Wednesday, 8 June 2011
On board one of the ORACLE Racing AC45s. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/www.oracleracing.com
by Tim Jeffery
This month, ORACLE Racing returns to its home waters of San Francisco Bay for the first time since winning the America’s Cup in February 2010.
Throughout the month of June ORACLE Racing will be training in two of the AC45 wingsail catamarans that will be used in the America’s Cup World Series through 2012.
The team’s training session coincides with two other notable firsts leading to the summer of racing for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013:
o First on-the-water action since San Francisco was named 34th America’s Cup host city in January 2011
o First time the next generation of wingsailed catamaran Cup boats will sail off the San Francisco city front
“These new boats have excited everyone who has seen them or sailed on them,” said ORACLE Racing skipper James Spithill. “They are cool-tech, high-adrenaline machines.”
For 160 years, the America’s Cup has been contested in monohulls. The introduction of multihulls is intended to transform the event into a spectator friendly competition while also heightening the action with yachts that can sail more that twice the speed of the wind.
“The switch to multihulls has left the slow boats in the past,” added Russell Coutts, CEO of ORACLE Racing. “The new boats are just one element of a total transformation of the America’s Cup. The excitement is higher, racing more physical and challenging and rules simpler. Best of all, here in the Bay, the action is right in front of the public.”
ORACLE Racing will train in the vicinity of the intended America’s Cup racecourse. The team will support the event organizers (America’s Cup Event Authority) with public awareness activities starting June 13 and work with the independent race officials (America’s Cup Race Management) to continue trialing pioneering electronic systems first tested in New Zealand in April.
“We also want to get some good solid training on the waters where the Cup will be contested in the summer of 2013,” commented tactician John Kostecki. “We need to raise our readiness for the inaugural America’s Cup World Series, which opens in Cascais, Portugal, in early August.”
The team will sail a pair of AC45 catamarans. Created by the ORACLE Racing Desgin Team, the multihull will be raced in World Series regattas around the world in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, the competition changes-up to the larger and immensely powerful AC72 wingsailed cats used for the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Selection Series and America’s Cup finals.
About ORACLE Racing
James Spithill (AUS) is the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup; he was 30 at the time of victory on Feb. 14, 2010 ... CEO/Afterguard Russell Coutts (NZL) is an Olympic gold medalist and the most successful skipper in the history of the America’s Cup ... Tactician John Kostecki (USA), is an Olympic silver medalist, America’s Cup winner and victor of the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race ... Owned by Larry Ellison, ORACLE Racing was formed in 2000 and defeated Alinghi (SUI) in February 2010 off Valencia, Spain, to win the 33rd Match ... The yacht, USA 17, is the fastest boat in America’s Cup history ... The 90-foot by 90-foot trimaran is planned to go on public display on the San Francisco waterfront during the build-up to the 34th America’s Cup.