RC 44 class gets going

First owners meet for the new Russell Coutts racer cruiser held in Sardinia

Wednesday June 7th 2006, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Italy
The first RC 44 Class meeting was held in Porto Cervo (Sardinia) in early June. Many important decisions got taken. The boat was also on display, at the same time as the Farr 40 Porto Cervo European Series, giving the opportunity to a lot of passionate sailors to have a look at the “beast”. The RC 44 Class is definitely moving on!

More than 50 people joined the first RC 44 Class meeting at Vincenzo Onorato’s house in Sardinia, together with designers Russell Coutts and Andrej Justin and Class secretary Julien di Biase, as well as representatives of the builders, first owners and basically everyone involved in the project. It was a great opportunity to exchange views about the boat’s future, the regatta program, the measurement rules and many other topics, but also to take some important decisions for the future of the Class.

The meeting happened at the same time as the Farr 40 European Series, as well as an important gathering of Swan 45s and TP 52s training for the Sardinia Cup. Most owners of these high tech classes were very curious to discover the latest one design to date.
Among several important decisions, it was agreed that the RC 44 crew should be made of eight crew members (actually a 680 kilo weight limit, 8 x 85kg). A maximum of four professional sailors will be allowed on board for official races.

The Class and the boat owners have also agreed to be open minded about sponsorship. Both the Class and the yachts will wear commercial partner’s colours if they want to and according to the Class Rules.

Finally, it has been decided that the first official RC 44 regatta will take place on 4-7 October in Trieste, just before the world famous Barcolana regatta. The format of this event is definitely innovative, as there will be two days of fleet racing followed by two days of match-racing. The boat owners will be at the helm during the fleet races; they have the possibility to hand over to a professional for the match race.

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