Championship Tour heads to the US

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami will take place next month (December 7 – 12) in the United States, followed in March 2011 by the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6).

 

November 4, 2010 – A record number of entries – fourteen strict one design RC 44’s – will compete in next month’s ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami (December 7 – 12). The event will be followed by the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6), whilst some teams will also compete in Key West Race Week in January.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami will be the final stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2010. The annual ranking is currently led by Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, ahead of Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back and James Spithill’s « 17 ».

BMW ORACLE Racing leads the fleet, match race and overall rankings. However, the American team is on a tie with Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua in the match race event whilst third placed No Way Back – the winner of last year’s Championship Tour – sits three points behind the leader in the fleet race contest. Needless to say that all three rankings (fleet, match and overall) remain open, with only five points between the leader and fifth placed Team Aqua in the overall ranking.

A new American team will join the RC 44 Championship Tour in Miami: David Murphy’s Ironbound, with Ian Williams (GBR) at the helm for the match races, bringing the total number of entries to fourteen following the recent arrival of Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR). Commenting his arrival in the RC 44 Class, David Murphy said: « We’ve entered this fleet because it represents the highest level of competition in sailing today. What could be better than competing against the best on a level playing field? IRONBOUND is in the house!!! »

The RC 44 fleet will stay in the United States over the winter, with some teams competing in Key West Race Week in January before heading to the West Coast for the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6). Commenting about this event, Russell Coutts – who won the America’s Cup in San Diego for the first time in 1995, before winning the event three more times in 2000, 2003 and 2010, said: « I really enjoy racing in San Diego and I am looking forward to a great regatta ».

Racing will take place directly in front of the Broadway Pier, site of the Event Village.  « We’re excited to be bringing the RC 44 event to San Diego in 2011. San Diegans are huge fans of sailing and the RC 44 event will be a highly competitive international regatta bringing the best sailors in the world to America’s Finest City, » said John Laun, President and CEO of SEA SD. « The new Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier will be a spectacular venue for race fans to view these races. »

The Port of Pavilion on Broadway Pier will showcase a gorgeous improvement to San Diego’s dynamic and diverse waterfront built by the Port of San Diego.  Built to be an environmental gem, the Port Pavilion is an ideal venue for waterfront activities such as this international sailing competition when not in use as an impressive arrival terminal for cruise-ship visitors.

The RC 44 Cup will be run by Sailing Events Association San Diego (SEA SD), a new organization which promotes major sailboat racing events in San Diego for the benefit of the local economy.  John Laun, President and CEO of SEA SD has enlisted an experienced Board including Chuck Nichols, President of both the America’s Cup ’95 and the San Diego Super Bowl Host Committee in 1998; Troy Sears, owner of Next Level Sailing which provides sailing experiences on the SD waterfront; Mike McDowell, CEO of the San Diego Lodging Industry Association; Ray Ashley, President of the Maritime Museum of SD; Alan Kidd, head of the San Diego Sports Commission; Sharon Cloward of the Port Tenants Association and many other leading San Diegans.  The Event Coordinator for the RC 44 races is two-time Olympic sailing medalist, JJ Fetter.  More information on SEA SD is available on: www.sea-sandiego.org The RC 44 Cup will be supported by the SD Tourism Marketing District, a non-profit group dedicated to improving San Diego tourism.