Ex-Alinghi big guns on board
At the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour opener in San Diego in March, the Paul Cayard, Bob Little combination onboard Katusha (RUS) claimed a convincing first round victory in the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour, now with two new teams bolstering the entries to 13, the Tour moves to Austria.
This is the fourth successive year the RC44 Tour has visited Gmunden on Lake Traunsee, with last year’s RC44 Austria Cup attracting over 20,000 spectators. This year will also see live tracking and onboard streaming from three cameras on the race course and one onboard AEZ RC44 Sailing Team from 11–15 May.
The home team in Austria comes courtesy of the Rene Mangold-owned AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team. Although made up largely of amateur sailors, AEZ tactician is former Soling European champion Christian Binder, who represented Austria in the 470 class at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Portugal’s Nuno Barreto, a veteran of three Olympics, a 1996 470 Games bronze medalist and a member of the Desafío Español 2007 America’s Cup crew, joins the AEZ team for the 2011 season. They will be looking to improve on their ninth place in San Diego.
Another team looking to move up the overall standings is David Murphy’s Ironbound (USA). In San Diego the team appeared consistently inconsistent, three race wins should have seen them in the top half of the leaderboard, but instead they finished seventh. The team has made some changes ahead of Austria that will see former Alinghi heavyweights Brad Butterworth coaching, Simon Daubney trimming and Peter Evans taking the tacticians role.
Still in their first full season David Murphy is focusing on getting the right people and a team that works well together. “I think the results previously haven’t been great and one of the ways of trying to rectify that is working on getting the right people in each position on the boat so we have made some crew changes. Simon Daubney and Peter Evans both raced on Black Magic (New Zealand’s 1995 and 2000 winning America’s Cup team) along with Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth. Brad will be coaching us in Austria for the first time and at this stage it is important to us that we focus on getting the team dynamic right.”
Reigning Laser World Champion, Tom Slingsby (AUS) steps onboard the Dutch entry No Way Back as their tactician and match racing helm. Two new teams make their debut, Vladimir Prosikhin’s Russian Team Nika and from France Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Sailing Team. Chris Bake launched and christened his new Team Aqua on Lake Traunsee last week and is looking forward to swapping the oldest boat in the fleet for the newest!
Class founder Russell Coutts is again looking forward to some great lake racing. “I am very happy to be back once again in Lake Traunsee, such a stunning venue with great sailing conditions. The Austrian event organisers PROFSs have done a great job again getting support for the event from the City of Gmunden, sponsors and the public alike. It’s great also to welcome Team Nika and the Aleph Sailing Team onto the circuit.” Coutts will be onboard Oracle Racing with Steve Howe stepping in for Larry Ellison for this event.
|Rene Mangold (AUT)||Christian Binder (AUT)|
|Aleph Sailing Team (FRA)||Hugues Lepic (FRA)||Mathieu Richard (FRA)|
|Artemis Racing (SWE)||Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE)||Morgan Larson (USA)|
||David Murphy (USA)||Peter Evans (NZL)|
|Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP)||Daniel Calero (ESP)||Jose Maria Ponce (ESP)|
|Katusha (RUS)||Paul Cayard (USA)|
|Team Nika (RUS)||Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS)||Tomislav Basic (SLO)|
|No Way Back (NED)||Pieter Heerema (NED)||Tom Silingsby (AUS)|
|ORACLE Racing (USA)||Larry Ellison (USA)/Substitute Driver- Steve Howe (USA)||Russell Coutts (NZL)|
|Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR)||John Bassadone (GBR)||Iñaki Castañer (ESP)|
|RC44 Team CEEREF (SLO)||Igor Lah (SLO)||Michelle Ivaldi (ITA)|
|Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS)||Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS)||Evgeniy Neugodnikov (RUS)|
|Team Aqua (GBR)
||Chris Bake (CAN)||Cameron Appleton (NZL)|