Sunday, 28 February 2010

RC44: Sea Dubai Helmsman is straight in at the deep end

RC44 Sea Dubai racing off Dubai. Image copyright Nico Martinez/RC44.

by Sharon Allison

It’s been a tough start for Raimondo Tonelli on the helm on Sea Dubai for the RC 44 season opener with the strong winds experienced over the last two days. He’s had no time to be eased in to his new role of helming the boat in the fleet races. ‘I guess a gentle breeze would have given me an easier introduction although I love strong winds. I don’t enjoy small breezes when I’m sailing and although I’m not used to the RC 44 yet or the way it handles, this initiation will certainly help me to get a good feel for it quickly,’ said Raimondo. Another windy day is expected with rain today for the final day of racing in the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy and its gusting hard already with dark skies.

The teams scores have been mixed during the fleet racing and Markus Wieser the team tactician said they were just not as fast as the other boats. ‘I think I’m too conscious that Raimondo is new and maybe too cautious with some decisions which we will have to sort out as fast as we can, ‘ said the tactician.

All the boats headed out on the fifth day of racing on time but were told by the race committee to return shortly after as the wind wouldn’t settle down and there were some really big gusts. The first race of the day wasn’t good for Sea Dubai, they got a bad start and reached the top mark in seventh place then downwind they had to avoid another boat and broached. But the second place in the next race of the day was encouraging enough to end the day feeling ok. The bowman, Kazuhiko Sofuku, summed it all up. He probably has the wettest job on the boat in strong winds but was very cheerful. ‘The racing has been great, conditions like this are fantastic, it makes you realize what it’s all about and why you do it especially in Dubai where it’s always nice and warm.’

Saeed Harib, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club and the team CEO proudly presented the Match Racing first place trophy to the Sea Dubai team on behalf of the teams Chairman, Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Pos Team Helm Points

1st Aqua Chris Bake 17
2nd Artemis Torbjorn Tornqvist 19
3rd Ceeref Igor Lah 25
4th No Way Back Pieter Heerema 31
5th Katusha Bob Little 37
6th Sea Dubai Raimondo Tonelli 39
7th Austria Rene Mangold 45
8th Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Daniel Calero 50
9th BMW Oracle Racing Mike Perris 52

Dubai International Marine Club

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