Joining the Club—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
25/04/2011 - Auckland (NZL) - 34th America's Cup - AC45 test event - Day 1 - Oracle 1 capsize and redress Oracle Racing - copyright
It's been a big week for the AC45 class. First off, Oracle Racing's Jimmy Spithill joined an infamous club at the conclusion of day one of the America's Cup Regatta and Media Trials, which began this week in Auckland, New Zealand, when he capsized the team's AC45 wingsail-powered catamaran. Thankfully, the crew escaped unscathed and the boat only sustained minimal damage to her wing. 'We were pushing really, really hard,' Spithill explained. 'We ended up having a capsize, we just weren't quite set up right for that run. But it was a good experience. I think everyone will go through this... I don't think it will be the last time.' Be sure to check out Oracle Racing's video and still images of the flip, in this issue. Also, don't miss Richard Gladwell's event report from the America's Cup Regatta and Media Trials to learn more about what it's like to sail these powerful cats in a racing format.
Speaking of AC45s, Team China became the fourth AC34 challenger to sail their new wingsail-powered AC45 catamaran this week in Auckland, New Zealand. Check out the video footage and the still photos of their first go aboard their sporty white cat. In related class news, six talented New Zealand Opti sailors got the ride of a lifetime this week when they were given the chance to sail aboard one of Oracle Racing's two AC45s. 'To my surprise, skipper James (Jimmy) Spithill invited me to take the helm as we entered the Hauraki Gulf,' wrote young Tim Adair of his experience. 'Shortly after, I put in the first tack of the day! I was very nervous but with Jimmy by my side, my nerves were calmed and I started to feel like this is what I could do in the future. It was an amazing piece of machinery/art, you could feel every little adjustment made by the crew, with the helm surprisingly light and ultra-responsive.' More inside.
Also in this issue, two must watches are Richard Gladwell's pieces on the America's Cup Competitors Forum, which was held this week in Auckland. America's Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray and Principal Race Officer John Craig were on hand, as were several sailing teams and international journalists, with the conversation centering on what the racecourses in San Francisco could look like, as well other important details. Then he talks to Stan Honey about the Umpiring systems.
Puma's Mar Mostro Puma Ocean Racing
In Volvo Ocean Race circles, both Puma Ocean Racing and Telefonica have unveiled their new Juan-K designed Volvo Open 70s this week. While the two boats share the same basic lines plans, each team has made their own modifications based on their expected conditions. Not surprisingly, both boats feature the same sort of fifth-generation IACC-inspired cockpit that the Farr-designed Telefonica boats sported in the last race, as well as plenty of other go-fast refineries.
Lastly, don't miss this issue's reports from the Semaine Olympique Française. And, as its the weekend, spend some time scrolling through Ingrid Abery's image galleries from this year's Antigua Sailing Week. Bluewater sailing and plenty of breeze—what's not to love?
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