2010 RC44 circuit announced
The RC 44 Class Association has announced its program for 2010, as well as updated rules for the fourth edition of its Championship Tour.
The season will start in two weeks in Dubai with the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy (22-27 February). The fleet will then be transported to central Europe for the Austria Cup (29 April - 4 May), the Copenhagen Cup (8-13 June) and a fourth venue to be confirmed soon. The Championship Tour will then move back to the Atlantic Ocean for the RC 44 Puerto Calero Islas Canarias Cup, which will also be the RC 44 World Championship (11-16 October), before the season showdown (7-12 December), again at a venue TBA.
The teams competing in the Championship Tour 2010 include
- Team No Way Back (Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies)
- Artemis (Torbjorn Tornqvist / Terry Hutchinson)
- CEEREF (Igor Lah / Rod Davis)
- BMW Oracle Racing (Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts)
- Team Aqua (Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton)
- Organika (Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski)
- Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (José Juan and Daniel Calero / José Maria Ponce)
- Katusha (Paul Cayard)
- Team Sea Dubai (Raimondo Tonelli / Markus Wieser)
- Team Austria (René Mangold / Christian Binder)
- Team Jelik (Frank Pong).
Other teams are expected to join the class during the season.
Several rules have been updated in order to increase the appeal of the Class. Events will now begin with the match race event over the first two days. The third day will be a fleet race practice day as well as a spare day to conclude the match race if necessary. The fleet racing will take place on days 4, 5 and 6. The long distance regatta is maintained; however it will only take place if an interesting race course is available at the venue. As for the points, the long distance race will not count double as was the case in the previous years. An official RC 44 World Championship will also take place for the first time in Lanzarote; to break possible ties in the annual rankings.
Organised by Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy will be the season opener on 22-27 February. The regatta will reconvene nine out of the ten RC 44s who competed in last year’s Gold Cup. Amongst the favourites, Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies (Team No Way Back) will be keen to confirm the title they conquered during the Gold Cup 2009. As for Terry Hutchinson, who joins the RC 44 Class for the first time on board Artemis, he will be keen to match the brilliant results obtained by Dean Barker last year with this team.
Unable to attend the event due to the America’s Cup, Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts will be replaced by Mike Perris (fleet race helmsman) and Adam Minoprio (match race helmsman). Ceeref, the winner of the SLAM Cup 2009 – the match race season title - will have an interesting challenge against the winner of last year’s World Match Race Tour Adam Minoprio and that the comparison will be interesting.