Artemis Racing wins day at RC44 Marstrand Cup
Published on June 29th, 2018
Marstrand, Sweden (June 29, 2018) – Torbjörn Törnqvist’s dark blue RC44, Artemis Racing, with the American Star sailor Andy Horton on tactics, was the top boat on the second day of the class’s Marstrand Cup.
In sparkling conditions on Marstrand Fjord, the high-performance Russell Coutts-inspired all-carbon monohulls flew upwind and down over three competitive races in a fresh northeasterly breeze.
Artemis Racing scored a second in the first heat of the day and followed that up with a race win and a fourth in the final heat – race six of the scheduled 12-race series which continues until Sunday, July 1.
While Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF continues to lead the regatta with Artemis Racing second overall – up four places after day one – and Bronenosec Sailing Team third, the ranking is now very tight with the top-four boats covered by just two points.
Törnqvist, who has been racing in this exceptionally competitive class for 10 years, says some new crew members this year has given the team “fresh eyes” on the racecourse and his team has been looking at all aspects of its game, to good effect.
“We have worked through what we can do better and it looks like we have found a bit of extra speed definitely upwind, for sure, which was where we were struggling, particularly in the breeze,” said Törnqvist.
“I think it has to do with how we set up the boat – the combination of the main and the jib and finding the right mode. It’s one of those things – it feels easy when it goes well.”
Also on form today was Nico Poons and his crew on Charisma (6,2,1) who are sixth overall. Poons reckons a small change in the way they trimmed this very tweaky boat upwind, produced more speed and this, in turn, gave his tactician, Ray Davies, a bit more scope. “You need more speed to give the tactician room to decide what to do and that’s what happened,” said Poons.
Davies said the secret of their success was sailing clean races and starting at the Committee Boat end of the line. “We kept away from other boats and we started really well in the last two races at the favoured Committee Boat end,” he said. “We were then able to sail our mode which is the key – so we were in the top group.”
Davies believes the team on Charisma go well when it is breezy and today’s conditions – when the north-easterly topped out at around 17 knots – were ideal for them. “We are a little more consistent when it is windier,” he said. “That’s the trend. I’m not sure why but we seem to go well in the breeze.”
The third best performer today was Vladimir Prosikhin’s crew on Team Nika (3,6,2), who now lie fourth overall, despite what Prosikhin said were a lot of “mistakes and problems” in Race 5, the second of the day. “We didn’t go that well on starboard tack from the very beginning, so we lost a lot of positions,” he said.
Prosikhin is loving every minute of his sun-blessed stay in Marstrand on Sweden’s west coast. “It’s like sailing paradise at the moment,” he said as he stepped ashore in Marstrand harbour. “It’s everything that you could want – there is nothing to wish for – it is perfect in every way.”
There were some spectacular moments on the racecourse today, not least the first windward mark rounding of the first race of the day. This featured a stampede round the mark with boats turning five abreast as the crews went for their kites and accelerated away. It was certainly no time for the faint-hearted on the wheel. As Davies put it: “it was incredibly close racing at that top mark first time round…”
2018 Schedule for the twelfth season of the RC44 Class:
February 28- March 4 – RC44 Calero Marinas Cup 2018 – Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
May 9-13 – RC44 Portorož Cup – Portorož, Slovenia
June 27- July 1 – RC44 Marstrand Cup – Marstrand, Sweden
September 26-30 – RC44 Cascais World Championship – Cascais, Portugal
November 14-18 – RC44 Valletta Cup – Valletta, Malta
Source: RC44 Class