The third event of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2008 promises once again to be interesting, with nine top level teams led by some of the world's best sailors. The RC 44 Austria Cup will take place on the beautiful lake Traun, between May 28 - June 1. Following two events held on the sea, with waves and fairly strong winds, this regatta may well reshuffle the cards.
The RC 44 fleet during the Cagliari Cup
Once again, the line up is exceptional with Class leaders Armando Giulietti and his pro skipper Sébastien Col sailing against Larry Ellison, John Kostecki, James Spithill, Cameron Appleton, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Russell Coutts and many more.
Organised by PROFS Marketing KG, the Austria Cup will begin on Wednesday May 28 with the match racing event. After a full round robin held in two days, the team owners will take the helm for three days of fleet racing. A long distance race - the DHL Trophy - will allow all the participants to discover the beauties of Lake Traun, together with some of its local wind effects! The winner of this race will be awarded with the DHL Trophy, whilst the points of the regatta will be incorporated in the fleet race ranking.
It is the first time this season that the RC 44's will race on a lake: the Austrian Traunsee; a mountain lake well known for its consistent thermal breeze. Will the flat water and possibly tricky tactical conditions change the Class' hierarchy?
Only time will tell but one thing is sure: Armando Giulietti and Sébastien Col - who currently sail with the Championship Tour leader's gold wheel - will face a strong opposition from amongst others Igor Lah / James Spithill, Patrick de Barros, Chris Bake and other sailors such as Cameron Appleton, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Kevin Harrap or Markus Wieser. Winner of the match race event in Cagliari last month, Larry Ellison will sail the match race event with Russell Coutts and the fleet regatta with John Kostecki; as for Coutts, he will sail the fleet regatta alongside Patrick de Barros' Team Banco Espirito Santo.
Another team to watch will be Team Austria, a local team led by Christian Binder, sailing on board Miroslav Reljanovic's Cro-A-Sail with some of their usual crewmembers. Together with Sylvia Vogl, an Olympic Games participant, the home team may well be a strong competitor thanks to their local experience.
The RC 44 Austria Cup will be a public-friendly event. Indeed, spectators will be able to watch the races from the shore (on the Gmundner Esplanade). 'Our goal is to help people understand and appreciate our sport', comments the event organiser Christian Feichtinger.
The teams involved: (Name of team, owner, pro sailor)
Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano, Armando Giulietti / Sébastien Col
Team Banco Espirito Santo, Patrick de Barros / Russell Coutts (fleet)
Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / James Spithill
Team Austria, Miroslav Reljanovic / Christian Binder
Sea Dubai, DIMC, Markus Wieser
Team Beecom, Isao Mita / Kevin Harrap
BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison / John Kostecki (fleet)
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Mateusz Kusznierewicz
RC 44 Championship Tour 2008 (after 2 events):
1) Team Hiroshi - Città di Milano, 40 points
2) Team Banco Espirito Santo, 75 points
3) Ceeref, 78 points
4) Sea Dubai, 81 points
5) Team Aqua, 84 points
6) Cro-A-Sail, 112 points
7) BMW ORACLE Racing, 120 points
8) Team Organika, 136 points
9) Beecom, 138 points
10) Mascalzone Latino, 164 points
11) Magia Alike, 184 points
11) Jelik, 184 points
11) Jelik, 184 points