by Tim Jeffery
America’s Cup 2013 defense team today announced its two crews that will compete at the America’s Cup World Series. The team’s two AC45 catamarans – Oracle Racing Spithill and Oracle Racing Bundock – will be skippered, respectively, by Jimmy Spithill and Darren Bundock.
Oracle Racing - America’s Cup World Series Naples
Spithill will race with his regular crew of John Kostecki (tactician), Dirk de Ridder (wingsail trimmer), Joe Newton (headsail trimmer) and Piet van Nieuwenhuyjzen (bow).
In sweeping the two championships of the America’s Cup World Series San Diego, Oracle Racing Spithill couldn’t have concluded 2011 in a more resounding way. The crew heads into Naples 1 point off the overall lead for the 2011-’12 season championship.
'I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, but have never been to Naples before,' said Spithill, the youngest skipper (30 years) to ever win the America’s Cup. 'The series is getting more competitive at each event. It all comes down to the final Sunday and winning that. We’re looking forward to it.'
Bundock (helm, left image) debuted at the helm of an AC45 at ACWS San Diego last November. His crew in Naples will be a mix of newcomers and veterans: Tom Slingsby (tactics), Kyle Langford (wingsail trimmer), Simon Daubney (headsails) and Simeon Tienpont (bow).
'San Diego didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked, but we’ve had two very useful training sessions in San Francisco and I think we’ll have a better showing in Naples,' said Bundock, the double Olympic silver medalist (2000, ’08) in the Tornado class.
'We know the boat is fast, it’s won two of the three speed trials, so I’m excited about Naples and getting back to racing,' Bundock said.
At ACWS San Diego, Oracle Racing Bundock set the speed trial record time of 36.16 seconds over the 500-meter course for a top speed of 26.87 knots.
Slingsby and Langford are two of the young guns in the team. Slingsby, 27, has his sights set on winning a Gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics in the Laser class. Langford, 22, is a past youth world champion (2005) in the multihull class and a past Australian Youth Sailor of the Year (2006).
'I’m amazed at how physical the AC45 is,' said Langford. 'It’s really a challenge to keep your mind focused on trimming the wing, looking up the course, tailing all the lines that need tending and keeping your heart rate in check. It’s great, athletic sailing.'
Slingsby will be arriving in Naples fresh from the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma, where he raced the Laser in preparation for the Olympics.
'We worked a lot on our communication and team work in the training sessions in San Francisco,' said Slingsby. 'I’ve heard Naples is a light-air venue, but from what we’ve seen the weather changes daily. It’ll be good to get back on the water.'
The two bullets in San Diego put Oracle Racing Spithill within 1 point of the overall series lead. Oracle Racing Bundock is tied for fourth overall. After ACWS Naples, regattas follow in Venice, Italy (May 15-20) and Newport, R.I. (June 27-July 1) to conclude the 2011-’12 ACWS season.
2011-12 America’s Cup World Series Overall Standings
Team (Country) Match Fleet Total
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 27 28 55
2. Oracle Racing Spithill (USA) 26 28 54
3. Artemis Racing (SWE) 23 17 40
4. Oracle Racing Bundock (USA) 18 18 36
4. Team Korea (KOR) 20 16 36
6. Energy Team (FRA) 19 16 35
7. Aleph (FRA) 12 19 31
8. Green Comm Racing (ESP) 11 12 23
9. China Team (CHN) 9 11 20
(After three of six scheduled events)
08-11-11 / San Diego (USA) / America's Cup World Series - ORACLE Racing - 1st Sail in San Diego***08-11-11 / San Diego (USA) / America's Cup World Series - ORACLE Racing - First Sail in San Diego - America’s Cup World Series Naples
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