At the America’s Cup World Series in Naples, Ambassador David Thorne experienced the first day’s racing watching the two races up close from the support boat of America’s Cup champion Oracle Racing.
'I would like to express my gratitude to the America’s Cup organizers and the beautiful city of Naples for hosting this prestigious event. It is a great honor to see this exciting racing, so I also sincerely thank Oracle for this opportunity. My grandfather sailed an America’s Cup defender many years ago, so sailing is in my blood,' said Ambassador Thorne.
His family connection is with the yacht Whirlwind, a trialist for the defense of the America’s Cup in 1934. Oracle Racing is the official defense team for the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco.
As a keen sailor himself, the ambassador was disappointed when the sea conditions prevented him from competing in Race 1 aboard the Oracle Racing boat skippered by America’s Cup champion James Spithill.
With the wind blowing over 20 knots and a rough sea, Regatta Director Iain Murray made the prudent choice that no additional crew would be carried in the 'Guest Racer' position aboard the race yachts. But prior to the race the ambassador got an opportunity to go aboard for a short time and experience the AC45 race boat firsthand.
Nonetheless, the ambassador donned full sailing gear and, having witnessed one race from the water aboard the Oracle Racing support boat, he asked to stay out for the second race.
The America’s Cup World Series comprises the 2011-12 and 2012-13 championships, staged in cities around the world and raced for in high-speed, next-generation AC45 Class wingsailed catamaran sailboats. It features the best sailors and fastest boats in the world.
The ACWS is a precursor to the America’s Cup itself, the oldest trophy in international sport and an iconic event which origins as far back as 1851.
The America’s Cup finals, staged in Oracle Racing’s home city of San Francisco in September 2013, will be contested in even bigger and faster AC72 class boats, but like the AC45 there is a special provision in the rules for one 'Guest Racer' to be aboard each boat in every race.
'To have the U.S. ambassador visit our team and race on our boat made it a proud day for us,' said Spithill.
The Naples regatta is the third event of six in the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series. Previous rounds were held last year in Cascais (Portugal), Plymouth (UK) and San Diego (USA). After Naples the 2011-12 championship moves to Venice (Italy) next month and then Newport, RI (USA) late in June where the championship will be decided.
America's Cup website
by Oracle Racing
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6:16 PM Wed 11 Apr 2012GMT
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2011-12 America's Cup World Series
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