Oracle Racing, Team USA for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, returned to San Francisco Bay Tuesday, commencing the first of two training sessions.
The team took its two AC45 wingsail catamarans out for practice with full crews. The wind strength built into the teens in the afternoon and the session was welcomed by the sailors.
'It was a cold day but a beautiful day. The sun was shining and we had a great breeze in the afternoon,' said team skipper Jimmy Spithill. 'It’s good to be back in town and get back into sailing. The shore guys have done a great job getting the boats in shape and I think everyone is looking forward to getting wet again.'
The team’s American tactician John Kostecki, originally from the Bay area, agreed.
'It was an unusually nice day for winter sailing on San Francisco Bay,' said Kostecki. 'We ended up having a nice strong seabreeze pretty similar to the summertime breeze, and it was good to get both boats out and slamming around.'
Two years ago today Spithill and Kostecki were but two of the many celebrating Oracle Racing’s victory in the 33rd America’s Cup off Valencia, Spain. In about 18 months, on Sept. 7, 2013, the 34th America’s Cup Match is scheduled to begin between Oracle Racing’s Team USA and a yet-to-be determined challenger.
While a year and a half is a long time, the match is virtually around the corner for team members.
'It’s definitely crunch time,' said Kostecki. 'Time’s valuable. The Cup’s just around the corner and we’re definitely feeling the heat.'
'It’s amazing how quick the time has gone,' Spithill said. 'It doesn’t feel like two years ago we finished the last one and the next is a year and a half away. Everyone’s happy we’re back at it and going forward, but it’s a case now of making the correct decisions as we go forward.'
The training session will conclude on Feb. 24, and a second two-week session is planned.
Follow Oracle Racing Online at: www.oracleracing.com