The RC 44 Class is unlike any 40 foot sailing yacht ever designed, and the reason for that is simple. She is a high performance one design yacht created for top level racing in international regattas. If one was to compare this concept to racing cars, then we would be talking about the F1, NASCAR or similar.
Yes, the Formula 1 of yacht racing is coming to Malta, who will play host to stage the first leg of the 2015 championship. In fact the fleet of these extreme sailing machines are already here, most of which are undergoing major and minor refitting in the ship and yacht yards of the Maltese Islands.
It is only matter of time before the general public will soon start to see the fleet training off Sliema Front, in preparation for the regatta that will commence on the 24th March until the 29th, following which a winner of the Valletta Cup would have been declared.
For those who are curious as what the name RC 44 actually means, that is easy to answer. Russell Coutts is a name synonymous with the Americas Cup, and probably the World’s most known sailor outside the sailing community, just as every knows the top Tennis players, or football legends.
And in 2005, Russell, together with naval architect Andrej Justin, designed the RC44. In Russell’s own words…. ‘“We wanted to include a degree of complexity so an owner can experience what a top-end race boat is like to sail, and it delivers on that,” explains Coutts. “I wanted to create a boat that would be exciting to sail downwind and powerful in light winds.”
And to facilitate shipping the boats around the World, the boat is designed to fit within the same space of a 40’ container, which is how the world’s consumer goods are moved.
The RC44 became an instant hit with investors due to this radical performance yacht that can shipped alongside a few other hundred containers transporting commodities, thereby keeping logistics within reach of a normal consignment of goods.
So what kind of racing format will the Valletta Cup provide? The 25th March is a date that spectators should well remember to pay a visit to the Upper Barakka as a spectacle awaits them, weather permitting.
A series of short, yet highly spectacular match races are set to provide for an amazing display in the form of a duet, two yachts racing to win, the other scoring no points.
It is envisaged that each team will compete against one another in a ‘best of 3’, until the boat with the highest number of points secures the match racing event of the Valletta Cup.
With 8 sailors on board, there is going to be plenty of action, along with an extremely high amount of crew work, tactics & boat speed all playing a crucial role in their quest to out manoeuvre each other, win the favoured side of the course, and then defend their commanding position until they cross the finish line.
Match racing offers a truly nail biting experience to sailors and non sailors alike, and the public is urged to attend to enjoy this unique experience. Throughout the event spectators will be able to enjoy also a number of fleet and coastal races which can be seen from a number of vantage points which will be announced in due course.
Few sports can match sailing for thrilling competition, brand exposure and unrivalled return on sponsorship investment. Asponsorship tier programme has been designed with this in mind, enabling organisations to benefit from excellent exposure and engagement opportunities with a diverse and multinational audience. More information on such programmes can be obtained by visiting the website – www.yachtingevents.com.mt or by sending an email on [email protected].
Photo Credit: RC44 Class/Martinezstudio.es
Text: Paul Ellul
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