The tricky conditions, strong and shifty wind, put one team after the other out of contention for the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup fleet race title.
Separated by one point ahead of the last race, BMW ORACLE Racing and No Way Back had a last race of their own.
Igor Lah's Ceeref was the first and biggest casualty of the day, going from second overall to eighth. "Just a day of hell",
summarised tactician Rod Davis. The team's worse moment occurred when they collided with Paul Cayard's Katusha during a tacking dual. Ceeref got two points penalty whilst Katusha had to stop racing in order to change their damaged bow. They got redress from the Jury.
Many teams broached, ripped their spinnakers or suffered in one way or another. Team Sea Dubai, who got some brilliant results on the final day - a second and a first - lost it all because of two DNF's due to a spinnaker problem and a man overboard during the last race; an incident that occurred as the team was controlling its third place overall against Artemis and that cost four places in the overall ranking!
The wind was blowing quite hard throughout the day, at 18 knots with gusts up to 25 that put great emphasis on crew work and tactical decisions.
BMW ORACLE Racing, who were fifth overall in the morning, started the day with a first and a second. On the other hand, No Way Back couldn't do any better than fourth and sixth. With both Team Aqua and Artemis failing to obtain consistent results, the final race would definitely be between those two teams.
Both of them started the last race at the pin end of the line, with BMW ORACLE Racing controlling No Way Back. The American team reached the top mark ahead of its opponent, and chose the worst side of the course during the run, letting the Dutch team grab the lead within this personal race (John Kostecki's 17 had a huge lead over the rest of the pack).
Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts then opted for the left of the course during the second beat whilst Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies went to the right. The American's choice was the right one. The American team then controlled No Way Back until the arrival, crossing the line in third, two places ahead of its opponent.
Winner of the fleet regatta and second of the match race event earlier in the week, BMW ORACLE Racing conquers the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup - the combined fleet / match race ranking ahead of Chris Bake's Team Aqua.
The next regatta will take place in Valencia on July 27 - August 1.?
Larry Ellison, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: "This has been a fantastic event. Yesterday we practiced in strong winds and reached the speed of 25 knots. In hindsight, it has helped us a lot today: I felt very confident and more precise at the helm. Having said this people sometimes put too much credit on the helmsman: this is a real team effort and all the guys did a great job. Russell was also fantastic at making the tactical choices."
Pieter Heerema, helmsman, No Way Back: "Everything was open ahead of the last race; unfortunately we were a bit out of phase. I am happy with our result but not pleased with the way we got there. It was all a bit messy. Of course the conditions were difficult but we should be able to master this. Altogether I have loved this event. I just found that the weather was unfair with the venue."
Terry Hutchinson, tactician, Artemis: "This was a tough day for the helmsmen and it also required a great team effort to succeed. There were massive wind shifts but at the end of the day it didn't really matter if you went right or left; you just had to be in phase with the shifts. This morning Torbjorn told us to make the best of it and have fun. That's what we did; I feel very privileged to have an owner like him."
Chris Bake, helmsman, Team Aqua: "It has been very challenging few days. Today we struggled during the first two races and then I started to feel settled. I am pleased that Team Aqua won the match; it was difficult for me to arrive and settle in immediately, I took me a little while."
René Mangold, helmsman, AEZ RC44 Sailing Team: "We were sailing with two new people and we struggled because of this: we couldn't look out of the boat. We definitely need more practice and we will do this in the future."
Fleet race, final results after eight races: Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results, points (no discard)
1) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 30 points
2) Team No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 33 points
3) Artemis, Torbjor Tornqvist / Martin Hestbaek, 38 points
4) Team Aqua, Chris Bake 39 points
5) 17, Anders Myralf 42 points
6) Katusha, Guennadi Timtchenko, 42,3 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, Harm Muller Spreer, 45 points
8) CEEREF, Igor Lah, 50 points
9) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 52 points
10) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, René Mangold, 66 points
RC 44 Copenhagen Cup - Overall Ranking: (ranking, name of team, match race, fleet race, points)
1) BMW ORACLE Racing, 3 points
2) Team Aqua, 5 points
3) No Way Back, 6 points
4) Artemis, 6 points
5) 17, 10 points
6) Team Sea Dubai,14 points
7) Ceeref,14 points
8) Katusha, 15 points
9) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, 18 points
10) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 19 points