The big news on the America’s Cup scene is the announcement that the previously planned U.S. events for the 2013 America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) have been cancelled. While the locations of these events were never officially specified, they were slated for May 28-30 and May 31-June 2, respectively, and it was anticipated that the regattas would take place in New York City. As it currently stands, the only ACWS event that will be taking place in 2013 will occur in Naples, Italy (April 16-21).
According to reports, the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) cited the close calendar proximity between the previously scheduled [New York] events and the start of what the ACEA dubbed the 'summer of sailing', which will start on July 4 with the Louis Vuitton Cup and continue through the conclusion of the 34th America’s Cup, which starts on September 7. Both events, of course, will take place on San Francisco Bay using the newly launched AC72 class of wingsail-powered catamarans.
'Our number-one priority has to be the events scheduled for San Francisco this summer,' said ACEA chief executive officer, Stephen Barclay. 'San Francisco’s spectacular-but-demanding bay will ensure a memorable America’s Cup.'
Also in Cup news, internationally respected AC designer Duncan MacLane recently went on the record saying that despite Oracle Racing’s capsize setbacks, he still gives the Defender of the 34th Cup a better than a 60-percent chance of successfully defending the Auld Mug in September.
'Oracle has an incredibly strong team and with tons of experience,' said MacLane. 'At the early stages I would have said that the chance of someone beating the U.S. was extremely slim, but right now I would say that it is maybe an even game.' Get the full Cup report, inside this issue.
Francois Gabart, Macif - 2012 Vendee Globe - Vincent Curutchet / DPPI
Meanwhile, in the solo and unassisted nonstop-around-the-world Vendee Globe race, current leader Francois Gabart ('Macif') continues to build and hold his now triple-digit lead over his second-placed rival, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire).
Jean Pierre Dick, Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe - © JM Liot / DPPI / Virbac-Paprec Sailing Team
Interestingly, it was third-placed Jean-Pierre Dick ('Virbac-Paprec 3') that saw the most action in the past few days, as he had to contend with a busted soft shackle that’s used to attach the forestay to the deck. Also of interest is that Bernard Stamm ('Cheminées Poujoulat')-who has endured a series of unfortunate set-backs in the past week-is seeking to re-fuel after almost running out of the precious liquid that’s used to make the even more precious electricity that all raceboats need.
Bernard Stamm, Cheminees Poujoulat - 2012 Vendee Globe - Vincent Curutchet / DPPI
Also inside, check out the latest from the ZHIK CST Moth Australian Championships, get the latest scoop on the newly coined 'Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 Worlds', and learn about Stanford University’s juggernaut victory in the Rose Bowl Regatta.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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2:54 AM Wed 9 Jan 2013GMT
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