The AEZ RC44 Sailing Team starts the Tour 2011 directed by the twofold AC-Champions Peter Evans.
Oncoming Wednesday the RC44 Championship-Tour starts on the Pacific, which heads for six harbors and once again stations in Austria (11.-15.May). Eleven teams have been mentioned for the start of the season before San Diego, among them the current AC-syndicate Oracle Racing (USA) and Artemis (SWE). The local AEZ team has to do without Christian Binder in California, instead of the tactician the New Zealander Peter Evans jumps in as the afterguard.
AC-Champion sets the pace
Evans, who Binder knows from the 470s times, won America’s Cup 2000 (Team New Zealand) and 2007 (Team Alinghi). The match race world champion, recommended by Russell Coutts, charters the AEZ team. Trainer Alfred Pelinka, who coaches the team of eight, finds Evans is the perfect solution, who will generate a long term outcome. “Peter is one of the best offshore sailors, due to the short preparation period we have to wait and see if the team is able to implement his strategies immediately”, explains Pelinka, who is trying to make the best of the situation and is convinced that Evans will make a great difference for the whole season. “We have the opportunity to learn from the very best and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
A new format causes tailwind
The Austrians, who entered the tour in 2009 and completed the regatta calendar for the first time previous season, are bearing toward the middle field. A high goal, due to the new class rules but seems to be realistic. For the winner of the tour will be nominated exclusively for the fleet determinations for the first time. The match race will be an exciting appetizer in the interlude, but the prestigious show does not count in the total evaluation anymore. The upgrading of the fleet race series is good news for the local crew, because they mostly failed in the single duels due to lack of experience.
The Oracle Cup start uncoming Wednesday with the direct duels, the fleet race series begins 3. March.