Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Cupdates and an offshore tragedy—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 13 Mar 2013
High and dry aboard Oracle’s USA-17 training in San Francisco Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA © http://www.oracleteamusamedia.com/
Any sailor who has ever set hand to tiller has at least daydreamed of taking the helm of a wingsail-powered AC72-class catamaran. (Granted, of course, the vast majority of us simply don’t have the boathandling skills to drive something this twitchy, but why let fact stand in the way of a nice daydream?) While these foil-borne wonders are commanding international sailing headlines these days, the fact remains that precious few people on the planet have actually been handed the keys to one of these sophisticated wind machines.

Fortunately, Sail-World’s publisher, Rob Kothe, sat down with Oracle Team USA’s Jimmy Spithill for a two-part Q&A session that offers us 'everyman' sailors a chance to learn what life on the helm of an AC72 is really like, from the highs to the lows.


'It was a huge learning experience,' said Spithill of the team’s October 16, 2012 capsize on San Francisco Bay. 'I reckon the biggest thing to take from that is seeing how people react to a tough situation in basically the aftermath. It was a big test and it was pretty rewarding to see how our shore team, our boat building team the engineers how they dealt with it. From that point of view we have been tested more than any other team. It is a big statement for our competitors out there.'


As for where teams should be placing their efforts, design-wise, Spithill was forthcoming. 'You can’t just focus on one area,' he said. 'You really need to make sure you don’t have any weak links. Obviously foiling is very important. You can’t also disregard the sails or the wing. All the crew work—it all adds up.' Be sure to check out the first parts of Kothe’s report, inside this issue. Part II will be released in the next few hours, it shows the Oracle camp are getting quite irritated by the Kiwis and Spithill unloads as an Australian can.


Also Cup related, more great 'Am-Cam' footage of the AC72s have emerged, shot both on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf (where Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge are practicing) and on San Francisco Bay where the Defender, Oracle Team USA, has been training alone since Artemis returned to the shed a few weeks ago.

Much closer to home, tragedy struck this weekend during the Islands Race, which was hosted by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club and the San Diego Yacht Club, when James Gilmore’s 'Uncontrollable Urge' (a carbon-fiber Columbia 32) lost her rudder and went aground on the rocky shore of San Clemente Island. The USCG arrived on the scene as quickly as possible but, tragically, crewmember Craig Thomas Williams didn’t survive. Get the full report, inside, and stay tuned to the website for more information, as it emerges.


Also inside, be sure to get the wrap-up reports from the Melges 24 Atlantic Coast Championship and the Calema Midwinters, and don’t miss the preview reports from the Salt and Speed competition, which will pit the world’s fastest kiteboarders on a course in Salins-de-Giraud, France to determine bragging rights.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

Zhik Dinghy 660x82Southern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
Caleb Paine on winning a US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award
I talked with Caleb Paine about his recent US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his Olympic plans. On August 16, Caleb Paine broke the longest-running medal ceremony dry spell for American-flagged Olympic sailors since the 1930s when he captured a bronze medal in the Finn class at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I recently caught up with Paine on the phone to talk about his proud US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his future sailing plans.
Posted on 10 Mar
A Q&A with Lloyd Thornburg about his love of fast boats and racing
I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore. Not too many world-class sailors hail from the high deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, but Lloyd Thornburg isn’t your average sailor. The 37-year old investor flies the New York Yacht Club’s burgee from his fleet of raceboats that have included a Gunboat 66, a MOD70, and a Farr 280. I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore.
Posted on 8 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar
A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb