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Corkman helps drive BMW to victory

5th May 2010
Corkman helps drive BMW to victory

Cork sailor Revelin Minihane joined Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts this week in winning the second round of the 2010 RC44 cup in Austrlia. Minihane, in the pit for the BMW Oracle team, was part of a crew that dominated both the fleet- and match-racing elements of the regatta. The RC44 fleet sails with a mix of pro and amateur crew, with Minihane on BMW and Dubliner Dave McHugh on fourth-placed Sea Dubai both among the amateur ranks.

There were only three points between BMW ORACLE Racing and RC 44 Challenge, guided by John Kostecki and James Spithill from the BMW Oracle AC team, ahead of the last race. USA 18 finished three places ahead of USA 17, catching up on their opponent and grabbing the title thanks to the number of race wins.

It went down to the last hurdle between BMW ORACLE Racing and their America’s Cup team mates on board RC 44 Challenge, with both teams separated by three points ahead of the last race. “We didn’t think we were still in a position to win the race”, confessed tactician John Kostecki at the end of the day. “If we had known this, I guess we would have done some things slightly differently”. Nevertheless, the tandem Kostecki / Spithill and their amateur helmsman Ian Vickers couldn’t have done much better in this last race, winning by a comfortable margin.
The outcome of the fleet race therefore unfolded behind, in a very tough battle between five teams competing for a podium position. BMW ORACLE Racing started the last race in the middle of the line and struggled to find clear air. The team then spent the regatta swapping places with No Way Back, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and Ceeref, trying hard to keep as close as possible from the leader. BMW ORACLE Racing eventually crossed the arrival line in fourth, just a couple of meters ahead of the Spaniards after overtaking them during the last run; a move that proved to be synonymous with overall victory.
The fight for the third place of the podium also proved superb, with four teams separated by one point ahead of the last race. Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back - unlucky early in the day when it got stuck in a fishing line and had to send a crewmember in the freezing cold waters of Lake Traunsee to cut the line off – fought its way back up the ranking, finishing third of the last race and third overall ahead of Team Sea Dubai and Ceeref.
Both Artemis, Katusha and Team Aqua – used to the spotlights – suffered today. Team Aqua and Artemis – the winners of the last event in Dubai – finished respectively 9th and 7th of the fleet regatta. As for Katusha, 8th in the final ranking, its situation is quite different: the boat owner - Guennadi Timtchenko – started sailing for the first time during this regatta. He did a great job, staying in touch throughout the event thanks to the help of his coach, Paul Cayard.
Winner of both the match and fleet race, BMW ORACLE Racing conquers the RC 44 Austria Cup; a ranking based on the combination of both fleet and match racing. No Way Back finishes second and RC 44 Challenge third.
Published in Racing Team

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