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08 Mar 2014
Cupdate, VO65s, and GP monohulls—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
Team Australia Sydney Harbour - Andrea Francolini - 35th America's Cup 2017 Andrea Francolini
While the 35th America's Cup is still a long ways out on the horizon, much behind-the-scenes maneuvering and planning is currently happening in this world, especially on the antipodean side of things. Team Australia, the Challenger of Record for AC35, announced yesterday at their christening ceremony for their first AC45-class catamaran that Matthew Belcher, 2013 Rolex ISAF World Sailor of Year and an Olympic champion, will serve as the team's skipper, ending months of speculation.
'I'm humbled and excited by this honor,' said Belcher. 'It's an incredible opportunity and I'm looking forward to the journey, coming aboard and working together with the crew to bring the Cup back to Australia.'
Not surprisingly, the team's top brass is also thrilled with their new hire. ‘Indeed, as a country, we've proven we can produce some of the best sailors in the world, and now it's our turn to build an all-Aussie winning team skippered by one of the most awarded Australian sailors,' said Team Australia's CEO, Iain Murray. 'Mat is a remarkable example of an elite athlete and one of the most accomplished sailors that Australia has ever produced.'
Team Australia is reportedly spending the next several days training aboard their AC45 on Sydney Harbor, practice racing against Oracle Team USA, who is spending their late winter/spring training DownUnder. Get the full report from Team Australia, including the names of several additional crewmembers and more news from their AC45 launching ceremony, inside this issue.
Speaking of Australia and high-performance sailing, the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship is currently taking place on Sydney Harbor. According to reports, inside, the 'Gotta Love it 7' team is looking strong. 'Gotta Love it 7', it will be remembered, is skippered by Seve Jarvin, and, if successful at this regatta, Jarvin's race record at the JJ Giltinan will match that of Iain Murray (Team Australia's CEO, who was a keen 18-footer sailor from 1977 to 1982). Inside, get the full report, as well as a great image gallery from this highly competitive regatta.
Meanwhile, in the world of offshore ocean racing, word is quickly reaching the street that the new Volvo Ocean 65s-while five feet shorter, LOA, than their predecessors-are plenty quick, especially when it comes to racking up daily mileage runs. According to reports, Team Brunel, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, recently managed to reel off 540 miles in a 24-hour period, which is just shy of the 24-hour monohull record (596.6), which was set by Ericsson 4 during the 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean Race.
While this new reference point was set during a training run between the UK and the Canary Islands, fans of the race can expect to see bigger daily runs once the teams get completely dialed on the new boats. Inside, check out the photo gallery of Team Brunel's training sessions, which they are running out of Lanzarote.
Closer to home, the 52 US Championships are currently taking place in Miami. While the airs were light during the regatta's first day, 'Quantum Racing' managed to make the most of the conditions to secure a thin early lead.
52 US CHAMPIONSHIP
52 Super Series Martinez Studio/52 Super Series
'Both races were good,' reported Terry Hutchinson, 'Quantum Racing's' skipper. 'First race we had a pretty good race going with 'Rán Racing'. We were able capitalize when they set a little too deep at the top mark first time and we rolled them.'
As for the day's second race, 'Quantum Racing' was also in top form. 'Second race we executed a good start and going out to the right side in a big left hand shift and both boats–us and 'Azzurra'–made nice gains on the group. It was then [all about] who beat who to the top mark... Big picture, though? A great day, hats off to our guys on board for managing their way through a difficult day.'
Get the full report from the 52 US Championships, inside this issue.
Race 9.1: Day 4 - Clipper Round The World Yacht Race 2013-14 Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
Also inside, get up-to-date reports from the Clipper Round the World Race and the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, and be sure to check out the latest news from the Coast Guard Foundation.
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