RC44s to conquer the States

As Dee Smith becomes the US agent for the Russell Coutts one design

Wednesday March 24th 2010, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United States

The RC 44 Class Association has announced its expansion into North America. Twenty-two RC 44 one designs have been built to date. The latest one is currently being finished and will be shipped to Newport, Rhode Island, this spring, allowing pro sailors and potential owners to test-sail the boat.

Dee Smith, a professional sailor and project manager involved in top level yacht racing events, has been named RC 44 agent for North America. “This is a great opportunity to start a very exciting new One Design Class here in North America”, he commented. “The RC 44 has proven to be a huge success in Europe and we feel there is a need for a boat that is both exciting to sail and cost effective to run here in the States. We already have many established teams looking to acquire an RC 44 and get this party going.”

At present RC 44 events comprise a unique combination of fleet racing and match racing, but for the North American circuit this may change.

“The North American circuit will be adapted to the owners’ desires”, explains the RC 44 Class manager Bertrand Favre. “Some characteristics of the Class are fundamental, such as the One Design aspect, the amateur owner driver and direct umpiring. However we are also open to new ideas regarding the format of racing. One thing is sure: thanks to the easy logistics of the Class, it will be possible to sail in great locations in the US, both on the East and West coast and even on lakes.”

When they started designing the RC 44, Andrej Justin and Russell Coutts immediately included the transportation and storage issues in their thoughts. As a consequence, 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 removable whilst the carbon mast is assembled in two parts. Therefore all equipment can be stored and transported on a flat deck container which can be transported in a cost effective way.

The RC 44 will be displayed and test sailed in Newport in the middle of June.

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