TEAM ORACLE – With two-boat testing program on the horizon, the team re-activates their first AC72 following a few weeks of upgrades.
TEAM ORACLE – With two-boat testing program on the horizon, the team re-activates their first AC72 following a few weeks of upgrades.
TEAM ORACLE – Takes its brand new wingsail for a first test in San Francisco Bay. [ © Amory Ross / ORACLE TEAM USA ]
TEAM ORACLE – Has contributed to a ‘Built for Speed’ exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
The team has an AC45 on display at to the exhibit, which explores some of the ocean’s fastest animals and the fascinating adaptations—from streamlined body shapes and retractable fins to piston-like muscle – that contribute to their speed.
Built for Speed is located in and around the Academy’s central piazza. The exhibit includes scientific specimens and models of some of the ocean’s fastest swimmers, as well as one of the fastest boats on the Bay, the AC45 catamaran.
The America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project is also at the museum. The HOP is participating at the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife events to draw awareness and a call to action around our three areas of focus: marine debris/plastics, sustainable seafood, and marine protected areas.
On opening night, the Healthy Ocean Project promoted its Pledge Blue campaign with a Pledge by Photo. We asked Nightlife participants to make a personal pledge to change one behavior that affects the marine environment, such as pledging to use a reusable water bottle, use public transportation more often, etc. Upcoming events are: June 6, July 18, August 15.
FROM A READER – I flipped my cat monday at Canyon Lake , was a beautiful flip, crew member Demetri did a gainer 12 feet up in the air off the wing and lost his sunglasses , hello no floatie croakie, and his son Costa head butted me and took me off boat to a turtle position and was hell to get mast back in the air exhasting. Do you think Uncle Larry Ellison would let me take this one out for a spin. I have experience you know flipping cats….. Terry L
AMERICAS CUP – On Thursday, less than 10 hours after a no-sailing recommendation period expired, three America’s Cup teams resumed training on San Francisco Bay.
For ORACLE TEAM USA and Luna Rossa, sailing again meant a return to their
training programs on the Bay. For Emirates Team New Zealand it was their first
sail on the Bay since arriving en masse as a team earlier this month.
Check out the photos for the day HERE
TEAM ORACLE – On the same day ORACLE TEAM USA launched its second AC72 in San Francisco, a new chase boat – YANMAR2 – was unveiled. Yanmar provides engines and drive systems for the team’s Naiad chase boats.
TEAM ORACLE – Eye candy on the San Francisco Bay
AMERICAS CUP – Artemis Racing and ORACLE TEAM USA have been using their turbo-charged, foiling AC45s to get match fit on San Francisco Bay.
As ORACLE TEAM USA coach Philippe Presti says, this is a risk-free way to get race experience in foiling boats, without putting the AC72 program on the line.
“It’s going to be pretty hard to sail two AC72s in race mode so close to the Cup,” sailing coach Presti said. “There’s a lot of risk with that. So to have the AC45s in foiling configuration allows us to push hard with in-house racing and against other competitors like Artemis Racing.”
“It’s good to race another team,” said ORACLE TEAM USA trimmer Joe Newton. “You can never in-house put on the same pressure as you do racing another team. It’s completely different. We’re looking at how the boats work, seeing what they do to go fast and what’s not so fast. So just trying to take little bits away that we can translate to the AC72.
For Artemis Racing, the training is a chance to experience foiling catamarans while waiting for their second AC72 – the foiling one – to come on stream.
“We’ve been sailing the foiling AC45 for about a month,” said Troy Tindill, the boat captain for the Artemis Racing AC45 foiling boat. “We’ve just had another week against ORACLE TEAM USA and the boat is going pretty good and it’s been a great training tool.”
“We’re learning a lot about the boat with foils in the pre-start,” agreed ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “We haven’t done that at all with the big boat. And it’s always nice to go against another team because you’re under pressure and you don’t want to lose.”
TEAM ORACLE – With the America’s Cup World Series schedule now complete, ORACLE TEAM USA turns to their modified AC45’s for a comprehensive in-house racing program, in addition to finding some time to foil against the Challenger of Record across the Bay, Artemis Racing, during some valuable training exercises. [ © Amory Ross / ORACLE TEAM USA ]
TEAM ORACLE – Speaking over the weekend, ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill says his team can’t let up on its development push following the launch of its second AC72.
“Quite simply, we’ve got to develop the fastest 72 on the Bay and we have to keep this process going,” he said. “I think we’ll be doing this until the last race of the America’s Cup. We’ll be doing everything we can to keep modifying, keep improving, and that’s what’s great about this team. We have a proactive build team and engineering team. You give them a challenge and they grab it with both hands and run with it.”
ORACLE TEAM USA launched its second AC72 one week ago and had it up on foils on its maiden sail. The boat has been in the shed since then as the team serves a Jury penalty that restricts it from sailing an AC72 for five days. The American defender can return the 72 to the water on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Spithill says he’s looking forward to seeing all three challengers sailing on San Francisco Bay. While Artemis Racing has been training out of Alameda, both Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge have been based in Auckland, New Zealand. But that’s all about to change as they relocate to the America’s Cup venue this month.
“For us, it will be fantastic to have a couple more boats out on the Bay,” Spithill said. “We look forward to lining up against them. We’ve been doing a little bit of work with Artemis and that’s been really beneficial for both of us. Right now, I think it’s too early to say who is a threat. Until we line the boats up on the water we won’t really know.
“But as far as our sailing team goes, we’ve got to take a lot of confidence from our results in the America’s Cup World Series,” he continued, enjoying an opportunity to needle the opposition. “The other teams haven’t been able to deliver which would be quite concerning for them.”
ORACLE TEAM USA crews have won all three of the 2012-13 match racing titles at the America’s Cup World Series and in Naples, Tom Slingsby finished what Spithill started, winning the fleet racing season championship for the team.
Spithill did have one piece of friendly advice for the newcomers to San Francisco Bay – don’t underestimate how quickly you run out of room when you’re sailing at 40+ knots.
“The thing about the Bay is how small it is in these boats,” he said. “You don’t have the luxury of just running for miles if you get in trouble or you need to sort something out. It can happen very fast here. But they’ve spent a lot of hours on their boats, they’ll adapt quite quickly and pretty soon I think it will become pretty crowded out there.”
TEAM ORACLE – Boat 2 spread her wings on the San Francisco Bay earlier today.
TEAM ORACLE – Officially launched the team’s second AC72 today, April 23, from the team base at Pier 80 in San Francisco. Helmsman Jimmy Spithill led the team and audience in a toast after Oracle Chief Marketing Officer Judy Sim broke a bottle of champagne across the bowsprit. The boat was then lowered into the San Francisco Bay before docking out for the first time.
“It’s an awesome day. We’re all very, very excited to get it out on the water,” said Spithill. “We hope to develop the fastest AC72 that will hit the Bay. There’s been a lot of energy, a lot of hours, put into this boat from the entire team. Now, it’s up to the sailors, along with the support of the rest of the team, to get out there and really try to get the most out of this boat.”
Spithill recognized the months of work put into the design and build of the boat in preparation for the launch. “We have the best, most committed shore team, build team, design team, and the entire team is behind us, supporting us,” he said. “They’re the first to arrive, the last to leave, work 7 days a week, just to provide us with a reliable, race-winning boat, ready to go.”
Named ORACLE TEAM USA 17, the boat is the second AC72 launched by ORACLE TEAM USA and marks the start of the next phase in the team’s campaign. Training commences on the new boat this week, and by late spring the team plans to have both AC72s on the Bay as they prepare to defend the America’s Cup this September.
“There’s been an enormous amount of work that has gone into this boat,” said CEO Russell Coutts during the launch. “It represents extreme performance and extreme engineering. It represents a significant improvement in performance over where we’ve been before. And probably most importantly, this represents the boat that is going to defend the America’s Cup, for America, in America.”
The event included remarks from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who noted that this is a week of celebration as the Port of San Francisco marks its 150th anniversary tomorrow.
Bay Area native and ORACLE TEAM USA tactician John Kostecki described the thrill of sailing on the San Francisco Bay.
“We’re going fast, probably faster than a car on the Golden Gate Bridge,” Kostecki said. “Upwind we’re doing speeds of around 20 knots, downwind we’re doing speeds over 40 knots. It’s really going to be interesting to take into account the current, that is ever-so-changing, and the winds that are ever-so-changing here on the Bay. That’s what keeps San Francisco an interesting and exciting place to race sail boats because it’s always different every day.”
The day’s sailing session was cut short as winds were blowing above 20 knots. The team plans to be back out on the water later this week.
“It’s all coming together,” said trimmer Joey Newton. “It was a tough time after the capsize, and we felt like we were a little behind the other teams, and I think we were. Now, it really feels like we have everything pointed in the right direction, and we’re starting to make pretty big steps. We’ve got high hopes for this boat, and I’m sure it’s going to be fast.”
TEAM ORACLE – On the final day of racing at the America’s Cup World Series in Naples, Italy, ORACLE TEAM USA won the match race championship. Skipper Tom Slingsby and crew also finished second in the fleet racing, giving ORACLE TEAM USA a second consecutive ACWS second championship.
TEAM ORACLE – At the America’s Cup World Series season finale in Naples, Italy, Tom Slingsby took the helm for ORACLE TEAM USA – his first regatta as skipper of an AC45. The crew quickly demonstrated the depth of talent on the team, and sat poised for success heading into Super Sunday racing.
AC WORLD SERIES – Here is a replay of Day #1 in Naples.
TEAM ORACLE – Whats Up Doc. Some of the team getting into the Easter mood and having fun with their bunny ears on.
TEAM ORACLE – AC Uncut’s Genny Tulloch catches up with Oracle Team USA skipper James Spithill six months after their AC72 capsize. James talks the psychological benefit of going through the capsize, and how he believes Oracle Team USA is stronger than ever because of it.
AC WORLD SERIES –
A fleet of nine crews is expected when the America’s Cup World Series returns to the waters off Naples, Italy, April 16-21.
Entries have been received from series leader ORACLE TEAM USA, second-placed Luna Rossa, third-placed Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, J.P. Morgan BAR, Energy Team and China Team. A ninth crew is expected to be announced later this week.
Last year’s AC World Series Naples drew crowds estimated at 500,000, who were there in part to catch the debut of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013. Chris Draper led his Luna Rossa Piranha crew to a thrilling win in the final fleet race. The victory kicked off celebrations among the tens of thousands of Italian America’s Cup fans lining the Naples waterfront to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
The conditions were as varied as any venue on the AC World Series. The fleet race finale was held in light wind and turned into a drifter at the finish. That occurred just two days after big wind and waves saw the AC45s powered up and leaping from the wave tops.
Crew lists are still being finalized, but quite a few familiar names are lining up for the final AC World Series regatta before the America’s Cup. Sailors such as Dean Barker, Francesco Bruni, Chris Draper, Yann Guichard and Tom Slingsby are expected to be on hand. The Naples event will also feature the return of Mitch Booth to the helm of China Team.
ORACLE TEAM USA has tabbed Slingsby, the Laser Olympic Gold medalist, to helm the entry team skipper Jimmy Spithill has sailed to the top of the table in the previous events. Slingsby raced the 2012 AC World Series Naples with helmsman Darren Bundock, but now gets the tiller as Spithill prepares for the launch of the team’s second AC72 in San Francisco.
“I’ve been in the tactician role, but now to steer in an America’s Cup World Series event, I can’t wait,” Slingsby said. “I saw my name on the wing the other day, and there was a realization that it’s going to happen. Having been the tactician and calling a lot of the shots on the water, it shouldn’t be too hard of a transition.”
Draper leads the Luna Rossa Piranha entry in an effort to repeat the magical success of 2012. The team’s AC72 tactician, Francesco Bruni, will skipper Luna Rossa Swordfish. Bruni replaces Paul Campbell-James, who will man the bow for the event.
“Probably the most surprising change relates to Paul Campbell-James, who moves from the helm to take on the role of bowman,” said Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena. “But this proves what we have always said. There is no role that is more or less important; these boats require sailors who are competent in all roles and everyone needs to understand what’s happening, but above all to do whatever is needed on board. Which is why these catamarans are fun for the sailors, but it is also what makes them so challenging to sail.”
Barker and his Emirates Team New Zealand mates, including tactician Ray Davies and wing sail trimmer Glenn Ashby, will step into the AC45 after four months of training on their AC72. France’s Energy Team will be skippered by Guichard, who led the team to fourth place at the first AC World Series San Francisco last August.
Booth returns to the fray for China Team. Booth was China Team’s original skipper when the team was launched in 2011, but then moved to the commentary booth. In Naples he’ll be racing with a crew comprised of Chinese nationals.
TEAM ORACLE – The experience of riding on the AC 72 when it’s foiling is incredible. In fact, I liken it to riding on a bobsled where the motion (and sound) are similar especially when you are riding inside the leeward hull. Seriously…..who would have thought the AC 72’s would be foiling! It’s amazing to think how far these boats have developed in a few years. We all thought Alinghi 5 and the trimaran were incredible machines….and a few years ago they were, but the AC 72’s have taken this to a whole new level. Tommy Slingsby told me the other day that he just can’t wait to get out there each day – who wouldn’t? It’s just such a rush sailing these boats. For the future beyond this AC I can see the AC 45’s will also need to be foiling. Those Red Bull Youth AC guys may be coming into this game at just the right time!!!
TEAM ORACLE – Photo of USA17 out sailing on day 14 .
TEAM ORACLE – The sailors were asked, “Now that Ben Ainslie has been knighted, what are you going to call him?”
TEAM ORACLE – When the America’s Cup World Series circuit resumes, Tom Slingsby will take the helm for ORACLE TEAM USA. The Olympic gold medalist will skipper the team’s entry into the spring regatta, which runs April 16-21 in Naples, Italy.
“I’ve been in the tactician role, but now to steer in an America’s Cup World Series event, I can’t wait,” Slingsby said. “I saw my name on the wing the other day, and there was a realization that it’s going to happen. Having been the tactician and calling a lot of the shots on the water, it shouldn’t be too hard of a transition. Obviously our priority is the AC72 now, but hopefully we’ll get some good training time in.”
The Naples regatta will mark Slingsby’s first ACWS event as skipper. He served as tactician onboard the AC45 with ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS for the ACWS San Francisco in October 2012, and he was in the same role at the 2012 ACWS in Naples and at the ACWS San Diego in November 2011.
Alongside Slingsby, the ORACLE TEAM USA crew in Naples will feature San Newton (wing trimmer), Kinley Fowler (jib trimmer), Rome Kirby (runner) and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman). Newton, Kirby and van Nieuwenhuijzen were also members of COUTTS crew in San Francisco.
Slingsby joined ORACLE TEAM USA in October 2011. In 2010 he was voted the International Sailing Federation’s World Sailor of the Year Award and he’s won six world championships. Last year, he captured the gold medal in the Laser class at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Over the next two months, the five-member crew will balance training on the AC45 for Naples and sailing the AC72 in preparation for the America’s Cup Final in September 2013.
The city of Naples hosts the grand finale of the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series. It marks the final regatta for the team prior to the 34th America’s Cup. Naples also hosted an ACWS in April 2012.
TEAM ORACLE – The team is asked, “Of all the sailors on the team, who is the best dancer?”
TEAM ORACLE – Here is a photo of the current AC stars sailing on the AC72 and a group of future stars sailing on the Red Bull Youth Americas Cups 45
RED BULL YOUTH AMERICAS CUP – The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Selection Series in San Francisco Feb 9-24.
RED BULL YOUTH AMERICAS CUP – James Spithill at Oracle Team USA gym
RED BULL YOUTH AMERICAS CUP – An award-winning line-up of sailors from ORACLE TEAM USA and Artemis Racing greeted the youth sailors competing in the first selection series of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup today at a special media function.
The stars — Russell Coutts, Jimmy Spithill, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Nathan Outteridge — together have a collected resume beyond excellence: five America’s Cup victories, 10 Olympic medals and countless other titles.
Coutts might be the most experienced of the group with four America’s Cup victories to his credit, but it was Spithill who put the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup into perspective.
“My pathway to the America’s Cup was one of good luck,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, who at age 30 in 2010 became the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup.
“When I was a youth sailor there wasn’t a clear pathway to the Cup. But the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup gives these guys a great opportunity, and the game’s opened up to much wider participation,” said the now 33-year-old Spithill. “Their level of organization is impressive.”
Added Ainslie, the four-time Olympic gold medalist: “The Olympics used to be the avenue to get into professional sailing and the America’s Cup. But now the Cup is becoming more accessible for youth sailors, and that’s great for the sport.”
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup has been developed to give youth sailors a pathway to the America’s Cup. In years past youth sailors have had a difficult task ascending the hierarchy of an America’s Cup team. Youth sailors simply weren’t viewed as having enough experience to compete at the high level demanded by America’s Cup crews. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup aims to change that.
TEAM ORACLE – USA ’17’ training in San Francisco
TEAM ORACLE – Sailors are asked, “What would you like for Valentine’s
TEAM ORACLE – So all of Larry’s men can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Here they are out sailing again.
It’s been a long time in coming, but ORACLE TEAM USA hit the water on Monday in its ‘better than new’ AC72, named ’17′.
After conducting load testing over the weekend, ’17′ was launched on a grey morning in San Francisco, with the team hoping to sail later in the day as the skies began to clear.
This is the first of the two AC72 wing sail catamarans that ORACLE TEAM USA will build. It has been in the shed for repairs since a spectacular capsize in mid-October. The team’s second AC72 is due to come on stream later in the spring.
General manager Grant Simmer says the design and build crews did more than just repair the boat; this is an improved version of boat one, with several key modifications.
“We’ve changed to wheel (from tiller) steering, that’s a big one,” he said, referring the bright red steering wheels that are placed at the back of the cockpit in each hull now.
© Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA
“The fairing on the front beam has become more substantial than it was. We’ve revised a lot of the systems on the boat. We’ve got the next generation of boards in the boat, that was always planned, so we’re moving forward with that. And this is the second wing too. It has subtle developments throughout but the profile is fairly similar to the original one, so it looks quite similar.”
Simmer says the latest version of ’17′ may show less twist in the platform, one of the characteristics that drew plenty of comment following the first sailing days.
“The amount that the platform racked (twisted) was a trade-off with weight and windage in the structure of the boat,” he explained. “That trade-off is still there. We’ve made some subtle changes that will reduce the racking, but again, it’s a design decision trading off windage and weight.”
Simmer says the plan is to work up the boat slowly before turning it loose as the month progresses.
“Today we’re taking it cautiously and luckily it’s a light wind day. We’re just getting the systems working on the boat. We’ll be on the mooring for a couple of hours setting things up and then, hopefully, we’ll go for a sail.”