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News Brief:

Wings on the water and wings in the sky will culminate a historic week of action on and above San Francisco Bay at the second event of the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series, taking place October 2-7.

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© ACEA 2012/ Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget

It’s sure to be a blast for spectators and sailors alike when they see the Blue Angels aerobatic team perform above the Bay while the wingsail AC45 catamarans perform below on the water during the Annual Fleet Week.

In October, this unprecedented combination of thrills will be sure to attract thousands of onlookers who will line the waterfront and take to their boats on the waters of the Bay. With Fleet Week crowds in attendance, nearly 1-million spectators are expected over the final weekend when the race crews will share the Bay with the Pacific Fleet of the Navy.

The first America’s Cup event in San Francisco in August attracted over 150,000 fans to the Marina Green and nearly 500 spectator boats to witness 11 of the best sailing crews in the world battle just yards from the shoreline.

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Oracle Spithill & Couts race on SF Bay.
© 2012/ Photo: Nancy Birnbaum

“This is a perfect combination for fans and spectators in San Francisco,” said Stephen Barclay, the CEO of the 34th America’s Cup. “Fleet Week is well established as a must-see event in San Francisco attracting hundreds of thousands of people down to the waterfront, and following on from our first regatta during the summer, the America’s Cup is fast becoming a similar draw for fans interested in high-adrenalin action.”

In joining forces with Fleet Week, the America’s Cup Village will be located at Little Marina Green. Teams will be based at Piers 30-32, with the top crews from each day coming ashore at Little Marina Green and proceeding to the stage for interviews. Race commentary, as well as morning and dock-in shows, along with food and beverage concessions and activities will feature at the America’s Cup Village at Little Marina Green. Admission is free.

Beginning on Tuesday, October 2, the America’s Cup World Series teams will be racing on the Bay with open practice followed by Wednesday’s Match Race Qualifying. Championship Racing is from Thursday to Sunday (October 4-7), culminating with Super Sunday, broadcast live across America on NBC, when the America’s Cup World Series San Francisco champion will be crowned.

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© 2012/ Photo: Nancy Birnbaum

After Super Sunday racing on October 7 (with racing on the Bay scheduled to start at 1:55pm), the Blue Angels will be performing over San Francisco Bay, a highlight of the Fleet Week air shows.

“I’m pleased the America’s Cup World Series is joining Fleet Week this year and welcome the sailors from all over the world as they demonstrate their incredible sailing skills on the challenging San Francisco Bay. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the spirit of competition as the United States attempts to win the America’s Cup again in 2013,” said San Francisco Fleet Week Chairman Major General Michael J. Myatt (USMC, ret.).

Championship Racing (Thursday through Sunday) is live internationally on YouTube (subject to territorial broadcast arrangements). Super Sunday – October 7 – will be shown live, coast to coast, across the United States on NBC from 1.30pm PDT. Full broadcast details and race format and schedule updates are on www.americascup.com.

In Other News:

America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA returned to testing on San Francisco Bay on Monday after a daggerboard failure halted initial tests on August 31, 2012. A temporary set of daggerboards, which are used for directional and lateral stability on each of the twin hulls of the huge 72-foot-long catamaran, have been installed while a new set is being built.

All competitors in the 2013 America’s Cup trials and finals – to be held next summer in San Francisco – are allowed a total of 30 days of on-the-water testing before racing begins. While initial testing by the Oracle Teams will continue on S.F. Bay, there are rumors that the team may move to Hawaii for later test sessions.

“We had a great day out there today – we ticked through all of the sails in the morning, and in the afternoon we concentrated on the wing,” said Oracle helmsman Jimmy Spithill. “We have a list of things to work on now, but it was a very good day and fantastic to get the boat back out on the water.”

Grant Simmer, general manager of the Oracle team, said; “It was only our second day on the water, so we were focusing on loading the boat slowly to make sure there are no structural issues. We sailed with the Code Zero and the Gennaker for the first time, and we were checking all of the systems.”

“It went well,” Simmer said. “We went out a little bit jury rigged, but it was still a valuable day for us. As we’re limited to 30 days of sailing between now and February 1, we want to get as much out of each day on the water as we can.”

From: Examiner.com.

Amazing Video of Team New Zealand, courtesy of ONE Sport.

Over in New Zealand, big wings were flying – literally when Team New Zealand had it’s new AC72 out for practice.

Watch this amazing video showing the huge catamaran taking flight – both hulls off the water!

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http://tvnz.co.nz/sailing-news/team-new-zealand-take-flight-video-5067053

Comparing the AC45s with the AC72s

The AC72:

The AC72 is a 72-foot catamaran with a wingsail.  These are the boats which will be used in the 34th Defense of the America’s Cup in 2013, and in the challenger selection series of the Louis Vuitton Cup regatta.

ac-boats-comparison-diagram

Yachts will be designed and built starting in 2011, launching July, 2012, for early testing, and begin racing in 2013.  Each team’s designers and builders create their own hulls, wings, soft sails, and underwater foils within the confines of the rules, and test and refine their designs as the racing moves forward.  Teams may build a second AC72 yacht as their resources allow.

The AC45 is a one-design 45-foot long catamaran with a wingsail.  Identical boats are being built for each team, who will train and race them in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series seasons.  The AC45 is meant to give sailors and shore crews experience handling this sort of high-tech cat, and to permit multihull racing to begin this year.  Teams may modify the rigs and appendages for testing, though not the hulls.  During racing, however, the AC45’s must remain in their one-design configuration.

ac45-ac72-comparison-chart

Courtesy of CupInfo.com

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Nancy Birnbaum, Freelance Writer/Editor


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armchairanglers_logoNEWS FLASH!

A non-profit organization in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has launched a new website and fund-raising effort to help physically challenged anglers get back on the water. The stated mission of Armchair Anglers is to provide world-class fishing trips for the physically challenged on a fully accessible, stable catamaran boat, in an effort to bring the healing that only time spent on the water can provide.

Executive Director and Founder, Jim Hargaden, who helped design this unique and customized fishing boat, did so in order to make this dream a reality.

“Our goal, to provide a safe and comfortable day of fishing and to provide education and smart catch & release techniques promoting conservation of our most valuable resources to this over-looked segment of the Disabled Community, is unique,” said Mr. Hargaden. “Our Fund Raising efforts have begun in earnest and we will be working on gathering sufficient funds for the construction and rigging of this exciting venture with your help.”

“We encourage you to join our efforts by visiting www.armchairanglers.org and supporting this worthy Non-Profit in any way you can!” added Hargaden. “Your donation, no matter what level you choose, will serve to provide lasting memories for those with physical challenges.”

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Founder, Jim Hargaden

Those interested in receiving the Armchair Anglers Newsletter can sign-up on the website and receive $10 worth of tackle as a Thank You Gift!

All donations are Tax Deductible. To donate go to www.armchairanglers.org and click on the “Join Us” tab.

Armchair Anglers, Inc is a part of the Network for Good by GuideStar – “Give with Confidence”.  Donations can be made safely online via PayPal using any credit card or your PayPal account. You can also download a donor form to mail in a check.

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Cobia courtesy of Pat Ford Photos

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Watch some great video of all the wild action in the 2010 Extreme 40 cat races in Kiel, Germany online now at Boatson.TV.

http://www.boatson.tv/

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Ecover Pushes Ahead

“Boats on TV, the Web’s best Boating TV Channel, is the home of  everything to do with water-related activity. It covers all aspects of sailing, racing, cruising, the Volvo Round World Race, TP 52’s, Farr 40’s, 18 Footer Racing, iShares Cup, World Match Racing Tour, Ice Sailing, UK, USA, Australia , Power-boating, Racing and Instruction, P1 Powerboats, Honda Formula 4-Stroke Racing and more. See all this plus historical and special interest videos here on Boats on TV.”

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“S/V Anna Capsized approximately 125 miles from Niue (24 hours out from Tonga) in a freak squall”

Look for my upcoming interview with Anna Skipper – Chris Wright.  Subscribe Now so that you won’t miss a post!

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The news of Anna, an Atlantic 57 sailing catamaran, capsized in the South Pacific, was reported yesterday on the Pacific Puddle Jump Cruisers Forum by Scott & Cindy Stolnitz (S/V BeachHouse). Here is the media release from Maritime NZ, pasted from their website:

2 August 2010

Two men have been rescued by a cargo ship after their yacht capsized in stormy seas near Niue yesterday, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) says.

RCCNZ detected an emergency locator beacon signal from the American-flagged 57-foot (around 17 metres) catamaran Anna yesterday about 4pm.

The signal was coming from a location around 126 nautical miles (around 233 kilometres) west of Niue. Local weather reports indicated heavy seas and storm conditions.
Repeated efforts to contact the yacht were unsuccessful, despite Anna having a range of communications equipment on board.

RCCNZ dispatched an Air Force P3 Orion from New Zealand and the cargo ship Forum Pacific, 80 nautical miles away from Anna, was asked to divert to the signal’s location.

The P3 Orion arrived on scene about 11pm yesterday and found Anna capsized and inverted. However, the American skipper and his New Zealand crewman were safe, one still on board Anna, and one in an inflatable dinghy attached to the catamaran.

The P3 Orion maintained a vigil over the men overnight while Forum Pacific made its way to the scene.

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Anna with Chris White at helm / http://www.syanna-kellywright.com

RCCNZ Search and Rescue mission controller Mike Roberts said the cargo ship arrived about 6am and the two men were now safe on board and en route to Niue.

RCCNZ had broadcast a navigation warning to other vessels advising of the location of the capsized catamaran.

Mr Roberts said the fact the beacon was GPS-enabled had greatly assisted the men’s rescue.
“With GPS positioning, we were able to accurately pinpoint the location of the vessel and send the Orion directly to the scene. Given the stormy conditions, the speed that we were able to reach the men made a huge difference to their safety.

“Furthermore, the fact the beacon was registered meant we were able to contact the skipper’s wife and obtain information as to who was on board and what kind of equipment they had with them.”

The catamaran was designed by Chris White, one of the preeminent multihull designers in the world. Anna was built by Alwoplast, located in Valdivia, Chile. Owner/skipper Kelly Wright has about 30,000 miles at sea on yachts and is planning to circumnavigate the world with Anna. Shortly after setting off, Kelly wrote this on his Blog – S/Y Anna:

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Owner/Skipper Kelly Wright

“In retrospect we really should have undertaken an extra few days of training before we set off from Valdivia.  The launching of the boat had been delayed, though, so the sailing season was getting ever shorter as winter set in, and so we eagerly grasped at the first opportunity to leave, due somewhat to the natural impatience of our skipper.

All would have still been fine had we not been supplied with defective turnbuckles that attach the stays and shrouds – stainless steel cable and rod – to the hulls.  We would have made the same teething mistakes anyway, getting used to the gear and the layout, but we would not have been put in the situation we are in now, which is pre-crisis, preparing for the worst case of losing the boat, which is a remote possibility.”

The boat and crew endured more than their typical share of storms and breakdowns. This past June, they had to return to New Zealand after having just set off, to make repairs. Here’s an except from Kelly’s Blog:

“The next day passed comfortably enough for us, lying around in the pilothouse, napping, reading, but the winds shifted back to the Northwest and built to over 40 knots – the high was 48 knots – and the seas kept getting larger and larger.  It was quite interesting watching them and observing how well Anna responded, riding gently over the breaking crests and down into the valleys, with the wind blowing the tops off the waves, spume shooting almost horizontally. We congratulated ourselves on how well our boat was handling the conditions, and how comfortable we were.  Every now and then, however, a big wave would break right on top of us and crash into Anna beam on, knocking us around, spilling all the books from the bookshelves, knocking the dinghy off its chocks on the aft deck, and making a huge roar.  It is always difficult to estimate the height of waves from inside a bobbing boat, but our mast rises about 75 feet (23 meters) from the waterline, and it appeared from my vantage point in the  pilothouse that the highest waves were approaching half the height of the mast.  They were the biggest seas I have ever been in, I think, and quite irregular, coming from several  directions.

I suppose it must have been one of those big crashing waves that jerked the rudders in such a way that the steering cables came off, and we were left without steering.  It was getting dark, around 1700 (5 p.m.) and I had just gotten off watch and was down in my berth when John informed me that we had no steering, and the rudders were thrashing around madly in the rudder compartments.  The starboard rudder had broken its safety line and was totally out of control, even dangerous to try to tame.  We stuck the emergency tiller into the head of the rudder post, but the force of the seas slapped it against the bulkhead and broke the tiller in two.  Moreover, working in the confined space of the rudder compartments in the thrashing seas was making everyone seasick.”

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