Perhaps one of the reasons that sailors don’t have more fans is their mercenary nature when it comes to competing for the highest bidder. Russell Coutts (NZ) wont’ be on the Oracle Racing (USA) AC45 in Naples. Instead the two black boats will be driven by James Spithill (AUS) and Darren Bundock (AUS). This leaves the CEO of Oracle Racing to sail on Katusha (RUS) in Cascais (POR).
The Cascais round of the RC44 event didn’t disappoint though – showing once again that the number of hulls a boat has can be irrelevant if all the other factors are present.
Katusha (RUS) went into the final day of racing with a strong 13-point lead and the Russian team came away victorious, thanks in part to Russell Coutts calling tactics and providing assistance to the amateur helm. Coutts said:
“It’s been a great event here in Cascais. Today wasn’t our prettiest a few mistakes but we did enough to win, so that feels good.”
If the America’s Cup World Series is the place where young guns are earning their stripes, the RC44 championship is one place where old America’s Cup sailors are still welcomed – especially by teams funded by Russian money. Ed Baird, Tactician on Synergy said after picking up 3rd place overall:
“We had a great day today, it was very exciting and I think we probably had the best day, which was a surprise for us as much as anyone. In the second race we had the question of what jib do we use as the storm came through, the wind got a little stronger so we changed for our smaller one but then the wind died as we started to race so we really struggled, the guys did a great job changing sails downwind and then we gained a boat place on each leg after that which was a really great job by the crew.”
The next stop on the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour is the RC44 Austria Cup on Lake Traunsee from 30th May – 2nd June.
Official RC44 Cascais Cup Ranking
1. Katusha – 42
2. Team Aqua – 49
3. Synergy – 72