America's Cup News:
1st Quarter 2013

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Archive of America's Cup News Stories and Features:
January-February-March 2013

More America's Cup News:

Mar 28: Five J-Class yachts to race St. Barth's Bucket Regatta Mar 28-31: J-Class Assoc | See PhotosMar 27: America's Cup Arts and Entertainment Committee to be led by musician Mickey Hart:
ACEA Press Release

Mar 23: Artemis testing foiling AC45:
 Team Site and Foil close-ups at Pressure-Drop Forums

Mar 18: ETNZ damages wingsail #1 in launching mishap: NZ Herald | Sail-World | Plus ETNZ team video

Mar 18: Interactive graphic on America's Cup teams crew nationalities: SailRacingMag at

Mar 14: "The Force" - America's Youth Team Training now for Red Bull YAC next September: AYSF Press Release

Mar 12: America's Cup economic impact in San Francisco revised to $780 million: SF Business Times

Mar 7: Oracle Team USA/BAR's Ben Ainslie knighted: BAR Press Release

Mar 4: Luna Rossa will set up base in Alameda, not San Francisco: Read story at

Feb 28: Oracle Team USA's "17.2" cat from the air: Photo gallery from team Photographer Guilain Grenier

Feb 26: Artemis Racing adds young Olympic talent to crew:
Team Press Release

Feb 24: Dressed for success on an AC72?  Wet suit, knee pads, and spare air:

Feb 18: Luna Rossa picks Chris Draper to helm AC72 in America's Cup, Francesco Bruni to call tactics:
Luna Rossa Page

Feb 14: Puma, amid corporate re-organization, to stop sponsoring many sports, including sailing and rugby:

Feb 13: Oracle Team USA's AC72 "17.2" testing on the Bay: Photos from Chuck Lantz

Feb 13: ETNZ's NZL5 Foiling, Second Sailing Day for AC72 #2: See Photo Gallery

Feb 7: Season tickets for 2013 America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup on sale Saturday February 9:
Press Release

Feb 6: Detailed Daily Schedule for America's Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup released: View 2013 Schedule (pdf)

Feb 6: Oracle re-launches AC72, Boat #1 sailing with Wing #2: See Team Video (4:45)

Jan 22: Iker Martinez leaves Luna Rossa Challenge: Sail-World

Jan 20: New wing for Artemis Racing: Pressure-Drop Forums

Jan 18: Sail On! ADM lawsuit against Golden Gate YC is dismissed:
Thomson Reuters

Jan 8: Oracle's Second AC72 Wing Sail arrives in SF; AC72 to sail again soon: Press Release


Oracle Boat #2 Debuts

Judith Sim of Oracle Corp. opens up on Oracle Team USA's new America's Cup cat. Photo:©2013 Chuck Lantz
Judith Sim of Oracle Corp. opens up on Oracle Team USA's new America's Cup cat. Photo:©2013 Chuck Lantz

(April 23) Oracle Team USA unveiled their new AC72 yacht to the media today, expected to be the boat that defends the America's Cup next September.  The second of two multihulls each team is permitted to build, on-the-water testing and development efforts will soon be in high gear.  Restrictions on sailing AC72 yachts expire after April 30th and it appears that Oracle will be the first team sailing two of their own boats at the same time.  Judith Sim, Chief Marketing Officer for Oracle Corporation, christened the boat.  Winds were too high to allow other than a short trip away from the dock.

Read Team Press Release

Click image to view more photos.

More social media photos:
Sail Racing Magazine: Twitter
Oracle Team USA: Instagram
Genny Tulloch: Instagram

America's Cup on Australian TV:

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke praises Alan Bond for Historic Win

(Apr 8) "I think Alan Bond is owed a great deal of gratitude by the Australian people.  The way he helped to lift the Australian spirit as a result of that great historic victory of 1983 was great for our country," Mr. Hawke said.

'The Story of Australia II and the America's Cup' will be featured on Australian Story, also includes interviews with John Bertrand, Alan Bond, Grant Simmer, Tom Slingsby, and James Spithill.

See News Story 'Hawke Praises Bond' plus Read more about the program and Watch Interview excerpt at YouTube

Pack and Go: ETNZ Leaving Auckland

Click image to enlarge and see more.
Photo:©2013 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

(Apr 4) Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their AC72 for the last time in Auckland before shifting operations to San Francisco for the 2013 America's Cup.  ETNZ will set up and start sailing on the Bay following the upcoming ACWS Naples April 16-21.

See photos of last NZ sail from Chris Cameron.

Powerboats of the America's Cup

(Mar 25) Demands for Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup support craft include chasing AC72's at 50 mph; setting and holding the race course to the precision of centimeters; and putting Race Officials, computer jockeys, and VIP's in the right places at the right times. These requirements have spawned a custom fleet of powerful new tenders sporting GPS station-keeping, high-efficiency diesel outdrives, and literally the best seats available.

Mark Reid at Bay & Delta Yachtsman reports in depth on the powerboats of the 2013 America's Cup, plus some of the history and traditions of tenders and chase boats in the famous regatta.

Read article at Bay & Delta Yachtsman online viewer starting on page 12 (requires Adobe Flash).

New Team for Naples, And Korea Withdraws from 2013 America's Cup

(Mar 21) America's Cup organizers announced today that a new America's Cup World Series team will compete in Naples, Italy, this April, led by experienced multihull sailors Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher of Austria.  Competing as HS Racing, with support from Oracle, and flagged as a US entry, the pair will race an AC45 yacht in the final World Series regatta before the Louis Vuitton Cup begins in July.  Hagara and Steinacher are twice Olympic Gold-medalists in the Tornado class, and were once rumored to be exploring an America's Cup challenge for 2013.

The news comes coupled with official confirmation of the withdrawal of Team Korea from America's Cup 2013 activities.  Team Korea now intends to return for AC35.

Read ACEA Press Release

Luna Rossa Leaving Auckland, Headed to Naples

(Mar 20) Luna Rossa Challenge is packing up their AC72 activities in Auckland, NZ, in advance of moving operations to San Francisco following April's America's Cup World Series in Naples.  The Italians commemorate the move in Prada style with a nice photo gallery, plus video and commentary from skipper Max Sirena. 

See photos and video at Luna Rossa site

Winging it: Driving a Big Truck

(March 16) Glenn Ashby, Trimmer for Emirates Team New Zealand, has his hands full trimming the wingsail on the team's AC72 cat.  Constantly needing to make fine adjustments to changing conditions, he compares his onboard task to driving a truck with a 32-speed transmission, requiring continual upshifting and downshifting to keep the engine in the power band:

“Dean Barker, James Dagg, Ray Davies and I work closely on boat speed -- effectively managing the speed and angle of the boat. It’s a team effort for best round-the-track speed and we all need to be on the same page."

“It’s like sailing a double-handed dinghy in a way -- the forward hand controls the mainsheet and the helm steers and they work together to extract maximum speed. It’s a bit like that on the AC72, but with a lot more buttons and strings to play with."

Read more at ETNZ Blog

San Francisco Looks Forward to Cup Benefits

(March 16) The City of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors held discussions this week to consider the impact of updated financial studies for the event this summer.  Fewer teams than originally intended have lowered some revenue projections, but along with more realistic planning and preparation expenses have been reduced, too.  While some criticism was voiced by Supervisor John Avalos, among other, the net takeway is that the America's Cup is expected to deliver a positive result for the Bay area.

"The bottom line is this is going to be a great event at zero cost to the city," said Supervisor Mark Farrell. "We're talking about (an estimated) $900 million in economic activity and (a potential) 6,500 jobs. A lot of cities would pay a lot for that."

 "World-class cities put on world-class events," he said. "And I think our city is going to shine."


Racing Rules for America's Cup Updated

(Mar 7) With the Louis Vuitton Cup less than three months away, and the final America' Cup World Series of the season coming next month in Naples, America's Cup Race Management has released an update to the Racing Rules of Sailing for the America's Cup (RRSAC), currently in version 1.14.  Most of the changes are small and technical, and clarify or refine requirements.

Most noticeable in practice will be the initial placement of the penalty line, doubling the penalty distance to two boatlengths, and the orientation of the penalty line is now perpendicular to the true wind angle and not the axis of the leg (see Rule 44.2).  Additionally, the calculation of VMG for the motion of the penalty line now includes wind direction and current (also Rule 44.2).  Changes in wording in Giving Room at an Obstruction (Rule 20.2), and the definition of Finish have been made, and it's is explicitly stated that errors in navigating the course cannot be corrected after finishing (Rule 28.1 (c)).  The Race Committee is now required prior to the start only to name the course to be sailed, not provide bearing and distance (Rule 27.1).

Download the RRSAC version 1.14 (pdf 1.7MB)

A Bowman in the AC72 Age

(Mar 3) Brad Webb is a bowman for Oracle Team USA, but what does that mean in a competition where the boats are over-powered, under-manned 72-foot multihulls, going 40-plus knots with no place anywhere near the bow to stand?  Webb explained the brave new world to Sail Racing Magazine.

Brad Webb:  "If you look back to the IACC days, we were starting the boat upwind and just having that jump of a meter or two could make a huge difference.  Now in the AC72's, because they are traveling so fast, getting a good start is more to do with your position on the line and your trajectory to the next mark than it has to do with ‘boat relative’.  You can actually be a meter or two behind your competitor but have a better angle to the first mark and go smoking by.  The other thing is that there is really no bow to speak of on these boats so you are not going to send somebody up on the spine to call the line."

Read more at Sail Racing Magazine

NZL5 Sails into March

Click to enlarge and view more.
Photo:©2013 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

With barely more than 120 days until the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 catamarn #2, NZL5, looks good sailing strong in Auckland.  See photos from team photographer Chris Cameron

No Safety in Numbers

(Mar 1) Kimball Livingston: "Never before has the red-hot favored team to win the next America’s Cup been in such a dicey predicament. Some claim that Emirates Team New Zealand has already won the Cup in the design department, but even if that proves true (and frankly, it’s a stretch), it makes the team no less vulnerable to the fortunes of war."

Read more from Kimball at Sail Magazine

New America's Cup Building on Pier 27 in San Francisco. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

(Feb 26) New Building for America's Cup Village delivered by City to America's Cup Event Authority.
Read Press Release

Comparing the AC72 Cats

As the first AC72 sailing period comes to a close and the second set of America's Cup cats starts to be unveiled, observers are beginning to get a grasp of differences in how the different teams have approached the design problem for the 2013 America's Cup.  Here are a few recent looks at the new boats:

(Jan 18) From Jack Griffin: "AC72 design is governed by a class rule which defines the limits within which the design teams work to build the fastest boat.  Fastest at what?  Sailing in strong or light winds?  Upwind or downwind?  Rough conditions or flat water?  What is more important – straight-line speed or maneuverability?  Let’s look at how each team has set its priorities."
 Read more at CupExperience

ETNZ AC72 #2 lines drawing. Image:©2013 François Chevalier
Image:©2013 François Chevalier

(Jan 19) First impressions of ETNZ Boat 2
Read more at Chevalier-Taglang Blog

(Jan 15) America's Cup design veteran Mike Drummond gave Sail-World his assessment of the four AC72's seen to date:

Oracle's USA 17: "Oracle has gone for an emphasis on the high efficiency and the greater speed potential. The tradeoff is in the structure. The class rule has a maximum weight and even lightweight fairings weigh something, so you can’t just add laminate without reducing material elsewhere."

ETNZ's Boat #1: "Overall I think Emirates Team NZ has a good, straight forward, conservative boat with lots of volume, and a well proven structural arrangement. The wingsail is straight out of a C-class evolution. They have correctly focused on foil over wing development."

Read more at Sail-World


Red Bull Youth America's Cup Teams

AC45 and Red Bull Youth America's Cup crew. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

(Feb 25) Youth teams have been chosen to compete next in San Francisco prior to the start of the America's Cup September 7:

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Teams

Selection Series Teams advancing to Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
Australia Objective Australia
Germany STG/NR/NRV Youth Team
New Zealand Full Metal Jacket Racing
Portugal ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team
Switzerland Team am Tilt

Youth crews supported by America's Cup World Series Teams
France Energy Team/Name TBC
New Zealand Emirates Team New Zealand/Name TBC
Sweden Artemis Racing/Swedish Youth Challenge
USA Oracle Team USA/American Youth Sailing Force
USA Oracle Team USA/USA45 Racing

Read Red Bull YAC Press Release

Cost and Politics in San Francisco

(Feb 20) Amid volleys from the Board of Supervisors that characterize the city's promised support for the America's Cup regatta as subsidizing an event for the wealthiest people in the world, Stephen Barclay, head of the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), objected to that sort of reductive viewpoint.

“I struggle with that,” Barclay said. “Name any other event like this that is free to the public?  You can grab your family, grab your lunch, make your way to the Marina Green and enjoy the races and it does not cost you a cent.  Why is that a yacht race for the rich?”

The America's Cup Organizing Committee, formed to help raise money to offset some of the city's costs, has not met financial targets to date, raising concerns from city leaders regarding how to meet the city's direct expenses for hosting the upcoming event this summer.  Though the total economic impact for hosting the America's Cup is a projected as a net positive for the region, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars or more, the city will still incur immediate costs for providing required services such as security, emergency, sanitation, and public transportation.

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

A (Cold) Day with the Swiss Youth Team

A (Cold) Day with the Swiss Youth Team ©2013 Jürg Kaufmann/
Click image to view at YouTube.
©2013 Jürg Kaufmann/

(Feb 13) Sailing catamarans in Switzerland in February?  When it's 0 degrees C and snowing?  Team Tilt, the Swiss Youth Team, is serious about getting ready.  Photographer Jürg Kaufmann captured a day of images with the dedicated young guys and shared this slideshow.

Red Bull Youth AC Trials Begin

(Feb 13) Selection trials are taking place in San Francisco this month, featuring a dozen teams of young sailors hoping to be one of at least four selected to compete with others next September 1-4 in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup event taking place before the start of the actual America's Cup Match itself.

The hotshot youngsters are racing on the actual AC45 cats that the official teams have been using in the America's Cup World Series, a big step up in speed and complexity from the smaller dinghies most of the youth athletes have been honing their skills on until now.

“Yesterday in the big breeze, around 17 knots, it was more difficult than I expected,” said Philip Buhl of STG/NRV, a champion Laser sailor.  “Every time we completed one maneuver we had to prepare for the next, there was no time to catch your breath.”

Ben Ainslie, four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and now with Oracle Team USA, holds out the idea that this new event may help rising talents at an earlier age.  “The Olympics used to be the avenue to get into professional sailing and the America’s Cup,” said Ainslie.  “But now the Cup is becoming more accessible for youth sailors, and that’s great for the sport.”

Read RBYAC Press Release

NZL5 Gets First Sail

Boat 2 lifts off.  Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ
Boat 2 lifts off.  Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

(Feb 12) Emirates Team New Zealand got their second catamaran, NZL5, off the tow rope and underway to begin the 45-sailing-day testing period lasting until April 30.  The first team to sail an AC72, they are the first team to launch boat #2.

See photos from Chris Cameron

AC72 Launchings

Meet the new boat. Click image to enlarge and view more. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ
Meet the new boat. Click image to enlarge and view more. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

(Feb 4) Emirates Team New Zealand revealed their second AC72 and Oracle Team USA plans to re-launch their first boat on Monday, February 4th.  The Kiwi boat, NZL5, was ceremonially named and ready to get wet, but high winds postponed the actual launch and sailing.  Last Friday, February 1 marked the beginning of the second AC72 sailing period, 45 days per boat until the end of April, with no restrictions after that.  ETNZ plans to work up their second boat over the next two months in Auckland before shifting operation to San Francisco mid-April.  Oracle's unveiling event, for their repaired first boat and second wing sail, began at 10:00 am Monday morning in San Francisco.

Emirates Team New Zealand:
ETNZ: Press Release and Photo Gallery, plus Video.
Video and more photos: Richard Gladwell at Sail-World ETNZ Second Boat and Cat Unwrapped

Oracle Team USA:
Back on the Bay: Press Release and Photos and Team Video at Youtube (4:45)
Team photos on Instagram: Oracle 17 rolls out for load testing and launching and afloat
San Jose Mercury News: Ellison's Team Back on Water

The Return of 17.
The Return of 17. Click image to see more photos at forums. Photo:©2013 Erik Simonson/

Reggatta de 2013: Sting Performs for America's Cup Fans June 2

(Jan 22) The musician born as Gordon Sumner, who first came to fame as a member of the rock group The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers in the 1970s and early 80s, is the first headline performer named in an outdoor concert series to be held this summer at the America's Cup Pavilion on Piers 27/29 in San Francisco.  In partnership with promoters Live Nation Entertainment, additional acts will be presented over the course of the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup Regattas.

Read ACEA Press Release

ETNZ Second Boat

ETNZ AC72 Boat 2 Arrives. Click to watch Video.
Click image to watch video. Image:©2013 ETNZ

(Jan 15) Emirates Team New Zealand's second of their two AC72 catamarans travels from builder Cookson's to the team's base for assembly, preparing for a launch in early February.

Nick Holroyd, Technical Director: "Hopes for the campaign are founded on this one, I guess.  With any luck, if she works well, then we never have to pull Boat 1 out of the cupboard again."

Grant Dalton, CEO: "This is it, we not getting any better.  We'll make it faster obviously, but we're not going to change shape, and we'll find out whether we got it right or not in September this year."

Watch video at Team YouTube site

May ACWS Regattas Dropped

(Jan 8) America's Cup organizers announced Tuesday that they will focus on preparations for the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup in July, dropping plans for May 2013 regattas that were under discussion for either New York City or San Francisco.  The decision leaves the America's Cup World Series in Naples, Italy, as the last AC45-based event before Challenger Selection for the 2013 America's Cup begins with the Louis Vuitton Cup July 4th. Read ACEA Press Release

Stephen Barclay, CEO, America's Cup Event Authority: “New York was always going to be expensive,” Barclay said [....] “We didn’t go into that thinking New York was going to pay us a whole lot of money.  They are not in position to pay us a lot of money and we didn’t ask them to.  We felt that maybe this was not the best time to be spending the money."
Read AP story at Washington Post

Cayard Looks to 2013

(Jan 3) Despite a good showing in the AC45-based regattas, Artemis Racing has had a slow start in the transition to the new AC72 cats.   An early broken wing, a damaged platform, and a later launch date than the other teams mark some of the frustrations for the Swedish challenger.  Michelle Slade caught up with Paul Cayard, CEO, to see how Artemis is advancing toward being ready for the Louis Vuitton Cup this summer.

Question: Is it disappointing to go through all this knowing you’re not going to have the time to get up to speed on these boats?

Paul Cayard: "You could say it’s disappointing, but it’s the nature of this race.  Even if we had another year, it’s a fundamental fact when you change a class of boat that you’ll always be leaving something on the table, it’s part of the game.  You’re never going to get to 100 percent, so the strategy and tactics have to revolve around the fact that you acknowledge that you’re not going to get everything done and have everything perfect.  It depends on the path that you take on that will get you the farthest up the ladder, which is an interesting part of the game.  It’s frustrating on the one hand, but we plan and train for that.  If you identify the scope of work that you can realistically take on, then you won’t feel that pressure because you would have designed a good game plan."

Read more at Sailing World

Oracle Wing On Its Way

Image:©2013 François Chevalier

Youth America's Cup Taking Shape

Red Bull demonstration boat in Venice.  Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
 Click image to enlarge and read more
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

“One of the requirements is that these are non-professional sailors,” says Murray.  “So if some of the young guys who are active members or sailors on the Cup teams were interested, they’d be regarded as professional sailors, so they’d have to quit their jobs.”

For a 20-year-old offered the chance to sail and race their own AC45, that might be a real easy decision-making process.

Read more at CupInfo

Also see:
Youth AC Trial Scheduled: ACEA Press Release


Also see news story archives of:

 2014-2017: 4th Q 2014-2015-2016-1st-2nd-Q 2017
 2013: 2nd Q | 1st Q  2012: 4th Q | 3rd Q | 2nd Q | 1st Q  2011: 3rd-4th Q | 2nd Q | 1st Q 
 2010: 4th Q | 1st-2nd-3rd Q  2009: 3rd-4th Q | 1st-2nd   2008: 3rd-4th Q | 1st-2nd Q
 2007: 3rd-4th Q2nd Q | 1st Q   2006: 4th Q | 2nd-3rd Q | 1st Q   2005: 4th Q

News stories above are archived chronologically. Also see regatta coverage of past America's Cup Matches, Louis Vuitton Cup, and more at Previous America's Cup Events

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