Monday, August 31, 2009

Countdown to Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup; Paul Cayard enters circuit with new Russian team

[Source: RC44] The fifth regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 – the Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup - will take place in Slovenia on September 29 – October 3. Current leaders of the Championship Tour, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton (Team Aqua) are only two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker (Artemis). The RC 44 Class welcomes a new Russian team called Katusha skippered by Paul Cayard.

Preparations in Portoroz on Slovenia's narrow coastline are well under way for the fifth stage of the RC 44 Championship Tour. Racing begins in one month and the local organisers as well as the Class management are getting ready for the Championship Tour’s autumn season.

It is the third time that Portoroz welcomes an RC 44 regatta after the events held here in 2006 and 2007. Bank Sarasin is the title sponsor of the 2009 event being organised by the Slovenian Sailing Federation.

Leader of the Championship Tour, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua is only two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis. “We look forward to getting back on the water”, says Bake. “The last regatta on Lake Garda was a good challenge, and the last day was a great endorsement of the strength and depth of our Team; I was really proud to be a part of it. Portoroz will with no doubt be tough too. We plan to get out there, work hard and try and sail a consistent series.”

Currently third of the Championship Tour on a tie with Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing, Igor Lah (Ceeref) has been instrumental in bringing the regatta to Portoroz. “This is a very important regatta for our team, because it is the first time we will be sailing on Slovene waters”, he explains. ”We will have some more practice than usual prior to the regatta. Unfortunately we’ve had many crew changes this season, which had an effect on crew work. I believe it has stabilized now so we are able to stay with the same team for the rest of the season. We will try to do our best.”

The RC 44 Class looks forward to welcoming a new team in Portoroz. “Katusha” will fly the Russian flag and will be skippered by Paul Cayard, who has already been involved in several events with the RC 44 Class.

The Practice Race and media day will open the regatta on Monday September 28. The Bank Sarasin RC 44 Portoroz Cup will begin on Tuesday September 29 with the match racing event. The fleet regatta will take place from Thursday October 1 till Saturday 3.

Following a long summer break, the ten teams involved in the Championship Tour will be keen to get back to the water and compete in the last “conventional” regatta of the Tour before the double points Gold Cup in Dubai.

The teams involved:
(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Sébastien Col
Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Jose Juan Calero / Jose Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Paul Cayard

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