RHKYC Team Agiplast completed two races on the first day of the Persico69F Revolution Cup. The day began with the first qualifying heat, in which we found ourselves up against the Italian
Youth America's Cup challenger Azurra and two other italian teams - Batope and WeArep. We had a good start to the race and rounded the windward mark first. We then proceeded to extend our lead on the downwind leg.
On the drop at the bottom mark we struggled with an issue with the retrieval system meaning a third of the spinnaker was stuck on the foredeck. After rounding mark 4 we slowed to do a quick fix losing our lead to the Batope team featuring Italian 49er sailors.
We luckily got up on foils quickly and put in a lee-bow tack, placing us just ahead of the team who had passed us. However, because of the kite being on the port side, a part of it had now started dragging in the water, preventing us from popping up on the foils. We forced Batope to sail high and slow with us as t
hey were sitting on our hip. While it worked for a while, they managed to duck below us and get up on the foils, just beating us on our way to the finish line. We finished the race in second, still qualifying for the next round.
The next round turned out to be the toughest lineup of boats we have faced so far. A series of events in the first qualifier had led to a very tough heat.
The heat included Nacra 17 World Champion Ruggero Tita, both the Dutch YAC challengers and ourselves. We waited several hours for the southern breeze to fill and at around 5 pm, the race committee decided to start our heat in very light winds (non-foiling conditions).
For the reaching start, we managed to put the boat where we wanted it, successfully winning the windward side of the starting line. We timed it well and accelerated ahead of the fleet soon after. At the next mark, we had managed to build up a lead of several boat lengths to Kingdom Team Netherlands in second place. The lead was enough for us to sail our own race, further extending on the downwind. We kept the leading position until the finish, winning our toughest flight so far and securing ourselves a spot in the semifinal. Dutch Sail followed in second place, qualifying for the semifinal as well. Kingdom Team Netherlands and the team of Ruggero Tita were knocked down to the repechage rounds where they will race in attempts to make it back to the final.
We are looking forward to our semifinal on Tuesday, which will most likely be held in the strong early morning breeze.
Image: StudioBorlenghi | @carlo.borlenghi