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Peninsula leads RC44s at Porto Cervo Cup

John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum holds a slender lead after three races on the opening day of the RC44 Porto Cervo Cup, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

While conditions were forecast to be a brisk 15-20 knots, they were anything but this.

After race one, the wind shut off for most of the afternoon before a light breeze filled in enabling two more races to sailed, finally completed at 19:00 CET.

Race one kicked off at midday directly off Porto Cervo in 12-15 knots from the WNW. In this Russian Alexander Novoselov and his crew on Katusha did a good job to reach the top mark first.

Maintaining control of the race from there was made easier as a rain squall passed over the course causing the race track to skew, the wind piping up to 20 knots before dropping to six for the final run.

Unfortunately this cloud activity then caused the wind to vanish. As a result the nine-strong RC44 fleet was sent ashore leaving the race committee to wallow, waiting for the breeze to re-establish.

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With the boats returned to the course, at 17:00 the first of two races were held in 8-10 knots. Still very shifty, Nico Poon's Charisma led around the majority of the course only to be rolled in a photo finish by Peninsula Petroleum.

With the bit between her teeth in the final race, Peninsula Petroleum led at the first top mark rounding.

However she then received a dose of her own medicine, when Kirill Frolov, at the helm of Bronenosec Sailing Team, got in an early gybe to take the lead and then defending well to the finish.

For Frolov the final race win made up for two bad results beforehand. He is enjoying his first racing in Porto Cervo: "It's a great place - I like it. It is easier here, because it is flatter water and not so shifty."

Peninsula Petroleum leads after day one, two points clear of Igor Lah's consistently-placed Team CEEREF, with Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis Racing a further point astern.

RC44 Porto Cervo Cup Results - Day 1 After three races

1. Peninsula Petroleum - 8 pts
2. Team CEEREF - 10 pts
3. Artemis Racing - 11 pts
4. Katusha 13 pts
5. Charisma - 14 pts
6. Bronenosec - 16 pts
7. Team Nika - 17 pts
8. Team Aqua - 22 pts
9. Artemis Racing Youth - 24 pts

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