Returning to the Swedish sailing mecca of Marstrand Island for the fourth consecutive year, this week will see the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS) host the 2014 RC44 World Championship.
With 12 confirmed teams the scoreboard could not be closer, as two points separate the top three teams. Leading the fleet into the World Championship event is John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum, after a heroic performance at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup saw the team just do enough to finish on joint points at the top of the leaderboard.
Taking on Peninsula in second place are defending Tour Champions Team Aqua, who will be gunning for the elusive World Championship title as it is the only prize the class veterans have never won. Rounding off the top three is Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev’s Synergy Russian Sailing Team who placed second in Sweden last year.
For Swedish team Artemis Racing this year’s World Championship is not only raced on home waters, but also marks the launch of the new Artemis Racing Youth team.
As part of the Artemis Racing Youth Program, the new RC44 team is providing an opportunity for young Swedish sailors; aspiring to compete at an international level, the possibility to race with some of the world’s best sailors. Helmed by Swedish businessman Gustaf Lidvall, the youth team will be in good hands under the guidance of Australian 49er Olympic gold medallist Nathan Outteridge as tactician and Swedish Star Olympic gold medallist Max Salminen.
For owner of Artemis Racing Torbjorn Tornqvist the RC44 provides a perfect training platform allowing the worlds best sailors competing against each other in a highly competitive circuit. “This is a fantastic class for our sailors to come and work together in a fun and challenging environment. Everyone enjoys being part of the Class, it’s a nice break from the daily routines.”
Racing to the west of Marstrand Island in the past has challenged the teams with heavy winds and big seas. Kicking off with a day of match racing followed by four days of fleet racing the sailors are expecting similar conditions, Ed Baird tactician onboard Synergy explains “The late summer in Sweden is always the same, there can be everything from light air and smooth water to big breeze and massive waves, I think we’re going to see that this week.”
Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio adds, “It’s either 15 – 20 or 6 – 8 middle ground is hard to find.”
The RC44 Marstrand World Championship will take place over 13th-17th August, with practice racing on Tuesday 12th August, 14.00 CET.