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Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 4

America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 4

'ORACLE Racing - ORACLE Racing AC45 Sea trials'    Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing.com ©    Click Here to view large photo

Oracle Racing's newsletter for 4 April 2011 covering the latest entries and America's Cup World Series and more.

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Monday, April 04, 2011
34th AMERICA'S CUP

Fifteen set for ’Frisco

Entries for the 34th America’s Cup accelerated with a flurry of last-minute activity on deadline day last week, March 31, resulted in 15 teams from 12 nations entering the competition set for the 2011 and 2012 World Series events and the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Finals set for San Francisco in the summer of 2013.

The 34th Cup is set to look wholly different than any before it with a completely reinvigorated format and slew of innovations.

Featuring wingsail catamarans measuring 72 feet overall, the event will be sailed in the confines of San Francisco Bay, a natural amphitheater with some 2.5 million people living along its shoreline amid Alameda, Marin and San Francisco counties.

The number of entries was beyond the expectations of many, except for perhaps Larry Ellison, the founder of ORACLE Racing. At the press conference at City Hall in early January announcing San Francisco as the venue for the 34th Cup, Ellison expressed optimism that 14 to 16 teams would sign up for the 34th America’s Cup. At the time there were only four entries, yet Ellison’s comments have proven prescient.

Watch the video: 34th America’s Cup San Francisco Press Conference, Part 2

Of the 14 challengers who've entered, 12 have been validated while the others are being checked against qualifying requirements. Some of the vetted teams have yet to publicly announce their challenges.

The latest to announce was Italy's Venezia Challenge. Other countries with teams that have announced are Sweden, New Zealand, France, China and Australia. In the spate of media stories following the close of the initial entry period, the Associated Press highlighted Korea and Canada as other possible contenders.

“It’s obviously an acceptance of the new vision of the America's Cup,” said Iain Murray, regatta director for America’s Cup Regatta Management. “People must be liking what they see, which is the World Series, the catamarans, the 45s, new rules. They can see all that stuff now. And there's more to come, with television production, and maybe just the event being in San Francisco. There's a package around the America's Cup of activity and people that’s never been there before.”

At a follow-up press conference in Plymouth, UK, America’s Cup Event Authority chairman Richard Worth compared the transformed Cup as the F1 of the water. ORACLE Racing skipper James Spithill, participating from Auckland via video conference, said the America’s Cup can finally stand up to the F1 comparison when he enthused about the switch to wingsailed catamarans.

“The America’s Cup has been compared to F1 for years,” said Spithill. “That comparison has held true in design, engineering and technology. Now the America’s Cup has the boats to live up to the comparison.”

Read the articles: New-look America’s Cup opens with World Series
Entries surge for transformed America’s Cup
Venezia Challenge is an official challenger for 34th America’s Cup
Photo: Ivor Wilkins/www.americascup.com

34th America’s Cup Entry List

Defender: ORACLE Racing/USA
Challengers: Aleph-Équipe de France
Artemis Racing (Sweden)
China Team
Emirates Team New Zealand
Energy Challenge (France)
Mascalzone Latino (Italy, Challenger of Record)
Team Australia
Venezia Challenge (Italy)
Four challengers – Confirmed/Confidential
Two challengers – In vetting process

ACWS

Portugal to host first event of World Series

The coastal town of Cascais will play host to the first America’s Cup World Series event, scheduled Aug. 6-14. Cascais, about 30 kilometers west of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, has hosted many world championship sailing events and now it’ll host the first event of the ACWS.

The ACWS has been created to make America’s Cup racing a regular feature of the calendar. A champion will be crowned after the first and second seasons, the first of which will begin in August and runs through to mid-2012.

The series this summer will feature the AC45, a one-design, wingsail catamaran created to fast track teams’ knowledge of catamaran sailing. The 45s are a scaled version of the AC72, the catamaran that will be featured in the America’s Cup. The first AC72s are expected in the water early next year.

Cascais, originated in the 12th century, is a suburb of Lisbon. The Portuguese capital boasts a population of approximately 2.5 million people. Belém, a parish of Lisbon, is famous as the port of embarkation for many of the world’s great explorers, such as Vasco de Gamma, who set sail for India in 1497.

After the Cascais event in August, the ACWS moves to Plymouth, England, for Event No. 2, scheduled Sept. 10-18. Plymouth, also, has a long history associated with grand-prix racing. Plymouth hosts the start of the singlehanded transatlantic race and also is the finish port for the legendary Fastnet Race.

Watch the video: America’s Cup World Series comes to Plymouth

And if you’re looking for seafaring heritage, Plymouth is loaded. In 1588 Sir Francis Drake insisted on finishing a game of bowls on the Plymouth Hoe before setting off to engage the Spanish Armada. And in 1620 the Pilgrims embarked on their epic transatlantic journey aboard the Mayflower to settle a colony in America.

Event No. 3 of the ACWS is scheduled for San Diego, Calif., sometime between mid-October and early December. San Diego hosted three America’s Cup matches from 1988 to 1995 as well as many world championship regattas.

Racing is expected to be held on San Diego Bay, maximizing the racing’s exposure to downtown San Diego. Some races were of the 1994 America’s Cup Class World Championship were held on the bay and viewed by large crowds lining the piers and downtown waterfront.

“We have selected venues that reflect both the prestige of the America’s Cup, as well as can bring the action on the water to those on land,” said Richard Worth, chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “Similar to San Francisco, all of the inaugural AC World Series venues enable spectators to watch the racing live, which will help expose this great sport to more people worldwide.”

Additional venues and dates for the ACWS will be announced in the future.

Read the articles: America's Cup regatta coming to Plymouth and will bring £10m boost
Plymouth plays host to America’s Cup event in September
America’s Cup comes to Plymouth
Photos: The waterfront of Cascais (top, Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com), the Arc of Triumph in Lisbon (middle, Osvaldo Gago/fotografar.net), the Plymouth Hoe (bottom, James Breeden).

Australia bids for ACWS leg

Australia could be in the running to stage at least one leg of the new America's Cup World Series sailing competition starting later this year.

Both Sydney and Perth are believed to have registered interest in staging a leg early next year, with the former looking at January and the latter at February.

The inaugural 2011/12 series will be contested by 45-foot catamarans, while the second season will feature the 72-foot versions of the same boat that will be used for the 2013 America's Cup.

Read the article: Australia bids for America’s Cup leg

LOUIS VUITTON CUP

Artemis Racing wraps testing period

Swedish challenger Artemis Racing wrapped up its first testing period aboard its AC45 catamaran last weekend, concluding a 10-day period of sailing.

Skipper Terry Hutchinson has thrown himself at multihull racing as the Cup makes its shift to catamarans, and has found some early success in the singlehanded A Class. To him, the AC45 is a physical boat that places high demand on crew work.

“The boat is powerful, difficult to boat handle, yet quite controllable with the wing. We have been out in 25-plus knots and the wing adds quite a bit of performance over the soft sail, but also gives you quite a bit more control.”

Watch the video: Artemis Racing on the AC45

The team’s tactician, Iain Percy, is also making the conversion from monohull to multihull racing. “I really enjoy the boats,” said Percy. “I enjoy fact you have to work hard to get maneuvers done. Not too much time to think, a lot more doing.

“The physicality of these boats is fantastic,” Percy continued. “That’s something I was behind when they started talking about that side of it, less people, harder work. It’s really good fun, you just grunt it around.”

Read the articles: Terry Hutchinson on the AC45
Artemis Racing concludes AC45 training session
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com

ACEA UPDATE

Event authority awards camera contract

The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) last week awarded the contract for specialized cameras for the 34th America’s Cup to SIS LIVE, Europe’s largest outside broadcast (OB) and uplink supplier.

SIS LIVE will design, build and deliver High Definition (HD) agile cameras and digital RF microwave links for the 34th America’s Cup. The multi-million pound contract will see SIS LIVE supply the on-board camera systems over a three-year period to ACEA.

SIS LIVE will provide a fully managed integrated technical solution for HD agile cameras and RF microwave links. This includes the remote cameras on-board yachts, camera feeds and audio from yachts to shore, chase boats, umpire boats and helicopters’ camera feeds. The systems are being specially designed to be as ergonomic and lightweight as possible to minimize their impact on the racing yachts, while generating the high quality HD pictures needed for the global television and online coverage.

Read the articles: SIS LIVE to supply on-board camera systems
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com

ACEA opens San Francisco office, hire HR exec

America’s Cup officials opened their San Francisco office Friday. The 17,050 square foot office at 160 Pacific Avenue is two blocks from the waterfront and about seven blocks from Piers 27-29, which will serve as the America’s Cup Village, a congregation point for race-goers to watch the event, shop and eat.

The event authority said it plans to hire as many as 120 people in its San Francisco office over the next two years. Those new hires will be in charge of lining up sponsorships, televising the races, marketing, merchandise sales and the myriad other commercial aspects of the 34th America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup comes to San Francisco in 2013. There will also be racing events on the bay in 2012 that lead up to the America’s Cup.

In other news, America’s Cup officials have hired a human resources director in San Francisco, signalling that the racing organization is preparing to hire staff as it gets ready for the 2013 competition.

Ron Coverson was named director of HR for the America’s Cup Event Authority, the business arm of the sailing body.

Coverson had been Director of Human Resources for Stanford University’s Athletic Department for seven years.

Read the articles: America’s Cup opens San Francisco office
America’s Cup hires Ron Coverson as human resources exec


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