Wednesday, 11 May 2011

RC44: Two new Teams, plus New Zealand and Australian Sailing 'Names' Join Tour

Kiwis Simon Daubney and Peter Evans sail on Ironbound, coached by Brad Butterworth, while top Australian Olympian, Tom Slingsby, joins No Way Back as tactician; Team Nika and Mathieu Richard's Aleph Sailing Team join the circuit

RC44 training - AEZ and No Way Back - on Traunsee prior to the Austria Cup. Image copyright Hans Osterauer.

by Jessica Gray

At the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour opener in San Diego in March, the Paul Cayard, Bob Little combination onboard Katusha (RUS) claimed a convincing first round victory in the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour, now with two new teams bolstering the entries to 13, the Tour moves to Austria.

This is the fourth successive year the RC44 Tour has visited Gmunden on Lake Traunsee, with last year’s RC44 Austria Cup attracting over 20,000 spectators. This year will also see live tracking and onboard streaming from three cameras on the race course and one onboard AEZ RC44 Sailing Team from 11th – 15th May.

The home team in Austria comes courtesy of the Rene Mangold-owned AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team. Although made up largely of amateur sailors, AEZ tactician is former Soling European champion Christian Binder, who represented Austria in the 470 class at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Portugal’s Nuno Barreto, a veteran of three Olympics, a 1996 470 Games bronze medalist and a member of the Desafío Español 2007 America’s Cup crew, joins the AEZ team for the 2011 season. They will be looking to improve on their ninth place in San Diego.

RC44 training on Traunsee prior to the Austria Cup. Image copyright Hans Osterauer.

Another team looking to move up the overall standings is David Murphy’s Ironbound (USA). In San Diego the team appeared consistently inconsistent, three race wins should have seen them in the top half of the leader-board, but instead they finished seventh. The team has made some changes ahead of Austria that will see Brad Butterworth coaching, Simon Daubney trimming and Peter Evans taking the tacticians role.

Still in their first full season David Murphy is focusing on getting the right people and a team that works well together. “I think the results previously haven’t been great and one of the ways of trying to rectify that is working on getting the right people in each position on the boat so we have made some crew changes. Simon Daubney and Peter Evans both raced on Black Magic (New Zealand’s winning America’s Cup team) along with Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth. Brad will be coaching us in Austria for the first time and at this stage it is important to us that we focus on getting the team dynamic right.”

RC44 training with AEZ on Traunsee prior to the Austria Cup. Image copyright Hans Osterauer.

Reigning Laser World Champion, Tom Slingsby (AUS) steps onboard the Dutch entry No Way Back as their tactician and match racing helm. Two new teams make their debut, Vladimir Prosikhin’s Russian Team Nika and from France Mr Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Sailing Team. Chris Bake launched and christened his new Team Aqua on Lake Traunsee last week and is looking forward to swapping the oldest boat in the fleet for the newest!

Class founder Russell Coutts is again looking forward to some great lake racing. “I am very happy to be back once again in Lake Traunsee, such a stunning venue with great sailing conditions. The Austrian event organizers PROFSs have done a great job again getting support for the event from the City of Gmunden, sponsors and the public alike. It’s great also to welcome Team Nika and the Aleph Sailing Team onto the circuit.” Coutts will be onboard ORACLE Racing with Steve Howe stepping in for Larry Ellison for this event.

Racing proper starts on 11th May with a day of match racing followed by four days of fleet racing. Watch the action live each day from 11.30 CET on

List of entrants - RC44 Austria Cup

AEZ RC44 Sailing Team (AUT)
Owner – Rene Mangold (AUT)
Professional Skipper – Christian Binder (AUT)

Aleph Sailing Team (FRA)
Owner - Hugues Lepic (FRA)
Professional Skipper - Mathieu Richard (FRA)

Artemis Racing (SWE)
Owner - Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE)
Professional Skipper – Morgan Larson (USA)

Ironbound (USA)
Owner – David Murphy (USA)
Professional Skipper – Peter Evans (NZL)

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP)
Owner– Daniel Calero (ESP)
Professional Skipper - Jose Maria Ponce (ESP)

Katusha (RUS)
Professional Skipper – Paul Cayard (USA)

Team Nika (RUS)
Owner - Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS)
Professional Skipper- Tomislav Basic (SLO)

No Way Back (NED)
Owner – Pieter Heerema (NED)
Professional Skipper – Tom Silingsby (AUS)

Owner – Larry Ellison (USA)
Substitute Driver- Steve Howe (USA)
Professional Skipper – Russell Coutts (NZL)

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR)
Owner – John Bassadone (GBR)
Professional Skipper - Iñaki Castañer (ESP)

Owner – Igor Lah (SLO)
Professional Skipper –Michelle Ivaldi (ITA)

Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS)
Owner – Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS)
Professional Skipper – Evgeniy Neugodnikov (RUS)

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