North Sails NEWS
#NSVICTORYLIST: CEEREF IS RC44 SERIES CHAMPION
Igor Lah’s Team Seals The Deal In The 2019 Series Finale
Slovenian Igor Lah has claimed the 2019 season title, and all in the final moments of the RC44 Cup. Going into the last race, the points were tight, and the final race would produce just one overall season winner. The first day of racing was canceled due to weather, so with only a three-day event to make it happen, it was all or nothing. Acknowledging that their season did not go as well as they had hoped, they were hoping to at least have a solid race finish in the last event of the series. “Our goal was to come to Palma and win,” said their tactician. “If you don’t sail well, it is easy to be in the back- which we know!”
Ceeref had their work cut out for them, going into the final event from far behind after a rough season of bad luck. In the last race, the Bay of Palma delivered a strong breeze, and Ceeref was ready to give it their all, coming off the line at the pin-end and crossing the fleet on port. They worked course left, rounding the windward mark in third just behind clients on Bronenosec and Charisma, the 2018 Season champs. Coming into the bottom of the course, Ceeref took their chances, splitting sides with leaders and was able to catch the first shift that kept them in the lead to the top of the course. Great speed and boat handling launched them ahead of Charisma, who was nipping at their heels in second place, to snag the bullet. Taking chances is what earned them the upper-hand on the tiebreaker, to take first overall in the RC44 Cup Palma and first overall for the season with 11 points after one discard.
The RC44 season consisted of five events; Porto Montenegro, Adris, the Worlds in Marstrand, Cascais, and Palma. Ceeref started out strong, winning event one in Porto Montenegro with a seven-point lead. However, the event in Adris, the Worlds, and Cascais, they suffered from bad luck, which didn’t give them much of a chance to pull through and end their season on a bright note. Perseverance and smart sailing kept them in touch with the fleet, not to mention scoring four bullets in Palma gave them enough to squeak ahead with 27 points total to win it all.
To win the overall trophy in one of sailing’s most competitive ‘big boat’ one-design classes is quite the accomplishment. For Igor’s Ceeref to win it again, their first time being in 2016, then again in 2017, now in 2019, was a great feeling.
“I was sure that it would be impossible,” said Igor, who only found out when the boat hit the dock that the team had pulled it off. This was a great way to end the event, and the 2019 racing season.
“Going into the last race, we knew it was mathematically possible, and the math was on our side today!” said Igor. “We needed this.”