Three bul­let Bake

Malta Independent - - SPORT / CLASSIFIEDS -

Chris Bake seemed to light the touch pa­per on board his Team Aqua dur­ing the sec­ond day of fleet rac­ing at the RC44 Val­letta Cup.

The long­est serv­ing RC44 crew seemed to be in a dif­fer­ent league as they achieved a per­fect score­line, win­ning three out of three races de­spite chal­leng­ing con­di­tions off the Mal­tese cap­i­tal.

While the fore­cast sug­gested there were go­ing to be some headaches to­day with the wind start­ing in the 20s, drop­ping and shift­ing right dra­mat­i­cally, in fact con­di­tions were more be­nign but with a long swell mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for the helms and crews on port tack in to­wards the Val­letta shore.

In the first race, Team Aqua tac­ti­cian Cameron Ap­ple­ton found a good lane off the start and quickly tack­ing off to the favoured right.

He then kept it sim­ple, sail­ing out to the star­board lay­line which he called per­fectly to take Team Aqua di­rectly to the top mark in first place ahead of Ka­tusha. From there they de­fended well with Artemis Rac­ing Youth pulling up to sec­ond be­hind them on the first run.

Race two and the right was less favoured. With teams in­stead play­ing the mid­dle of the first beat it was French­man Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Rac­ing which fought her way to the top mark in first.

But Team Aqua was close be­hind in sec­ond, round­ing along­side Nico Poons’ Charisma. While Aleph Rac­ing gybed im­me­di­ately, Team Aqua left it a lit­tle longer and by the time they gybed back Bake’s team was out in front, round­ing the lee­ward gate ahead of Charisma and with Tor­b­jörnTörnqv is t’ s Artemis Rac­ing, po­si­tions which were main­tained to the fin­ish.

Chris Bake’s team per­formed a sim­i­lar feat in the third and fi­nal race of the day by which the time the wind had dropped to around 10-12 knots while the long swell was now caus­ing boats to dis­ap­pear in the troughs.

This time it was Vladimirs Br one no sec Sail­ing Team which was first to the weather mark, but once again Team Aqua was on the leader’s tran­som while be­hind there was a vir­tual grid­lock as the rest of the RC44s at­tempt­ing to round the mark si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

On this oc­ca­sion Bro­nenosec con­tin­ued on star­board and Team Aqua was the first to gybe and man­aged to find a lower mode caus­ing her to roll the Rus­sian tea and lead into the gate with Bro­nenosec and Team CEEREF astern over­lapped.

The fi­nal run turned into a three horse race with Team Aqua suc­cess­fully fend­ing off ad­vanc­ing Teams CEEREF and Nika.

With her per­fect score­line, Team Aqua has soared into the lead at the RC44 Val­letta Cup. Aside from Chris Bake’s team, to­day’s races were ex­pen­sive in terms of points even for the top teams.

As re­sults Team Aqua now holds a nine point lead over Artemis Rac­ing and Ka­tusha with two days of fleet rac­ing left to sail.

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