With the 2013 RC44 season about to start at the end of January, thirteen teams have confirmed they will compete in the opening Championship Tour event, the RC44 Oman Cup presented by Oman Shipping Company, hosted by Oman Sail at the Wave Muscat.
After dominating the fleet racing leaderboard throughout 2011-2012, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua (GBR) will once again start the season as the defending Tour Champions. There’s no change to the afterguard on last year’s Match Race Champions, Ed Baird will be back supporting Valentin Zavadnikov and his Synergy Russian Sailing Team.
Stepping into their first full RC44 season is Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing (GBR). The team will be joined for the season’s opener by class founder Russell Coutts.
Three new professional sailors will join the Tour; 2008 Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) will join David Murphy’s Ironbound, Spanish Olympic sailor Gustavo Martinez Doreste will race with defending World Champion’s Peninsula Petroleum for the RC44 Oman Cup and former America’s Cup helmsman Flavio Flavini will be calling the shots on the newly named Team Italia.
Aegir Racing (GBR22)
Brian Benjamin (GBR) /Russell Coutts (NZL)
Aleph Sailing Team (FRA17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA)
Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Morgan Larson (USA)
CEEREF RC44 SAILING TEAM (SLO 11)
Igor Lah (SLO) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA)
Ironbound (USA 1)
David Murphy (USA) / Paul Goodison (GBR)
Katusha (RUS 007)
Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) / Andy Horton (USA)
MAG Racing (POL44)
Krzysztof Krempec (POL) / Piotr Przybylski (POL)
Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1)
John Bassadone (GBR) / Gustavo Martinez Doreste (ESP)
RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by AnyWayAnyDay.com (RUS7)
Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Serguei Chevtsov (RUS)
Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13)
Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS) / Ed Baird (USA)
Team Aqua (GBR 2041)
Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appleton (NZL)
Team Italia (ITA7)
Massimo Barranco (ITA) / Flavio Flavini (ITA)
Team Nika (RUS 10)
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tomislav Basic (CRO)
Russell Coutts will compete in Oman with Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing. ‘It’s a first for the RC44 class to be racing in The Sultanate of Oman, the development the countries sailing programme over the past few years has impressed the whole sailing community and I am looking forward to seeing it first hand and competing with Team Aegir. Brian is an ambitious sailor and I am sure they will be looking to make an impact on the leaderboard this season.”
From Oman the Tour will travel to Trapani, Sicily for the second event of the season (1-5 May 2013), home turf for Massimo Barranco and his Team Italia.