by Tim Jeffery
Oracle Racing plan to begin 2013 off the coast of the Northland region of New Zealand at the country’s newest port facility in Marsden Point, as it prepares to defend the America’s Cup in September 2013.
Marsden Point, Northport New Zealand
Northport is a deep-water commercial port situated at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, making it the northernmost multi-purpose port in New Zealand. The nearby city of Whangarei is among the 12 largest in New Zealand with a population estimated at more than 52,000.
The locale was selected for reasons including its close proximity to Core Builders Composites in Warkworth, about an hour’s drive to the south. CBC is building many of the key components for Oracle Racing’s two AC72 wingsail catamarans while the hulls are being built at the team base in San Francisco, per the nationality rules for the Cup.
Marsden Point, Northport New Zealand - Map
Northport also has ample shore space and easy access to open waters, where the team can test its two AC72’s. Oracle Racing’s training is scheduled to begin mid-January 2013 and run through the end of April.
The full sailing team will be on site as well as the full support/shore team. The team plans to erect a tent on site measuring 70m by 40m that will be the main onshore facility to support the trialing of the AC72.
Oracle Racing expects to launch its first AC72 this summer from its base at Pier 80 in San Francisco. Under the cost containment rules of the America’s Cup the team can sail that boat for only 30 days from its launch date through Jan. 31, 2013. On Feb. 1 teams are permitted to launch a second AC72 and may sail each yacht 45 days through Apr. 31, 2013.
18/02/2012 - San Francisco (USA) - ORACLE Racing - Trainig ***18/02/2012 - San Francisco (USA) - ORACLE Racing - Training
21/02/2012 - San Francisco (USA) - ORACLE Racing - Media Day at Pier 80 ***21/02/2012 - San Francisco (USA) - ORACLE Racing - Media Day at Pier 80
Oracle Racing’s first AC72 will undergo tests on San Francisco Bay after its launching. Later this year it’ll be shipped to Northport where it’ll join the second AC72 for two-boat testing beginning in February.
Oracle Racing website