Thursday, 9 May 2013

America's Cup : Barclay - Eight Weeks and Counting to the Summer of Racing

ORACLE TEAM USA's second AC72. Image copyright ORACLE TEAM USA/Guilain Grenier

by America's Cup media

With Emirates Team New Zealand’s hospitality structure (the “Waka”) taking shape at Pier 30/32, you really start to get the feeling the 2013 America’s Cup is almost upon us.  In a couple of weeks, the ETNZ AC72s arrive with an anticipated first day of sailing during the third week in May.

Luna Rosa’s AC72 is already here.  The team is temporarily based in Alameda and I understand they are looking to sail mid-month.  We anticipate their move to Pier 30/32, alongside Emirates Team New Zealand , around the end of May.

Getting a handle on Artemis Racing’s program is a little more difficult. I predict their new second boat is nearing completion and will be arriving in San Francisco shortly (very shortly!) and sailing around the end of the month.  Given the caliber of  the Artemis Racing team I would expect them to have made significant advances following the lessons learnt in their informal line-ups against ORACLE TEAM USA two months ago.

If the above turns out to be right, we have the exciting prospect of each team’s ‘race boat’ being on the Bay by early June.  What a spectacle that will be! Each team will be trying to gauge the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Observers will be searching out new developments on the boats, in particular ORACLE TEAM  USA, given Russell Coutts’ recent comments in New Zealand.

As seen in the race schedule on , the Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series, commences on July 7 and the America’s Cup Finals  on September 7.  However, this is but one part of the overall Summer of Racing.

The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup commences runs from September 1-4 and features 10 teams from 8 countries fighting it out over four days of fleet racing.  The Red Bull youth crews (18 to 24 years of age) arrive on August 8 and are given their AC45s on August 12.  From then on expect feverish activity by these guys as they seek to tame the AC45 – a feat that took several ‘senior’ teams months, not weeks, to master.

Created as a career path for the America’s Cup stars of the future, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup has captured imagination around the world. The caliber of the teams has impressed everyone who has seen them in action. Each day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup regatta, the competitors’ boats will be moored off Marina Green as they were in August 2012 for the America’s Cup World Series San Francisco.

Our vision has been to make the 2013 America’s Cup an open and accessible celebration of our sport. And a chance to show its diversity. So the America’s Cup Village (Marina Green) will also see youth teams sailing various other classes in the morning.  Flying Juniors, Optimists, 29ers and Open Bics will be represented.  We are fortunate to have the Bay Area Yacht Club Alliance assisting with this program.
America‘s Cup Village will be a temporary home to the Bay Area Association of Disabled sailors (BAADS) who will be racing there several times over Summer of Racing.

The afternoons at America’s Cup Village will feature a program of 49ers, F18 cats, foiling Moths, windsurfers, kitessurfers and 18ft Skiffs. This program will kick off in July and build through September.  With the support of US Sailing, we hope to see the US Sailing team participating in the 49er class with up to 4 boats.  This will be part of a larger collaboration between America’s Cup and sport’s national body in the USA  over the Summer of Racing.

In the days between racing during the America’s Cup Finals, the America’s Cup Superyacht regatta will take place.  Around noon on those days, we will all be treated to six or seven superyachts under sail power traversing the Bay.  When I say ‘super’ some of these yachts cost what an entire three year America’s Cup program does. They are superlative. What a sight that will be!

In around eight weeks it all starts. What a summer of racing we have in store for us.

America's Cup