The 2014 RC44 Championship Tour has seen the 13-strong fleet compete in five events across three continents, with the finale held November 19th-23rd on the Gulf of Oman. The tour, which consists of both fleet racing and match racing, held events in Cascais, Portugal, Marstrand, Sweden and Sotogrande, Spain before arriving in Muscat, Oman.
Defending fleet champions, Team Aqua, were able to clinch their fourth RC44 Tour title. Owner Chris Bake described how the championship came down to the last event: “It just goes to show how competitive the fleet is and what good sailors, we were fighting pretty hard to hold on. It feels really good to win the title in this class when it is so competitive.”
Owner/Driver Vladimir Prosikhin and tactician Terry Hutchinson guided Team Nika to a first place finish in fleet racing, leaving them in fifth place in the tour overall. “This is the first regatta Nika has ever won,” says Hutchison. “It’s awesome to be part of that. Vladimir is a really good man we’ve got a great team. We were so close in Cascais, so we weren’t going to let that happen again, the more you do this sport the more you realize everything just needs to fall in to place. Good starts, fast upwind and good boat speed we were reliable all week.”
Team Aqua and Team Nika also fared well in match racing, finishing second and third, respectively. They were edged out by Synergy Russian Sailing Team with America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird at the wheel. “It’s been a fantastic season, having four boats that could win going into the final regatta is really exciting,” says Baird. “It gives you a nice feeling at the end of the year to be in that position, but more importantly we were able to close the season on that feeling.”