Plenty of behind-the-scenes maneuvering continues to go on in the world of America's Cup sailing, where it was recently announced that French solo sailor and multi-hull expert Loick Peyron will rejoin Artemis Racing as a member of the team's design group and as a helmsman. Peyron, it will be remembered, played a critical role with 'Alinghi' in the 33rd Americas Cup and with 'Artemis Racing' in AC34. In addition, Peyron has amassed an impressive number of solo and shorthanded sailing victories on the IMOCA 60 and ORMA circuits.
'I have been involved in two America's Cups, but always just for the final year of the campaign,' said Peyron. 'What's great about today is that I'm with a team I really like, at the beginning of the game, when there is a blank piece of paper and everyone's heads are burning with excitement.
'With ‘Alinghi' I had the chance to spend the final 12 months with a team that had dominated the America's Cup for a number of years; and with ‘Artemis Racing', it feels like I'm now involved with a team that will be the dominant force of the future,' continued Peyron.
Peyron's Artemis Racing teammates were also pleased to hear the news of his early return to the team. 'It's great that we have been able to retain so much talent from the last campaign, to keep the consistency,' said Nathan Outteridge, the team's primary helmsman. 'To be able to tap into Loïck's unrivalled experience of multihull sailing, and his connection not just with the sailors but with the designers as well, is a big skill to have within the team'.
SAILING - Team Australia AC45 - Sydney, Australia
ph. Andrea Francolini/Team Australia Andrea Francolini
Also Cup related, the Sydney-based training sessions involving Oracle Team USA and Team Australia have-not surprisingly-started to become proper racing sessions, now that the Aussies have gained a bit of experience sailing their AC45 wingsail-powered catamaran.
'We're slowly building our team up,' said Mathew Belcher, Team Australia's skipper. 'The 10 days with Oracle will really give us a chance to get as many sailors into the boat as possible and for myself to come into the team and find out exactly where we are.'
The American-flagged team is in a much stronger position, experience-wise, but the hard reality is that it's now been almost six months since the final guns of AC34 sounded, and even America's Cup champions need to practice. 'It's a great venue,' said Tom Slingsby, Oracle's sailing team manager and the team's tactician, about sailing in Sydney. 'Sailing AC45s in Sydney Harbor hasn't been done before and it's an amazing backdrop. We've had a couple of great days of training against the new Australian team and it's been going well.'
And speaking of Oracle Team USA, Larry Ellison, the team's principal, recently went on the record with Julian Guthrie, author of the book, 'The Billionaire and the Mechanic', to share some of his wide-ranging and still-solidifying visions for the 35th America's Cup.
'We're going to start with two years of globe-trotting, Formula One-style racing in AC45s,' said Ellison about the lead-in period prior to AC35. 'AC45s are inexpensive to build, transport, and sail. You can throw an AC45 and its support equipment and chase boats into a couple of containers and ship them to regattas all over the world: Shanghai, Tokyo Bay, Marseilles, the Port of Rome, anywhere.'
Get the full AC35 update report from Artemis Racing, Team Australia and Oracle Team USA, as well as the rest of the Ellison interview, inside this issue, and stay tuned for more AC news, as it unfurls.
New York to Barcelona Nico Martínez / FNOB
Also inside, don't miss the latest reports from both the Extreme Sailing Series and the World Match Racing Tour, and-for offshore sailors-be sure to read about the upcoming Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race (June 1).
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