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Britain's Team Aqua Clinch RC44 Cup in Sweden

23rd August 2011
Britain's Team Aqua Clinch RC44 Cup in Sweden
Team Aqua (GBR) clinched the overall title by a narrow four point margin, over Team CEEREF (SLO) in the final day's racing in Maarstand, Sweden. Photos from Oskar Kihlborg below.

Behind the top two there was still third place to play for. Daniel Calero back steering Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) was having a good day after two races, that was about to get better. They had been lying seventh going into the final day but the team from Lanzarote slotted in a 4, 2, 1 scoreline and crept past No Way Back (NED) on the rankings and into third.

The RC44 class is becoming more competitive at each event this year. 16 teams competed in Sweden and many of the new teams are starting to get up to speed. Six different boats took race wins. Only two; Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) and Team Ceeref (SLO), enjoyed double race wins, and the victors in Marstrand lifted the trophy and gratefully accepted the Breitling watch having not taken a bullet in any of the nine races sailed.

Although there is no Irish Campaign in this class as yet there are murmurings of a move towards some kind of Irish participation in a class that is raced as 50% amateur and 50% professional.

Four-time America's Cup winner 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. The class attracts some of the world's top business men, along with the best professional sailors in the world. Top sailors who have competed on the circuit include: Volvo Ocean Race winner, seven-time sailing world champion, a five-time America's Cup veteran Paul Cayard, America's Cup helmsman James Spithill, Olympic Gold medalist Kevin Burnham and a number of the world's top match racing talent including Cameron Appleton, Terry Hutchinson, Sébastien Col and Marcus Wieser.

Since its 2007 debut, the RC 44 class has held regattas in Europe, USA and the Middle East, attracting substantial spectator interest and media coverage.

The racing format will be a combination of both Match Racing (one-on-one racing similar to the America's Cup) and Fleet Racing (Olympic-style racing with all the boats on one race course)rc

Published in Racing
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