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The usual leaders of the RC 44 Class are back on top of the leader board in the fleet regatta after a difficult start and yesterdays’ unexpected results in the match race. Artemis and Team No Way Back lead the provisional ranking ahead of Team Sea Dubai and Team Aqua.
Four races took place today in a light and fairly unstable breeze, allowing four different teams to score victories. Artemis and Team Aqua, the two teams who lead the overall Championship Tour, needed a couple of races to get back in a confident mode after their disappointing results in the match race event. They finally showed their usual leadership in the fleet regatta in the second part of the day.
The first regatta saw a splendid domination by the local Team Sea Dubai, with their local talent Yousef Lahej at the helm. Starting at full speed at the pin end of the line, Team Sea Dubai managed to cross ahead of the pack and to extend its lead throughout the race, winning with a fairly comfortable margin ahead of Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and No Way Back. Respectively fifth and ninth, Artemis and Team Aqua were probably wondering at this stage if there was some sort of spell on them.
Artemis, with Tim Snedden at the helm, started its come back in the second race, sailing a good regatta although unable to overtake the excellent Team Austria, with René Mangold at the helm, winners of their first ever regatta in the Championship Tour. Chris Bake’s Team Aqua was still struggling in the back of the fleet at this stage, but the cheers that could be heard from his family and local supporters started to play their effect.
Indeed, Bake dominated most of the third regatta. The latter proved to be the best of the day, with a very intense battle between No Way Back, Artemis, Katusha, Team Sea Dubai and Team Aqua. Artemis finally won the race ahead of Aqua and Sea Dubai, very fast throughout the day. As for No way Back, with Pieter Heerema at the helm, it finished a good fourth after two thirds, sailing consistently and well throughout the day despite the helmsman’s cracked ribs…
The last race of the day had to be shortened: the wind was dropping and the sun was about to dive in the Ocean. No Way Back controlled the situation well, crossing the arrival line a few seconds ahead of Team Aqua and Artemis.
No Way Back and Artemis lead the provisional ranking after the first four races. The event carries on until Sunday, with eight more fleet races including the double points DHL Trophy on Saturday.

Fleet race, provisional results after four races:
(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results, points)
1) Artemis, Tim Snedden, 5, 2, 1, 3 - 11 points
2) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 3, 3, 4, 1 – 11 points
3) Team Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, 1, 5, 3, 10 – 19 points
4) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 9, 7, 2, 2 – 20 points
5) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 2, 10, 8, 4 - 24 points
6) Team Katusha, Bob Little, 4, 9, 5, 6 – 24 points
7) Organika, Maciej Nawrocki, 7, 4, 9, 5 - 25 points
8) Team Austria, Christian Binder, 6, 1, 10, 9 - 26 points
9) BMW ORACLE Racing, Neville Crichton, 10, 6, 6, 8 – 30 points
10) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 8, 8, 7, 7 – 30 points
Photo Copyright Raffaello Bastiani / RC44 Class Association

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