It’s official: Team Korea has paid its entry fee to race in the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup (which serves as the America's Cup Challenger Series), bringing the total number of teams competing for the 34th America’s Cup to four Challengers and one Defender, Oracle Racing.
'I'm very happy to see Team Korea take this next step,' said Iain Murray, the Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup. 'The challenges faced by any America's Cup team are immense; it's just a massive project, so to see the Korean team tick another box and move to the next stage is very encouraging.'
Team Korea’s next hurdle to competing for the Auld Mug will be to design and build an AC72 wingsail-powered catamaran, which will be used to contest the Cup next year on San Francisco Bay. The New Zealand-based design team of Bakewell-White Yacht Design is on the case, but the team must then build the major components in their own country. As of now, it’s not clear whether the team will start with the 'basic AC72' plans and a 'standard' wingsail from Southern Spars and modify, or if they will be starting from scratch.
The 'ratified' entry deadline for the Louis Vuitton Cup is August 1, 2012, and two more teams—China Team and Energy Team—are believed to be close to securing the necessary funding and sponsorship required to mount a respectable challenge. Get the latest reports inside this issue, and stay tuned for more, as it becomes known.
Meanwhile, in offshore circles, Volvo Ocean Race shore teams are busily making preparations for the final in-port race, as well as the final offshore leg, which will take teams from Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland. But unlike other VOR stopevers, the rules originally forbade teams from hauling or removing their rigs in Lorient; this proved problematic for Telefonica, Groupama and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, all of whom suffered breakage on the storm-tossed leg that took teams from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient. Several teams requested permission to make sound repairs onshore, and a recent ruling by the International Jury permits this, but at a price of two points—a penalty that no team is willing to make lightly at this late stage.
Also offshore, Joe Harris and co-skipper Tristan Mouligne sailed an impressive Newport-Bermuda race aboard Harris’ Class 40, GryphonSolo2, finishing solidly ahead of all other Class 40s. 'We never eased up,' said Harris. 'I hold the single-handed record in the Bermuda 1-2 Race from Newport to Bermuda at 62 hours and 37 minutes, but sailed that in the 50ft Gryphon Solo. We beat that time today by more than two hours in a ten-foot-shorter 40 footer. We never slowed down. We blew out two spinnakers, but kept on going. Totally soaked and stoked.'
The final positions are being determined in the Newport-Bermuda Race as boats continue to finish, but based on provisional reports, Carina, Rives Potts 48-foot McCurdy and Rhodes sloop, has won the coveted St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy. If Potts’ corrected time holds up to later finishers, it will be her second consecutive win and her third overall St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy victory.
Impressively, the story goes deeper: 'The boat just got back from a circumnavigation and racing in the world’s top races three weeks ago,' said Potts. My son and nephew did a great job of getting Carina ready for Bermuda. In a race like this, preparation is one key to winning. Crew work is another and we had a family-based crew working together.' Stay tuned for the latest news, as it unfurls.
Finally, be sure to get the latest news from the ongoing Hobie 16 and Hobie 20 North Americans, the Clipper around the World Yacht Race and the wrap-up report from the Melges 24 Nationals, as well as the latest reports from the 2013 Laser Worlds, which—it has been announced—are being held in Oman.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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1:00 AM Wed 20 Jun 2012GMT
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