The America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) Naples event has officially begun sounding its starting and finishing guns as the eight teams racing aboard their wingsail-powered AC45 catamarans compete in the final ACWS event of the 34th America’s Cup. Given that Italian-flagged Luna Rossa has two boats sailing in this hometown event, crowds can look forward to some red-hot nine-boat racing action against a beautiful cultural and geographical backdrop.
'All of our focus has been on the AC72, but on the days that we are not sailing on the AC72, we have been able get out on the AC45s,' said Tom Slingsby, an Olympic Gold medalist and the skipper of 'Oracle Team USA Slingsby'. 'We’ve had a few training sessions over the last couple of weeks which have been really important,' said Slingsby. 'And, I know to expect huge crowds – last year was the biggest crowd I’ve seen in sailing, so I’ll be ready for that, which will hopefully take away some of the nerves.'
To date, the fleet has engaged in some friendly skirmishing, including a 21-mile 'scenic race' (aka the Coast Parade Trophy), which served as a charity fundraiser. Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) was the quickest horse around the course, followed by skipper Chris Draper’s Luna Rossa Piranha and Oracle Team USA Slingsby.
Get the full multimedia blast from the warm-up event, and stay tuned for the latest ACWS Naples updates, as they become known.
Also AC related but unfurling Stateside, Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for AC34, has released a video of their first-generation AC72 out sailing on San Francisco Bay following major modifications. In the video, helmsman Loick Peyron talks about how these changes have helped the team’s speed and power, especially their second-generation wingsail. While the team is still awaiting the launch of its second-generation boat in order to get up on its foils like the other AC72 designs afloat, Peyron says the team’s original boat is now more relevant to the AC34 conversation. More, inside.
And in One Design racing, Valentin Zavadnikov's Team Synergy has won the prestigious Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series event, which just took place in Gaeta, Italy. Inside, get the full media debriefing, as well as some great photo galleries, compliments of ace shooter Carlo Borlenghi.
Meanwhile, in match-racing circles, Simone Ferrarese has won the prestigious Congressional Cup (aka the 'Congo Cup'), scooping victory away from Ed Baird. 'It was the best win of my life,' reported Ferrarese after winning this prestigious trophy. 'Taking the Crimson Blazer here has been my dream.' Interestingly, Ferrarese was the only semi-finalist to have not previously won the Crimson Blazer, but this didn’t stop the 25-year-old Italian from winning top honors.
And finally, don’t miss the wrap-up report from Les Voiles de St. Barth, check out the latest news from the upcoming ISAF Sailing World Cup (April 22-27) and get the latest scoop from the Argo Group Gold Cup (October 8-13).
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 2:33 PM Tue 16 Apr 2013 GMT
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