Oracle Racing News - #2 - covering the buildup in Auckland and SFO

ORACLE Racing AC45 Sea trials - Sail # 1
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome to ORACLE Racing's round-up of news from the team and 34th America's Cup


ORACLE Racing crews ready to hone AC45

ORACLE Racing concluded last week with its first two-boat training session. While the team was running two AC45s – its own and the chartered Mascalzone Latino – for most of the week, Friday was the first day they lined up and dialed-up the intensity. And unpleasant weather added to the atmosphere.

Watch the video:High wind work-out

The two ORACLE Racing-branded AC45s will be prominent this week on the Hauraki Gulf when America’s Cup-style sailing the likes of which it hasn’t seen for eight years returns to the body of water this week with four AC45s expected to conduct training sessions.

The two ORACLE Racing crews will likely see those of Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. The teams, rivals down the road, are currently in friendly mode as everyone gives their new machine a whirl.

“We’re going to really start grinding away with our sailing,” said ORACLE Racing skipper James Spithill. “We’ve got the two boats going now with other teams out on the water; I think we’ve all be looking forward to this.”

“Everybody’s in it together and we’re all helping each other out,” said team tactician John Kostecki.

Watch the video:ORACLE Racing new AC45

In other stories below, Kostecki and trimmer Ross Halcrow talk about their first sail aboard the new AC45 wingsailed catamaran; ORACLE Racing unveils its new livery; and a photo-feature records the onboard crew action.

Read the articles: Rosco and JK first impressions

An athletic turn

The new look of ORACLE Racing

Photos:Gilles Martin-Raget/ORACLE Racing


Challengers fast out of the blocks

Artemis Racing launched its first AC45 over the weekend, which was christened by Kylie Jameson, wife of Phil Jameson, a former member of ORACLE Racing. Shortly afterwards, Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson and a crew of four began what the team plans as a two-week trialing session.

“We’ve now had two full days of sailing and I can safely say that the AC45 is quite different than anything we’ve sailed before,” Hutchinson said. “It is also powerful and physically demanding, so it should make for some interesting racing.”

The two teams are expected to be joined by Emirates Team New Zealand. Kiwi boss Grant Dalton finally came public last week with the team’s entry, after Emirates Airlines committed to renew a sponsorship that has been in place for nearly 10 years.

Dalton said the team had paid an initial fee to America’s Cup Race Management to secure access to a supplied one-design AC45. The yacht and wing sail were delivered to the Emirates Team New Zealand base within the past two weeks for assembly by sailing and shore crews.

Watch the video:Emirates Team New Zealand launches AC45

The stories below recap the week for the challengers, including Team New Zealand going public and Artemis Racing launching and sailing its AC45.

Read the articles: Good news for Team New Zealand yachting bid

Artemis Racing Team Update: AC45 Maiden Sail

Artemis Racing begins testing team’s AC45

Artemis Racing hits the waters

Photos:Gilles Martin-Raget/; Chris Cameron/Emirates Team New Zealand (below)


Emirates Team New Zealand goes public; eighth team accepted, more expected

The revelation last week of Emirates Team New Zealand as Challenger #2 was a welcomed announcement for the America’s Cup. Although the second team to enter the Cup when the entry period opened last November, Emirates Team New Zealand had remained silent with its intentions while team CEO Grant Dalton worked to raise the necessary funds. Dalton cautions that his work is far from complete and that they have a long way to go, but Team New Zealand is a well-established brand and its entry is good for the America’s Cup community.

The deadline for the first entry period is 10 days away, March 31, and America’s Cup Event Authority now confirms the acceptance of a seventh challenger, as yet undeclared, bringing the total number of teams for the 34th America’s Cup to eight: including defender ORACLE Racing and challengers Mascalzone Latino (Challenger of Record), Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Aleph Racing, Energy Team, Team Australia, plus the one still-private challenge.

The latest entry has hopes at ACEA buoyed for upwards of two additional challengers before the March 31 close of the entry period. Additionally, there’s a late entry period that extends through the end of April.

Related reading: Emirates renews commitment to Team New Zealand

Photo:Gilles Martin-Raget/

Gary Jobson talks about America’s Cup opportunities

Gary Jobson has long been considered ESPN’s voice of the America’s Cup. When the all-sports network first broadcast live America’s Cup racing from Fremantle in 1986-87, it was Jobson’s experienced voice relaying the happenings to tuners-in around the world. Jobson won the 1977 America’s Cup as tactician for skipper Ted Turner, and currently is president of US SAILING.

Jobson delivered an interesting presentation at the forum Unfurling Opportunities, the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay. San Francisco will play host to the 34th America’s Cup in 2013 and the forum was intended to make local businesses aware of the opportunities that lay ahead of them.

Watch the video:Gary Jobson – Unfurling Opportunities

“I look at the America’s Cup with very wide eyes and there’s a lot that can be done with the trophy. To get something out of this you need to be prepared to put something in. There’s no free lunch, and you have to be clever, engaged and put something in. if you do, the rewards will come back. Because of all the sporting events in sailing, this is the only one that reaches beyond the normal audience. The America’s Cup has that ability to reach beyond the passionate sailor.”

Jobson has seen plenty of America’s Cup racing and believes the move to catamarans will produce exciting racing.

“The America’s Cup has always been about speed, and these catamarans are going to be pretty fast,” Jobson said. “A 72-foot long, 46 wide cat with a 130-foot wing sail … they have the potential to go fast. I have a gut feeling we’ll see crashes along the way. It’s horrible, but great for television.”

San Francisco readies to put on a show for America’s Cup

The Marin Independent Journal last week published an editorial wholly backing the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay. Marin County is located across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. The Marin Headlands are the northern boundary of the entrance to San Francisco Bay, and the county includes the waterfront towns Sausalito, Belvedere and Tiburon, all great sailing communities.

The editorial opened by saying, “MARIN WILL have front-row seats for the 2013 America's Cup races and bayfront towns already are making preparations for the world's premier sailing event.”

The editorial followed on the heels on the forum Unfurling Opportunities, the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay. The forum was presented by, a community action group that aims to partner those who desire to sail with those who have the wherewithal. Among the presenters was John Craig, Principal Race Officer for the 34th America’s Cup.

Craig gave the first public presentation in San Francisco about what the course area for the Cup races would look like. He's planning on using every available inch of open water in the main bay and working with all the stakeholders to make sure that works.

Watch the video:John Craig – Course area and venues for America’s Cup 34

The shoreside venues are complex and need to fill a lot of different roles - not the least is providing vantage points to see this exciting race without getting out on a boat. The 72-foot catamarans will be visible from many locations on Marin and San Francisco. We want to make sure that everyone who lives here knows the America's Cup is taking place on the Bay.

A preview of that racecourse could be offered in late April when America’s Cup Race Management, the independent body established to conduct racing for the America’s Cup, and the America’s Cup Event Authority stage dress rehearsals April 25-29 and May 2-6 of on- and off-water events associated with an America’s Cup World Series.

These test periods will focus on refining all of the courses, support systems and management procedures necessary to stage each AC World Series event and provide a superior experience for both the teams and spectators worldwide.

The first test session will include race course configurations that enable tight, tactical racing as well as umpiring and race management that allows for instant calls during fast-paced competition.

The second session, led by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), will provide the first test of the next-generation broadcast images and graphics that change the way people will watch sailing on television.

The folks in Marin County will have special interest in the dress rehearsals. As the editorial concluded:

“In addition to rolling out the red carpet for well-heeled visitors who want to watch the world's most expensive racing sailboats compete in San Francisco Bay, local officials also need to do everything in their power to keep this big event from turning into a daily nightmare for everyone who lives or works here.

“It is encouraging to see local officials in Southern Marin get an early start on planning for what will be a historic sporting event in the Bay Area.”

Read the articles: Local cities wise to start planning for America’s Cup

America’s Cup Organizers to Shakedown Systems

34th America’s Cup Entries

There are currently eight teams (the defender and seven challengers) entered in the 34th America’s Cup:

Defender: ORACLE Racing/USA

Challengers: Mascalzone Latino/ITA (Challenger of Record)

Artemis Racing/SWE

Emirates Team New Zealand/NZL

Aleph Racing/FRA

Energy Challenge/FRA

Team Australia/AUS

Challenger #7 – Private

Key Dates

America’s Cup World Series 2011-2012

Event One: July 16-24, 2011

Event Two: August 13-21, 2011

Event Three: September 17-25, 2011

Event Four: October 15-23, 2011

Event Five: December 10-18, 2011

Event Six: February 17-25, 2012

Event Seven: April 14-22, 2012

Event Eight: May 19-27, 2012

(Dates subject to change)

Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Selection Series -- San Francisco

July 13-September 1, 2013

34th America’s Cup -- San Francisco

September 7-22, 2013

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