Following an incredible event in the British Virgin Islands last year, the RC44 Class has once again migrated to the Caribbean for the winter. The season finale of the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour will be contested in Virgin Gorda’s sun-drenched paradise from 25-29 November.
Hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda at its winter base, located in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, nine yachts will line up to challenge for the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup. Teams will also be jostling for positions on the annual RC44 Championship Tour leaderboard and with just six points separating the top five, tight racing is a guarantee.
The fleet returns to Virgin Gorda for the final event of 2015
Currently first overall by a narrow one-point margin, Team Nika has been on a roll over the past few events and is hoping to finish off the year with the same momentum. Having won the RC44 Cascais World Championship last month and retaining the ‘Golden Wheels’ after taking them off Team Aqua at the RC44 Marstrand Cup in August, owner Vladimir Prosikhin commented: “We are very happy. It has been a long climb – more than four years. We are keeping the golden wheels and I want to save them for Nika for the rest of the season, that’s the goal, obviously!“
Not far behind, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team is also enjoying a favourable year on the Tour. Under the guidance of experienced RC44 tactician Michele Ivaldi, the Russian team is presently lying second in fleet racing and leading the match racing. Liubomirov explained his expectations for the final event of the year: “Virgin Gorda is a nice place – strong sun, strong wind, no waves. It is a tricky area to sail and we are just one point behind overall from Nika. It will be a big fight, but it will also be a huge pleasure to sail for first place against a good friend and at any rate I will be happy!“
Rounding out the top three is Team Aqua who will be looking to achieve another victory after winning the Audi RC44 Porto Cervo Cup. Owner Chris Bake is back for his second event of the year and with seasoned tactician Cameron Appleton by his side, the British team is sure to be on top form.
As for the match racing, the competition is equally as close with the 2015 title also up for grabs during the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup. Two points behind Bronenosec and one ahead of Team Aqua in third, Torbjörn Törnqvist‘s Artemis Racing lies in second place and will be relying on the match racing skills of tactician, Italian sailing legend Francesco Bruni, to improve.
One of the world’s premier sailing destinations, the British Virgin Islands comprises an archipelago of more than 25 islands set amid the turquoise waters of the central Caribbean Sea. The fleet will be sailing in the trade winds and can expect a 15-20 knot breeze, typically from the northeast and moving to the east, making Virgin Gorda a sought after sailing destination.
The closing event of the 2015 Tour begins with practice racing on Tuesday 24 November, followed by a day of match racing on Wednesday 25 November and four days of fleet racing from Thursday 26 November.