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About the Tour

Since its launch in 2007, the RC44 Championship Tour has established itself as a key series to compete on in the international yacht racing circuit.

The defining spirit of the Tour brings together the worlds of sailing and business, allowing amateur owner drivers to race, high performance one-design yachts, with some of the world’s elite sailors, competing at some of the most beautiful and diverse sailing venues around the world.


Reading like a who’s who of sailing’s greatest achievers, from America’s Cup legends to Olympic champions, the top names to have embraced the RC44 Cass in its first seven years include:

Present
• Two times British Olympic gold medallist and Artemis Racing’s America’s Cup Team Manager, Iain Percy
• 2000 America’s Cup winner and winner of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 RC44 Championship Tour, Cameron Appleton
• Quadruple match racing World Champion, Ian Williams
• Helm of 2007 winning America’s Cup team, Ed Baird
• Italian sailing legend with two MedCup, 20 world, 11 European and 23 Italian titles under his belt, Vasco Vascotto

Past
• 2010 and 2013 America’s Cup winning skipper, James Spithill
• Seven-time sailing world champion, a seven-time America's Cup veteran and two-time Olympian, Paul Cayard
• America’s Cup Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker
• US SAILING's 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and TP52 World Champion, Terry Hutchinson
• Tactician and a strategist leading his team to four America’s Cup victories, Brad Butterworth

And that’s before we mention Class co–designer, five times America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts.

Logistics’ couldn’t be made easier, with the boats fitting into their own 40 foot container to be shipped around the world. Anyone interested in becoming involved should contact bertrand.favre@rc44.com

The result?

A Tour in which no-one is prepared to concede an inch, with skippers pushing the boats and their crews to the boundaries of their extensive capabilities and events that are often not decided until supercharged final days of racing.

It is breathtaking to be a part of and a thrilling spectacle to witness. As Russell Coutts says, “It has developed into a high-level racing circuit and the standard of competition has grown year-on-year. Each regatta just gets more and more competitive. It is probably fair to say it’s exceeded my expectations and the potential is there to even improve things further.”

John Bassadone, joined the class in 2010 with Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, said: “The Class is fantastic, there’s just no comparison. The tour, the competition, the organisation, the boat design, everything is pushing the Class forward. There is uniformity and it makes it a joy to be part of.”

Chris Bake, owner of Team Aqua and winner of the past three consecutive RC44 Championship Tours, added: "I think the class provides a winning formula. On a relative basis it's affordable for the level of sailing you are doing, the racing format is highly enjoyable, the members of the class make it a lot of fun. It’s a good class with great people and it’s very competitive so it's very challenging for anyone coming into the fleet."

My how you've grown!

In 2007 the first ever RC44 Championship Tour event saw seven competing teams in the Slovenian port of Portorož. By the end of that inaugural season five more teams had joined the class.

Fast forward six years and the 2013 Championship Tour saw an impressive 15 boats competing at the Calero Marinas RC44 World Championships, with class veterans Team Aqua dominating the leaderboard and taking the championship title for the third consecutive year. Moving onto 2014 the 14 strong fleet of RC44's make their Caribbean debut in the turquoise seas of Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands for the first event of the season.

Such has been the success of the RC44, that the championship circuit has expanded from Europe to include stops in the Middle East, America’s West Coast and the Caribbean.

With world class racing conditions the number one priority, the RC44 Championship Tour visits some of the most glamorous and diverse sailing venues around the world.

Getting even closer to the action

It is one thing experiencing the thrill of RC44 racing from the shore; it is entirely another being onboard experiencing the drama and the glory first-hand. These formidable sensations can be a reality for media, sponsors and VIPs who are invited to ride onboard with one of the teams during the regatta as the ninth man.

Not everyone will get the chance to join the crew, but with spectator boats ensuring people can get to the heart of the show on the water, spectator vantage points from the shore and a media team that includes professional photographers and TV production recording every second of racing, the public can get heart-stoppingly close to the action

The RC44 Championship Tour Roll of Honour

2007 – Team Aqua
Owner: Chris Bake (GBR)
Professional Skipper: Cameron Appleton (NZL)

2008 - Team Banco Espirito Santo
Owner: Patrick de Barros  (POR)
Professional Skipper: Russell Coutts (NZL)

2009 – No Way Back
Owner: Pieter Heerema (NED)
Professional Skipper: Ray Davies (NZL)

2010 – BMW ORACLE Racing
Owner: Larry Ellison (USA)
Professional Skipper: Russell Coutts (NZL)

2011 - Team Aqua
Owner: Chris Bake (GBR)
Professional Skipper: Cameron Appleton (NZL)

2012 - Team Aqua
Owner: Chris Bake (GBR)
Professional Skipper: Cameron Appleton (NZL)

2013 - Team Aqua
Owner: Chris Bake (GBR)
Professional Skipper: Cameron Appleton (NZL)