The final day of the RC44 Valletta Cup tomorrow will also determine the winner of the one design class’ 2016 fleet racing championship. Three more races were held today in marginally lighter conditions, and with three more scheduled tomorrow, the RC44 Valletta Cup is lining up to be a three, or possibly four, horse race: Chris Bake’s Team Aqua currently holds a tenuous one point lead over Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF, in turn two points ahead of Alexander Novoselov’s Katusha, with Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing a further five points back in fourth.
Meanwhile in the overall 2016 RC44 Fleet Racing Championship, Team CEEREF holds a two points advantage over Team Aqua and three over Artemis Racing. It doesn’t take much maths to work out that going into the final day the podiums in both the RC44 Valletta Cup and the resulting Fleet Racing Championship remain wide open.
After an average performance yesterday, Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF was back on song today. She won the first race and followed up this with a 3-4 making the Slovenian team by far the most consistent of the day. Conversely, after their clean sweep yesterday, Team Aqua was at one point last in the first race, but managed to claw back an eighth. Chris Bake’s team followed this with two mid-fleet results and so was unable to build on the nine-point advantage they had created yesterday.
Following their two bullet opening to this regatta, Katusha was also back on form today, winning the second race, while finally Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing started demonstrating some of the consistency for which the normally impeccable Russian team is renowned, posting a 2-3 in today’s first two races.
Having a decidedly up and down regatta is John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum, which in the last four races has twice finished last but today ended on a high winning the final race. This race concluded with a very special finish inside Marsamxett Harbour, with Valletta’s towering ancient ramparts and the Excelsior Hotel forming a spectacular backdrop.
The final day of racing gets underway tomorrow at 1130 local time.