These are interesting days to be a sailor or Cup fan living near (or visiting) San Francisco. According to the latest reports, Oracle team USA, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are now all sailing their AC72 catamarans on San Francisco Bay, some two weeks after Artemis’ crash, which tragically led to the death of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson (36; GBR). As of this writing, the only word from Artemis Racing-the official Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup-was a thin statement from CEO Paul Cayard about the team’s go-forward plans.
'Artemis Racing is back to work,' said Cayard. 'We will only race if our sailing team believes they are safe racing AC72s. This confidence will be dependent on many criteria, one of the most important of which is the new safety criteria and rules changes that the America’s Cup organizers and competitors will adopt.'
Also AC-related, the Regatta Director Iain Murray recently presented his own '2013 America’s Cup Regatta Director Recommendations' during a meeting of the four competing teams, ahead of the recommendations that are being put together by the Golden Gate Yacht Club's America’s Cup Review Committee. These include a move to lower the sailable wind range by ten knots (dropping from 33 to 23 as a max wind limit for a start), as well as the suggestion that the sailors are given enhanced safety kit, including PLBs and a better oxygen supply, should they get trapped below the water.
According to the latest reports, the teams seem content with this proposed move. 'The committee has done some remarkable work in only six days,' said ENTZ boss Grant Dalton. 'The details still have to be worked on but we see nothing that will adversely affect the event.'
Get the full AC34 scoop, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for more AC drama, as it unfurls.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Corinthian crews are preparing for the 68th-annual 186-mile Block Island Race, which takes the fleet from Stamford Yacht Club down the length of Long Island Sound, around Block Island and then back to Stamford. For many East Coast sailors, this race marks the official start to the 2013 distance-racing calendar and is a fantastic way to shake off the mental cobwebs that accumulate from shoveling too much snow and trimming too few spinnakers.
Racing commences on Friday evening, with the fastest boats expected back in Stamford on Saturday afternoon/evening.
2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta Day 3 - Nacra 17 action - Thom Touw
And in One Design circles, the Delta Lloyd Regatta is in full swing in Medemblik, Holland, where top international sailors have gathered for one of the biggest OD events of the year. As of this writing, American sailors are doing well in the Men’s and Women’s 470 classes, as well as the RS-X Women’s class. Racing continues through Saturday, so stay tuned for more news, as it breaks.
Blue fleet, race 4 - 2013 Finn World Masters - Claire ADB and BFA
Also inside, don’t miss the latest news from the Fin World Masters, the Sperry-Topsider/ICSA Women’s Semi-Final Championship and-for those with a penchant for racing on distant waters-the Tahiti Pearl Regatta.
May the four winds blow you safely home,