Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Grinder Cian Guilfoyle Onboard Aleph for Double Digit 44Cup Fleet Action in Lanzarote

10th February 2022
Dublin Bay's Cian Guilfoyle is the only Irish sailor among the RC44 crews in the Canary Islands and he is continuing his grinder role onboard the on-form French Aleph
Dublin Bay's Cian Guilfoyle is the only Irish sailor among the RC44 crews in the Canary Islands and he is continuing his Grinder role onboard the on-form French Aleph

With the 44Cup Calero Marinas Lanzarote starting this morning, the high-performance owner-driver one-design class returns to having a double digit-sized fleet for the first time since 2016.

As Afloat reported previously, recent additions include the first team with a female owner, in Moscow lawyer Valeriya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE, and German Christian Schwoerer's La Pericolosa with a crew including two time 470 World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis and Beijing gold medallist Will Ryan.

Dublin Bay's Cian Guilfoyle is the only Irish sailor among the crews and he is continuing his grinder role onboard the on-form French RC44 Aleph.

French entry Aleph with Dun Laoghaire's Cian Guilfoyle onboard Photo: Martinez StudioFrench entry Aleph with Dun Laoghaire's Cian Guilfoyle onboard Photo: Martinez Studio

The first time ARTTUBE sailed in their boat was 2021’s final event here when they finished an impressive fifth. This year they start with some interesting new graphics on their otherwise fuchsia RC44, drawn by Misha Most, a famous Moscow street artist.

Naturally, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua returns as holder of the 44Cup leader’s ‘golden wheels’ with the aim of staying on top. This is not the first time they have been in this position. “Every team learns from the last year - you reset, analyse what you did and didn’t do well and you try and develop your team,” explains Team Aqua tactician Cameron Appleton. This season they have a new crew in Dane Jonas Hviid-Nielsen. “You are always looking to see if there are ways to put a new burst of energy into the team, just to keep everyone on their toes. You have to find ways to develop,” continues Appleton.

While Team Aqua had a dip in form a few years ago, experiencing this in 2021 was Team Nika. The class’ only triple World Champions and overall series winner in 2015, ended the 2021 season last. This year they bounce back with Italian America’s Cup skipper Francesco Bruni on tactics and new addition Pierluigi de Felice. Bruni is the latest America’s Cup legend to sail on board following Coutts, Barker, Baird, Hutchinson, Slingsby…

“I am very happy – Cecco [Bruni] is easy going, we have good communication and I feel comfortable that I understand what he wants,” said owner Vladimir Prosikhin, but also acknowledging that the 44Cup is growing, winning will be even harder. “I believe the 44Cup has never been as strong as now. Every crew is very experienced and the boats are equal. It is a great pleasure to sail in such a strong fleet. There are no mistakes, the boats are very fast, but enjoyable and safe, because everyone knows what they are doing.”

Another team that has never quite found the form it had when it won the RC44 World Championship in 2012, is John Bassadone’s Peninsula Racing, which finished 2021 in eighth. However, this could change in 2022 with British two time Olympic Finn gold medallist, Giles Scott now on tactics.

“The team is amazing. It is a great set of guys who are good fun to be around and work really hard on the water. Hopefully, we can string some results together,” said Scott. “I really enjoy racing in this class because it is so close. Looking at the results, boats are winning a regatta and then in the next they are in the back few, which demonstrates the evenness of the boats and the high standard that every team has.”

Another change in boat dynamics will also occur on Nico Poons’ Charisma, where standing in for regular tactician Hamish Pepper is Italian 44Cup veteran Vasco Vascotto. “This is one of the classes where we feel we have the best sport,” says Vascotto, who for many years called tactics for Bassadone. “In this class the boats are the same and when you make a mistake you are at the back of the fleet and if you do a good job you are in front.”

Igor Lah’s Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860, the 2017 and 2019 44Cup winner, missed claiming the series title last year by a mere point. “Unfortunately sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t,” said Lah. “This is such a competitive class that sometimes it comes down to luck and small things. We will try and do better this year.” For this season there have been no changes to the sailing team, once again led by Adrian Stead. “The fleet is growing, which shows how much people love sailing in this class.”

And this is not to ignore the remaining teams all also with potential to win. Notably Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing, with Michele Ivaldi calling tactics, which in 2021 won the events in Cowes and Lanzarote at the end of the year, to finish third overall. Similarly good things can be expected of Pavel Kuznetsov’s Atom Tavatuy on which Evgeny Neugodnikov calls tactics, which finished second here last year. Last but not least is Artemis Racing, skippered by Torbjorn Tornqvist and with Andy Horton calling tactics. The Swedish team twice finished on the podium at events last year.

Racing gets underway on Wednesday with a first warning signal at 1200 UTC.


Hugues Lepic (FRA) - Owner / Driver
Michele Ivaldi (ITA) - Tactician
Skip Baxter (NZL) - Main trimmer
Jon Gundersen (NZL) - Headsail Trimmer
Lara Poljsak (SLO) - Offside Trimmer
Jaro Furlani (ITA) - Pit
Cian Guilfoyle (IRL) - Grinder
Paco Lepoutre (FRA) - Floater
Greg Gendell (USA) - Bow

Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) - Owner / Driver
Andy Horton (USA) - Tactician
Iain Percy (GBR) - Main trimmer
Maciel Cichetti (ITA) - Headsail Trimmer
Emanuele Marino (ITA) - Offside Trimmer
Nils Akervall (SWE) - Pit
Kalle Torlen (SWE) - Grinder
Markus Tornqvist (SWE) Trimmer Assist - Floater
Piet Van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED) - Bow

Pavel Kuznetsov (RUS) - Owner / Driver
Evgeny Neugodnikov (RUS) - Tactician
Aleksandr Ekimov (RUS) - Main trimmer
Anton Sergeev (RUS) - Headsail Trimmer
Denis Gribanov (RUS) - Offside Trimmer
Pietro Mantovani (ITA) - Pit
Egor Larionov (RUS) - Grinder
Evgeny Egorov (RUS) - Bow

Valeriya Kovalenko (RUS) - Owner / Driver
Igor Lisovenko (RUS) - Tactician
Vitaly Rozhkov (RUS) - Main trimmer
Victor Serezhkin (RUS) - Headsail Trimmer
Sergey Avdonin (RUS) - Offside Trimmer
Denis Rozhkov (RUS) - Pit
Francesco Rubagotti (ITA) - Grinder
Alexey Kulakov (RUS) - Bow

Igor Lah (SLO) - Owner / Driver
Adrian Stead (GBR) - Tactician
Dirk de Ridder (NED) - Main trimmer
Javi De La Plaza (ESP) - Headsail Trimmer
Tine Lah (SLO) - Offside Trimmer
Andreas Axelsson (SWE) - Pit
Jelle Janzen (NED) - Grinder
Matteo Auguardo (ITA) - Bow

Nico Poons (NED) - Owner / Driver
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) - Tactician
Chris Hosking (AUS) - Main trimmer
Ross Halcrow (NZL) - Headsail Trimmer
Dimitri Simmons (NED) - Offside Trimmer
Ryan Godfrey (AUS) - Pit
Robin Jacobs (NED) - Grinder
Ivan Peute (NED) - Bow

Micheal Hund (ITA) - Driver
Nic Asher (GBR) - Tactician
Elliot Willis (GBR) - Main trimmer
Will Ryan (AUS) - Headsail Trimmer
Jas Farneti (ITA) - Offside Trimmer
Vittorio Zaoli (ITA) - Pit
Michi Muller (GER) - Grinder
Matteo Ramain (ITA) - Bow

John Bassadone (GBR) - Owner / Driver
Giles Scott (GBR) - Tactician
Robin Imaz (ESP) - Main trimmer
German Panei (ARG) - Headsail Trimmer
Mikel Pasabant (ESP) - Offside Trimmer
Matthew Barber (GBR) - Pit
Facundo Olezza (ARG) - Grinder
Gonzalo Morales (ESP) - Bow

Chris Bake (NZL) - Owner / Driver
Cameron Appleton (NZL) - Tactician
Andrew Estcourt (NZL) - Main trimmer
Christian Kamp (DEN) - Headsail Trimmer
Aaron Cooper (GBR) - Offside Trimmer
Jonas Hviid-Nielsen (DEN) - Pit
Ben Graham (GBR) - Grinder
Juan Marcos (ARG) - Bow

Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) - Owner / Driver
Francesco Bruni (ITA) - Tactician
Sean Clarkson (NZL) - Main trimmer
Pierluigi De Felice (ITA) - Headsail Trimmer
Mitja Margon (SLO) - Offside Trimmer
Nikolay Kornev (RUS) - Pit
Iztok Knafelc (SLO) - Grinder
Matt Cornwell (GBR) - Bow

Published in 44Cup Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

About RC44

The RC44 is a light displacement, high performance one-design racing yacht competing in the 44Cup, a five-stop international racing tour. Co-designed by five-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts with naval architect Andrej Justin, the RC44 boats are strictly identical in terms of construction, shape of hull, appendages and weight/weight distribution, as well as a 50-50 split between amateurs and professionals in each eight-person crew. With everything, from the keel to the tip of the mast, made entirely from carbon, and with a powerful sail plan, the RC44 is rapid downwind, commanding upwind and performs exceptionally in both light winds and heavier breezes. The RC44’s innovative and technical design present an exciting new hybrid sailing challenge, with the crews expected to hike like a sports boat and grind as you would on a keelboat.

At a Glance - 44Cup 2023 Calendar

  • 1 - 5 March - 44Cup Oman, Muscat

  • 28 June - 2 July - 44Cup Marstrand, Sweden

  • 9 - 13 August - 44Cup Cowes, UK

  • 18 - 22 October - 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina, Gibraltar Straight

  • 22 - 26 November - 44Cup Calero Marinas, Canary Islands

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating