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San Diego To Host Top Sailors in International Yacht Race

A prestigious international yacht race is sailing into San Diego Bay next spring, bringing with it a much-needed boost to San Diego’s economy, city officials said.

The RC 44 Championship Tour kicks off its 2011 season with the March 2-6 San Diego Cup. Twenty internationally ranked teams will compete in the regatta. The event boasts some of the biggest names in the world of sailing, including four-time America’s Cup winner BMW Oracle Racing.

San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer said the race will be a boon to San Diego’s tourism industry.

“It’s a great opportunity to have some of the best world-class sailing races coming to San Diego Bay,” Faulconer said. “We’re expecting a lot of people to come from all over.”

San Diego has hosted major sailing races in the past, including the 1995 America’s Cup.

“We have a rich sailing history,” said Faulconer.

The RC 44 is a 44-foot, high-performance sailboat specifically designed for racing. Co-designer Russell Coutts spent 16 months training in San Diego before steering the BMW Oracle Racing team to its 2010 America’s Cup victory.