Posts Tagged ‘racing’

Portraits, 21st february 2013, USA

Andrew Simpson, Artemis Crew Member. Photo: Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard addressed the media this afternoon at the team base in Alameda and said the following regarding the capsize of the team’s first AC72 and loss of crewman Andrew  “Bart” Simpson:

“Our prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates. It’s a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well being.

Simpson, a British double Olympic medalist, was one of the 11-man crew aboard Artemis Racing’s AC72 catamaran which capsized during training on San Francisco Bay ahead of this summer’s America’s Cup. All other crewmembers are accounted for.

Simpson, however, was trapped underneath the boat and despite attempts to revive him, by doctors afloat and subsequently ashore, his life was lost.


AC72 testing in San Francisco Bay. Artemis Racing April 2013. Photo: Sander van der Borch


Artemis AC72 testing in San Francisco Bay.
Photo: Sander van der Borch

A shocked Artemis Racing chief executive Paul Cayard says his syndicate is working on “everybody’s well-being.”

Cayard fronted a large media gathering at the team’s base in San Francisco but spoke for just one minute and didn’t take questions.

“We have had a tragic day out on the bay today. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife an kids and also with the rest of his team mates,” a clearly sombre Cayard said.

“It’s a shocking experience to go through… and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well-being.

“The boat itself is under control but it’s certainly not the first of our concerns. We are focussed on the people.

“That’s what we are working with and on… we will give you more information as we are able to. Thank you.”

Simpson’s death will throw the spotlight on the safety and suitability of the massive craft for the looming Louis Vuitton Cup series (July 4) and the America’s Cup match (September 7).

Watch Video of Cayard addressing the Media:



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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.


© 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.


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.


© 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!



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.


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.


Courtesy of CupInfo.com

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Organizers scale back plans

Organizers of sailing’s most prestigious event say they are dramatically scaling back plans to renovate San Francisco’s dilapidated waterfront.


34th America's Cup - The America's Cup in San Francisco - Golden Gate Bridge

Following hours of pointed, dense and passionate discussions, a Board of Supervisors committee voted 2-1 to move the deal to a full board vote on Tuesday as organizers face looming construction deadlines to ready waterfront race facilities before qualifying matches begin in July 2013.

Exhibition races are set for August, progressing toward finals – the Mount Everest of sailing, as Oracle Racing skipper James Spithill described them – in September 2013.

According to an article on SFGate.com, some supervisors continue to have concerns about the final financing deal between the city and race organizers, a regatta group led by billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, that would provide long-term leases and development rights on port-owned waterfront property in exchange for at least $55 million in infrastructure work shoring up dilapidated piers the city can’t afford to fix.

The cornerstone of the deal remains giving the business arm of Ellison’s regatta group, the America’s Cup Event Authority, a 66-year, rent-free lease on Piers 30-32, a crumbling single, conjoined pier south of the Bay Bridge, and title to Seawall Lot 330 across the Embarcadero, in exchange for the group paying $55 million to stabilize the piers.

Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement Monday during a news conference at San Francisco’s Pier 80, where Ellison is building his space-age catamaran to defend the trophy he won in 2010 off the coast of Spain.

Ellison picked the San Francisco Bay as the location of the 34th race for the America’s Cup, scheduled for September 2013. The plan was for Ellison’s race team to spend $55 million on piers 30 and 32 in exchange for rent-free use of them for 66 years and title to a city-owned lot nearby.

Instead, all competitors will be housed at Pier 80, which Ellison has already spent a couple million dollars renovating. But the location is about two miles from the proposed “racing village” that is expected to serve as the event’s hub. Pier 80 will still be open to the public, but organizers concede that it may require a bus ride instead of a walk from the racing village to visit.


San Francisco's Pier 80

Nonetheless, Lee and organizers insisted Monday that none of the 50 or so race days leading up to the final weekend of racing in September 2013 or the planned course around Alcatraz island in front of the city’s skyline will change. The racing village planned at Piers 27-29 along the heart of the city’s waterfront is continuing. The village will be converted into a cruise ship terminal after the America’s Cup events.


Marina Green Rendering © 2012 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com

Lee said the change was made after negotiators concluded they didn’t have enough time to solve the financial, environmental and regulatory issues necessary to refurbish the piers in time for the challengers to move in and convert to their headquarters. Training runs can begin on the Bay in July. The agreement was also criticized by some supervisors and others as too sweet of a deal for Ellison and the city budget analyst recommended San Francisco share some of the future revenues from the property.


AC34 San Francisco Bay Race Course. © 2012 Gilles Martin-Raget / http://www.americascup.com.

Who will compete?

So far, three teams have formally entered the competition. Lead Ellison negotiator Stephen Barclay said he expects a few more teams to sign up before the June 1 deadline.

Monday’s announcement also postponed a final Board of Supervisors vote Tuesday on the financial agreement between the city and Ellison. No new date has been set for the board to consider a redrafted final agreement.


Oracle training on San Francisco Bay. ©2012 Guilain GRENIER/www.americascup.com

Read the entire article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/22/MN6H1NB6T8.DTL#ixzz1o0aGLmYs

NBC Sports Group Sets Sail for America’s Cup with New Deal

NBC Sports Group landed yet another key piece in its continued push to acquire more rights to live sports, signing a deal to carry the 34th America’s Cup from San Francisco on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network in 2013.


The NBC Sports Group will present live coverage of the 34th America’s Cup on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network beginning on September 7, 2013 from the Cup’s host city of San Francisco. In the picture Jon Miller, President of Programming at the NBC Sports Group with Richard Worth, Chairman, America’s Cup Event Authority. Photo: ©2012 ACEA/www.americascup.com

The first two days of racing Sept. 7-8 will air on NBC, with the remaining races airing on NBC Sports Network. NBC’s coverage of the opening two days will mark the marquee yacht competition’s first appearance on network television since 1993, when ABC broadcast the opening race from San Diego. All others have been carried live on cable since 1983 (the first time an American yacht club failed to win the Cup in 132 years).

NBC Sports Group also acquired the rights to the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, which determines the challenger for the America’s Cup Finals. NBC will also televise the final day of racing from three stops on the America’s Cup World Series this summer. NBC Sports Group is not paying a rights fee; rather, America’s Cup officials will acquire airtime and offer commercial time first to their own sponsors.

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Oracle Racing AC45 against Marin hills. Photo by Guilain Grenier

While out on the San Francisco Bay practicing for the 2013 America’s Cup, Russell Coutts and fellow Oracle team members James Spithill (AUS), Shannon Falcone, Tactician John Kostecki (USA), putting their two boats through their paces, Coutts showed off some acrobatics by flipping the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran over on it’s side.

In typical SF Bay wild winds and seastate, the capsize managed to cause some excitement for the spectators along the cityfront on Monday. With Coutts at the helm, and as the cat was bearing off in a pre-start, the AC45 pitchpoled at around 22 knots. They were able to right the boat after about 10 minutes with some damage occurring on the wingsail – where a hole was made in the fabric skin where Coutts fell through.


Photo by Guilain Grenier

According to Oracle Racing.com, “We got caught in the pre-start at the wrong angle and paid the price,” said Coutts, who fell through the lower part of the front element of the wingsail. “The boats are spectacular, hard to sail. They’re gonna test the best sailors in the world. Luckily I had the crash helmet on.” During the incident crewman Shannon Falcone injured his ribs. “I didn’t think it was going to go all the way over.” Falcone walked under his own power to an ambulance waiting shoreside and was taken to the hospital for a precautionary X-ray. Though they came back negative, Falcone did suffer a dislocated rib cartilage and will have to mend.


Damage to Wingsail. Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget


Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget

Those bouncy trampolines between the hulls is usually were crew hang on when the boat goes over, but sometimes when the wingmast hits the water hard, they can be catapulted right off and into the water.

The AC45 demo sailing is part of a press buzz building up to Wednesday’s (June 15) announcement of the lineup of paid entries for the 2013 America’s Cup. Since the April announcement that SF Bay will host the 34th Cup, there have been 14 entries in addition to the Defender Oracle Racing including Emirates Team New Zealand and Swedish Artemis Racing Team who have become the new Challenger of Record. Other teams expected to race are the White Tiger from Korea, China Team, Energy Team from France and Italian Venezia Challenge. A surprise drop out is Italian Mascalzone Latino who were not able to raise the necessary $40 million to get to the start line in 2013.

All images courtesy of 34th America’s Cup, Oracle Racing and Gilles Martin-Raget and Guilain Grenier.

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