Porto Cervo, Italy. 16th June 2015. A fleet of 12 highly competitive RC44 one-design racing yachts is primed and ready for the start of racing tomorrow in the Audi RC44 Porto Cervo Cup 2015. Although the fleet has visited the south of the island of Sardinia in the past, this is the first time the performance yachts - conceived by America's Cup winning yachtsman Russell Coutts - will race on the renowned regatta course off the Costa Smeralda. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and valid as the second leg of the 2015 Championship Tour, the event will take place from 16 - 21 June.

Racing is scheduled to get underway tomorrow with a day of match racing in programme for the competing teams. Following his victory in the first event of the tour (Malta, 25-29 March) and consequent control of the overall scoreboard, Dutchman Nico Poons will have the coveted "golden wheels" on board his Charisma this week. Tough competition will no doubt come in the form of Team Aqua who will be looking to defend the championship title they have earned for four years running. John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, runner up in last year's RC44 Championship Tour, will also be pushing hard for a victory in Porto Cervo, as will Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika - currently second in the overall standings.

The RC44 class is renowned for short, intense races and with competitive owner-drivers helming during fleet racing flanked by top professional tacticians, the standard of yachtsmanship is notoriously high. The crew lists of the twelve teams competing in Sardinia read like a who's-who of sailing with a host of highly experienced tacticians present, most of whom can count several America's Cup and Olympic campaigns to their name. From double Olympic gold medal winner Iain Percy (Artemis Racing) to former Alinghi sailor Ed Baird (Aleph Racing) and from Italy's Vasco Vascotto (Peninsula Petroleum) the Kiwi contingent including Cameron Appleton (Team Aqua), Dean Barker (Team Nika), Ray Davies (Charisma), the week promises tactical duels and tense battles on the regatta course.

Following racing each day owners and teams will be kept busy with a series of social event organized at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda which will include a Welcome Cocktail, a Gala Dinner and the final prize giving scheduled for Sunday 21st June.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 17th June, the first starting signal is scheduled for 12 midday. Northerly winds of 8/9 knots are forecast.

150616 RC44 MS 0266-1200 150616 RC44 MS 0238-1200

Follow racing and get news from the water on the RC44 homepage and the YCCS Twitter account. For the full entry list, programme, photos, videos and full results visit www.yccs.com and www.rc44.com or contact the press office.

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Ufficio Stampa YCCS 
Jill Campbell/Donata Cuppone
Tel. +39 340 1674755
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