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Refocussing on 2021, as this season's 44Cup is cancelled

by Jessica Gray 21 Aug 18:33 PDT 22-26 April 2020
Lively downwind legs saw several broaches in the big wind and waves - 2019 44Cup Palma © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio

The owners and Organising Authority of the 44Cup have today made the final decision to cancel the remaining two events of the 2020 season. This is due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which this year has brought much of the sporting world to a standstill.

Having revised its 2020 schedule consistently over the last few months, the 44Cup community hoped a September and November regatta would still be possible in Portoroz, Slovenia, following the World Sailing and World Health Organisation guidelines. However, the final decision to cancel the 2020 season was due to the strict travel restrictions and quarantine requirements which remain in place and affect many of the fleet's owners, organising team and sailors who travel from around the world to participate on the circuit for the high performance one design owner-driver monohulls.

The priority for the RC44 Class is safety and ensuring the future of the circuit. Today's decision will help minimise any potential spread of the COVID-19 virus through non-essential travel.

RC44 Class President and owner of Team Aqua Chris Bake explains: "The feeling that we have made the right decision was unanimous amongst the owners. It is incredibly sad, but the reasoning is not only for the safety of the fleet and community but also because many of the crews have been racing together for so long now they have become like family. It wouldn't be the same having so many of the key team members absent.

"That said, we are now desperate to get on the water and get back to racing. All nine of the 44Cup owners are committed to the future of the RC44 Class, and I'm sure that come the first start gun for 2021 the competition will be fierce".

RC44 Class Manager Bertrand Favre adds: "I would like to thank our sponsors, local event organisers and stakeholders who have done their best to adapt to the consistently changing plan during these difficult months.

"A special thank you from the Class goes to Mitja Margon and his team at GoSailing in Slovenia who have worked twice as hard; not only gearing up to start the 2020 season last April but then working tirelessly to adapt the plan in preparation for September. We now look forward to starting the 2021 44Cup season in beautiful Portoroz, Slovenia, at the end of next April".

The full focus of the Class and teams will now be on the 2021 season. The full calendar for the 2021 44Cup will be announced in the coming weeks. Visit www.44Cup.org to find out more.

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