ACWS Venice Event report—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 18 May 2012
This week’s sailing headlines have been dominated by the start of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) Venice Event, as well as the news of the ACWS’ latest sponsor, Red Bull. For readers who are late to the conversation, Red Bull—the energy-drink manufacturer who famously claims to give its patrons 'wings'—has announced plans to sponsor the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, thus giving young sailors a clearly defined path into sailing AC45 wingsail-powered catamarans, and—hopefully—into the Cup itself.
17/05/2012 - Venice (ITA) - 34th America’s Cup - America’s Cup World Series Venice 2012 - Red Bull launches Youth America’s Cup ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
'Before this,' said Oracle Racing’s James Spithill, 'there has been no clear pathway to [taking part in] the America's Cup.' Problem solved.
Meanwhile, racing at the ACWS Venice Event was spectacular during the first day of sailing, with Energy Team currently commanding the leaderboard, followed by Luna Rosa Swordfish and Team Korea. 'Artemis was up against Emirates Team New Zealand for a two-out-of-three quarter match race series,' reports Artemis Racing’s Paul Cayard. 'The Artemis boys looked sharp on the boat handling and quite fast as well. Lots of hard work by the whole team went into that. Very nice to see!' Get the full Red Bull and Venice ACWS updates, inside this issue.
Meanwhile, in One Design circles, Sir Ben Ainslie is in top form at the Finn Gold Cup and is now within striking distance of securing his sixth Finn World Championship title. 'It was a pretty big day, amazing conditions,' said Ainslie. 'There were massive waves. It was an amazing day's sailing for everyone I think. It is not often we race in conditions like that so it was great. I think there will be a lot of tired sailors but I think most people had a smile on their face most of the time.'
Also in OD circles, there has been much debate and contention involving the ISAF General Council’s vote (a close 19-17) to drop windsurfing from the 2016 Olympics. Inside, Nevin Sayre has shared a letter to US Sailing, demanding that the organization explain the reasons behind its votes. Sayre also goes on to offer anecdotal evidence and experiences as to why he feels that kiteboarding isn’t quite ready for Olympic Prime Time, even by 2016.
'What is U.S. Sailing’s plan to safely include kitesurfing into Junior Sailing Programs, the Olympic Youth Development Team, Youth Worlds Team, the Junior Olympic events, and all the pathways that leads to the Olympics?' queries Sayre. 'There are over 110 reported kitesurfing deaths in the last 10 years. That should be compared with an excellent safety record in windsurfing’s 40-year history. I am personally very lucky not to be on the fatality list, and suffered a head wound with 150 stitches from kitesurfing. And I consider myself a decent kiter, and knowledgeable about the wind. There is no way I would allow my kids to kitesurf.'
And finally, be sure to check out the latest happenings from the Grand Slam Match Racing Series, which plans to hold four consecutive ISAF Open Grade 2 events this year in the U.S. 'What began last year as a series to promote the growth of match racing in the U.S. has grown to be a major international series,' said Dawn Riley, Oakcliff Sailing's Executive Director and a highly accomplished skipper. 'The requests for invitations for our event have come in early and hot, with only a few spots remaining.' Get the full story, inside.
May the four winds blow you safely home,