Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF led this first event of the 2019 44Cup from the outset to be most worthy winners.
On the final day neither they nor Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika won a race, but showed impeccable consistency, both enjoying a trio of podium place results, elevating Team Nika from fourth to second overall.
The Bay of Tivat came good for the final day of the 44Cup Porto Montenegro with three races held. Saturday’s opening race got underway in light conditions, but eminently race-able by the nimble RC44s.
In this Chris Bake’s Team Aqua won the pin and then match raced Team CEEREF for the duration, ultimately finishing ten boatlengths ahead.
In the second race Kirill Frolov on Bronenosec Sailing chose the favoured left and followed Team CEEREF at the top mark. Then John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum took the right side of the run to claim the lead.
Finally on the next upwind Bronenosec edged ahead, led at the top mark and on to the finish.
It was the turn of Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing to win the third and what turned out to be the final race, held on a new axis course, the wind having veered into the west.
In what tactician Michele Ivaldi admitted was their first good start of the week, the French RC44 won the pin but then, tacked over to cross the fleet. They benefitted on the right side of the course to lead at the top mark. From there the French RC44 was never challenged.
Team CEEREF’s victory at the 44Cup Porto Montenegro was by seven points from second placed Team Nika, in turn two ahead of Team Aqua, with Peninsula Petroleum relegated to fourth after a disappointing final race.
Incredibly even though Lah’s team won the seasons in both 2016 and 2017 and came close last year, the 44Cup Porto Montenegro is their first event win since the World Championship in Sotogrande three years ago.
While the fleet racing is over, Sunday a Pro-Am race will be sailed on a long distance coastal course, the nine RC44 sailing more guests on board than usual.
From Montenegro the RC44s head up the Adriatic to Rovinj, Croatia for their second event of the season, the Adris 44Cup over 29 May to 2 June.
44Cup Porto Montenegro – Final results after 9 races
1st Team CEEREF (11) – Igor Lah – – 27 pts
2nd Team Nika (RUS10) – Vladimir Prosikhin – – 34 pts
3rd Team Aqua (GBR25) – Chris Bake – – 36 pts
4th Peninsula Petroleum (GBR22) – John Bassadone – – 38 pts
5th Tavatuy Sailing Team (RUS21) – Pavel Kuznetsov – – 46 pts
6th Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS18) – V. Liubomirov & K. Frolov – – 50 pts
7th Aleph Racing (FRA17) – Hugues Lepic – – 54 pts
8th Artemis Racing (SWE26) – Torbjörn Törnqvist – – 59 pts
9th Charisma (MON15) – Nico Poons – – 63 pts