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RC44 Championship event victory for Katusha

Two full seasons dedicated to the RC44 class paid off for Russian Alexander Novoselov, his American tactician Andy Horton and the crew of Katusha, when they won their first ever RC44 Championship event.

Sardinia's Costa Smeralda has offered the complete range of conditions for the nine teams racing at the RC44 Porto Cervo Cup this week, from very light to very strong.

Despite a forecast indicating the wind would drop off, today it was definitely the latter.

Yesterday's Mistral conditions had abated slightly, the 25+ knot westerlies being at the very top of what RC44s and their crews can endure.

While they went into today's three races with a two point lead, Katusha neatly consolidated her position scoring 1-2 in today's first two races.

This left them effectively winning the RC44 Porto Cervo Cup with a race to spare – something that occurs very rarely in this hotly contested owner-driver fleet.

Team Aqua - Click image for a larger image

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Nico Poons' Charisma. In the first race they broke their port running backstay, during which tactician Morgan Reeser fell overboard and was recovered.

Having so nearly won two races earlier this week, finally they came good to take the win in race two. But even this they very nearly lost, narrowly coming out on top in a last minute, head down dash for the line with Katusha.

While previously a chunk had been taken out of Charisma's transom by Peninsula Petroleum after the Gibraltarian RC44 had misjudged a duck.

This left Poons' crew having to get pumps on board smartly to bail out post-race. Meanwhile Peninsula Petroleum received a nasty gouge in their bow, plus a two point penalty.

Team CEEREF won the final race to secure the Slovenian team second overall.

Following this event, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum, helmed in Porto Cervo by Chilean Dag von Appen, has taken the lead of the 2017 RC44 championship.

With this they have recovered the coveted 'golden wheels', the class' equivalent of cycling's yellow jersey.

From here the RC44 Championship moves on to its World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden over 10-15 August.

RC44 Porto Cervo Cup Results

1. Katusha - 32 pts
2. Team CEEREF - 37 pts
3. Peninsula Petroleum - 39 pts
4. Bronenosec Sailing Team - 41 pts
5. Team Nika - 45 pts
6. Artemis Racing - 49 pts
7. Charisma - 50 pts
8. Team Aqua - 54 pts
9. Artemis Racing Youth - 61 pts

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