Oracle Team USA sailors Kyle Langford and Tom Slingsby are currently racing on Lake Traunsee in Austria in the new GC32 catamaran class.
While racing on short courses on an Alpine lake may appear to be a long way from racing for the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay, Langford says the distance isn’t as far as you might think.
'It’s great to be sailing these boats,' he says. 'The GC32 is a foiling, four-person catamaran so it’s extremely relevant to the America’s Cup and what we’re working on for that. We’re learning new skills on new boats and adapting to new boats is only going to help us as we launch our AC45s and eventually the AC62.'
And this isn’t the only sailing outside the Cup classes the guys are doing.
'In July the sailing team be doing a ‘foiling camp’ in Lake Macquarie in Australia and we’ll be sailing Moths and Phantom catamarans
,' Langford says. 'Again, the idea is we want to keep learning about foiling inside out - everything about it. So we want to sail some smaller boats and really get the hang of it.'
The foiling camp will allow many members of the sailing team who normally wouldn’t be steering or trimming during America’s Cup racing to get their hands on the tiller and get a feel for the timing, sensations as the boats lift out of the water and start flying. Langford says this can only help the team when it moves back to the bigger boats.
'It’s clear this next America’s Cup is going to be all about foiling and that’s why it’s such a focus for us. We simply have to be as skilled as we can be in foiling boats and so we’re taking the time now to learn anything we can about it.'
After the first two days of racing in Austria, the AEZ Sailing Team with Oracle Team USA’s Tom Slingsby and Kyle Langford was in first place with the Luna Rossa team close behind. Eight crews are competing.
See more of the GC32 Cup in Austria here