Thursday, 14 July 2011
AC45 sailing. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
by Aleph Team media
ALEPH Equipe de France will take delivery of their AC45 on or around the 12th July when a whole shipment of containers arrives at Lisbon docks fresh from Auckland. Several of the other challenger teams will also receive their boats at that time too. The ALEPH team will muster at the special dockside compound organised by ACEA and, with the AC45 builders Core Builders, start the first part of the sports project, assembling their AC45 from the components that arrive in the various containers.
This step is expected to take the rest of the week such that a fully assembled AC45 will be ready to have its colours applied on Monday and Tuesday 18-19 July. ALEPH’s race helmsman and multihull expert Alain Gautier will arrive in Lisbon on Wednesday, along with a pile of new headsails and spinnakers fresh from the North Sails loft floor in Vannes. If all goes well the crew will take the boat for its first sail sometime on Thursday 21st July.
For the following week the crew will practice sailing the boat and coming to terms with the solid wing sail, the manouveres required to get the boat around the short courses quickly. On Tuesday 25th July skipper and sports director Bertrand Pacé will arrive in Lisbon fresh from skippering the Tour de France a la Voile entry Sud de France, which is sailing under the colours of the Aleph Yacht Club.
The full sailing team will then continue training for another week together and on the Thursday 27th July move the boat from the Lisbon docks base to the Cascais America’s Cup World Series regatta centre where each of the teams have their base.
Racing in the first competition of the 34th America’s Cup cycle is scheduled to begin over the weekend of the 6-7 August. The first two days of the regatta will feature fleet racing with all ten AC45s lining-up for the first time ever. History will be made that day and the 34th America’s Cup will be well and truly underway.
The ACWS regatta continues for a week in Cascais with match racing scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday and then a final fleet race on Sunday 14th. But it doesn’t really end their as the crews will be busily packing away their AC45s ready for shipment up to Plymouth in England ready for training again and then the second ACWS regatta during the week of the 10-18 September.