Three season in one day
Friday 1 June 2012
Lake Traunsee, Austria threw everything at the RC44 fleet today for the first day of fleet racing at the RC44 Austria Cup. The day started with a glassy lake that delayed proceeding. A light westerly breeze emerged and the 12 competing boats were sent afloat, only for the breeze to shut off just as the fleet arrived. After a drift in the sun the skies suddenly darkened and 25 knots of breeze filled the lake with white horses.
Just after 14:00 the first race got underway in a perfect 13-15 knots. Everyone seemed to want to head into the shoreline, it was Katusha (RUS) who won the pin-end of the line and seemed to get the longest lift ever before having to call for water on CEEREF and the fleet packed above. Only Aleph (FRA) and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) had headed right into the lake, and at the first top mark it was Steve Howe steering Katusha with Brad Butterworth calling the shots who rounding just ahead of the Slovenian Team CEEREF.
Katusha hugged the coast line again down the first run to maintain their lead at the leeward gate, but there was more wind in the middle of the lake and out nowhere came the Dutch No Way Back, who finished third in Lake Traunsee last year, and the new Italian team AFX Capital who rounded third and fourth respectively.
Katusha headed back inshore, but it was No Way Back and Synergy who seemed to get the best from the lake, both gaining places on each leg to finish first and second in race one.
Race two swiftly followed, Katusha were on a charge once again picking a nice lane in the middle of the pack. They rounded the windward mark ahead again and maintained their lead until the last gybe into the leeward gate when their spinnaker spectacularly exploded.
It was Vladimir Prosikhin’s turn to take charge; the team from Russia rounded the leeward gate and looked in control before the wind did a 180 shift on the final beat. AFX Capital had to hoist their kite to make the mark, but it was the home team, AEZ, who made it round the top mark first and continued to beat to the finish line. The Austrian team finished just ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist and the Swedish Artemis Racing with Igor Lah’s CEEREF taking third.