Years of preparation culminate when Oracle team USA begins its defense of the 34th America’s Cup. The team will face Emirates Team New Zealand on Saturday, September 7, on San Francisco Bay in the first two races of the Finals. Race 1 begins at 1:15 pm PT, with race 2 following at 2:15 pm PT.
Oracle team USA in action
'We’ve got one thing to focus on, and that’s the racing,' said skipper and helmsman Jimmy Spithill. 'To win this trophy, it is one of the hardest things you’ll do in your life. But, it is so rewarding. When you coordinate such a big team together and it all works, it’s hard to put words to it.'
On Tuesday, Oracle team USA’s 11-member crew was unveiled, and yesterday Spithill announced they would be racing on the team’s second boat.
After winning the 33rd America’s Cup, Oracle team USA elected to bring the event to San Francisco Bay, the place tactician John Kostecki calls home.
'There’s no doubt about it, it’s fantastic to have this America’s Cup here on the water where I grew up sailing,' Kostecki said. 'When we won this trophy three years ago, it was a dream come true for me, and when the team chose San Francisco, it was incredible.
'Now it’s time to race and it’s actually happening here in San Francisco,' Kostecki continued. 'As we all know, and as we’ve seen in the Louis Vuitton Cup, it’s an incredible venue with great sea breezes, tricky course conditions, with different currents that are changing every day and winds that are changing every day. You can view the race course from all over the Bay Area. So, personally, I think it’s one of the best venues in the world for this event and we’re all looking forward to getting out there, putting on a good show, and hopefully winning a sailboat race.'
Rounding out the race crew are: grinder Shannon Falcone, grinder Rome Kirby, wing trimmer Kyle Langford, grinder Jonathan Macbeth, jib trimmer Joe Newton, grinder Gilberto Nobili, grinder/strategist Tom Slingsby, grinder Joe Spooner and grinder Simeon Tienpont.
'The entire team is focused on racing,' said general manager Grant Simmer. 'The 130 members of Oracle team USA – sailors, boat builders, designers, technical support and business administration – stand behind the 11 men on the water.'
The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first team to capture nine points. For Oracle team USA, it means winning 11 races due to a penalty assessed by the Jury, where Emireates Team New Zealand will need to win nine races.
'We don’t shy away from a challenge or a fight – we’re ready to get out there,' Spithill said. 'We can win the America’s Cup – that’s our plan. I think we’ve got the team to do it, we’ve got a fantastic boat – and that’s exactly what we’re going to do come this Saturday. We’re going to get out there and give everything we can.'
In the U.S., the America’s Cup Finals will be broadcast live on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Racing on Saturday and Sunday will be live nationally on NBC from 1:00 -3:00 pm PT. Internationally, the match can be viewed in more than 170 territories. Live racing and replays can also be viewed on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).