Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What Next?

James Boyd's "The Daily Sail" has published an interesting interview of Russell Coutts. Some extracts below.
At a well attended press conference in Milan yesterday, the second season for the RC 44 fleet was presented. Russell Coutts’ circuit has grown substantially since 2007 with 11-12 boats expected to be competing regularly this year (with another soon to be announced) and some of the top names in the sport involved from America’s Cup helms Dean Barker, Sebastien Col and James Spithill (as well as Coutts himself), Olympic stars such as Polish Finn turned Star sailor Mateusz Kusznierewicz and other notables such as Kelvin Harrap, Cameron Appleton and Ray Davies.

So what specifically is the attraction of the RC 44 class? The match racing/fleet racing combination and getting to sail with some big names (like the Farr 40s, the RC 44 can have up to four pro-crew)? “It is a bit of that,” says Coutts. “One or two of the owners don’t like match racing. That is one extreme. The other ones all love it. They all think it is an essential part of the circuit. This year some of them are going to helm their own boats in the match racing - they want to race against ‘the names’ and just see how they shape up and learn that aspect of the sport. I think that is a good thing as it’ll teach them a lot about the rules and how to manoeuvre their boats better. Certainly in terms of the crew work, when you go and do match racing, it improves the standard of the fleet racing, because the crews are pushed harder in the match racing with all the manoeuvres, the sets and the drops, etc.
Read more at RC44.com