The Cup world is atwitter with speculation that the Italian-based Luna Rossa sailing team will make a last-minute entry into the 34th America's Cup. According to Richard Gladwell's article (inside), the rumor began flying after Prada SA made an announcement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that they had been 'invited' to sponsor Luna Rossa in the next Cup, to the tune of 40-million euros—what Gladwell termed a 'good starting platform' for developing a competitive AC72 class catamaran program.
Furthermore, in separate Cup news, a new America's Cup World Series (ACWS) event has been announced for April of 2012 in Naples, Italy. Then, in May, the ACWS circus rolls on to Venice for a second Italian ACWS event. Be sure to check out Gladwell's article, and pay special attention to the reason for Prada SA's announcement in Hong Kong.
In speed-sailing circles, Paul Larsen is making progress in his goal to rob kiteboarding legend Robert Douglas of his outright world speed record. Just recently, Larsen managed to hit 54 knots aboard his half-plane/half-boat speed machine, a personal best for both Larsen and Vestas Sailrocket 2, and precariously close to Douglas' 55.65 knots. 'This boat will do the business. It WILL beat the current world record. I know that now. The question is how much we can get out of it. Triple rum and cokes in a pint glass are the drinks for a new best speed.' Get Larsen's full report, inside this issue.
Andres Soriano - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Offshore, in Volvo Ocean Race circles, Team Sanya has announced that Andres Soriano will be filling the role of Media Crew Member (MCM), taking over from Frankie Leonard, the team's original MCM. Prior to getting hired for MCM, Soriano had been working on Team Sanya's shore team. 'I just thought that if you don't ask you don't get,' said Soriano. 'I just said to Moose [ed note: skipper Mike Sanderson] ‘I'm sure there are some big names out there, but I'm interested in the job. I don't get sea sick, I love the ocean, I've wanted to do the race since I was a kid.' Soriano recently graduated from New York University with a degree in communications. Ironically, Soriano's former roommate, Nick Dana, is the MCM aboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, so expect some good-natured competition between these two camps. 'We're very competitive people and with Nick and I doing the same job I think we're going to be pushing each other,' said Soriano. Get the full story, inside.
Morgan Freeman. National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame (NSHOF)
In Olympic circles, US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee recently announced the class of boats that will be used for the 2012 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth Worlds Qualifier (January 13-16, 2012). The National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame has made some big announcements, the leaders of the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 are pressing hard, with some familiar names populating the leaderboard, and the South Atlantic super-highway has opened up for the leaders of the Global Ocean Race. Get the full stories, inside.
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