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America's Cup: Defender's first AC72 wingsail is delivered

'Arrival of the AC72 wing main element in San Francisco'    © Guilain Grenier / Team USA    Click Here to view large photo

The 12-story tall wingsail and hull crossbeams for the first of Oracle Racing’s first of two AC72 yachts aimed at the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco were delivered to the team today.

The components arrived in Oakland from New Zealand on the Cap Vilano by shipping partner Hamburg Sud before being delivered to the team’s base at Pier 80 on the west side of San Francisco Bay.

'It’s a major step in the course of our campaign to win the America’s Cup again,' said Jimmy Spithill, the youngest skipper to have won the America’s Cup.

Due to the length and height of the load, the top and bottom halves of the 130-foot (40m) long wingsail were trucked through Oakland to Interstate 880 southwards to San Jose. A northerly route on the I-280 followed before arriving at Pier 80 in South San Francisco.

The smaller crossbeams, which will link the two hulls of the AC72 catamaran, were trucked on a more direct route across the Bay Bridge to Pier 80. They will be assembled with the two hulls currently under construction at Pier 80.

The wing and crossbeams were constructed by Core Builders Composites in Warkworth, New Zealand. Under competition rules, the hulls must be built in the country a team represents.

When joined together, the wingsail-powered AC72 will have a speed potential of 40 knots (46mph/74kph). 'I guarantee it will stop the traffic,' predicted Spithill when the boat goes testing on the Bay.

Under America’s Cup cost-capping rules, teams can’t launch their AC72s before July 1, and Oracle Racing will have its boat sailing in August to start more than two months of testing on San Francisco Bay.

'After the hundreds of hours of design and thousands of man-hours of construction, it’s a significant milestone to see these components become reality,' said design team member Dirk Kramers, who observed the arrival of the components with other members of the design team.


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3:47 AM Wed 13 Jun 2012GMT


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