MontenegroRegatta

One Design RC44 Circuit Will Kick Off in Porto Montenegro

Story Highlights

  • - The 44Cup Porto Montenegro (10-14th April 2019) will be hosted by world-renowned superyacht marina, Porto Montenegro
  • - This prestigious tour of one-design boats brings together sailing and business, allowing amateur helmsmen to compete with the world’s top sailors

The 44Cup Porto Montenegro (10-14thApril 2019) will be hosted by superyacht marina, Porto Montenegro. This prestigious tour of one-design boats, taking place during the second week of April, brings together sailing and business, allowing amateur helmsmen to compete with the world’s top sailors in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.

“I think it won’t be that windy, but it is very beautiful and I am looking forward to going there – it’s great to take the fleet to new venues,” said Charisma’s Nico Poons, who will be hoping a good result in Montenegro will put him on a firm footing to defend his 44Cup title. 

Bigger fleet, rebrand and two new venues for the RC44s in 2019

For its thirteenth season, the RC44 Championship Tour has been given a makeover and has been rechristened the 44Cup with a more modern logo in carbon black and neon yellow. 

RC44
Photo Martinez Studio / RC44 Class

Rebranding is a standard marketing procedure in the corporate world,” says Chris Bake, who has campaigned Team Aqua continuously from the very dawn of the circuit. “The 44Cup continues to provide the most exciting, rewarding and cost effective owner-driver one design racing there is, but, after 13 years, we felt it was time to give the brand a cleaner and bolder line – a positive fresh statement. It feels to me that the circuit is getting a second lease of life.

A strong, enthusiastic group of owners including Bake, 2018 circuit winner Nico Poons, reigning World Champion Vladimir Prosikhin, plus Artemis Racing’sTorbjörn Törnqvist, Team CEEREF’sIgor Lah, Peninsula Petroleum’sJohn Bassadone, Bronenosec Sailing Team’s Vladimir Liubomirov and Kirill Frolov, Aleph Racing’sHugues Lepic, among others, remain staunchly committed to both the 44Cupand the Russell Coutts-inspired one design yacht they still very much enjoy racing on. This season, they will be joined by a new boat belonging to the Tavatuy Sailing Team.

The RC44 is very elegant and ahead of its time,” continues Bake. “We can race it well in 5 knots or 25 knots. It has all the intricacies like the trim tab that we can thank Russell for. For owner-drivers, it is thrilling to sail, a delight and – at times – a challenge, to steer. But best of all you get to experience Grand Prix racing at its highest level, sailing with some of the world’s top crew, but with costs controlled. It is a strict one design, numbers of pro sailors and new sails are limited, plus the boat was designed to fit into a standard 40ft container for easy shipping.

RC44
Photo Martinez Studio / RC44 Class

44Cup events schedule 2019

From Montenegro, the 44Cupreturns north to the west side of the Istrian peninsula. Located some 70km south of Portoroz, and in Croatia rather than Slovenia, Rovinj was last visited by the fleet in 2011 for the Adris RC44 World Championship.

Taking place over late May-early June, the Adris 44Cup, Rovinj, will be the local regatta for Team CEEREF’s Igor Lah. In 2018, Team CEEREF just fell short of securing a consecutive hat trick of wins in the 44Cup, following victories in 2016 and 2017.

For its third and fourth events, the 44Cupreturns to more familiar territory. First in mid-July is Marstrand, where the locals and sailing fans on this famous Swedish summer holiday hotspot will be rooting for Artemis Racing and her Swedish owner-driver, Torbjörn Törnqvist.

Then in early October, it is on to a favourite venue for the fleet – Cascais, Portugal – where the boats will once again get to race in the big waves of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The fifth and final event of the 2019 44Cupwill take place in a venue that is extremely well known in the yacht racing community, but where, surprisingly, the RC44s will be making their debut – Palma de Majorca, Spain. 

Both Nico Poons and Chris Bake have raced in Palma before, but not for a long time. “I last raced in Palma nine or ten years ago with the Swan 45,” recounts Poons.

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