The RC 44 is one hell of a boat. I expected a lot and, during our short sail, it delivered. It’s fast and challenging, a pure tool for the performance sailor. It’s a beast to sail. When I asked Jeff Brock, head trimmer for Team Aqua, which won the class’s overall championship in 2008, whether there was one position on the boat—most teams sail with 8 or 9—that was more important than the others, he shook his head. “All of them,” he said. “All of them.” And he wasn’t kidding. There’s no room for tourists on this machine. Two thirds of its 7,850-pound displacement—a Farr 40 weighs 10,900 pounds for comparison—is in the lead bulb. The hull has been stripped of everything that isn’t essential for buoy and match racing. There’s no interior. No berths, or galley, or head. No lifelines. The outboard leads are in the process of being removed. What there is on the boat, however, is just about everything that could make the boat faster and more rewarding to sail: A trim tab with 20-degrees of rotation to each side, horizontal, floating jib tracks and floating leads, check stays, and a spinnaker retrieval system straight out of the America’s Cup. Upwind we did 7.8 comfortably, and 7.9 when I really focused. The sails were a little old, however, and 8.2, according to Coutts, is a more competitive number. Downwind, it takes off. We hit 15 knots without much fuss and last week, in Copenhagen, Coutts and Larry Ellison reportedly hit 25 knots in 30 knots of breeze (racing was cancelled that day).