In form typical of the high performance owner-drive one design, going into the final race of the final day of the 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina, just two points separated the top four boats and, with nine points on the table, mathematically any of the top six could still win. Added to this was the venue with a third day of racing from a third direction – the east, blowing across La Linea.
Racing started in moderate wind and rain beneath an ominously dark sky, before building to 20+ knots in the gusts for the third and final race.
Leading by one point going into this race life was made easy for owner Igor Lah, tactician Adrian Stead and the crew of Team Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 as their most threatening rivals tied themselves up. Ceeref won the pin, claimed the left and returning on port screeched into the starboard layline and from there rounded the top mark just ahead of Team Nika and Chris Bake’s Team Aqua. At this point their top four rivals were not featuring: leader going into the final day and generous host of the 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina, John Bassadone and his Peninsula Racing and star of the first two days – Christian Zuerrer’s Black Star Sailing Team – were eighth and ninth respectively both having committed to the unfavored right. The closest of Ceeref’s rivals was Aleph Racing in sixth.
“It is good that we have got Ceeref back on track a little bit. We are always trying to be the best, but this fleet is bloody tough. In Cowes we had one difference in the team and we didn’t start as well. On our last day we could have been second, but ended up fifth. Here the whole regatta has been tight, so it was all about just chipping away.”