The denouement will come in Mallorca
On the final day of the fourth stage of the 44Cup, Cascais surpassed itself by providing excellent racing conditions – the sun, a north-west wind of 20-25 knots and a short wave combined with an ocean coast. Says Elena Otekina:
© Elena Otekina
Apparently, in order to make the final truly unforgettable, the Race Committee took the distance a few miles further into the ocean, where gusts of wind reached 30 knots. Boats swiftly, like torpedoes, rushed along the course, some teams recorded a speed of 23 knots!
Water swept the riders with their heads, and periodically the yachts turned into submarines: almost a knee of water was drawn into the cockpit. It was a real ocean yacht in the style of Volvo Ocean Race! Jumping on our powerful press boat on the waves, from head to toe dragged into a waterproof suit, thermal underwear, fleece and a hat, I no longer believed that somewhere on the shore a hot summer day lasts and vacationers sunbathe on the beaches.
All three planned races were swift, and as a result, the current world champion and the owner of the Golden Helms – the distinguishing mark of the fleet leader – the British Team Aqua Chris Bake won the penultimate regatta of the season with a margin of one race. The fourth and third places in the first two starts of the day reliably secured the victory for the British, so the crew went to the final race, just to enjoy high-speed surfing in the waves, and the 8th finish no longer played any role.
The heroine of the finals, which showed the best result of the day, was the Russian Team Nika Vladimir Prosikhin with star tactics, winner of the America Cup and SailGP series, Olympic champion Australian Tom Slingsby. After the long-awaited victory in the last race of Saturday, Nika on Sunday was able to win two more races. Despite the 5th finish in the second race of the day, these victories allowed the team to beat the Monegasque Charisma by three points and win the silver of the stage.
Bronenosec Sailing Team with Kirill Frolov on the steering wheel and tactician Cameron Dunn after 3rd, 6th and 7th place in three races of the day retained its 5th final position. “Tavatuy” by Pavel Kuznetsov with Evgeny Neugodnikov as a tactician after a series of 6-2-5 also retained its 6th place in overall.
In the first race, Team Nika was on the second mark, bent around following the Slovenian Ceeref, on the second round, she overtook the Slovenian boat – and rushed down first. Suddenly, on the heels of Ceeref, who was flying behind her, a gennaker broke into two pieces – and nobody threatened Vladimir Prosikhin's yacht anymore. In the second race, Nika became 4th in the first round, overtook two boats in full course and came to the gate of the 2nd, but hydraulics slipped on the second tack on the boat, she was in a sandwich between two other boats and could not pull up . As a result, Nika skipped ahead two boats, and then another in the second full course and finished 5th. But in the third race, the team was able to get such an advantage at the start and the first tack that it bent around at the first mark a couple of hundred meters in front of the entire fleet, and by the end brought its lead almost to a mile!
The helmsman Vladimir Prosikhin was generally satisfied with the regatta: “A very good regatta, absolutely amazing weather, it shows all the possibilities of our boats, because today we had up to 30 knots of wind – and the boats basically remained under control. With an average wind speed of more than 20 knots, the boat just flies – an amazing feeling! Unfortunately, it has already become the rule that we need another race day. We wake up too late and perform well in the last days. It’s a pity that we lost the second race today, we had a chance, and it would be much better to get 4 wins in a row. But I am happy that we have improved our position, this is a very good result, much better than how we started. And the victory of the season is still possible, because another regatta is ahead. ”
Team tactics Tom Slingsby commented on the results of the regatta: “We improved every day. Today we chased very well, we had a small failure in the second race – we were second, but fell on the 5th. But the bigger the barrel, the better we walked, Vladimir steered excellently. We are one point behind Aqua, while Ceeref is behind us at 4 points, everything is very tight, and we have a chance to win the season. ”
Tavatuy got a false start in the first race, but was able to improve to 6th place. In the second race, the Yekaterinburg team went third, but in the last full course ahead of the British Aqua and became the second. No matter how hard the British tried, they could not regain their position, although the boats entered the finish line almost simultaneously. The third race, “Tavatuy” held in a bitter struggle and was able to finish in the middle of the fleet.
According to Pavel Kuznetsov, Sunday was the best day, despite the fact that due to excess wind, not everything worked out. “It was a very good day, not all maneuvers were obtained, but we fought like lions in all races! The speed was a lot of work, we are very satisfied. I believe that it was the best regatta of those that this season were in all classes. From the point of view of the wind, for sure! ”
“The regatta was nervous, I even turned gray. Okay, when I mow, but when they mow, I am doubly worried! ”- laughed the tactician Evgeny Neugodnikov after the races. “But basically, the regatta went well. The first regatta for us, when it was very blew. Of course, a lot did not work out, especially in the beginning, especially with the starts, and melee could not always win. Today it was better, and two starts turned out. They fought. Most importantly, in the middle of the fleet. It’s good that the regatta in Rovini is not repeated, where we went last. We were 7th at the World Cup, here is the 6th, in principle, this is normal compared to those teams that have been fighting here for more than a year. For the first season, I think everything went well, taking into account the water area of complex and strong rivals. Not everything worked out technically, we still have a lot of work to do, and the helmsman understands that it is necessary to “steer” into this yacht, that this is a completely different yacht. The price of an error here is, of course, quite high, if the team did something at the wrong time, it’s a big loss right away, they don’t give you a descent, they immediately punish you. The plan for the rest of the season is to work on the mistakes and try to stay closer to the top three on Palm, but we'll see how it goes. ”
The Bronenosec team in the first race at the first mark fell in a dense crowd and went around the 7th, but then overtook two boats in the first full course, and at the last meters before the finish, went around two more boats and became the 3rd. In the second race, the yacht was on the 5th, then it became the 4th, in full course lay in broaching and finished 6th. Finally, in the third race, Bronenosec went third, but climbed too far “into the corner”, then on the right tack he collided with Artemis, got a hole and scored a full body of water, finishing only 7th.
Helmsman Kirill Frolov commented on the race like this: “We got pleasure, the result is not very, mainly due to some obvious unnecessary mistakes. Today we probably lost 5 places in two races. In the first race, I was lucky, but in the 2nd and 3rd I had to give. Psychologically it was a difficult day. The most stressful was that the wind abruptly changed from 15 to 25 knots. There were such strange wind spots. But in general, today is our weather. If all 4 days were like that, we could fight for the podium. ”
After four regattas this year in the overall standings, Team Nika is only one point behind Team Aqua leader, and the main battle for the victory throughout the season will unfold at the final regatta, which will be held in mid-November in Mallorca.
Full results –
58 Today # 9538