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RC44 Marstrand Cup

RC44 Marstrand Cup – Team Nika bounces back with two bullet day

Three races were held Wednesdayy in 10 -15 knots winds with grey overcast conditions in the morning giving way to a summery afternoon, similar to yesterday, only with an uncomfortable lumpy sea state. At the close of play after the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Marstrand Cup. Team Nika leads on seven points, ahead of Artemis Racing and Charisma on eight.

For Team Nika, it was a classic tale of ‘pulling victory from the jaws of defeat’ after what Russian skipper Vladimir Prosikhin described as his worst match race day ever yesterday and beginning today with one of his worst fleet racing starts, but from there Team Nika went on to win the second and third of today’s three races. But both were hard fought, come-from-behind affairs.

In Marstrand, Team Nika is sailing with Match Racing, Etchells and Melges 20 World Champion, American Bill Hardesty. This is Hardesty’s first occasion racing the RC44 and he is impressed: “They are great boats, with lots of power and good balance and they can really get going, but they can catch you off. And the class is nice. Having the umpires out there really helps.”

The other star performer of the day was the RC44 Marstrand Cup’s host Artemis Racing.

RC44 Marstrand Cup - Team Nika bounces back with two bullet dayTorbjörn Törnqvist’s team won the first race after the bold call was made to go right off the line, a move that paid handsomely. “Then it was really simple,” admitted Törnqvist. “It is easy when you are on top and you can control the fleet. It is great to be here in Sweden and do well. This is the first day, of course, but it is nice. It was a good day, the crew worked well in a calm way in terms of boat handling and tactically.”

Let down by a fifth in the second race, Artemis Racing started well and worked hard to gain the lead on the first beat of the day’s third and final race only to lose to Team Nika.

“It was a much better day – we enjoyed it,” said Artemis Racing tactician Iain Percy, who heads Törnqvist’s Swedish America’s Cup challenge. “It was quite a cloud-driven day. Everyone did a good job and Torbjörn was driving the boat well. It was a nice day out.”

For Nico Poons and the crew of his Monaco-flagged Charisma it was disappointing not being able to convert their good sailing into race wins, but with a 2-2-4 scoreline they were the most consistent team today.

RC44 Marstrand Cup Results
1 Team Nika (RUS 10) 5 1 1 7pts
2 Artemis Racing (SWE44) 1 5 2 8pts
3 Charisma (MON 69) 2 2 4 8pts
4 Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 3 3 5 11pts
5 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 4 6 6 16pts
6 Artemis Racing Youth (SWE 4) 7 4 7 18pts
7 Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 10 10 3 23pts
8 Katusha (RUS 21) 6 8 11 25pts
9 MAG Racing (POL 44) 9 7 9 25pts
10 RUS – 7 Anywayanyday (RUS 7) 8 9 8 25pts

by sailweb.co.uk

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