Firing up next week is the penultimate event of the 2019 RC44 season, the 44Cup Cascais, running over the 2nd - 6thOctober. As ever the points are tight as the year draws to a close for the nine strong fleet of high performance one design keelboats, with only four point separate the top six teams.
At present Team Aqua is leading the overall standing after triumphantly winning the 2019 44Cup World Championship title in Marstrand, Sweden, back in July. A title that has eluded owner Chris Bake and his long term tactician Cameron Appleton as the classes most successful team during their 13-year campaign with the fleet.
Aqua claimed this year’s title ahead of Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika who is currently on joint points with Bake’s team overall, but second on countback. “It is very close, but the fleet is so strong it can change quickly,” explains Prosikhin. “There are no weak boats, but that is what is enjoyable. It is a big challenge and when you win you really have something to celebrate.”
A single point off the top two teams is Igor Lah’s Team CEEREEF. Having won the 2017 and 2016 44Cup titles as well as the 2013 and 2016 World Championships tactician Adrian Stead knows what it take to perform under pressure. Having lost valuable points in Marstrand to home team Artemis Racing, who are currently fourth overall and showing good consistently this season, CEEREF need a good performance at the 44Cup Cascais to break away from the chasing pack ahead of the final event of the season in Palma, Majorca in November.
The final two teams to be in the mix for the podium are Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing whose win the second event of the season in Rovinj, their first ever after nine years in the class, is holding them on seven points in fifth one point ahead of John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum in sixth.
Suffering unusually deep scores on more than one occasion this season Charisma, Tavatuy Sailing Team and Bronenosec Sailing Team hold the bottom rungs on the leaderboard but good fortune in Cascais could easily seem them leapfrog their way to the top as so often is the case in this competitive fleet.
To follow all the action at the 44Cup Cascais visit www.44cup.org.