Friday, 20 February 2009
RC44s off Puerto Calero. Image copyright Nico Martinez/RC44.
by Bernard Schopfer
With the participation of new teams and sailors, including Luis Doreste, Karol Jablonski, José Maria Ponce, Philippe Presti and Martin Kirketerp on top of the usual world Class RC 44 sailors, the season’s first regatta will be interesting. The RC 44 Class also announces new features that will allow media and the public to better follow the events.
February 19, 2009 – The RC 44 fleet is back in action, with the Puerto Calero Islas Canarias RC 44 Cup – the season’s first regatta - starting on Wednesday February 25. Organised by Puerto Calero, a superb real estate development on Lanzarote's seafront, the RC 44 Cup will begin with two days of match racing, followed by three days of fleet racing. The DHL coastal race will take place on Sunday; it will count for double points.
Two new teams join the Class for this regatta. Led by Pieter Heerema, “No Way Back” has been training hard over the winter in Copenhagen, with sometimes sub zero temperatures. Philippe Presti is the team’s pro skipper and helmsman for the match races. He will also advice Heerema and be the tactician during the fleet regattas. Other members of the team include America’s Cup sailors Yann Gouniot and Christian Scherrer, as well as the 49er Olympic Gold medallist Martin Kirketerp and other Scandinavian sailors.
Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero will have two boats sailing under its colours next week, with Carlos Morales and Olympic champion Luis Doreste sailing on board ESP 2 for the first time whilst José Juan Calero and Spanish match-race champion José Maria Ponce will share helming duties onboard ESP 1.
Also new on the circuit, Karol Jablonski – helmsman of the Spanish team Desafio during the last America’s Cup – joins the Polish team Organika, who will undoubtedly benefit from Jablonski’s huge experience in match racing. As for Sébastien Col, the match race world champion, he will sail the Puerto Calero Cup onboard the 2008 champion Ceeref, replacing James Spithill for this regatta before joining K-Challenge’s new RC 44 in Cagliari.
The teams involved in the Puerto Calero RC 44 Cup:
Ceeref, Igor Lah / Sébastien Col
Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts
ESP – 1 Islas Canarias Puerto Calero – José Juan Calero / José Maria Ponce
ESP – 2 Islas Canarias Puerto Calero – Carlos Morales / Luis Doreste
Team Organika – Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
No Way Back – Pieter Heerema / Philippe Presti