PRESS KIT RC44 CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR 2014 www.rc44.com
RC44 CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR 2014 Since its launch in 2007, the RC44 Championship Tour has established itself as a key series to compete on in the international yacht racing circuit. The defining spirit of the Tour brings together the worlds of sailing and business, allowing amateur owner drivers to race, high performance one-design yachts, with some of the worldâ€™s elite sailors, competing at some of the most beautiful and diverse sailing venues around the world.
Reading like a who’s who of sailing’s greatest achievers, from America’s Cup legends to Olympic champions, the top names to have embraced the RC44 Cass in its first seven years include: Present • • • • •
Two times British Olympic gold medallist and Artemis Racing’s America’s Cup Team Manager, Iain Percy 2000 America’s Cup winner and winner of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 RC44 Championship Tour, Cameron Appleton Quadruple match racing World Champion, Ian Williams Helm of 2007 winning America’s Cup team, Ed Baird Italian sailing legend with two MedCup, 20 world, 11 European and 23 Italian titles under his belt, Vasco Vascotto
Past • • • • •
2010 and 2013 America’s Cup winning skipper, James Spithill Seven-time sailing world champion, a seven-time America's Cup veteran and two-time Olympian, Paul Cayard America’s Cup Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker US SAILING's 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and TP52 World Champion, Terry Hutchinson Tactician and a strategist leading his team to four America’s Cup victories, Brad Butterworth
And that’s before we mention Class co–designer, five times America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts.
LOWDOWN ON THE 2014 VENUES Two new venues will make their debut, alongside three RC44 favorites for the eighth season of the Championship Tour. The 2014 season will start in the Caribbean in February, where the class will be welcomed for the first time by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda. The fleet will then travel across the Atlantic to Europe where they will compete at three European events in Cascais, Portugal; Marstrand, Sweden; and for the first time Sotogrande, Spain before crossing the 4000nm to Muscat, Oman for the final event of the season.
RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup - 12 – 16 February
Making its debut, the 2014 RC44 Championship Tour will kick off in turquoise waters of Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS).
RC44 Cascais Cup - 23 – 27 April
April will see the fleet return to Europe as the Clube Naval de Cascais host the second event of the Tour in the picturesque bay of Cascais, Portugal for the third year.
RC44 Sotogrande Cup – 25 – 29 June
Stretching along southern Spain's Mediterranean coastline, Sotogrande nestles between Gibraltar and Marbella.
RC44 Marstrand World Championships – 13 – 17 August
August will be the fourth year the RC44 Class has returned to the heart of Swedish sailing, Marstrand, with the event doubling as the classes World Championships.
RC44 Oman Cup – 19 – 23 November
The fleet will make their winter migration to the Arabian port of Muscat, Oman for the final event of the season.
GUIDE TO THE RACING With its strict one-design format the RC44 class is as level a playing field as you could wish to find in international yacht racing. The Tour is made up of two elements – one day of match racing where the pro skippers or owner drivers get their chance to shine at the helm and four days of owner helmed fleet racing.
FLEET RACING With the team owners at the helm, and the pros calling tactics, the fleet racing events are very short, intense and action-packed races with a target time of 40 minutes, with boats frequently separated by just seconds at the finish line. There are generally three to four fleet races a day, depending on weather conditions, and no discard meaning every single race counts. The fleet racing takes place on a windward-leeward course, with a dog leg at the windward mark and a gate at the leeward mark. Points are allocated on the standard ISAF ‘low point system’, so the boat that comes first in a race gets one point, second gets two points etc. The team with the fewest points at the end of each event is that event’s fleet racing winner.
Great venues across the globe are chosen for their excellent sailing conditions, create a racecourse that is often demanding of the helm. Fast tracking their amateur experience to a level where the owner/drivers can compete in the match racing on the same level as the professional sailors.
MATCH RACING Match racing is compelling to watch and a race can be won or lost before the start signal has even been sounded so important and exciting is the pre-start. With either the pros or the owner/drivers at the wheel, boats go head-to-head in a rolling round robin format throughout the five events, with the rankings based on the number of victories and losses each team picks up.Â The match racing contests are held on a windward-leeward course with one gate at the leeward mark. THE RC44 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Points scored at the World Championship count as normal towards the final Tour rankings but the overall winner of the event also walks away with the prestigious title of RC44 World Champion.
ABOUT THE BOAT
THE CONCEPT The RC44 is a light displacement, high performance one-design racing yacht. Co-designed by five-time Americaâ€™s Cup winner Russell Coutts with naval architect Andrej Justin, the 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 RC44â€™s innovative and technical design present an exciting new hybrid sailing challenge, with the crews expected hike like a sports boat and grind as you would on a keelboat.
LOGISTICALLY SPEAKING. As well as the strict one-design class rules, it was important the RC44 was a non-complicated boat to own and could be raced in the summer and put away relatively easily in the winter. The stern of the boat is removable to allow the transportation length to be less than 40 feet. The keel fin attachment is also easily detachable and the mast is assembled in two parts, enabling all equipment to be stored and transported on a flat deck container to anywhere in the world.
THE TEAMS FOR 2014 AEGIR RACING (GBR 22) BRIAN BENJAMIN (GBR) / IAN WILLIAMS (GBR)
Brian Benjamin's team Aegir Racing comes from the world of Maxi Yachts. Competing in their first full season in 2013 the team finished 12th overall. The RC44 Class forms a perfect platform to hone their starting technique and close quarter’s boat on boat strategy, not generally found on the Maxi circuit. Aegir Racing will not be competing in the RC44 Cascais Cup 2014.
ALEPH RACING (FRA17) HUGUES LEPIC (FRA) / MATHIEU RICHARD (FRA) The French team finished 9th overall in their first season, then 8th in the 2012 and 2013 Tour, but have excelled in the match racing finishing second in 2012. Having joined the class in search of a sailing challenge involving state-of-the-art racing boats in an exciting and expanding one-design class, the team is keen to keep improving.
ARTEMIS RACING (SWE 44) TORBJORN TORNQVIST (SWE) / IAIN PERCY (GBR) Led by Torbjorn Tornqvist, Artemis Racing has been involved with the RC44 class since 2008. The team have finished on the podium for the past four seasons, but narrowly missed out in 2013 finishing 5th overall. New tactician Olympic gold medalist Iain Percy will be one to watch for 2014.
BRONENOSEC 44 (RUS 18) VLADIMIR LIUBOMIROV (RUS) / MICHELE IVALDI (ITA)
Bronenosec 44 owned by Vladimir Liubomirov joined the RC44 Class for the first time at the third event of the 2013 season. Commodore of the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg and Skipper of Swan 60, Bronenosec, Liubomirov is no stranger the international sailing world having won the prestigious Russian Sailor of the Year Award 2012.
BOMBARDA (ITA42) ANDREA POZZI (ITA) / JOHN KOSTECKI (USA)
Having joined the fleet in 2014 at the first event of the season, Bombarda Racing owned by Italian financial businessmen Andrea Pozzi is joined by American Olympic silver medallist and America's Cup veteran John Kostecki as tactician .
CHARISMA (MON69) NICO POONS (NED) / TOM SLINGSBY (AUS) Joining the fleet for the first time in Cascais, Nico Poons is no stranger to international yacht racing having won the Swan 45 world champion and Farr. 40 North American champion titles in the past. Poons is joined by Olympic Gold Medallist and America’s Cup ORACLE Team USA strategist Tom Slingsby.
GAZPROM YOUTH CHALLENGE (RUS 7) KIRILL PODOLSKY (RUS) / IGOR LISOVENKO (RUS)
Kirill Podolskiy's Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge (former RUS7) provides a training platform for the St.Petersburg Yacht Club’s, Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge. The initiative is targeted at Russian sailors from 18-27 who have limited opportunities to compete at international sailing events in Russia and reach an international level within the sport.
KATUSHA (RUS 007) GENNADI TIMCHENKO (RUS) / ANDY HORTON (USA)
The Russian Team Katusha, led by owner Gennadi Timchenko, joined the RC44 class 2009. In 2012 they were runners up to Team Aqua in the Championship Tour with America’s Cup legend Brad Butterworth calling the shots. For 2013 American Star sailor Andy Horton stepped in as tactician and lifted the team back onto the podium finishing 3rd overall in 2013 season. Katusha will be helmed by Vladimir Sokolov for the 2014 season.
MAG RACING (POL 44) KRZYSZTOF KREMPEC & ARTUR KASNER (POL) / PIOTR PRZYBYLSKI (POL)
After a break from racing in 2012, Polish team MAG Racing owned by businessmen Krzysztof Krempec and Artur Kasner, made a comeback in 2013 with tactician Piotr Przybylski, finishing the season in 15th. The team is known for their fun loving antics both on and off the race course. The team is known for their fun loving antics both on and off the race course.
PENINSULA PETROLEUM SAILING TEAM (GBR 1) JOHN BASSADONE (GBR) / VASCO VASCOTTO (ITA)
John Bassadone's Gibraltar based team joined the class in 2010 and have finished just off the podium in in 4th place for the last three years. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team and her Spanish crew will be looking to continue their advance through the fleet rankings in 2014 with Italian sailing legend Vasco Vascotto calling tactics.
PUERTO CALERO RESIDENCE CLUB (ESP 1) JOSE JUAN CALERO (ESP) / JOSE MARIA PONCE (ESP)
The Calero family has become a popular and established feature of the RC44 Championship Tour circuit ever since the Calero brothers discovered the class in 2008. After a break from racing after the second event in 2012, the team returned to the fleet for the 2013 World Championships and will compete in the 2014 season. Puerto Calero will not be competing in the RC44 Cascais Cup 2014.
SYNERGY RUSSIAN SAILING TEAM (RUS 13) VALENTIN ZAVADNIKOV & LEONID LEBEDEV (RUS) / ED BAIRD (USA) Synergy Russian Sailing Team made its RC44 debut in 2010. Owned by Russian businessman Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev they led their team to a 2nd place in 2013 Tour, with top match racer Ed Baird joining as tactician and match race helm the team will be looking to emulate their success in 2014.
TEAM AQUA (GBR 2041) CHRIS BAKE (GBR) / CAMERON APPLETON (NZL)
Chris Bake’s Team Aqua has been one of the leading forces on the RC44 Championship Tour circuit ever since its launch in 2007. With top match racer Cameron Appleton the permanent fixture as the team’s pro sailor, Team Aqua defended their 2011 and 2012 RC44 Championship Tour title in 2013, keeping hold of the golden wheels for a third consecutive season as well as taking home the Match Race Champion title.
TEAM NIKA (RUS10) VLADIMIR PROSIKHIN (RUS)/ TERRY HUTCHINSON (USA)
Russian Team Nika joined the RC44 class in 2011the team has finished 9th overall in the past two seasons. Owner and technology entrepreneur, Vladimir Prosikhin first got a taste for RC44 racing as a guest onboard the RC44 Beecom in Portorož, Slovenia in 2009. Vladimir will be joined for the first time in Cascais by experianced American match race helm Terry Hutchinson.
FIND OUT ABOUT RC44 CASCAIS CUP April will see the fleet return to Europe as the Clube Naval de Cascais host the second event of the Tour in the picturesque bay of Cascais, Portugal for the third year. The Clube Naval de Cascais was first founded in 1938 by sailing enthusiasts and has long been dedicated to promoting sailing in Portugal. Frequented by global yachting events including the Americaâ€™s Cup World Series in August 2011, the Med-Cup, the Dragon Gold Cup, the TRANSAT Classic and many more, due to the reliable nature of the wind conditions and challenging race area.
WEDNESDAY 23RD APRIL
10.00 Match Race briefing 10.15 VIP Morning show and welcome 11.30 1st Warning signal for Match Race 18:00 Welcome Reception
THURSDAY 24TH APRIL
10.00 Fleet Race briefing 10.15 VIP Morning show and welcome 11.30 1st Warning signal for Fleet Race 18:00 Boat captain meeting After sailing - Catering and Open bar
FRIDAY 25TH APRIL
10.00 Fleet Race briefing 10.15 VIP Morning show and welcome 11.30 1st Warning signal for Fleet Race After sailing - Catering and Open bar
SATURDAY 26TH APRIL
10.00 Fleet Race briefing 10.15 VIP Morning show and welcome 11.30 1st Warning signal for Fleet Race 20.00 Gala Dinner and Match Race Prize Giving
SUNDAY 27TH APRIL
10.00 Fleet Race briefing 10.15 VIP Morning show and welcome 11.30 1st Warning signal for Fleet Race 15.00 Last warning signal 16.00 Prize-giving Ceremony
INFORMATION For downloadable images, video and media information register at http://rc44.dme.boxstuff.net Contact Details RC44 Class Office Class Manager Bertrand Favre
RC44 Comunications Into the Blue Jo Grindley
M/ +41 76 324 05 39 E/ email@example.com Skype: bertrandfavre
M/ +44 7788 10676 P/ +44 1983 247286 E/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Pack for the RC44 Cascais Cup 2014