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.”
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 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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