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44Cup Calero Marinas - Day 2

by 44Cup 1 Mar 16:45 GMT 28 February - 3 March 2024
44Cup Calero Marinas - Day 2 © Nico Martinez / 44Cup

For some time the Lanzarote forecast for day two of the 44Cup Calero Marinas showed conditions exceeding the RC44 class' theoretical upper wind limit of 25 knots. Anticipating this PRO Maria Torrijo brought the start time forward to 09:30.

As the race got under way the wind off Puerto Calero was already into the high teens with the odd gust into the early 20s. Daniel Calero's newbies on Calero Sailing Team won the pin from Chris Bake's Team Aqua while Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika started well at the weather end of the line. In the drag race out to the left, those at the extreme ends edged ahead on the lifted starboard tack. Ultimately by the time the left hand group tacked back, Team Nika was clear ahead. By the top mark the overall leader after day one was still ahead, with Nico Poons' Charisma and Calero Sailing Team close behind.

Team Nika remained in front down the run, taking the right gate mark and the right side initially up the second beat. While the Calero team dropped back on the first run, Charisma remained in contact with Prosikhin's team with Team Ceeref Vaider up to third.

By the time the RC44s reached the top mark the wind had firmly built into the early 20s with sustained gusts of 25+ knots and a developed sea state, complete with spume forming between the waves, indicative of big conditions. Despite this there were fortunately no big broaches today, as occurred to Aleph Racing and Charisma yesterday, but the conditions were nonetheless challenging with blistering boat speeds at times peaking at 24+ knots as the nimble RC44s took off down waves.

Ultimately Team Nika earned her second bullet ahead of Charisma and Team Ceeref Vaider. With conditions now excessive, the decision was made to cancel racing for the remainder of the day and send the fleet back to their berths within Puerto Calero. With two bullets from four races, Team Nika now holds a four point lead over Team Ceeref Vaider with Charisma back on to the podium, but six points adrift of second.

Tactician Nic Asher was pleased with Team Nika's race: "I struggled a little bit yesterday with starting, so we concentrated on that before the race and we had a good start... We wanted to be top of the line as I thought we'd hold the right longer than the left. There was also a tiny bit of bias at that end. Plus we have good pace, so holding the right a bit more, we could just push over them and then we got into the left shift, from the wind coming off the land..."

As to today's conditions compared to yesterday's, Asher explained: "It was nearly 30 knots, but it was sustained. Yesterday it was up to that in the puffs but there was definitely a higher 'wind weight' today and the range of shifts was smaller - we didn't get the big righties."

All the owners and crews came ashore soggy but glowing, including old hands such as Team Aqua's Chris Bake, the RC44 Class Association President: "It was very exciting. I don't think we've ever had that much water on board, between the waves and our nose diving a lot! Multiple times the whole boat was covered in water - it was pretty impressive! We had sustained 21-22 knots downwind. I am sure we came close to the record. It was a fun day."

Once again the local heroes on Daniel Calero's Calero Sailing Team exceeded expectations, even their own, after reaching the top mark in third place. "We had a really good start at the pin," said Calero, who is back racing in the fleet here for the first time in 11 years. "Upwind, the speed of the boat and our performance was good - we were very happy. But in the middle of the downwind it was a little bit tricky and we lost a lot of positions. But at least we are still learning about everything. This class is so competitive you need to be very stable and consistent for the whole race to be at the top. So it is what we are looking for."

As to the conditions Calero continued: "We have several modes on board when we are racing: The mode we had for the second downwind was 'survival'. We reached 24 knots of speed which was tough, but great fun."

Tomorrow the plan is to start on the scheduled time of 1200 UTC when an attempt will be made, if conditions allow, to make up the schedule.

44Cup Calero Marinas Results after Day 2: (four races)

1. Team Nika - 2 1 3 1 - 7pts
2. Team CEEREF Vaider - 5 2 1 3 - 11pts
3. Charisma - 1 5 9 2 - 17pts
4. Peninsula Racing - 3 3 8 5 - 19pts
5. Aleph Racing - 4 6 6 4 - 20pts
6. Team Aqua - 9 4 2 7 - 22pts
7. Black Star Sailing Team - 6 9 4 6 - 25pts
8. Calero Sailing Team - 8 7 5 8 - 28pts
9. Artemis Racing - 7 8 7 9 - 31pts

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