RC44 Grand Final Showdown in Oman
Published on November 17th, 2014
The closing event of the 2014 Championship Tour will play out from November 19 – 23 at the RC44 Oman Cup, Muscat. Hosted by Oman Sail, the season finale promises to be a close one. With both the Match Racing and Fleet Racing titles up for grabs and the top three teams all within touching distance, the big question is can anyone topple Team Aqua, to break their three-year domination.
The RC44 Oman Cup will kick off with a day of match racing, where either the professional tactician or owner can take the helm. The remaining four days will be fleet racing.
Currently leading the fleet racing is three times defending champion, Chris Bake’s Aqua in their familiar spot, but its not all been plain sailing this year for Bake. A sixth place at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup loosened their iron grip on the leaderboard slightly. Seizing the advantage, home team John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum, took the lead thanks to good teamwork from the crew and tactician Vasco Vascotto.
“The season so far has been great fun. The team has all worked very had and taken a serious step forward. From the bow all the way to just in front of the wheels the talent is awesome. Vasco is a genius which makes big difference, pair that with the hard work they all put in as a team is pretty much it.” explains Bassadone “The points are close but is business as usual. Try to be consistent, fight till the very end and enjoy it as much as possible.”
After a consistent event in tricky conditions at the RC44 Marstrand World Championship in Sweden, Team Aqua are back on top going in to the Oman Cup, holding a slim one-point lead over Peninsula Petroleum. Completing the top three, current World Champion Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team sits three points adrift, having won two regattas this season.
In the Match Racing, Team Aqua holds a slim one-point lead over the fleet. A strong match racing season for Synergy Russian Sailing Team, with America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird at the helm, puts them in second place. Two podium finishes this season for Vladimir Prosikhin ’s Team Nika sees them in third.
Returning to the Arabian port of Muscat for the second consecutive year Oman offers crystal clear water and a prevailing north-easterly wind providing great sailing conditions to end the season. The RC44 Oman Cup will take place November 19 – 23, with practice racing on Tuesday 18th November 18.
2014 RC44 Championship Tour Overall Match Race Ranking
(After four events)
1. Team Aqua – 17
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 16
3. Team Nika – 15
4. Aleph Racing – 13
5. Katusha – 11
6. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 10
7. Bronenosec Sailing Team – 9
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge – 9
9. Charisma – 5
10. Bombarda Racing – 5
11. Artemis Racing – 4
12. MAG Racing – 2
13. Artemis Racing Youth – 1
2014 RC44 Championship Tour Overall Fleet Race Ranking
(After four events with one discard)
1. Team Aqua – 6
2. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 7
3. Bronenosec Sailing Team – 9
4. Charisma – 14
5. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 16
6. Artemis Racing – 16
7. Team Nika – 17
8. Bombarda Racing- 21
9. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge – 21
10. Katusha – 24
11. Aleph Racing – 25
12. MAG Racing – 34
13. Artemis Racing Youth – 36
Five-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts conceived the design of the light-displacement, high-performance one-design RC44 with naval architect Andrej Justin in 2005. It 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 class is unique in that the crew is made up of 50% amateur and 50% professionals, with an amateur driver required for fleet racing. Since its 2007 debut, the RC 44 class has held regattas in Europe, USA and the Middle East. The racing format will be a combination of both Match Racing and Fleet Racing.
Report by Event Media