RC44 Oman Cup

The 2014 RC44 Championship Tour comes to an exciting conclusion in Muscat, Oman

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."

Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, with tactician Terry Hutchinson calling the shots, finished the RC 44 Championship Tour season with a solid performance in Oman that put them on top of the podium.Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
With two-time Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup Team Manager Iain Percy calling tactics, Artemis Racing finished 6th in fleet racing and 10th in match racing for the 2014 season. Owner Torbjorn Tornqvist explains how racing the RC44's fits in with their America's Cup Campaign: "This is a fantastic class for our America's Cup sailors to come and work together in a fun and challenging environment. Everyone enjoys being part of the class, its a nice break from the daily routines."Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
Team Aqua successfully defended their RC44 Championship title for another year, the fourth time the team has held the trophy since joining the class in 2007.Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
Artemis Racing’s owner/driver Torbjorn Tornqvist described how close the racing between the 10-boat fleet was: “Consistency is hard, it is shifty, the fleet is good, there is very little between the boats. In a couple of races we beat teams within a boat length; it’s all very close, which is as it should be.”Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
The capital city of Muscat made for a unique backdrop for sailors on the Gulf of Oman. Flat water and consistent wind speeds made for excellent sailing throughout the regatta, but the shifty wind direction through the weekend put a burden on the teams' tacticians.Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
Chris Bake’s Team Aqua has been one of the leading forces on the RC44 Championship Tour circuit since its launch in 2007. With top match racer Cameron Appleton the permanent fixture as the team’s tactician, Team Aqua successfully defended their Championship Tour title.Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
Team Nika, who joined the RC44 Tour in 2011, celebrated their first victory in the class with owner/driver Vladimir Prosikhin. “It was a long journey," says Prosikhin. "I wanted it badly and finally we’ve done it, it feels great. Somehow we sailed really well, everyone on board, we had great starts and everything just worked really well. It was a very enjoyable week, perfect conditions only once did we drop below the middle line which was our goal for the regatta, it’s an amazing feeling.”Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class
With 2014 decided, all eyes are on next year. The 2015 RC44 Championship Tour will start in Valletta, Malta, before making its debut in Porto Cervo, Italy. The tour will then head back to Marstrand, Sweden and Cascais, Portugal. The finale for 2015 will be held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda.Martinez Studios/RC 44 Class