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2021 Sailing season gets underway

The 2021 sailing season is now truly underway with several races having been run, and the following is a summary of the results so far.
HMS Calpe Shield
The “tunning up race” as it is commonly known, give the teams a first opportunity to see how fast their Victories are sailing, and in theory provides them with an opportunity to “tune them up” to ensure that they reach the first Kings Cup race a week later with enough speed to be competitive.
This race was a strange one in that many different boats took the lead during the course of the race with Charlie Stagnetto in Fairdawn, Micko Capurro in Andromeda (retired due to gear failure), Hamish Risso in Fencer and Charlie Lavarello in Nemesis all having the lead at some stage but none of them being able to hold on to it.
In the end, it was actually Nick Cruz in Eos who flew up the fleet from 5th place to pip Charlie Lavarello at the line thanks to some good spinnaker work from Joey Imossi to claim the victory in the first race of the season.
1st Nick Cruz in Eos (Crew Joey Imossi)
2nd Charlie Lavarello in Nemesis
3rd Hamish Risso in Fencer
Jubilee Race 1
The first Kings Cup race of the season proved to be an equally varied race with once again the lead changing several times.  As the boats came round the mark the first time it was Charlie Lavarello and Hamish Risso that were in contention to win the maiden King’s Cup race, but any hopes they had of winning disappeared along with the wind and it was left to Charlie Stagnetto and Micko Capurro to take advantage of the change in conditions and battle it out for the win to the end.
In the end Charlie Stagnetto managed to do enough to take the win, with Micko second and Ray Payas heading the rest of the fleet to claim 3rd place.
1st Charlie Stagnetto (Crew Marcin & Dorian)
2nd Micko Capurro in Andromeda
3rd Ray Payas in Odyssey
Jubilee Race 2
The second race of the Kings Cup proved to be an fascinating one with most of the interest surrounding one of the largest fleets in years and return of John Bassadone to Kings Cup racing after a long absence, assisted by two of his RC44 crew in Emendek. However, before the race had even commenced, we had a casualty with Louis Triay Snr in Viking damaging his boat and having to be towed back into port.
Once the delayed race got started in a strong westerly wind, it was John Bassadone and Charlie Lavarello who got the best starts and it was these two boats that rounded the RAF mark in first and second position respectively, closely followed by Hamish Risso in Fencer.
As they rounded, Charlie Lavarello made an error allowing Hamish to overtake him into second place and set up an interesting run back to Western beach with Micko Capurro and Charlie Stagnetto joining Charlie Lavarello in trying to displace Hamish from his second position, whilst John Bassadone took advantage of some excellent crew work to consolidate his lead even further.
As the race progressed, Hamish manged to pull away from the pursuing group and even make inroads into John Bassadone’s lead but it was never enough to get within less than a few boat lengths of the leader and as they rounded the RAF mark for the last time, an error from Hamish confirmed the inevitable.
This meant that John Bassadone had managed to win his first Kings Cup race of his career and confirm him as a serious contender – if not favourite - for this year’s championship (as long as his RC44 commitments allow him to participate in enough races), with Hamish in second place and Charlie Lavarello breaking away from the “peloton” to take third.
1st John Bassadone in Emendek (Crew Pablo Villar & German Panei)
2nd Hamish Risso in Fencer
3rd Charlie Lavarello in Nemesis
Jubilee Race 3
The third race of the Jubilee Series was held in strong easterly winds, and with John Bassadone away on RC44 commitments, it was left to the usual regulars to take advantage.
From the start it was Charlie Stagnetto who took control of the race with a great tack to leeward of Hamish Risso, and to windward of Nick Cruz that allowed him to round the mark at Western beach in first place followed closely by Hamish.
Behind them, Charlie Lavarello had over reached the mark by a long way putting him towards the back of the fleet and in a poor position on the run whilst the likes of Nick Cruz and Micko Capurro tried in vain to catch up with Hamish and Charlie Stagnetto.
Despites Hamish’s best efforts, Charlie Stagnetto sailed a great run to round the RAF mark in the lead whilst further back some clever moves by Charlie Lavarello (ably assisted by John Armstrong on the spinnaker) allowed him to close the gap on the boats in front of him whilst Nick Cruz and Micko Capurro battled it out for 3rd place.
The next beat and run was fairly uneventful with Hamish not making any inroads into Charlie Stagnetto’s lead as the a result of the latter’s perfect decision making, although there was an interesting battle going on behind them for third place.
As the leading boats rounded the RAF mark for the last time, a change in the wind direction gave Hamish a slight opportunity and he tacked off to the North in search of fortune with Charlie Stagnetto attentively matching his every move.
Behind them, an incident involving Micko Capurro, Nick Cruz and Alex Dobbs in Zeus, allowed Charlie Lavarello to take advantage and jump up into 3rd position.
On the final beat back to Western beach, there were several moments where Hamish looked like he may be closing the gap to Charlie Stagnetto but these proved to be short lived as Charlie instead consolidated his lead and sailed the rest of the final beat with a comfortable gap ahead of Hamish.
In the end, it was Charlie Stagnetto who justifiably capped his magnificent performance with a win, whilst Hamish had to be content with his second second place in a row and Charlie Lavarello keeping his third position.
1st Charlie Stagnetto (Crew Marcin & Dorian)
2nd Hamish Risso in Fencer
3rd Charlie Lavarello in Nemesis.
Jubilee Series Overall positions
With three out of the four races of the Jubilee series raced, it is Charlie Stagnetto who finds himself in the strongest position (2 x1st & 1 x 4th), although Hamish (2 x 2nd, 1 x 8th) is the only other boat that could win the series if he manages to win the 4th and final race of the series and Charlie Stagnetto gets a 3rd of worse.
Behind them a whole host of other boats, including Charlie Lavarello and Micko Capurro could also take second place ahead of Hamish if they got a good result in the final race and so the scene is set for an interesting afternoon of sailing ‪next Thursday‬ especially with the expected return of John Bassadone from RC44 duties to once again set the cats amongst the pigeons.
Other non-Kings Cup races held:
1st Hamish Risso in Fencer
2nd German Panei in Emendek
3rd Ray Payas in Odyssey
1st Andrew Alcantara in Zoe
2nd Alain Navarro in Zeus
3rd Ray Payas in Odyssey
1st Charlie Stagnetto in Fairdawn
2nd Ray Payas in Odyssey
3rd Alain Navarro in Zeus
This leaves the RAFSA series wide open with perhaps Ray Payas in Odyssey in pole position to take the series win.

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