Saturday, October 6, 2007

The RC 44 Class is growing by the day

With boats number 16 and 17, Frank Pong is the proud owner of the two newest RC 44’s. Based in South-East China, Pong and his Team Jelik will mostly be doing match racing in Hong Kong and in China. He believes that “it would be good knowledge for us to do something altogether different. Also, from time to time, I shall make available the use of one of the two boats for the China Team in the AC to train up the Chinese crew. Maybe these youngsters will get a chance to learn more, both about bigger boat handling, as well as what match racing is all about.”

It goes without saying that all RC 44 teams look forward to meeting Frank Pong and his team, off but mainly on the water. Who knows: if Frank Pong decides to stay in China for the moment, well, then may be the RC 44 class will travel there to race against him? This is one of many discussions in the air for the future.

Also new on the circuit, the Organika Sailing Team started practicing on their new boat by the end of September 2007. They are a full polish team based on national sailors. Mateusz Kusznierewicz, who is a gold and bronze Finn Olympic medalist, will be the team strategist during fleet racing and the helmsman for the match-races. Organika Sailing Team’s goal is to join the fight for the top positions in Trieste and Dubai. They have clear ambitions for 2008 and claim that “everything can happen....” They certainly have a team that allows high hopes!

Patrick De Barros and his Team ES Bankers will join the fleet in Trieste, on October 10. With Dean Barker in person at the helm for the match races, the team clearly doesn’t join the circuit “for fun”, or “to see how it goes”. Patrick and Dean’s ambitions are clear: they will fight for top positions.

Another “old friend” will be there to further complicate the fight for victory: James Spithill, strategist alongside Igor Lah’s RC 44 and obviously helmsman for the match regattas. Igor Lah’s TEAM CEEREF also includes Joe Newton, Magnus Augustson, Michele Ivaldi and members of Bora sailing team. The boat is called BLACK HAWK. It will have North Sails (New zealand). Built by Pauger Carbon in Hungary, the eleventh RC 44 has been allocated sail number SLO 11.

All together, ten RC 44’s will compete in Trieste for what will be the biggest regatta of the Class ever. With such talented skippers and motivated crews, the show will be exceptional. This regatta will definitely promote the RC 44 Class into a new dimension.