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5 April 2007, 01:08 pm
Cup Ends Up In Style
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Portoroz Cup 2007
Portoroz, Slovenia

Team Aqua finished overall winner of the Portoroz Cup, the first leg of the 2007 RC 44 Championship Tour. Having won both the fleet and the match race events, Chris BAKE's (NZL) team - with a 21 year old talent at the helm - left no chances to Cro-A-Sail and Team Omega.

Team Aqua, from Dubai, concluded the Portoroz Cup with a victory in the last fleet race, confirming - if necessary - its domination over the seven strong RC 44 fleet. Both Cro-A-Sail and Team Omega sailed consistently too, finishing respectively second and third in both the fleet and the match race events.

COUTTS Happy

Russell COUTTS (NZL), tactician on Team Omega and founder of the RC 44 Class, had plenty of praise for the organizers, 'They have delivered on all their promises, and organized a great event both on and off the water. I am thrilled to see the class evolving the way it is.'

The weather on the finale was similar to the previous days in Portoroz, with a light sea breeze and a flat sea. Four regattas were on the programme for the final, bringing the total number of races competed to seven fleet races and two complete round robins and making the Portoroz Cup a total success.

As the teams headed to the race course this morning, four of them were still in contention for the overall win in the fleet race. Two hours and three races later, there were only four points between Team Aqua, Cro-A-Sail and Team Omega. The last race of the day was going to be decisive!

A New Star

Team Aqua's helmsman, Scott KENNEDY (NZL), showed strong nerves despite his young age by taking an excellent start and controlling the fleet from the beginning to the end. His team won the last regatta ahead of Beecom and Team Omega. Only 21 years old, KENNEDY comes from New Zealand. He was previously well known in the 29er and 49er circuits (three times top six at the Worlds), and ambitions to become a professional sailor. He proved to be a huge talent, winning two races and finishing twice fourth today.

KENNEDY said, 'This was a fantastic day. We knew the situation before the last race. We just decided to keep cool and sail simply. Cameron [APPLETON (NZL)] was great throughout the week, being a real leader and coach for all of us. The format is great. I have appreciated the mix of fleet and match races, as well as the atmosphere between the teams.'

The Portoroz Cup ended up under a superb sun, with a commitment from the Organizing Committee, 'Next year, we will organize the first regatta of the RC 44 circuit again.' Considering the quality of the organization, perfect in all aspects, the teams could only applaud.

Bernard Schopfer (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The RC 44s get away:© Bernard Schopfer
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