Photo: Maria Rambuske - GEPA / RC 44

The return of BMW Oracle Racing

Spithill and Kostecki to compete in a new team at the RC44 Austria Cup this week

Tuesday April 27th 2010, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Austria

The second regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2010 will begin on Thursday, 29 April, on Lake Traunsee, Austria. This regatta will see James Spithill, Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison make their come back on the circuit; sail against the likes of Ray Davies, Paul Cayard, Rod Davis, Markus Wieser, Terry Hutchinson, Cameron Appleton, Christian Binder and many more of the world’s best sailors - a tough job for the bookmakers!

Recent winner of the America’s Cup at the helm of the extraordinary BMW Oracle Racing maxi-trimaran, James Spithill is the skipper of a new team called RC 44 Challenge. His crew is made up of a combination of America’s Cup sailors - such as his tactician John Kostecki - and genuine amateurs, as required by the Class rules. RC 44 Challenge will with no doubt immediately become one of the favourites of the event.

“I am really looking forward to returning to the RC 44 Class”, says Spithill. “It attracts the world’s best sailors from both match racing and fleet racing, plus the boats are incredibly rewarding to sail and certainly one of the reasons I’m back. We have a fantastic team. John Kostecki will be tactician and Joey Newton trimming, both who raced on the BOR 90 trimaran.”

Other new faces involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup include Harm Müller Spreer, who will be Team Sea Dubai’s fleet race helmsman. One time owner of the German TP 52 Platoon, Harm Müller Spreer is a successful Dragon sailor who was European Champion in 2004, finishing second at the 2005 Worlds and who is a triple Gold Cup winner.

Russell Coutts is also back on the circuit for the first time since last year’s Portoroz Cup. Larry Ellison will steer BMW Oracle Racing during the fleet races while Coutts will be at the helm on Thursday and Friday for the match race.

Finally, Team Austria, the local team headed by René Mangold, will be keen to perform in front of its public. The Austrians managed to win two fleet races in Dubai earlier in the season. “We have improved a lot but we need more continuity”, comments Christian Binder, the team’s match race helmsman and tactician.

Teams involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup (fleet race / match race helmsman):

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)
Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (Daniel Calero / José Maria Ponce)
Katusha (Paul Cayard)
Team Sea Dubai (Harm Muller Spreer / Markus Wieser)
Team Austria (René Mangold / Christian Binder)
RC 44 Challenge (Ian Vickers / James Spithill)

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