Heineken Wins in Argentina

Johnny Heineken closed out the Argentina leg of the Pro Kite Racing Association’s Kitesurf World Cup tour over the weekend with straight firsts on the board. The racing, on the windy, frigid waters of Lago Nahuel Huapí in the foothills of the Andes, pitted 21 riders against each other in the course racing division. Second place went to Olivier Dansin of France with a grab bag of seconds and thirds.

Heineken, third at the first-ever kite course racing worlds on his home waters of San Francisco Bay (2009), comes from the world of dinghy racing. He is a past 29er champion and brings those skills to the racecourse, skills that stunt-based kiters might lack. The aerialists had their own competition, of course. Storm-force winds shut the racing down a day early.


The Luderitz Speed Challenge ended on Halloween, but the organizers rang my chimes today to point out the results of 2010: 2 World Records, 12 National Records and 1 Production Board Record, with 15 nationalities present in Namibia for the competition.

New female 500 meter record: Charlotte Consorti, France, also the first woman to beat 50 knots

New absolute sailing speed record: Rob Douglas, USA, 55.65 knots
(pending ratification, expected)


The RC44 class is moving into the USA in a big way, with an event in Miami in early December and, now, an announcement of racing in San Diego next spring. The press release—

World’s best sailors to compete on San Diego Bay on March 2-6, 2011

The highly competitive RC 44 Championship Tour will visit California for the first time. Spectators viewing free of charge from New Port Pavilion.
(San Diego, CA) November 5, 2010 – The biggest names in the sport of sailing, including Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard, James Spithill, Rod Davis and Terry Hutchinson are coming to race against each other on San Diego Bay from March 2-6, 2011 in identical 44-foot sailboats, the RC 44.

“I love racing in San Diego and I am looking forward to a great regatta”, said Coutts, who won the America’s Cup in San Diego for the first time in 1995 before winning the Cup three more times.

Racing will take place directly in front of the Broadway Pier, site of the Event Village. The public is welcome free to view the action up close as the top sailors from New Zealand, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Russia and the U.S. battle within shouting distance of the downtown San Diego waterfront.

The races draw international attention and will showcase the beauty of San Diego Bay and the San Diego waterfront. San Diego businesses on the bay front and elsewhere in the region will benefit as the teams, their families, their followers and the sailing media enjoy the site and visit local attractions before, during and after the regatta.

The RC 44 is a high-performance sailboat created for exciting short-course racing in international regattas. These state-of-the art, carbon-fiber boats were designed by Russell Coutts together with naval architect Andrej Justin.

Since its 2007 debut, the RC 44 class has held 24 regattas in Europe and the Middle East, attracting substantial spectator interest and media coverage. Fourteen RC 44 sailboats are coming to the US for only two events this winter (Miami and San Diego) before heading back to Europe for their summer circuit. The racing format will be a combination of both Match Racing (one-on-one racing similar to the America’s Cup) and Fleet Racing (Olympic-style racing with all the boats on one race course).

“We’re excited to be bringing the RC 44 event to San Diego in 2011. San Diegans are huge fans of sailing and the RC 44 event will be a highly competitive international regatta bringing the best sailors in the world to America’s Finest City,” said John Laun, President and CEO of SEA SD. “The new Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier will be a spectacular venue for race fans to view these races.”
The Port of Pavilion on Broadway Pier will showcase a gorgeous improvement to San Diego’s dynamic and diverse waterfront built by the Port of San Diego. Built to be an environmental gem, the Port Pavilion is an ideal venue for waterfront activities such as this international sailing competition when not in use as an impressive arrival terminal for cruise-ship visitors.

An array of cameras will catch the action on the water and their images will be fed to screens on the Broadway Pier for the enjoyment of the spectators. Also planned is a television broadcast and Broadband Internet production of the Regatta.

The RC 44 Cup will be run by Sailing Events Association San Diego (SEA SD), a new organization which promotes major sailboat racing events in San Diego for the benefit of the local economy. John Laun, President and CEO of SEA SD has enlisted an experienced Board including: Chuck Nichols, President of both the America’s Cup ’95 and the San Diego Super Bowl Host Committee in 1998; Troy Sears, owner of Next Level Sailing which provides sailing experiences on the SD waterfront; Mike McDowell, CEO of the San Diego Lodging Industry Association; Ray Ashley, President of the Maritime Museum of SD; Alan Kidd, head of the San Diego Sports Commission; Sharon Cloward of the Port Tenants Association and many other leading San Diegans. The Event Coordinator for the RC 44 races is two-time Olympic sailing medalist, JJ Fetter. For further information on SEA SD, please contact our website: sea-sandiego.org

This international event is supported by the SD Tourism Marketing District, a non-profit group dedicated to improving San Diego tourism. SEA SD is actively marketing the sponsorship opportunities of the event including naming rights. Other sponsor benefits include the opportunity for guests to be the “9th person” onboard during the actual races.

For more information regarding the RC44 class, contact rc44.com.

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