Tuesday, 12 July 2011
- ORACLE Racing shore team member Andrew Henderson summed up last week the best: “We’re all packed up and ready to go. Next stop: Cascais.”
- Cascais, Portugal, that is and the inaugural event of the America’s Cup World Series, scheduled. Aug. 6-14
Members of ORACLE Racing help wetsand one of the team's two AC45s entered in the America's Cup World Series, San Francisco, July 2, 2011. Image copyright Guilain Grenier/ORACLE Racing
by Tim Jeffery
ORACLE Racing has two crews – one skippered by Jimmy Spithill and the other by Russell Coutts – entered in the global competition that marks the official beginning of the lead-up to the 34th America’s Cup in 2013 and includes the eight challengers.
“Cascais is going to be the first time that ORACLE Racing, as the defender, goes up against the other challengers, so we’re particularly motivated to win,” said John Kostecki, tactician for Spithill.
“We’ve got to beat many good teams that are out there,” Kostecki continued.
“Emirates Team New Zealand with Dean Barker, Artemis Racing with Terry Hutchinson, then there’s Loïck Peyron from France. We have a Chinese team that’s new to America’s Cup racing, so there are a lot of tough teams out there.”
The AC45 wingsail catamaran is easily disassembled and shipped in containers. Last Wednesday the team placed three containers on a tractor trailer for a seven-day trek across the U.S. to the east coast port of Savannah, Georgia.
The containers carry the team’s two catamarans plus spare parts, sailing gear and other equipment. From there they’ll be shipped to Algeciras, Spain, and then be loaded onto trucks again for an 8- to 10-hour trek to Cascais.
“It’s a tight schedule, but we’re pretty used to it,” said Chris Sitzenstock, in charge of shipping logistics. “The ship should arrive in Spain on July 28 and then the truck in Cascais on the July 29 or 30.”
The Cascais AC World Series will consist of four events over nine days: the Cascais America’s Cup Open, the America’s Cup 500 Speed Trial, the America’s Cup Match Racing Championship and the America’s Cup World Series Cascais Championship – a winner-takes-all race, which is the showcase competition of the Cascais event scheduled Aug. 14.
“It’ll be great to be in Cascais, it’s a fantastic venue for sailing,” said Murray Jones, wingsail trimmer for Coutts. “I’ve sailed there quite a few times before and it’s always been really enjoyable. I think we’ll have some awesome racing. It’ll be tricky. It’ll be quite puffy, shifty; we’re sailing quite close to shore. It’ll be a great regatta.”