San Diego might have hosted the America’s Cup World Series recently, but the city won’t be seeing the RC44 Championship return in 2012. In fact, the Pro-Am class will not make it out of Europe next year.
The RC44, like so many ‘rich owner’ classes, made a lot of sense for a while, but now that its creator, Russell Coutts is occupied with an new America’s Cup cycle and other rock-star sailors who used to make up the pro part of the pro-am concept also busy with new projects – like learning how to sail catamarans – the RC44 is in an interesting phase.
Despite optimistic plans for the Class in the USA, and a successful San Diego event, the RC44 hasn’t managed to convince enough US venues to host regattas in 2012.
To make it viable from a cost perspective for the class to go to the US again, we needed to find two venues in North America to host events in the RC44 Championship Tour, we couldn’t find the support for the second event so the class and its representatives decided on five European events.
Instead, one new city and four old favourites, including another America’s Cup World Series venue – Cascais, have been announced as the host venues for the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour. The competing teams will again be challenged by a mixture of lake, ocean and harbour racing in 2012.
RC44 Class founder Russell Coutts said
”Next year’s Tour will offer the teams 25 days of diverse and challenging racing at some very different venues across Europe. With some new teams expected to join the Tour in 2012, we are looking forward to another great year for the class.”
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
The 2012 Tour will start where it finished in 2011, Puerto Calero in Lanzarote, where the RC44 World Championships took place without ORACLE Racing and Russell Coutts.
From Lanzarote the class will head to Cascais, Portugal, just down the beach from Estoril, the venue for the World Yacht Racing Forum.
The RC44s will return to Lake Traunsee in Austria for the fifth consecutive year, then north to a venue that can truly be described as providing stadium sailing – Marstrand Island in Sweden. The final event of the Tour will be held again in Rovinj, Croatia.