Archive | Russell Coutts

RC 44 Championship Tour heads to the US

Posted on 05 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] A record number of entries – fourteen strict one design RC 44’s – will compete in next month’s ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami (December 7 – 12). The event will be followed by the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6), whilst some teams will also compete in Key West Race Week in January.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami will be the final stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2010. The annual ranking is currently led by Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, ahead of Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back and James Spithill’s “17”.

BMW ORACLE Racing leads the fleet, match race and overall rankings. However, the American team is on a tie with Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua in the match race event whilst third placed No Way Back – the winner of last year’s Championship Tour – sits three points behind the leader in the fleet race contest. Needless to say that all three rankings (fleet, match and overall) remain open, with only five points between the leader and fifth placed Team Aqua in the overall ranking.

A new American team will join the RC 44 Championship Tour in Miami: David Murphy’s Ironbound, with Ian Williams (GBR) at the helm for the match races, bringing the total number of entries to fourteen following the recent arrival of Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR). Commenting his arrival in the RC 44 Class, David Murphy said: “We’ve entered this fleet because it represents the highest level of competition in sailing today. What could be better than competing against the best on a level playing field? IRONBOUND is in the house!!!”

The RC 44 fleet will stay in the United States over the winter, with some teams competing in Key West Race Week in January before heading to the West Coast for the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6). Commenting about this event, Russell Coutts – who won the America’s Cup in San Diego for the first time in 1995, before winning the event three more times in 2000, 2003 and 2010, said: “I really enjoy racing in San Diego and I am looking forward to a great regatta”.

Racing will take place directly in front of the Broadway Pier, site of the Event Village. “We’re excited to be bringing the RC 44 event to San Diego in 2011. San Diegans are huge fans of sailing and the RC 44 event will be a highly competitive international regatta bringing the best sailors in the world to America’s Finest City,” said John Laun, President and CEO of SEA SD. “The new Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier will be a spectacular venue for race fans to view these races.”

The Port of Pavilion on Broadway Pier will showcase a gorgeous improvement to San Diego’s dynamic and diverse waterfront built by the Port of San Diego. Built to be an environmental gem, the Port Pavilion is an ideal venue for waterfront activities such as this international sailing competition when not in use as an impressive arrival terminal for cruise-ship visitors.

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RC 44 Championship Tour heads to the US

Posted on 05 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] A record number of entries – fourteen strict one design RC 44’s – will compete in next month’s ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami (December 7 – 12). The event will be followed by the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6), whilst some teams will also compete in Key West Race Week in January.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami will be the final stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2010. The annual ranking is currently led by Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, ahead of Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back and James Spithill’s “17”.

BMW ORACLE Racing leads the fleet, match race and overall rankings. However, the American team is on a tie with Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua in the match race event whilst third placed No Way Back – the winner of last year’s Championship Tour – sits three points behind the leader in the fleet race contest. Needless to say that all three rankings (fleet, match and overall) remain open, with only five points between the leader and fifth placed Team Aqua in the overall ranking.

A new American team will join the RC 44 Championship Tour in Miami: David Murphy’s Ironbound, with Ian Williams (GBR) at the helm for the match races, bringing the total number of entries to fourteen following the recent arrival of Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR). Commenting his arrival in the RC 44 Class, David Murphy said: “We’ve entered this fleet because it represents the highest level of competition in sailing today. What could be better than competing against the best on a level playing field? IRONBOUND is in the house!!!”

The RC 44 fleet will stay in the United States over the winter, with some teams competing in Key West Race Week in January before heading to the West Coast for the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6). Commenting about this event, Russell Coutts – who won the America’s Cup in San Diego for the first time in 1995, before winning the event three more times in 2000, 2003 and 2010, said: “I really enjoy racing in San Diego and I am looking forward to a great regatta”.

Racing will take place directly in front of the Broadway Pier, site of the Event Village. “We’re excited to be bringing the RC 44 event to San Diego in 2011. San Diegans are huge fans of sailing and the RC 44 event will be a highly competitive international regatta bringing the best sailors in the world to America’s Finest City,” said John Laun, President and CEO of SEA SD. “The new Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier will be a spectacular venue for race fans to view these races.”

The Port of Pavilion on Broadway Pier will showcase a gorgeous improvement to San Diego’s dynamic and diverse waterfront built by the Port of San Diego. Built to be an environmental gem, the Port Pavilion is an ideal venue for waterfront activities such as this international sailing competition when not in use as an impressive arrival terminal for cruise-ship visitors.

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Video: Highlights from the RC44 World Championship

Posted on 21 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Highlights from the RC44 World Championship. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

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Video: Highlights from the RC44 World Championship

Posted on 21 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Highlights from the RC44 World Championship. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

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Coutts wins Fleet Race RC44 Worlds at Puerto Calero – Spithill overall winner

Posted on 17 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] Yacht 17 takes overall title after BMW ORACLE Racing wins feet racing

Australian Jimmy Spithill, Anders Myralf of Denmark and the international crew of the yacht 17 concluded a banner week in the Canary Islands by winning the inaugural RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.

After three days of match racing at the outset of the week, the regatta wrapped up today with the conclusion of the fleet racing, which counted 10 races in total. The yacht 17 won the match racing and finished second in the fleet racing to claim the championship.

Highlights from the closing of the first ever RC44 World Championship. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

Spithill, Myralf and the 17 crew entered the day in the lead, but an early start in one race and penalties in the other two nearly scuttled their regatta.

“We’re feeling great,” said Spithill, 31, of Sydney, Australia. “It was a tough day on the water for us. We tried to stay clean but got tangled up a couple of times. It was really unpredictable on the water, but at the end of day we hung tough and got it done.”

Heading into the final heat of the fleet racing portion of the regatta the top three boats – No Way Back, BMW ORACLE Racing and 17 – were within 1 point of the title.

No Way Back and 17 each had to perform penalty turns in the race, which allowed BMW ORACLE Racing, led by tactician Russell Coutts and local helmsman Jose Juan Calero to claim the win.

José Juan Calero at the helm of BMW Oracle won the fleet race portion of the RC44 World Championship. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez RC44 Class Association

“I’m very grateful to Russell Coutts and Mr. Ellison for giving me an opportunity to steer the boat,” said Calero, whose family hosted the regatta at the Puerto Calero Marina. “It means a lot for me because we organized the event as well. It was very stressful at times, but big fun at the end of each race.”

No Way Back, led by owner Pieter Heerema of The Netherlands and tactician Ray Davies of New Zealand, finished third in the fleet racing with 55 points. Coupled with their sixth-place finish in the match racing, they placed third overall.

“It was a great event. I love Lanzarote and Puerto Calero,” said Heerema, last year’s RC 44 season champion. “Being third makes me very happy. We’ve struggled a bit this season. We’ve just never sailed to our level. We were feeling we were sliding down, but to be a strong contender before the last race makes us feel good.”

Top honors on the final day of racing went to Chris Bake’s Team Aqua, with New Zealander Cameron Appleton calling tactics. Team Aqua posted the low score of 6 points on finishes of 1-1-4, a welcome day after two days of struggles.

One bad race at the very end cost No Way Back the fleet racing title. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez RC44 Class Association

“We redeemed ourselves a bit; finally figured out the racecourse and got our boat figured out,” said Bake, who swept all three titles at the previous RC 44 event in Valencia. “It was massively difficult out there with the shifts and the bias in the course. It felt good to be leading the pack again.”

With just the Miami RC 44 Cup remaining on the schedule, BMW ORACLE Racing leads the season standings with 8 points, followed by No Way Back with 10 points, 17 with 12 points, Artemis with 12 points and Team Aqua with 15 points. The Miami RC 44 Cup is scheduled Dec. 7-12.

RC 44 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ISLAS CANARIAS PUERTO CALERO CUP

Final Standings (including match and fleet racing)
1. 17 1-2 – 3 points
2. BMW ORACLE Racing 3-1 – 4
3. No Way Back 6-3 – 9
4. Katusha 4-5 – 9
5. Artemis 2-7 – 9
6. Sea Dubai 8-4 – 12
7. Ceeref 7-6 – 13
8. Aqua 5-8 – 13
9. Mascalzone Latino 9-9 – 18
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team 10-10 – 20
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 11-11 – 22
12. Peninsula Petroleum 12-12 – 24
13. Synergy 13-13 – 26

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Coutts wins Fleet Race RC44 Worlds at Puerto Calero – Spithill overall winner

Posted on 17 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] Yacht 17 takes overall title after BMW ORACLE Racing wins feet racing

Australian Jimmy Spithill, Anders Myralf of Denmark and the international crew of the yacht 17 concluded a banner week in the Canary Islands by winning the inaugural RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.

After three days of match racing at the outset of the week, the regatta wrapped up today with the conclusion of the fleet racing, which counted 10 races in total. The yacht 17 won the match racing and finished second in the fleet racing to claim the championship.

Highlights from the closing of the first ever RC44 World Championship. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

Spithill, Myralf and the 17 crew entered the day in the lead, but an early start in one race and penalties in the other two nearly scuttled their regatta.

“We’re feeling great,” said Spithill, 31, of Sydney, Australia. “It was a tough day on the water for us. We tried to stay clean but got tangled up a couple of times. It was really unpredictable on the water, but at the end of day we hung tough and got it done.”

Heading into the final heat of the fleet racing portion of the regatta the top three boats – No Way Back, BMW ORACLE Racing and 17 – were within 1 point of the title.

No Way Back and 17 each had to perform penalty turns in the race, which allowed BMW ORACLE Racing, led by tactician Russell Coutts and local helmsman Jose Juan Calero to claim the win.

José Juan Calero at the helm of BMW Oracle won the fleet race portion of the RC44 World Championship. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez RC44 Class Association

“I’m very grateful to Russell Coutts and Mr. Ellison for giving me an opportunity to steer the boat,” said Calero, whose family hosted the regatta at the Puerto Calero Marina. “It means a lot for me because we organized the event as well. It was very stressful at times, but big fun at the end of each race.”

No Way Back, led by owner Pieter Heerema of The Netherlands and tactician Ray Davies of New Zealand, finished third in the fleet racing with 55 points. Coupled with their sixth-place finish in the match racing, they placed third overall.

“It was a great event. I love Lanzarote and Puerto Calero,” said Heerema, last year’s RC 44 season champion. “Being third makes me very happy. We’ve struggled a bit this season. We’ve just never sailed to our level. We were feeling we were sliding down, but to be a strong contender before the last race makes us feel good.”

Top honors on the final day of racing went to Chris Bake’s Team Aqua, with New Zealander Cameron Appleton calling tactics. Team Aqua posted the low score of 6 points on finishes of 1-1-4, a welcome day after two days of struggles.

One bad race at the very end cost No Way Back the fleet racing title. Puerto Calero, 16 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez RC44 Class Association

“We redeemed ourselves a bit; finally figured out the racecourse and got our boat figured out,” said Bake, who swept all three titles at the previous RC 44 event in Valencia. “It was massively difficult out there with the shifts and the bias in the course. It felt good to be leading the pack again.”

With just the Miami RC 44 Cup remaining on the schedule, BMW ORACLE Racing leads the season standings with 8 points, followed by No Way Back with 10 points, 17 with 12 points, Artemis with 12 points and Team Aqua with 15 points. The Miami RC 44 Cup is scheduled Dec. 7-12.

RC 44 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ISLAS CANARIAS PUERTO CALERO CUP

Final Standings (including match and fleet racing)
1. 17 1-2 – 3 points
2. BMW ORACLE Racing 3-1 – 4
3. No Way Back 6-3 – 9
4. Katusha 4-5 – 9
5. Artemis 2-7 – 9
6. Sea Dubai 8-4 – 12
7. Ceeref 7-6 – 13
8. Aqua 5-8 – 13
9. Mascalzone Latino 9-9 – 18
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team 10-10 – 20
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 11-11 – 22
12. Peninsula Petroleum 12-12 – 24
13. Synergy 13-13 – 26

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Shifty conditions hallmark of Day 1 at RC 44 Worlds

Posted on 11 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] Two months have passed since the previous RC 44 event, but the fleet remembered to bring its competitive nature among an array of equipment to the Canary Islands.

Coupled with some wild shifts due to an offshore breeze, the RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup began with the fleet alternately thanking and ruing the wind gods.

“We’re pretty happy with the day,” said Rod Davis of Ceeref. “It was very shifty.”

“The conditions were challenging, but it’s always challenging in offshore breeze,” said Joey Newton, headsail trimmer aboard 17.

James Spithill leads the match racing part of the RC44 Worlds. Puerto Calero, 11 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez / RC44 World Championship

“Except for a bad set that was our fault and a miracle puff for AEZ, we were 6 seconds away from being 5-0,” said Paul Cayard of Katusha.

“We were one mistake away from a very good day,” said Ray Davies, helmsman aboard No Way Back.

“Due to the shifts, it was quite hard to get the positioning right off the start line and be in phase,” said Cameron Appleton from Team Aqua. “The shifts are going to be the theme for the week.”

The wild conditions kept the crews on their toes and the scoreboard tight.

In Group A, Jimmy Spithill’s 17 and Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis are tied for the lead at 5-1, but the grey-hulled 17 holds the tiebreaker after a head-to-head victory in Flight 6.

Group B sees four boats – No Way Back, Katusha, Ceeref and Russell Coutts’ BMW ORACLE Racing – tied at 3-2.

“We didn’t have the best of days and were up and down, so we’re happy to have the wins we’ve got,” said BMW ORACLE Racing headsail trimmer Ross Halcrow.

A total of 36 matches were run today in about seven hours of racing. The breeze was from the west to northwest and between 12 and 18 knots.

The crews once again displayed fantastic boathandling, throwing the light-displacement 44-footers around like dinghies. It’s quite impressive when the trailing boat heats up on a run, jibes and rolls over the top of the boat to leeward to steal a win at the finish line. That’s how 17 lost its only race of the day, to Team Aqua.

Similar to the previous event in Valencia, there were come-from-behind wins and downwind duels where the lead boat attempted to unload a penalty. Such was the final run between Ceeref and Katusha in Flight 6, where Ceeref had to unload a penalty to score the win.

“We had a heck of a battle with Davis and Ceeref,” said Cayard. “We got a penalty on him on the second upwind for tacking too close. So both boats went down the run with no spinnakers. We got a penalty at the end so we both had to do circles, but we were just able to get him before the finish.”

Locals Puerto Calero face an uphill battle in the first ever RC44 Worlds, 11 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez / RC44 World Championship

At the finish line the on-water umpire Marco Mercuriali gave Katusha a red-flag penalty when it bore off across Ceeref’s bow trying to cross the finish line. Mercuriali said that Katusha gained an unfair advantage in the maneuver.

He didn’t assess a standard penalty because that would’ve canceled out Ceeref’s and allowed Katusha to win the race. By giving Katusha the red-flag penalty he made both boats perform the 270-degree exoneration turn, and Katusha completed the turn more quickly.

“That was a real tussle with Cayard,” said Davis. “Down the run we were trying to set some traps and he was trying to avoid them. We finally executed one. We were doing our penalties at the same time, but he just got us.”

The match racing portion of the regatta is scheduled to resume tomorrow with the first warning signal slated for 1130 local.

RC 44 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ISLAS CANARIAS PUERTO CALERO CUP
Group Alpha

1. 17 (USA) Jimmy Spithill – 5-1
1. Artemis (SWE) Terry Hutchinson – 5-1
3. Team Aqua (UAE) Cameron Appleton – 4-2
3. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Markus Weiser – 4-2
5. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone – 2-4
6. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero – 1-5
7. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko – 0-6

Group Bravo
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Russell Coutts – 3-2
1. Ceeref (SLO) Rod Davis – 3-2
1. Katusha (RUS) Paul Cayard – 3-2
1. No Way Back (NED) Ray Davies – 3-2
5. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) – 2-3
6. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato – 1-4

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Shifty conditions hallmark of Day 1 at RC 44 Worlds

Posted on 11 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] Two months have passed since the previous RC 44 event, but the fleet remembered to bring its competitive nature among an array of equipment to the Canary Islands.

Coupled with some wild shifts due to an offshore breeze, the RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup began with the fleet alternately thanking and ruing the wind gods.

“We’re pretty happy with the day,” said Rod Davis of Ceeref. “It was very shifty.”

“The conditions were challenging, but it’s always challenging in offshore breeze,” said Joey Newton, headsail trimmer aboard 17.

James Spithill leads the match racing part of the RC44 Worlds. Puerto Calero, 11 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez / RC44 World Championship

“Except for a bad set that was our fault and a miracle puff for AEZ, we were 6 seconds away from being 5-0,” said Paul Cayard of Katusha.

“We were one mistake away from a very good day,” said Ray Davies, helmsman aboard No Way Back.

“Due to the shifts, it was quite hard to get the positioning right off the start line and be in phase,” said Cameron Appleton from Team Aqua. “The shifts are going to be the theme for the week.”

The wild conditions kept the crews on their toes and the scoreboard tight.

In Group A, Jimmy Spithill’s 17 and Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis are tied for the lead at 5-1, but the grey-hulled 17 holds the tiebreaker after a head-to-head victory in Flight 6.

Group B sees four boats – No Way Back, Katusha, Ceeref and Russell Coutts’ BMW ORACLE Racing – tied at 3-2.

“We didn’t have the best of days and were up and down, so we’re happy to have the wins we’ve got,” said BMW ORACLE Racing headsail trimmer Ross Halcrow.

A total of 36 matches were run today in about seven hours of racing. The breeze was from the west to northwest and between 12 and 18 knots.

The crews once again displayed fantastic boathandling, throwing the light-displacement 44-footers around like dinghies. It’s quite impressive when the trailing boat heats up on a run, jibes and rolls over the top of the boat to leeward to steal a win at the finish line. That’s how 17 lost its only race of the day, to Team Aqua.

Similar to the previous event in Valencia, there were come-from-behind wins and downwind duels where the lead boat attempted to unload a penalty. Such was the final run between Ceeref and Katusha in Flight 6, where Ceeref had to unload a penalty to score the win.

“We had a heck of a battle with Davis and Ceeref,” said Cayard. “We got a penalty on him on the second upwind for tacking too close. So both boats went down the run with no spinnakers. We got a penalty at the end so we both had to do circles, but we were just able to get him before the finish.”

Locals Puerto Calero face an uphill battle in the first ever RC44 Worlds, 11 October 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez / RC44 World Championship

At the finish line the on-water umpire Marco Mercuriali gave Katusha a red-flag penalty when it bore off across Ceeref’s bow trying to cross the finish line. Mercuriali said that Katusha gained an unfair advantage in the maneuver.

He didn’t assess a standard penalty because that would’ve canceled out Ceeref’s and allowed Katusha to win the race. By giving Katusha the red-flag penalty he made both boats perform the 270-degree exoneration turn, and Katusha completed the turn more quickly.

“That was a real tussle with Cayard,” said Davis. “Down the run we were trying to set some traps and he was trying to avoid them. We finally executed one. We were doing our penalties at the same time, but he just got us.”

The match racing portion of the regatta is scheduled to resume tomorrow with the first warning signal slated for 1130 local.

RC 44 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ISLAS CANARIAS PUERTO CALERO CUP
Group Alpha

1. 17 (USA) Jimmy Spithill – 5-1
1. Artemis (SWE) Terry Hutchinson – 5-1
3. Team Aqua (UAE) Cameron Appleton – 4-2
3. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Markus Weiser – 4-2
5. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone – 2-4
6. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero – 1-5
7. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko – 0-6

Group Bravo
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Russell Coutts – 3-2
1. Ceeref (SLO) Rod Davis – 3-2
1. Katusha (RUS) Paul Cayard – 3-2
1. No Way Back (NED) Ray Davies – 3-2
5. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) – 2-3
6. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato – 1-4

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