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There’s no other way to put it… watching ORACLE TEAM USA “fly” their AC72 on foils is simply breathtaking.

Come along for a test flight…

In other AC34 News…

Austrians Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, double Olympic Gold medalists in the Tornado catamaran, have entered the upcoming America’s Cup World Series Naples, scheduled Apr. 16-21.

The duo will sail under the banner HS Racing and race under the US flag in partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA.

HS Racing is one of nine crews entered in the regatta, which will also feature America’s Cup World Series leader ORACLE TEAM USA, second-placed Luna Rossa Piranha, third-placed Artemis Racing White, J.P. Morgan BAR, Energy Team, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Swordfish and China Team.

Hagara and Steinacher were Gold medalists at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympics. They are also the sports directors for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, scheduled Sept. 1-4 in San Francisco.

team-NZ © ACEA-2013

© ACEA-2013 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

“It’s great to have Roman and Hans-Peter involved,” said ORACLE TEAM USA CEO Russell Coutts. “They aim to be serious competitors and this is a great platform to launch their America’s Cup aspirations.”

Familiar names are lining up for the final AC World Series event, with sailors such as Dean Barker of Emirates Team New Zealand, Francesco Bruni and Chris Draper of Luna Rossa, Yann Guichard of Energy Team and Tom Slingsby of ORACLE TEAM USA scheduled to compete. Sweden’s Artemis Racing will be helmed by 23-year-old Charlie Ekberg, Sweden’s top 49er sailor and skipper of Artemis Racing/Swedish Youth Challenge for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The Naples event will also feature the return of Mitch Booth to the helm of China Team, while Ben Ainslie will skipper his J.P. Morgan BAR team.

Team Korea, previously an America’s Cup World Series participant and Louis Vuitton Cup entrant, has withdrawn from further competition in the 34th America’s Cup. In a letter to the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the team indicated it has plans to enter the 35th America’s Cup.

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. 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.

From Americascup.com.

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Skippers gather before the start of the America’s Cup World Series 2
in San Francisco Bay. Photo: N.Birnbaum/2012

Pre-race events today included “Up Close & Personal” interviews with Oracles Team  Captains’ Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill.

With record highs and almost no wind, todays’ practice runs won’t give the crews anything to write home about. But come tomorrow, the second America’s Cup World Series San Francisco will begin, with qualifying racing for the match racing championship. Then on Thursday, the first two of seven scheduled fleet races kick off the event championship, which concludes Sunday, Oct. 7, with a live nationwide broadcast on NBC.

The America’s Cup World Series San Francisco is being held during what is being billed as the busiest week of events in the city’s history. According to America’s Cup Commissioner and regatta director Iain Murray, there will be more spectators for this weekends’ AC World Series than ever before in the history of the America’s Cup. Besides the AC World Series, there are a few other great events happening in Bay Area this weekend. As many as one million people are expected for events such Oracle OpenWorld (the largest technology conference in the world) at the Moscone Center , the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival in Golden Gate Park, the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Castro Street Fair,home games for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers, and San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week.

“We have a challenging program this week,” said Murray. “We’re working with Fleet Week, so most of our racing will be later in the day. On Super Sunday we’ll be participating in the air show with Fleet Week. The air show will start and then stop, we’ll sail our Super Sunday fleet race (scheduled to start at 1:55 pm PDT), and then the air show will resume.

Hopefully that will allow the spectator fleet to keep incidents to a minimum. It’s always fun to be on the Bay during a Blue Angel flyover – all eyes are focused on the sky while thousands of boats make their way around, hopefully refraining from making sailing into a contact sport.

All 11 teams that raced the first AC World Series San Francisco in August return, including (in order of standing): ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill), Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper), Team Korea (Peter Burling), Energy Team (Loick Peyron), Luna Rossa Swordfish (Iker Martinez), Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson), Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker), ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts), Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge), J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) and China Team (Phil Robertson).

Just as they have for the past two ACWS regattas, NBC will broadcast nationwide the “Super Sunday” fleet racing championship. Racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be broadcast by the America’s Cup regional media partner NBC Bay Area on its digital channel California NonStop (channel 186 on Comcast and 11.2 on over-the-air digital). California NonStop is on the air in select California markets, including San Francisco.

If you have not had the pleasure of viewing ACWS racing on Television, you should certainly tune in. The technology that goes into each broadcast is truly amazing and a treat to watch.

Racing on Thursday through Sunday will be broadcast on the America’s Cup YouTube channel.

The AC Race Village will once again be located at Little Marina Green, and fans will again be able to watch the racing from shoreside bleachers. Visit the ACWS San Francisco event page for more information about the venue.

It may be a billionaire’s sport, but you don’t have to be a billionaire to enjoy it.

But just to maintain that grand style of yachting, sponsors like — Louis Vuitton, Lexus, Moët & Chandon and … Red Bull, have joined in the festivities.

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©2011 ACEA/Ricardo Pinto

Spillhill enjoys a Moët moment. ©2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget.

Moët & Chandon have a tent to themselves along the waterfront — called the Club 45 — where VIP’s and their guests can have commanding views of the racing along the Marina Green while sipping some of the world’s most iconic champagne.

“Moët & Chandon has been associated with the America’s Cup for nearly 25 years.  This year, as the official champagne, we raise a glass to this most prestigious event in the world’s grandest setting: the iconic San Francisco Bay,” said Stephane Baschiera, President & CEO of Moët & Chandon.

The Moët & Chandon tradition of supporting the grandest achievements lives on as a ‘grand prize,’ where a bottle of the House’s iconic champagne becomes the award itself for champions. Victorious athletes celebrate their exceptional triumph on the winners’ podium, such as at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, by accepting a well-deserved bottle of Moët & Chandon – a symbol of the overflowing joy of success.

The racing schedule:

Wednesday, Oct. 3
4:00-6:00 pm PDT    Match Racing Qualifying

Thursday, Oct. 4
12:25-12:55 pm PDT  Match Racing Quarterfinals
5:00-6:15 pm PDT    Fleet Races 1 & 2

Friday, Oct. 5
4:00-4:35 pm PDT    Match Racing Quarterfinals
4:50-6:00 pm PDT    Fleet Races 3 & 4

Saturday, Oct. 6
4:00-4:35 pm PDT    Match Racing Semifinals
4:50-5:55 pm PDT    Fleet Races 5 & 6
6:10-6:25 pm PDT    Match Racing Championship

Sunday, Oct. 7
1:55-2:25 pm PDT    Fleet Race Championship

 

Guide to Special Events in San Francisco

It’s a busy week in San Francisco and the entire Bay Area!

Check out our event info and transit resources page to find out what’s going on and how to get there (or get around it) –>http://bit.ly/UEhP2a

fleet-week-abcnews

© 2012 ABC News

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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!

acnz-flying-onesport

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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A foggy start of Fleet Race 2. Photo: Nancy Birnbaum

Contrary to not-so-popular press (does “SFGate” ring a bell?), there was a very pleased hoard of spectators yesterday to watch the racing action of the second day of the America’s Cup World Series. The despicable article I refer to was run back on Aug.4, written by a C.W. Nevius, columnist and clearly curmudgeon. Mr. Nevius seemed to think that just because a few boats were forced to drop out of the racing due to financial constraints, no-one would want to come see the rest of the racing fleet. “Does anyone care… ,” ran the headline. Way to go, Mr. N! Way to promote for your City!

In other news…

The home team, ORACLE TEAM USA, put on a show for its fans on Thursday, grabbing the top two spots in the first race and leading the fleet racing standings at the AC World Series San Francisco at the end of the day two.

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Clearly these spectators care when it comes to watching the exciting AC34 racing!
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/AC34.com

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Oracle Team USA’s James Spithill gives the “All Cool” sign during racing on Thursday. Photo:Guilain-GRENIER/AC34.com

Conditions were good for racing, with winds in the 12- to 16-knot range and fans flocked down to the Marina Green to cheer on their favorite sailors. The racecourse boundary was just yards from the shoreline and the teams often came within spitting distance of the crowds as they pushed the boundary to find relief from the flood tide. Happy sailors provided some spectacular spectating for the fans all along Crissy Field, the rock jetty and the Marina Green.

In the opening fleet race of the championship, the veteran Russell Coutts made an extraordinary start, accelerating powerfully a few moments before the start gun fired, hitting the line with pace and speeding past his rivals for an early lead he would hold to the finish. His stablemate Jimmy Spithill wasn’t far behind, putting two American boats at the top of the table.

“The start of the first race was critical, it was great to lead the fleet around that first mark,” said Coutts. “But it was a tough racecourse… you had to keep eyes open and pick your lanes well.”

In the second race, the two youngest skippers in the fleet began to make their mark. On Youth Day at the AC World Series, China Team’s Phil Robertson and Team Korea’s Nathan Outteridge, were up among the leaders early in the race, with Robertson leading around the first mark before falling back into the fleet. Outteridge was challenging for top spot as well until a penalty temporarily dropped him back. He would rally to finish fourth in the race, just ahead of J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie).

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ORACLE TEAM USA – Coutts finish first in the 2nd Fleet Race of the World Series, followed closely by ORACLE TEAM USA – Spithill.
Photo: Nancy Birnbaum

After placing second in the first race, ORACLE TEAM USA’s Spithill put his stamp on the second contest, grabbing the lead from China Team at mark two and fighting off both Artemis Racing crews to hold on for the win and top spot at the end of the day.

“We had a bit of a battle with the Artemis boats, but the boys stretched us out there at the end,” said Spithill. “There’s a definite tide line up the course and the wind was difficult to read at the top end of the course. Our maneuvers were flawless. We’re very happy with today and are looking forward to tomorrow.”

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Artemis Teams battling to catch Oracle Team USA.
Photo: Nancy Birnbaum

Earlier, in the first set of sudden-death Match Racing Quarterfinal matches, both Luna Rossa crews were in tough pairings, scheduled against two of last season’s top teams. First, Swordfish (Paul Campbell-James) fell to the 2011-12 Match Racing champions, Terry Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing White crew in a race the Swedish team controlled from the start.

Then, Chris Draper’s Piranha team came up against the overall season title-holders in ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL. The American team timed the start to perfection and protected its early lead well, fending off a mid-race attack from the Italians, to earn a spot in the semifinals.

Racing on Friday through Sunday (2:00 pm PDT start time Friday and Saturday and 11:30 am PDT on Sunday) will be broadcast live around the world on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial broadcast restrictions). On television, coverage is available Friday through Saturday throughout the Bay Area on NBC Bay Area 11.2, and in California on Comcast Sportsnet California. The Super Sunday finale will be broadcast live, coast to coast, in the United States, on NBC from 11:30 am PDT.

Look for me – Your Cruising Editor, out on the Bay on Sunday for the final day of World Series AC racing! See you on the water…

Results after Day 2:

AC-race-results-fleet2

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