Join the 44Cup

Welcome to the new guide to our beloved RC44 yacht and 44Cup yacht racing circuit. It is now 17 years since Russell Coutts encouraged me to join his fledgling RC44 class, setting me up with my long term tactician Cameron Appleton and what has since grown to become the Team Aqua extended family.

I have come to learn that racing the RC44 ticks so many boxes for an owner. Firstly it is a grand prix race boat, but one conceived for an amateur owner-driver. Steering it is straightforward for the novice yet still fulfilling for the experienced. In strong conditions it is deceptively fast, able to point high on upwind legs and surf with exhilarating speed downwind. An issue with a wind-driven sport is when the wind doesn’t blow or blows too strongly. Fortunately the RC44’s design addresses this: we may be on the edge in 25 knots, but we can still race - and meaningfully too - in 4-5 knots when other classes cannot, thereby minimising non-sailing days.

I hope as you read this you realise that the RC44 and the 44Cup can bring you as much enjoyment as it has brought me.

Chris Bake, 44Cup President