Three-times Americas Cup winning skipper Russell Coutts will go head-to-head in Dubai next month with Danish star Jes Gram-Hansen Helmsman of Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team
Click for more info in the first of a new series of international sailing events planned for the Emirate.
The Dubai Match Race Challenge marks the competitive debut of the Russell Coutts 44 racing boat which will give rise to a new one design fleet racing World Championship event in 2007. The high performance composite-built RC 44 is being constructed to stringent CouttsJustin design specifications by Dubai-based manufacturers V1 Advanced Composite Technologies and Pauger Carbon from Budapest.
Its competitive launch in the Dubai Match Race Challenge on March 16-17 reinforces the relationship between V1 and the event organisers, Dubai International Marine Club, who are working together to establish Dubai as a leading venue for match racing.
The Dubai Match Race Challenge will feature six 20-minute rounds of close combat match racing on a virtual square course set between Dubai International Marine Club, its beachside Le Meridian resort hotel and the Palm Jumeirah breakwater. This setting is emerging as a unique stage for top-class international sailing, giving spectators a close-up view of the world’s top match racing teams in competitive action.
“We’re delighted to be working with Dubai International Marine Club to stage one of the highlights of our sailing calendar, and to be showcasing a new boat which should become one of the most exciting and sought after racers in the world,” said Martin Bender, Managing Director of V1 Advanced Composite Technologies.
“Russell Coutts, the world’s most successful match race sailor, has translated his long-standing passion for yacht design into a new light-displacement racer. It defines the advantages composite built boats have over traditionally built yachts in being lighter, faster, stiffer, more sophisticated, easier to maintain and reasonably priced.”
Ahead of the boat’s competitive debut in the Dubai Match Race Challenge, it has already been confirmed that a new, one design class fleet racing RC 44 World Championship will be staged in Dubai from March 11-18, 2007. “This new event will be broadcast live on TV in the Middle East and have a worldwide audience, and it will be one of our most prestigious events of the year,” said Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of DIMC. “At the same time, we’re already looking forward to hosting the first World Championship event next year, and many more events will follow.”
Skippering a crew featuring Swiss Julien di Biase, Croatian Stipe Vitaljic, Italian Massimo Sirena and Danes Chresten Plinius and Peter Poulsen, Coutts will be aiming to add to his impressive haul of major career successes in the Dubai Match Race Challenge.
Jes Gram-Hansen, one of the rising stars of match racing, will be supported by fellow-Dane Rasmus Kostner Trimmer of Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team
Click for more info, Malta’s Chris Dougall, and Italy’s Alberto Barovier Bowman of Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team
Click for more info, Michele Paoletti Trimmer of Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team
Click for more info and Vasco Vascotto Skipper of Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team
Click for more info, who has won more world sailing titles than any other Italian.
Coutts first came under the international spotlight by capturing the ISAF World Youth Championship in 1981, and three years later won a gold medal in the Finn class at the Los Angeles Olympics. His three America’s Cup victories as skipper in 1995, 2000 and 2003 with a 14-0 winning record, makes him the most successful America’s Cup helmsman.
He has won three World Match Racing Championships and recorded numerous international match race wins and World Championship victories. He has twice been the International Yacht Racing Union’s World Sailor of the Year.
Gram-Hansen has made a name for himself on the Swedish Match Tour, finishing third overall in 2001-’02 and 2002-’03, and was runner-up in the 2002 Match Racing World Championship. Vascotto has captured 22 Italian championships, seven European titles and 14 World Championships. He has also won 5 Giri d’Italia (Around Italy distance race), the Admirals Cup in 1999, and two bronze ISAF medals.