s a real confidence boost for the team to do well today."

For the watching spectators the surprise of the day had to be that after a 1.3 mile long beat and a race course that was seeing 15° shifts, the fleet always seemed to converge together at the windward mark. This kept the international umpires busy, seeing them hand out four separate penalties, to Aqua, Ironbound, AEZ and Synergy, on one rounding alone.

Tomorrow the mistral wind is expected to come again with the fleet racing at the Adris RC44 Cup continuing until Sunday 2nd October and racing due to start at 11.30 CET daily.


Pos Boat Owner/skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 Tot
1 ORACLE Racing (USA 19) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts  1 10 1 4 16
2 Artemis Racing (SWE44) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Morgan Larson 2 1 3 10 16
3 Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP 1) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce  3 7 2 5 17
4 Team Aqua (GBR 2041) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton  13 2 6 1 22
5 No Way Back (NED 18) Pieter Heerema/Mark Mendelblatt  5 6 9 3 23
6 Ironbound (USA 1) David Murphy/Peter Evans  11 5 12 2 30
7 RC44 TEAM CEEREF (SLO 11) Igor Lah/Michele Ivaldi  10 8 4 8 30
8 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) John Bassadone/Paolo Cian  6 11 7 6 30
9 Aleph Sailing Team (FRA17) Hugues Lepic/Mathieu Richard  4 9 11 7 31
10 Team Nika (RUS 10) Vladimir Prosikhin/Tomislav Basic 12 3 8 11 34
11 AEZ RC44 Sailing Team (AUT44) Rene Mangold/Christian Binder  9 4 13 9 35
12 Katusha (RUS 007) Gennadi Timchenko/Paul Cayard  7 13 5 13 38
13 Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) Valentin Zavadnikov/Evgeniy Neugodnikov 8 12 10 12 44
14 RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by (RUS7) Kirill Podolsky/Ekaterina Skudina  14 14 14 14 56
15 MAG Racing (POL44) Krzysztof Krempec/Piotr Przybylski 16 16 16 16 64




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