Saturday, 28 February 2009

RC44: The Calero Brothers Dominate Day One of the Fleet Race Event

Leonardo Armas, Jose Juan Calero and José Juan Calero, helmsman of the local team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 1, winner of today’s second race. Image copyright Nico Martinez/RC44.

Sailed in very light winds, today’s races have been difficult for the crews, who struggled to find the favoured side of the course and get some speed because of the chop. Steering respectively BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 1, Daniel and José Juan Calero are the heroes of the day, with a victory for each of the local brothers.

by Bernard Schopfer

This is one of the best days of their life: José Juan and Daniel Calero have both won a race today, one day one of the fleet racing event, beating some of the best teams in the world and achieving a dream.

The conditions were particularly difficult, with a light breeze and fairly strong chop. The first regatta started just after lunch time, under a gray sky and with 5-6 knots breeze. Team Ceeref took an excellent start, and extended its lead alongside BMW ORACLE Racing throughout the race. The Slovenian team made a rare mistake during the last downwind leg, letting the American boat – helmed by Daniel Calero - cross the arrival line first.

The second race started soon after, in similar conditions. Thanks to a great start and a perfect strategy, team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 1 took an early lead, followed by Artemis and Ceeref. José Juan Calero kept concentrated at the helm, maintaining a small lead over Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis. Race Officer Peter Reggio made a wise decision to shorten the course after the second beat, as the wind was dying completely. The local team won the race ahead of Artemis and Ceeref to the great joy of helmsman José Juan Calero and the whole team.

BMW ORACLE Racing and Ceeref share the lead with 5 points, ahead of Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 1 and Artemis (6 points). Two more days of fleet racing are scheduled.

They said:

Daniel Calero, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: “This experience is absolutely unique for me. For anyone who loves sailing, this team is just one of the best in the world. When Russell asked me to steer the boat, I was very nervous and felt a big pressure. To win the first race today was just extraordinary. And then my brother wins the second regatta; it’s just extraordinary.”

José Juan Calero, helmsman, Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 1: “I couldn’t be happier because my brother and I have both won a race today. This is my first race and I am full of emotions. This is a gift! It also shows how great our team is, and that we can do it. The race was complicated, but José Maria Ponce gave me great advice. His strategic advice was just perfect.”

Sébastien Col, tactician, Ceeref: “It was difficult to get the boat going because of the chop. The key factor was to establish a good communication between the helmsman and the trimmers. We also tried to keep clear from the other boats. The crew positioning is also very important in those conditions. Altogether, we weigh 680 kilos, so it is important to be centred, and positioned quite forward. I also think that it is essential to stabilise the heel, at approximately 15-18 degrees in this wind, so that the helmsman keeps a consistent feeling at the helm.”

Fleet-race, provisional results after two races:
(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results, points)

1) BMW ORACLE Racing, Daniel Calero, 1, 4 – 5 points
2) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 2,3 - 5 points
3) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 1, José Juan Calero, 5, 1 – 6 points
4) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 4, 2 – 6 points
5) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 3, 6 - 9 points
6) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki, 8, 5 – 13 points
7) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 2, Carlo Morales, 6, 8 – 14 points
8) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 7, 7 – 14 points


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