by Jo Grindley
RC44 Championship Tour 2012 starts on eighth February in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote. A new Italian team is set to join the Tour as preparations continue for the start of the 2012 season.
AFX Capital Racing Team - RC44 Championship Tour 2012
Italian-based AFX Capital Racing Team is owned by Massimo Barranco, founder and General Manager of Eurograni SpA Company, the largest wheat and cereal trader in Italy. The team will make their debut at the first event of the 2012 season in Puerto Calero, with the support of team sponsors AFX Capital and Eurograni SpA.
Barranco, who is also the owner of competitive X-41 team Extra 1, explained why he has signed up to the RC44 Class. He said: 'The first thing that attracted me to the circuit was the format of racing. It is very similar to the rules of the America’s Cup, with the match race and fleet racing. I also admire the high quality of competitive sailors and the technical competition.'
'The RC44s are building a very competitive class, the boats are fast and the Tour is visiting some beautiful venues this year. I am convinced that the class will continue to improve and grow into the future and it is a project I am excited about being involved with,' Barranco added.
Having bought the former Italian RC44, Mascalzone Latino, that won the last event of the 2010 Championship Tour in Miami, Massimo Barranco will be building a team with the help of Italian Olympic sailor Gabriele Bruni. The team’s tactician will be Gabriele’s brother Francesco Bruni, the runner up in the 2011 World Match Racing Tour.
The boat is now in transit for Puerto Calero – Lanzarote and the new team will train there ahead of the start the new season.
Undaunted by the high level of competitive sailing present in the class, Barranco‘s hope for the 2012 season is that, with the right choice of crew, they will aim to conclude their first competition well up the leader board!
It is fighting talk from the AFX Capital Racing Team, who could well prove themselves as ones to watch throughout the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour.
2012 RC44 Championship Tour Calendar:
8 – 12 February Puerto Calero – Lanzarote
28 March – 1 April Cascais – Portugal
30 May – 3 June Gmunden – Austria
18 – 22 July Marstrand – Sweden
3 – 7 October Rovinj – Croatia
RC44 Class Association website