After a successful start to the 2019 44Cup last month in Porto Montenegro, the nine one-design RC44s have travelled 840km north up the Adriatic coast to Rovinj, Croatia, for event two: The Adris 44Cup Rovinj, over the 30 May– 2 June.
Having first raced off the picturesque, historic town of Rovinj in 2011 and then returned again in 2012 for the World Championship, many of the teams will have a good feel for what to expect. Especially as, typically for the RC44 fleet, many of the original crews are still racing together.
In fact, of the 2012 World Championship winning team Peninsula Petroleum, who snatched the title from Team Aqua on the final day of racing with a clear flush of race wins, four of the seven crew – German Panei, Robin Imaz, Pablo Rosano and Mikel Pasabant Quintian – are still racing alongside owner John Bassadone.
For 2019 Peninsula Petroleum has seen their effervescent Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto step away after seven years to focus on his America’s Cup campaign with Luna Rossa, to be replaced by legendary American tactician Ed Baird. The America’s Cup-winning helmsman is looking forward to the upcoming event: “My experience in Croatia, generally, has been mostly light winds. Having said that, there can always be days that bring more breeze and the racing has always been challenging, with different conditions nearly every time. It requires the whole team to stay alert and work through a variety of conditions, but that’s why we like it,” explains Baird.
Main rivals to Peninsula Petroleum this year are Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF, Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika and Chris Bake’s Team Aqua which currently hold the podium positions respectively on the 44Cup leaderboard.
In Rovinj, the event will once again be supported by Adris and hosted in luxury as the 44Cup event is part of the opening ceremony for the impressive new Maistra Collection Grand Park Hotel Rovinj and ACI Marina.
Iain Percy, main trimmer on Artemis Racing commented: “It is a beautiful place for sailing. The conditions are normally benign, rewarding good light wind technique. The fact that the boats perform great between 5 and 25 knots means we always get lots of racing.“