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Event decision a big endorsement for Bermuda

Next stop, Bermuda: the Island has been added as a venue to the RC44 Championship Tour schedule

Bermuda’s reputation as an ideal sailing destination has been further enhanced with confirmation that the Island will host an RC44 Championship Tour event next year featuring America’s Cup sailors in high-performance monohull yachts.

The Tour comprises of 12 international teams including two from Artemis Racing, challengers for the 35th America’s Cup, that compete in one-design racing yachts at some of the most beautiful sailing venues around the world.

The international racing circuit was founded by Sir Russell Coutts, the fives-times America’s Cup winner and Oracle Team USA chief executive, who is delighted to have Bermuda host an event that has established itself as a key series since its launch in 2007.

“It’s a great thing that Bermuda is back on the radar for many of these Grand Prix classes like the RC44,” Coutts, who won a record seven King Edward VII Gold Cups between 1990 and 2004, said.

“The owners vote on which venues they would like to race at each year, so it is a pretty big endorsement for Bermuda that they have chosen to come here in 2016.”

Coutts, who won the coveted “Auld Mug” with three different racing syndicates including his native New Zealand, believes that Bermuda could potentially host other RC44 Championship Tour events beyond next year.

“After they experience Bermuda, I’m certain they’ll want to come back in subsequent years and I would expect many of the owners to visit again during the 2017 America’s Cup,” he said.

Bermuda’s ideal sailing conditions has attracted a lot of interest from overseas sailing organisations since the Island won the bid to host the America’s Cup.

New additions to this year’s international sailing calendar are two regattas featuring the foiling Flying Phantom catamaran and foiling International Moth dinghy, while next year will see Bermuda host the 2016 Viper 640 North American Championships.

* Olympians Anders Gustafsson and Kalle Torlén are the newest members of Artemis Racing’s sailing team, the Swedish challenger has announced.

The pair come from different backgrounds as Gustafsson competes in Canoe Sprints while Torlén sails in the 49er Skiff.

“When recruiting for this campaign we looked across numerous endurance sports for elite athletes who would have the physical characteristics that we were after; a combination of aerobic fitness, strength, power, and importantly the right attitude and desire to transition into a new sport at the highest level,” Pete Cunningham, the Artemis Racing’s exercise physiologist, said.

“When we tested Anders we were blown away by his fitness results on the grinding tests”.

Gustaffsson and Torlén could potentially be in action when stage two of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is held in Artemis Racing’s home port in Gothenburg, Sweden, this month.