28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 - Prize Giving Ceremony - Oman Series Winners Land Rover BAR (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 – Prize Giving Ceremony – Oman Series Winners Land Rover BAR (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic sailor in history, led his Land Rover BAR team to victory at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Oman this weekend.

Ainslie beat his former skipper, Jimmy Spithill and ORACLE TEAM USA, by two points, with the winning margin secured on a late charge in the final race.

Ainslie says winning the event in Oman was an important measuring stick for the team, which hadn’t won since securing victory on home waters in Portsmouth last summer.

28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 - Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 – Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

“We kept fighting through today,” he said. “Compared to the teams with established track records, we need to prove we can compete at the top of the fleet and I think we are getting back to doing that. We have a big team of designers, boat builders and support staff back at home working very hard for us and they want to know that we can win this thing.”

For ORACLE TEAM USA the second place result was a fourth consecutive podium finish in a Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series regatta. But for all that, the team has yet to win.

“We’ve made some good steps forward, but we need to get going,” Spithill said after racing. “It’s good to be on the podium. We’re one of only two teams to have been on the podium at each event. But we want to win. There’s no two ways about it.”

With a third place result in Oman, Emirates Team New Zealand retains its place atop the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard, but ORACLE TEAM USA, in second place, has closed the gap to just 6 points.

28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 - Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 – Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

“The last race was a little bit disappointing for us,” said skipper Glenn Ashby, referring to a fifth place finish. “But to come away from any event still holding the overall lead is a good thing. At the end of the day that’s what counts.”

Ashby is right. The leader at the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will carry two bonus points forward into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in May 2017 in Bermuda. The second place team earns one bonus point.

28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

A popular result on Sunday came from Groupama Team France, who finished strongly with a second place finish followed by a victory. With Adam Minoprio replacing the injured Franck Cammas on the helm this weekend, the team converted two strong start line performances into top finishes.

“We were pretty stoked on board. You could see the excitement on the guys faces,” Minoprio said. “We didn’t have the strongest start to the regatta but we’re happy to have been improving through the weekend and finishing with a win.”

Both SoftBank Team Japan and Artemis Racing continued to show moments of promised but fell back in the fleet over the course of the day; bad breaks combined with poor decisions or handling errors to put the pair at the bottom of the table.

28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 - Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 – Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman marked the first America’s Cup sailing in the Middle East and was a milestone event for the host, Oman Sail.

“This was a fantastic weekend for us,” said David Graham, the CEO of Oman Sail. “Promoting Oman through the America’s Cup broadcast was a fantastic opportunity for us.

“It was also tremendous to see the integration of our youth sailing programs with AC Endeavour. And I think perhaps most significant for me was how the Omanis on our team led the charge and delivered a fantastic event.

“The feedback from our guests, our partners, and all of the visitors who came to enjoy the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman has been extremely positive. Let’s do it again!”

28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Final Leaderboard 

Land Rover BAR – 8, 10, 10, 18, 14, 16 – 76 points
ORACLE TEAM USA – 9, 6, 9, 12, 20, 18 – 74 points
Emirates Team New Zealand – 10, 7, 5, 20, 16, 12 – 70 points
Groupama Team France – 5, 8, 7, 10, 18, 20 – 68 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 6, 9, 6, 16, 10, 14 – 61 points
Artemis Racing – 7, 5, 8, 14, 12, 10 – 56 points

#LVACWOMAN  #LVACWS #ACWS

Overall Series Leaderboard Thus Far

28/02/16 - Muscat (OMN) - 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman - Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

28/02/16 – Muscat (OMN) – 35th America’s Cup Bermuda 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Oman – Racing Day 2 (Photo © Ricardo Pinto / ACWS)

 

AC 45's Practice Spar In Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

AC 45's Practice Spar In Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

 

The waters were crowded off Newport this weekend as AC World Series teams trained in postcard perfect conditions on Narragansett Bay, surrounded by all manner of sailing craft, from little dinghies to classics and old America’s Cup 12-meters.

Artemis AC45 in Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

Artemis AC45 in Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

Sail Newport held its annual Youth Challenge sailing regatta, putting over 150 kids in 118 boats on the water each day (an event record). By late afternoon, when the youth boats and AC45s were all returning to Newport, close encounters of a spectacular kind were inevitable and exciting for sailors on both sides of the equation.

“To see so many boats out there is brilliant,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “I just think about what it would have been like for me as a kid to see boats blasting around like these catamarans do. It’s just really cool. The AC45s perform really well in these conditions, they love a little bit of breeze and flat water, so it doesn’t get much better than this.

Newport ACWS Race Village (Photo by George Bekris)

Newport ACWS Race Village (Photo by George Bekris)

“It really is amazing here. Newport has such a rich history in the America’s Cup. When I was growing up you came to hear about Newport, primarily I think because of what Australia II did here, so to come here and sail on the same waters is really special.”

Brad Read, the executive director of Sail Newport reminded his charges at the Youth Challenge prize giving that the event is just starting.

“We’re going all week long. This is a true festival of sailing through next weekend and you guys kicked it off,” he said. “Anybody in this room who sailed probably won’t remember how they did in any of the races compared to what it was like when ORACLE TEAM USA blasted through your race course! I think that was the coolest thing you’re going to see while you’re racing.”

Artemis, Team Korea and Emirates New Zealand (Photo by George Bekris)

Artemis, Team Korea and Emirates New Zealand (Photo by George Bekris)

America's Cup (  Photo by George Bekris )

America's Cup ( Photo by George Bekris )

Newport to host a nine-day event to run June 23 – July 1, 2012

Newport, RI was unveiled today as the final stop of the 2011-2012 AC World Series, which promises to be a dramatic finish to the first season of the new AC45 professional circuit. Designed to expose millions more people to the sport of high-performance racing, the new professional circuit was created to bring the America’s Cup experience to top international venues.

In addition to being the first American host of the high-tech AC45 wing-sailed catamarans in 2012, Newport also has the honor of seeing the first AC World Series circuit champion crowned. The highlight of each AC World Series stop is the spectacular, winner-takes-all, fleet race on final Sunday, where teams put points on the board to take the overall title, so the final race on Sunday, July 1 in Newport could be the ultimate decision maker for the AC World Series champion.

“Newport and Rhode Island have strong historical ties to the America’s Cup, dating back to 1930,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “Narragansett Bay, one of our state’s most spectacular assets, provides a perfect natural venue, and the ongoing infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams make Newport the ideal host for the final stop of the AC World Series. This exciting event will be a tremendous boost for the Rhode Island economy and continues the relationship between Newport and the America’s Cup.”

Synonymous with the name America’s Cup, the spectacular harbor of Newport, Rhode Island has played host to some of the most legendary America’s Cup battles in the competition’s 160 year-old history. Newport continues to attract the leading yachtsmen and women from around the world annually, hosting some of the world’s major sailing events on its waters. And now, the 2012 AC World Series Newport event brings the America’s Cup experience back to Newport after almost a 20-year absence.

Providing an opportunity to watch the world’s top sailors compete in the state-of-the-art AC45 wing-sailed catamarans, current plans call for holding the racing inside Newport Harbor, with the start/finish line just off the shoreline and spectator access along numerous points on the waterfront.

In addition to its world famous waters, Newport, Rhode Island is a top U.S. tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. Home to spectacular coastal scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, a thriving waterfront downtown, and welcoming hospitality, Newport is considered by many to be a shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. For those whose hearts lie in architecture, design, and history, Newport offers tours of opulent mansions, interesting museums, and a number of walking tours that reveal the Colonial and Gilded Age charm of the city.

“Newport is the cradle of the America’s Cup sailing, so we’re very pleased to bring the AC World Series to the city that first exposed the Cup to the world,” said Richard Worth, Chairman, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We are building upon that rich history through this new professional circuit to accelerate the global appeal of the America’s Cup.”

The AC World Series features tight, short racecourses designed to deliver close racing for the fans on shore as well as the online and TV audiences. The innovative regatta format includes a mix of speed trials, head-to-head match racing, and all-out fleet racing with 9 identical AC45s on the line. These events provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together.

The forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup boats, the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran is the official boat of the AC World Series. While capable of closing speeds over 35 mph, the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race courses planned by America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM).

The AC World Series Newport stop is the result of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s leadership of interagency collaboration between the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Department of Environmental Management and Department of Administration. The event will be supported by key public and private organizations including the City of Newport, Newport Chamber of Commerce, and the state’s hospitality, tourism, sailing and marine trades communities, as well many other organizations.

RC 44 Cup Miami (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE)

RC 44 Cup Miami (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE)

The RC 44 class made its debut in American waters  in conditions that make Miami a renowned racing venue: a northwesterly breeze gusting over 20 knots and the boats planing around the racecourse north of Government Cut at speeds of 17 to 20 knots.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami commenced today with the 14-boat fleet split into two groups of seven for preliminary match racing. If time permits by mid-Thursday, semifinals and a final will be held for the top two from each group.

RC 44 BMW Oracle In Miami (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle )

RC 44 BMW Oracle In Miami (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle )

Wintertime racing off the southeast coast of Florida has long been a sailor’s playground. The sun is brilliant, the water is warm and the conditions usually challenge the best of crews.

Although the Northern Hemisphere winter is still officially two weeks away, chilly temperatures this morning had the sailors thinking it came early. The passing of a cold front helped stir up the strong northwesterlies, and the fleet completed eight flights of five matches for 40 races in total.

 

In Group Alpha, Cameron Appleton has Chris Bake’s Team Aqua tops in the group with a 5-1 record, followed by Harm Müller-Spreer and Markus Wieser in Team Sea Dubai. Sea Dubai actually posted a 6-0 record, but had penalty points applied by the umpires.

In Group Bravo, Terry Hutchinson guided Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis to the top of the group with a 5-1 record. Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino enjoyed its best day since returning to the class and is second at 4-1 with one flight to complete the round. BMW ORACLE Racing, with Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, is third at 4-2.

The conditions taxed many of the crews, who were sore from being thrown about the light-displacement yachts, but none other than Daniel Calero’s crew aboard Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The Spanish crew from the Canary Islands was forced out of action with a broken mast before morning had turned to afternoon.

Islas Canarias had just completed a jibe in its Flight 1 race when the mast broke about five feet above the gooseneck, where the boom attaches to the mast, and the spar went over the port side.
“We had just completed our jibe when we heard a big crunch,” said Calero. “There wasn’t much we could do to save the mast.”

Crewman Carlos Hernandez jumped into the warm Atlantic Ocean to help the crew recover some of the sails and disassemble the rigging so the mast could be brought back aboard the yacht for the motor to the harbor.

(Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE)

(Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE)

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero returned to shore where the crew began stepping a spare mast that the RC 44 Class Association has available at each regatta for just such an incident.
“This is the good side of this class, there’s a mast ready to go and we’ll be ready to race tomorrow,” said Calero. “We were enjoying the great conditions today and can’t wait to get back out tomorrow.”
ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami Day 1 Quotes

Cameron Appleton, Team Aqua: “We came off the water with one loss and that was good on a day like today. It was very shifty. Wind started out with puffs up to 28 knots or more, we saw the first rig come down in the class, and everyone seemed to be handling the conditions in different ways. It was a good test for the crews. A really good crew was rewarded today by sailing the boats well. Today was tricky because of a little cross swell and change in pressure. It kept us all on our toes.

Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino: “We’re very happy, obviously. We had four good starts. We’re making big progress from Valencia to here and are now starting to win some races. We’re learning the boat more and more. It’s normal to struggle in the beginning, but now we’re learning again. We had 20 knots, sunny and breezy. It was puffy, shifty, a very nice challenge. It was just a bit too cold, but everything else was brilliant.”

Pieter Heerema, No Way Back: “Today was exciting, a beautiful wind but tough. Lots of people had problems in boathandling. That makes the sailing exciting. We had an up and down day. We sailed well, no problems with the boathandling, but we didn’t always grab the opportunities we created for ourselves. At a certain point you just have to nail it.”

Terry Hutchinson, Artemis: “It was an incredibly difficult day. Our guys sailed very well. This was our first regatta since Dubai where we had any training prior to the first day of racing and it showed. Sailing north of Government Cut (the channel leading to Miami Harbor) was pretty good. The course gave options for both sides to work.”

Harm Mueller-Spreer, Team Sea Dubai: “We had six wins, good boatspeed and very good starts. We had a bit of bad luck in the second to last race because we hit the Russians (Synergy Russian Sailing Team). But our boathandling is good, the maneuvering is good and the feeling for the pre-start is good. I feel very comfortable. First off we had not so much wind and then it increased to 25 knots or more and slowly decreased all afternoon.”

Ian Williams, Ironbound: “The boat’s fantastic. The best thing is that you only have eight guys and lots to do. Everybody needs to pull their weight and be aware of what’s going on, doing right things at the right time. It makes it a great challenge as a team to do well.”
ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami Provisional Results
(Through 8 flights)
Group Alpha
1. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 5-1, 5 points
2. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 6-0, 4 points*
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 2-3, 2 points
3. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 4-2, 2 points*
3. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 2-4, 2 points
6. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 1-4, 1 point
7. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 0-6, 0 points
(* penalty points applied)

Group Bravo
1. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 5-1
2. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 4-1
3. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – 4-2
4. 17 (USA) William Douglass/Jimmy Spithill – 4-2
5. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 2-4
6. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 1-4
7. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 0-6

RC 44's in Miami (Photo by Gilles Martin- Raget / BMW Oracle)

RC 44's in Miami (Photo by Gilles Martin- Raget / BMW Oracle)

alt_ac45andac721

The America’s Cup, sailing’s most iconic event, has been re-energized and rejuvenated, ready for 2013 and the future.
The best sailors in the world will race on the fastest boats with the introduction of an exciting wingsail catamaran.
To build interest and audiences ahead of the 34th Match in 2013 is a new annual World Series, commencing in 2011.
A clear vision for the future led to analysis of the best practices in other major sports. Six months of dialogue with potential teams and stakeholders followed, resulting in the transformed competition details that were released today.
Highlights include:
 New, exciting class of boat, the AC72 wingsail catamaran
 New annual World Series starting in 2011
 New Youth America’s Cup from 2012
 Transformed media for television broadcast and online
 Shorter, action-packed race format
 Race delays minimized – new boat and venues with reliable wind
 Independent race management and fully empowered International Jury to avoid show-stopping disputes
 Effective cost-cutting measures
 Branding freedom for teams
 One global website for all team and racing content
The annual America’s Cup World Series has been designed to create exposure and commercial sustainability for teams and their sponsors. The series featuring the cutting-edge catamaran will deliver exciting racing to new audiences ahead of the America’s Cup Match in 2013.
The AC72 class will be raced from 2012, and a second new boat will be used in next year’s competition for the America’s Cup World Series. Also powered by a wingsail, the AC45 is a scaled down one-design version of the AC72, and will provide a fast-track for competitors in wingsail technology.
“We believe this new format and new boat will put the America’s Cup back at the pinnacle of our sport. These changes will give equal opportunity to competitors and long-term economic stability to all teams and all commercial partners. We promised fairness and innovation and this is what we’ve delivered,” said Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing.
The Regatta Director of the independent organization America’s Cup Race Management, ACRM, will be appointed jointly by the Challenger and Defender board members. A financial model for the next Defender to maintain this vision of independent race management allows teams and partners to plan long-term involvement.
“I think that we need to acknowledge that the Defender has kept its word. The America’s Cup is going to have fair rules and a truly independent management of the racing,” said Vincenzo Onorato, President of Mascalzone Latino.
“This change should’ve happened years ago in my opinion. I can see why this important development could last for many years in the future,” Onorato said.
Limits on the number of boats, sails, equipment and support boats, as well as the introduction of no-sail periods will bring significant cost savings for all competitors. Crew sizes will be reduced to 11 members from 17.
For the first time onboard cameramen will be part of the innovative media model that is designed to significantly enhance the television broadcasts and internet content in an effort to grow audiences and bring added value to teams and partners.
In releasing the Protocol, the Defender has forfeited some of the rights traditionally enjoyed by the holder of the trophy in the interest of making the competition more balanced and fair. Majority approval of the competitors is required to amend the Protocol.
“During our six months of planning we spoke to the teams, to commercial partners, to media and to the fans. A clear and compelling vision emerged – that to capture and communicate the excitement our sport can produce, we need the best sailors racing the fastest boat in the world,” Coutts said.
In an effort to develop the next generation of best sailors, the new AC45 will be used for the Youth America’s Cup beginning in 2012, a new initiative to provide young sailors a pathway to the America’s Cup.
With today’s release of the Protocol, class of boat and year in which the match will be held, three of the four cornerstones for the 34th Match are in place. The final piece, the venue, is scheduled to be announced by the end of the year.

RC 44 Fleet In Dubai (Photo Copyright Nico Martinez / RC 44 Class)

RC 44 Fleet In Dubai (Photo Copyright Nico Martinez / RC 44 Class)

The RC 44 Class announces the arrival of two new teams, the construction of two new boats, a new event in the United States and the renewal of its partnership with SLAM for the next two years.
 
July 9, 2010 – The RC 44 Class is pleased to announce the arrival of two new top level teams, who will join the Championship Tour before the end of the year.
 
Synergy, the Russian team for the America’s Cup led by Karol Jablonski – a veteran of the RC 44 Class – plans to join the Tour during the first official Class World Championship: the RC 44 Puerto Calero Islas Canarias Cup (October 11-16). Also confirmed, an American team will join the Tour during the Oracle RC 44 Cup Miami on December 7-12 at the latest.
 
Both teams have already confirmed that they will compete in 2011. Their new boats are currently being built at Pauger boatyard, in Hungary. They will be the RC 44’s no 23 and 24. Pauger is the only licensed RC 44 builder and it has built all the RC 44’s involved in the Championship Tour.
 
The RC 44 Class recently announced its project to expand to North America. The first regatta on US territory, the Oracle RC 44 Cup Miami, will take place on December 7 – 12 in South Beach Marina; it will be the closing event of the Tour 2010. “I really look forward to competing in Miami?, says RC 44 founder and co-designer Russell Coutts. “First of all because it is a beautiful sailing venue, but also because it is a symbolic step for the RC 44 Class as it will be the first time we race on American territory. Our goal is to develop a parallel circuit in the USA, and to see the European and American fleets meeting during several events, including the yearly World Championship.?
 
Following the Oracle RC 44 Cup Miami, the first regatta of the Championship Tour 2011 will also take place in the United Sates (west coast) whilst other regattas will be organised on American waters in the coming years.
 
The RC 44 Class is also pleased to announce that its historical partnership with SLAM has been extended until 2012. SLAM is the RC 44 Class’ official clothing supplier; it provides the Class management, umpires, race officials and guests with technical clothes that are particularly well adapted to their work. 
 

RC 44  (n Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

RC 44 In Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

 

RC 44 (Photo by George Bekris)

RC 44 (Photo by George Bekris)

The Challenge and Adventure Team spent an afternoon with Russell Coutts aboard the RC 44 in Newport.  The  RC44 is in Newport, RI  to introduce the boat to an American audience before the Miami Cup, on December 7 – 12, 2010. This will be the first ever RC 44 regatta in North America.  

We caught a RIB out and met the boat off Goat Island.   The crew let us know where to hold on and more importantly what not to grab.   They set the sails and the fun began.  She rose up and took off.   What a  ride.  The boat is sleek and sexy and flying across Narragansett Bay she is a head turner.  Any questions I had thought of asking Russell about how the boat performs were gone.  

The winches grunt as we power up.  Everyone hikes a bit further.  For a while we fly up and down Narragansett Bay.   Past the tour boats filled with tourists waving and cheering as they see Russell Coutts  is at the wheel of this BMW Oracle  racer blasting past them.  I  looked around at  Russell and the rest of the guys and realized that even though they had done this many times before,  they were proudly enjoying showing off the boat and her abilities.   All fun aside though, this is a serious racer. 

The RC44 is a light displacement high performance One Design sailing boat. It was designed by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, together with naval architect Andrej Justin. The RC44 was created for top level racing in international regattas under strictly controlled Class Rules. The concept and the design features of the RC44 are dedicated to the amateur helmsmen racing in fleet racing sailing events.

The objective of the Class is to develop a high level and entertaining racing program and to keep the absolute one design aspect of the RC44 by ensuring that all boats are as identical as possible in terms of construction, shape of hull and appendages, weight and weight distribution, deck layout and equipment, sail plan and performance.

 

Upwind On The RC44 (Photo by George Bekris)

Upwind On The RC44 (Photo by George Bekris)

“We wanted to include a degree of complexity so an owner can experience what a top-end race boat is like to sail, and it delivers on that”, explains Russell Coutts. “Yet we also wanted it to be easy to own – you can race this boat in summer and if you wish put it away relatively easily in winter.”

“While the RC44 have some distinctive America’s Cup features, they are light-displacement, high performance racers and designed to sail with eight person crew, or for a professional match racing format they could be sailed by just six crew. When we started to formulate this concept I wanted to create a boat that would be exciting to sail downwind and powerful in light winds because most of the harbour and lake sailing is staged at lighter wind venues.  I also wanted a boat that could be sailed short-handed with a deck layout incorporating many non-standard adjustments.

The trim tab on the keel was an example of that thinking, to reduce keel area and yet still achieve good upwind performance and maneuverability.  It adds to the complexity of the boat, but the racing enthusiast will enjoy exploring the different tab angles and the resulting benefits in performance.”

With a powerful sail plan, the RC44 is intended strictly for racing, either match racing or day sailing fleet races. The boat is targeted at the day sailor who wishes to sail a high performance one-design class.  It has no comforts for cruising, and with a big open cockpit, a fairly narrow beam and the huge sail plan it produces a lot of excitement. The philosophy was to create something special for the racing sailor – a bit like owning a sports car versus a 4-wheel drive!

Russell Coutts (Photo by George Bekris)

Russell Coutts (Photo by George Bekris)

The boat features a removable stern scoop with a two-piece mast, both developed to provide for easy transportation, assembly and winter storage.  The fact that the boat can be shipped, trucked or sent by rail to the next event by container is a definite plus.  It saves on transport costs. 

The class rules and the construction of the boat are being tightly controlled to protect the one-design concept and reduce development costs for participants. For fleet racing it will be an owner driver class with strict limitations on the number of professional crew.

Thank you Russell and all of the crew for  an afternoon I will not forget.   As we were getiing off the boat Russell asked how we like it .    Still feeling giddy, not normally a word I use to describe myself.  All I could say was “I want One !”

 

 

For More Photos Of Russell Coutts’ RC44 Taken By George Bekris Click HERE

 

More information about The RC44 can be found at The RC 44 Class site

 

BOAT DIMENSIONS:            LOA                13.35m               43.8′       Bmax                 2.75m               9′    Draft                  2.90m               9.5′           Displ                 3560kg            7850lbs            Keel                  2200kg           4850lbs           Crew                   680kg                       Engine              20HP inboard diesel with retractable drive 

SAIL DIMENSIONS:           G -3                 39m²                517sqft            G -1                 60m²                646sqft            Main                 70m²                753sqft           Gennaker   y;      170m²              1722sqft          Gennaker         150m²              1399sqft
RC 44  (Photo by George Bekris)

RC 44 (Photo by George Bekris)

 Dockside at Newport Shipyard (Photo by George Bekris)

The first North American RC44 was launched this week at Newport Shipyard.   Following a successful European Tour the class has expanded and will now have a North American circuit.  The first ever RC 44 regatta will take place in the United States, on December 7 – 12, 2010, in Miami, Florida.

The RC44 is a light displacement high performance One Design sailing boat. It was designed by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, together with naval architect Andrej Justin. The RC44 was created for top level racing in international regattas under strictly controlled Class Rules. The concept and the design features of the RC44 are dedicated to the amateur helmsmen racing in fleet racing sailing events.
The objective of the Class is to develop a high level and entertaining racing program and to keep the absolute one design aspect of the RC44 by ensuring that all boats are as identical as possible in terms of construction, shape of hull and appendages, weight and weight distribution, deck layout and equipment, sail plan and performance.

 

Images by George Bekris

 
BOAT DIMENSIONS:            LOA                13.35m               43.8′            Bmax                 2.75m               9′            Draft                  2.90m               9.5′            Displ                 3560kg            7850lbs            Keel                  2200kg           4850lbs            Crew                   680kg           

            Engine              20HP inboard diesel with retractable drive

 

SAIL DIMENSIONS:            G -3                 39m²                517sqft            G -1                 60m²                646sqft            Main                 70m²                753sqft           Gennaker   y;      170m²              1722sqft           Gennaker         150m²              1399sqft 

 

CONCEPT:
his is a light-displacement racing yacht designed to be fast downwind and powerful upwind. It has a high aspect ratio keel with a trim tab and rudder.

EASY TRANSPORT CONCEPT:
The specially designed canting trailer, easy detachable stern scoop and simple keel to hull attachment with a conical joint/coupling makes the boat very easy to transport and store. The mast is also built in two structural parts making the boat easy to transport on the road with no oversize restrictions.

STRUCTURAL DESIGN:
The hull, deck, structural liner, keel, rudder and rig were calculated and structurally optimised using Nastran software for the FEM analysis.

CONSTRUCTION:
Hull, deck and stern scoop are built in sandwich construction of epoxy resin and exclusively carbon unidirectional and biaxial fabrics, while the twill carbon woven rowing is used to give a smooth, clear, carbon look finish on all external surfaces. The core material is 5-20mm and 75 to 200 kg/m3.

The internal structure is a double cross frame designed to take all the keel, mast and shroud loads minimizing the hull and deck stress and deformation. It is built of epoxy resin and exclusively carbon unidirectional and biaxial fabrics, while the twill carbon woven rowing is again used to provide a smooth finish on all visible surfaces.

Female moulds for the hull, deck liner and spoiler are built to extremely high standards from CNC machined plugs, to guarantee minimal building tolerances. All composite parts are built according to SPSystem specification, vacuum bagged and postcured in an oven.

KEEL & BULB:
The keel is built of carbon pre-preg material in carbon moulds postcured at high temperature and pressure in an autoclave. A weed cutter is fitted in the keel leading edge. The trim tab is built in carbon with RTM technology. The lead-antimony bulb is cast in CNC machined steel mould for high precision and faired with epoxy compound.

RUDDER & STEERING SYSTEM:
The rudder and tapered rectangular section rudder shaft are one piece carbon built with RTM technology in a high precision female mould. The rudder shaft structure is FEM optimised and dimensioned according to ABS loads for speed of over 26 knots.

The steering quadrant, steering pedestals and wheels are exclusively designed and built in carbon.

The oversized Jefa self-aligning bearings, chain transmission steerers, steering sheaves and reliable vectran cable guarantee extremely precise performance with low maintenance.The result is a well balanced boat that handles with two fingers even when sailing at surfing speeds!

GENERAL:
Flushdeck, large racing cockpit with twin steering wheels, pedestal driven primary and mainsheet winches, recessed jib tracks and winches, ergonomic sidedecks and steering position, retractable and pivoting bowsprit, customized top quality deck hardware. Non skid treated walk upon areas.

TOE RAIL:
A custom carbon toe rail is fitted from bow to mast.

WINCHES (Harken):
Halyard: 2x B40.2 STA  – Primary: 2x B530 TCR UD pedestal driven  – Main: 1x B55.3STR pedestal driven

DECK HARDWARE (Harken):
Jib system: midrange (4:1 car purchase) – Main system: bigboat (2:1 mainsheet, 4:1 car purchase).

The deck hardware is oversized to provide low maintenance. All the control lines, main sheet, backstays and gennaker retriever system are fitted under the deck to keep the deck as clean as possible. The hardware layout was optimised in extensive sailing trials with Russell Coutts’ match race crew.

HATCHES:
The foredeck hatch is AC style shaped, the carbon cover has fast release fittings, the edges are rounded for easy gennaker-retriever operation. The cockpit engine drive inspection hatch is fitted with a carbon cover with fast release fittings.

MAST & RIGGING:
The mast shape has a variable section, designed specially for this boat, to improve the mast-sail aerodynamic interaction. The mast is produced in two segments for transport reasons, the joint is at the second spreader position and is secured with titanium bolts and titanium backing plates. Rig is fractional with three backswept spreaders. Standing rigging is continuous in PBO with turnbuckles below the deck, to save weight to reduce windage and provide a clean visual appearance. The boom and pivoting retractable bowsprit are also made of carbon. The running backstays are non structural. The PBO forestay has a hydraulic ram tensioner and is fitted with headfoil as standard. Running rigging is in Spectra.