This week’s big news in the world of the America’s Cup is the recent unveiling of Oracle Team USA’s second-generation AC72 wingsail-powered catamaran. The boat was pulled out of the shed on Monday for some load testing, with the team’s official christening ceremony taking place on Tuesday. The team’s second AC72 is also called 'USA17', but the new steed (dubbed 'USA17-2') features red war paint on her aggressive-looking bows, as well as myriad refinements both large and small.
'A big day for Oracle Team USA,' said skipper Jimmy Spithill, who is no doubt looking forward to starting the work-up process on the new wind-powered speed machine, which has already begun. 'A huge effort by the designers and shore/build teams.'
Oracle Team USA is now the only team to have two AC72s afloat, which will no doubt be a massive advantage for the American-flagged team, especially given that-unlike the three challengers-they won’t benefit from some solid battle-hardening in the Louis Vuitton Cup. (N.B., Emirates Team New Zealand dismantled their first-generation AC72 to finish building their second-generation boat, and while Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record, is expected to launch their second-generation AC72 soon, their first generation stable mate doesn’t fully foil, thus reducing its utility as a sparing partner.)
Stay tuned to the website for the latest news from Oracle Team USA’s camp, as it unfurls, and be sure to spend some time staring at the great images of 'USA17-2', inside this issue.
Finn - 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV
And in One Design news, the action has been serious at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères, where U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is off to a slightly sticky start in the light airs that have so far dominated conditions. Day Two was the last day of qualifying rounds, and American sailors have advanced to the gold fleet in the Women’s 470, the 49er, the Women’s RS:X and the Laser classes.
'We started off pretty poorly,' said Zach Brown, who qualified for the 49er gold fleet with Fred Strammer, beating out three other American-flagged teams. 'We got caught tacking a little too much in the middle. We knew we needed to force ourselves back into the race. At the top we did a jibe set and that bought us boats back, and we kept the boat rumbling on the second beat. One tack over and a couple more boats. That gave us enough to pull into the gold fleet. Glad we made it through this trying period and now we’re excited for breeze the rest of the week.'
Franck Cammas and SophieTurckheim, Nacra 17 - 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV
More, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for the latest news from the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères, as it becomes known.
Also inside, learn about the International Laser Class Association’s pick for the location of its 2015 Laser Men’s Standard and the Masters Worlds, and speed freaks, be sure to check out reports from Australia’s upcoming ANZAC Weekend Regatta, which will feature plenty of great action in the 18-foot skiff class. And lastly, be sure to check out ISAF’s statement regarding the current state of play in the Laser Class.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 10:51 PM Tue 23 Apr 2013 GMT
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