Given the 2012/2013 America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) upcoming season’s opener, there’s plenty of Cup-related news this week. For starters, J.P. Morgan Asset Management announced a new sponsorship program with the newly minted J.P Morgan Ben Ainslie Racing. The team, headed by its namesake four-time Gold medalist Ben Ainslie, is due to debut at next week’s regatta (August 21-26).
It will be really interesting to see how the Olympic ace scales-up from the singlehanded Finn class to the fully crewed and wingsail-powered AC45 catamarans. The first of the season's two San Francisco-based ACWS events will feature boats from eight different teams, hailing from eight different nations.
While Emirates Team New Zealand has certainly sailed their share of hard yards aboard the wingsail-powered AC45s, the team’s problem for next week’s regatta, says skipper Dean Barker, is that they’ve understandably been spending their time sailing and tinkering with their brand-new, scaled-up AC72. 'In the end the America’s Cup is all about racing and we need a fast boat,' said Barker. 'The difficult thing is to get the balance right on developing the AC72 and racing the AC45.'
And the Defender, Oracle Racing, has announced their plans to launch and begin testing the first of the two AC72s that they plan to build in preparation for the 34th Americas Cup by the end of the month. According to a recent press release, the hulls were built in the team’s base on San Francisco’s Pier 80, while other components (e.g., the crossbeams and wingsail) were built in New Zealand at Core Composites. 'I can’t wait to see the new boat in the water,' said team skipper Jimmy Spithill. 'The boat looks pretty cool in the building shop. The first sail will be a very special moment for the entire team.' Get the full AC scoop, inside, and stay tuned for more, as it unfurls.
Also inside, be sure to get the latest from the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which is currently taking place in Cowes, UK. This storied event is easily one of the world’s biggest regattas, with ballpark 1,000 boats competing and the RC firing-off some 40 different races a day, across all 17 classes.
Great action on Alpha Course during Chester Race Week - Chester Race Week 2012 - Tim Wilkes
And finally, get the full list of the 2012 inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame; check out the reports from the Chester Race Week (Chester, Nova Scotia) and get the latest news from the US Youth Sailing Champions (Cascade Locks, Oregon).
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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11:55 PM Thu 16 Aug 2012GMT
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