Chris Bake’s Team Aqua won the 44Cup Cascais with a race to spare.
A 4-3 on the final was enough to seal the deal for Team Aqua, already holder of the 44Cup’s golden wheels (indicating they currently top the leaderboard) and arriving in Cascais having been crowned RC44 World Champions in Marstrand in July.
Although this was common occurrence for Team Aqua during her glory years of 2011-13, winning with a race to spare is very rare these days, such is the level of competition in the high performance one design monohull class.
Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, on which America’s Cup and SailGP winner Tom Slingsby calls tactics, had a spectacular end to the 44Cup Cascais winning both the first and last race, the latter by almost half a leg.
A last place finish in today’s opening race, followed by a seventh for Nico Poons’ Charisma caused the Monaco-based Dutchman’s team to be displaced from second place overall by Team Nika, but ultimately they held on to the third step of the podium, three points behind.
The ‘oceanic’ conditions were tough on the salt water drenched crews and owner-drivers but was also exhilarating for them as the RC44s surfed down waves at 20+ knot speeds.
Vladimir Prosikhin described it: “When the boat is in the groove and going faster than 20 knots for the whole run, it is like flying – a fantastic feeling.”
Team Aqua may be World Champion and current hold the 44Cup leader’s golden wheels, but Team Nika is just a point behind her overall in the 2019 44Cup.
All will be decided at the final event of the season in Palma over 13-17 November.
44Cup Cascais – Final Scores after 12 races
1st Team Aqua (25) Chris Bake – – 38 pts
2nd Team Nika (10) Vladimir Prosikhin – – 45 pts
3rd Charisma (15) Nico Poons – – 48 pts
4th Aleph Racing (17) Hugues Lepic – – 60 pts
5th Bronenosec Sailing Team (18) V. Liubomirov & K. Frolov – – 63 pts
6th Tavatuy Sailing Team (21) Pavel Kuznetsov – – 66 pts
7th Team CEEREF (11) Igor Lah – – 69 pts
8th Artemis Racing (26) Torbjörn Törnqvist – – 76 pts
9th Peninsula Petroleum (22) John Bassadone – – 78 pts