America's Cup News:
3rd-4th Quarter 2011


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Selected Archive of News Stories and Features:
June 2011 - December 2011
 


More America's Cup News

Dec 15: Think you are busy for the holidays? Captain Nat Herreshoff spent his Decembers designing and building some of the greatest America's Cup defenders in history:
Herreshoff Marine Museum Newsletter

Nov 12: GreenComm adds new sponsor Malama Composites: Press Release

Oct 20: Geoffrey Mason, America's Cup television producer, to be honored:
 Press Release

Oct 17: ACWS in Naples, Italy: Read Press Release

Oct 14: Tom Slingsby, Laser World Champ and respected tactician, joins Oracle Racing: mysailing.com.au

Oct 11: Oracle Racing is back on SF Bay with their AC45's: Read Press Release

Sept 14: Naples Italy to host Two ACWS Events!
Read Press Release

Sept 9: Preserving Australia's 12m yachts: Australia KA-5, the 1977 Challenger for the America's Cup, and Steak N Kidney KA-15, a 1986 candidate for the defense, to get a new home. Story at mysailing and more details and history at australian12m.com

Sep 9: ETNZ's efforts to get back on top of America's Cup Competition.  "We view this as the opportunity to try to finish the job," says Dean Barker:
AP story at Sport Illustrated

Sept 4: ACWS in Venice, Italy, May 12-20, 2012:
Read Press Release

 Sept 1: Derek Clark, Charlie Ogletree, Andreas Hagara new leaders at China Team: The Independent

Aug 26: AC Magazine: The Official iPad App: Free at iTunes

Aug 25: What to expect on the America's Cup race broadcasts in Plymouth? Gary Lovejoy interviewed at Scuttlebutt

Aug 24: The America's Cup is in Australia, the trophy that is. Will a regatta down under be announced next?
Sails Magazine

Aug 23: Setting Up Shop: America's Cup World Series kit arrives in Plymouth, England:
bbc.co.uk

Aug 23: Meet Mark Sheffield, behind the scenes at ACTV:
AmericasCup.com

Aug 18: America's Cup 2013 budgets 30-60 million: Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison interviewed (on video) at Bloomberg News

Aug 18: Mitch Booth, Skipper, leaving China Team: Sail-World

Aug 16: World Series Highlights Shows to air in USA on Versus Network:
Press Release

Aug 12: ACWS in Newport, RI, June 23-July 1, 2012!
Read  Press Release

Aug 12: America's Cup organizers announced partnership with YouTube: Press Release

Aug 6: Artemis and ETNZ teams at Extreme Sailing Series in Cowes

Jul 26: America's Cup Racing Rules Updated, to be reviewed after ACWS in Cascais: Read RRSAC v1.01 (pdf)

Jul 25: Italy's Venezia Challenge is out of 2013 America's Cup and ACWS: Press Release

Jul 13: Ten AC45 skippers are ready for ACWS Cascais: Press Release

July 11: The City of San Francisco Planning Department releases Draft of the Environmental Impact Report for the 2013 America's Cup, in two volumes with over 1,400 pages of details (plus 727 pages of appendices). A public hearing will be held August 11. Learn more or download all 76MB:
SFPlanning.org

Jul 8: Schedule published for America's Cup World Series Cascais: Schedule, Scoring and Format

Jul 4: Emirates Team New Zealand nips Artemis at the finish to win Boston edition of Extreme Sailing Series

June 30: Fresh Breeze: A new look debuts for the official America's Cup web site. As of July 1, all individual team websites are to be hosted at the official web site, too.

June 25: Learning the Multihull: ETNZ Skipper Dean Barker interview with PJ Montgomery for Newstalk ZB:
Audio at Sail-World.com

Jun 23: Challenger Real Club Nautico de Valencia announces their America's Cup entry: Details

June 21: Joe Lunchbox: Oracle Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill talks with Michelle Slade about punching the clock on an America's Cup multihull:
SailBlast Blog

June 18: Translated for Television? New York Times Story recaps the technology aimed at bringing new viewers to the 2013 America's Cup:
Read more

June 17: Jimmy Spithill on Holding the America's Cup: "...I just want to win it more now. It feels pretty good holding the thing up."  Oracle Racing's Skipper profiled at Sydney Morning Herald

Jun 15: Organizers confirm nine teams, eight challengers, for 2013 America's Cup: Press Release

June 14: Onboard: Sailing World's Stuart Streuli got a chance at the helm of the AC45 in San Francisco, pre-capsize:
Sailing World

Jun 13: Oracle's AC45 Brutal Pitchpole: See YouTube Video and Photos plus more Cats on San Francisco Bay
Day 1: Photos
Day 2: YouTube
and near capsize at Reuters

June 7: Screen Time: Cup Legend Magazine iPad app:
Cup Legend website

June 6: Italy's Venezia Challenge adds Tovar Mirsky as Helmsman and Ganga Bruni as coach:
Venezia Press Release

June 6: Cats on the Bay: Oracle's AC45s to sail in San Francisco this month:
Oracle Press Release

June 2: Where will the rest of the America's Cup World Series regattas be held?  The bidding process for host cities is now open:
Official Web Site

May 7: Italy's Venezia Challenge confirms that they have paid their Performance Bond for the 2011-12 America's Cup World Series and expect delivery of the team's AC45 on May 8:
Press Release

 


Impact Report Published, Awaits Approval from City of San Francisco

(Dec 1) The Final version of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2013 America's Cup has been published, as the process advances to obtain the discretionary approvals required from the City of San Francisco in order to host the 34th Defense of sailing's most historic trophy less than two years from now.

Required under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the EIR documents the expected impacts of the activities associated with the event, and also outlines measures that will be taken to mitigate those impacts.  It remains for the Planning Commission to certify the report, which they will consider at a meeting on December 15.  Then a period for appeal of the certification will run during which it can be asserted by possible opponents that the EIR's assessment of impacts or the sufficiency of proposed mitigations are inadequate.  If the City upholds the certification despite the appeal, then the EIR findings remain standing.  An opponent that loses an appeal would have the option of filing a legal challenge which, were that to occur, is still not an automatic stop to the America's Cup projects.  Among several possibilities a court can potentially dismiss the objections, while organizers also have the option to further modify plans to satisfy criticisms.

The current EIR has already been through a round of public comments and modification, which included removing some temporary berthing of visiting yachts that met with opposition from local residents.  At this point, the bar for a successful objection that would significantly slow down preparations for 2013 is fairly high, but that doesn't mean disruptions can be ruled out yet.  As the approvals process nears the latest finish line, fingers are crossed hoping for some smooth sailing.

Read and download 2013 America' Cup EIR from SF Planning Department (8 volumes, pdf)
 


Changes for ACEA and ACRM

(Nov 23) Scuttlebutt reports that management shuffle has taken place among event organizers for the 2013 America's Cup.  Some of the duties of the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will be transferred to America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) under Iain Murray.   Richard Worth, Chairman of the Event Authority, will focus on the commercial and marketing aspects of the event while Craig Thompson, CEO, will seek opportunities elsewhere.  Worth will remain Chairman and assume Thompson's title.

Read more at Scuttlebutt News
 


America's Cup World Series San Diego
Championship Fleet Race: Sunday Nov 20

Fleet Race Championship Final:
One 40-minute Fleet Race
Start schedule for 2:00 pm PT.
AC 500 Speed Trial, two runs each boat.

Fleet Race:
Underway! Spithill and Oracle4 leading, Korea and Energy fighting for second. Onto the 6th of 9 legs, it's a 29-second lead for Oracle4. Korea, ETNZ, and Energy in a tight pack behind them about 30 seconds. Oracle maintains at the next mark, Korea still second at rounding, but ETNZ gains, crosses ahead of Korea into second. Second to last leg, ETNZ has 5 seconds on Team Korea.

Oracle rounds the last mark and wins the Fleet Racing Championship Race, making a sweep for Spithill this weekend.  ETNZ 2nd, Energy 3rd, Aleph 4th by bare meters, Korea 5th, Artemis catches China on the last leg for 6th, China 7th, GreenComm8th, Oracle5 9th.

Oracle4 wins the San Diego Fleet Race Championship, to bookend their Match Racing Championship victory yesterday, and now trail Emirates by just one point in the combined 2011-12 Season standings.

Conditions:
Winds S 13 mph becoming SE 15 mph (WindFinder). Winds S 6-11 kts, rain and thunderstorm possible late afternoon (NWS).  Low tide 11:21 am, High Tide 5:07 pm.
 


America's Cup World Series San Diego
Finals: Saturday Nov 19

Match Race Championship Final:
Energy versus Oracle4
Best of Three Series

Also Placing Matches preceding the Final:
ETNZ versus Artemis (3rd-4th)
Aleph versus Oracle5 (5th-6th)
Korea defeats GreenComm (7th-8th)
Placing matches are one race each pair.
China has placed 9th See Brackets

First race start scheduled for 1:05 pm PT.

Race 1 (7th-8th Placing):
Korea versus GreenComm.  Despite penalty at the start, Korea sailed conservatively, until they found separation and passed the Spanish.  Team Korea places 7th, beats GreenComm who places 8th.

Race 2 (5th-6th Placing):
Aleph versus Oracle5, start at 1:50 pm.  Aleph rolls Oracle5 early, 16-second delta at first leeward gate. 30 seconds lead to FRA at the top gate. Oracle5 closes slightly, but the French maintain a lead coming into Gate 5 while Oracle finds a hole and drops back, the lead slipping from 90m to 300m. Aleph wins by 48 seconds to take 5th place, Oracle5 6th.

Race 3 (3rd-4th):
ETNZ versus Artemis, start at 2:15 pm, early lead to ETNZ delta 12 seconds, they take the right side with better pressure.  ETNZ turns left, bad wind shift forces Artemis to follow at the last minute, ceding more time to ETNZ, 200m lead downwind.  Aggressive moves from the trailing Swedes on the last upwind, lead closing to 140m, but the Kiwis give a loose cover with the last windward gate coming up.  The boats split on the last downwind, ETNZ taking the right side, taking a calculated risk, but no room for Artemis to exploit it.  Kiwis cruising to the finish, beating Artemis to claim 3rd place.

Finals:
Energy versus Oracle4 (Spithill) in best-of-three series.  First race underway at 2:40. Early lead to Energy. Spithill find better wind on Leg 5 and reels them in, getting a left shift, tries to cross, and makes it. Dial down before the mark punishes Energy more.  18-second delta for Oracle at the top gate.  Oracle wins and takes a 1-0 lead in the Finals. Second race, Oracle does it again, this time a slight lead that they maintain throughout the race, wins the Match Race Final 2-0 over Energy!

Conditions:
Winds WSW 9 mph (WindFinder). Winds SSW 6-8 kts becoming W, morning rain should clear by 10 am (NWS).  Low tide 10:18 am, High Tide 3:50 pm, flood current for most races, maximum current predicted at 2:14 pm, slack water at 4:22 pm.
 


America's Cup World Series San Diego
Semi-Finals: Friday Nov 18


The Boss Stick: Larry Ellison takes the helm of Oracle4 following their victory in the Semi-Finals. Click image to enlarge. Photo:2011 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing

Match Race Championship:

Semi-Final Match 1:
#2 Seed ETNZ vs. #3 Seed Oracle4 (Spithill)

Semi-Final Match 2:
#1 Seed Energy vs. #4 Seed Artemis

First Race Start Scheduled for 1:05 pm.
Each Semi-Final Match is best of three races. 
Races will be sailed in alternation between the matches, meaning SF1 Race 1 followed by SF2 Race 1, and so on.

Friday Races:
SF1 Race 1:
Oracle4 beats ETNZ to take 1-0 series lead.
SF2 Race 1:
 Energy beats Artemis to take 1-0 series lead.
SF1 Race 2:
 Oracle4 beats ETNZ again, taking the match 2-0 to advance to the Match Race Finals.
SF2 Race 2:
 Underway! Artemis ahead early but Energy passes on Leg 2, still leads by 23 seconds after Leg 3, and continues to extend with the last gate coming up.  Wind is slipping, and Artemis loses pace.  Energy gybes for the finish line, and Lock Peyron's "Dudes" beat Artemis 2-0 and move on!

Energy and Oracle4 (Spithill) will meet in the Match Race Final Series on Saturday.


Energy advances. Photo:2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Thursday Outlook:
Conditions: Wind SW 6-7 mph (WindFinder). SW 5-7 kts, light and variable (NWS).  High Tide 2:20 pm.

Preview:
 The Swedes find themselves the meat in a French sandwich today, having battled a sizzling hot Aleph yesterday to get to the Semi-Finals and race Energy.  With a 1-3-5 finishes, Energy placed at the top of the fleet in the seeding races, suggesting that the longtime French affinity for multihulls is beginning to show dividends in the America's Cup. 

ETNZ vs. Oracle4 (Spithill) is a good pairing, too, a rematch of the Cascais Match Race Championship Final, which Spithill won 2-0 over the Kiwis.

Race Reports, Stories, Results, and links to more:
See CupInfo's ACWS San Diego Main Page
 


Swedish Entry Ask Jury to Review ETNZ-Luna Rossa Agreement

(Nov 16) Artemis Press Release: Challenger of Record Artemis Racing representing Kungliga Svenska Segel Sllskapet (KSSS) has filed an application to the Jury requesting an interpretation of the Protocol governing the 34th Americas Cup with regards to the cooperation agreement between Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Luna Rossa Challenge 2013.

Artemis Racing believes that it is in the best interest of all competing teams to understand if all of the elements of the agreement are permissible before any party makes a significant investment.

KSSS/Artemis Racing welcome the involvement of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 in the 34th Americas Cup events and look forward to competing against the Italian team.
 


Luna Rossa Officially Accepted as Late Entry for 2013 America's Cup

(Nov 2) A late entry from Circolo della Vela Sicilia of Palermo and the team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 has been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, bringing to eight the number of challenger candidates for the 2013 America's Cup.  Luna Rossa's late start will be mitigated by an effort to work with Emirates Team New Zealand on design and technology development to the extent permitted by the rules of the Protocol for 2013.  The development agreement parallels ACEA's own shared design program that all teams were invited to participate in.

Read ACEA/Luna Rossa Press Release

Also: Video from Grant Dalton on the ETNZ-LR arrangement.  Dalton says that the first boats for each team will be identical, and that 50-70,000 man hours will be spent in NZ building the Luna Rossa boat, an example of generating returns on the financial support the Kiwis team received from the national government: Watch at YouTube
 


Luna Rossa Rises Again

(Oct 29) According to a report at LiveSicilia.it, Luna Rossa has been accepted as a challenger for the 2013 America's Cup. Max Sirena is expected to Skipper, and Ben Ainslie is mentioned as helmsman.  This effort would be the fourth challenge for the Italian team, with previous campaigns in 2000 (Lost to TNZ 5-0 in the America's Cup), 2003 (as Challenger of Record), and 2007 (LVC Semi-Finalist).

Read more at LiveSicilia.it (In Italian)
 


Protocol Amended

(Oct 26) Amendment number 10 to the Protocol for the 34th America's Cup has been approved by a majority of challenger teams in addition to the Defender and Challenger of Record.

The primary impact on racing is the modification of the duration of each America's Cup World Series regattas, no longer requiring nine race days.  Most of the other changes are related to internal financial and reporting regulations for the Event Authority, and adding mediation to the scope of the Jury's powers.

See Amendment #10 Notice (pdf, 766KB)
 


The Little Blue Book

 

Image: 2011 Wiley

 

(Oct 26) Peter Isler has spent years racing and winning in virtually every sort of yacht racing imaginable, and in his new book he shares stories and sailing expertise from his America's Cup victories, and beyond.

The book also includes chapters from the likes of America's Cup winners Buddy Melges (1992) and John Bertrand (1983), plus ascending sailing talents like Ben Ainslie and Jonathan McKee, among others.

Read more at Wiley Publishing
 


Coutts Steps Off the Boat

(Oct 24) In a crew change that he discussed previously, Russell Coutts will not be helming one of Oracle Racing's AC45 catamarans in the America's Cup World Series Regattas in San Diego next month.  Instead Darren Bundock will skipper Oracle 5, with Australian Tom Slingsby join him to sail with bowman Simon Tienpont and trimmers Murray Jones and Simon Daubney.  Slingsby, the #1 Ranked Laser sailor in the world, replaces Matthew Mason.  Bundock has two Olympic silver medals in the Tornado.

Oracle 4 will keep skipper James Spithill's powerhouse combination of John Kostecki as tactician, Dirk de Ridder as wingsail trimmer, Joe Newton on headsail trim, and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen as bowman.

Read more at Oracle Racing site
 


Prada Comes Back?

(Oct 20) A press release via the Hong Kong stock exchange, where Italy's Prada recently became a publicly-traded issue, suggests the fashion house may return to America's Cup racing by sponsoring a Luna Rossa campaign for 2013 to the tune of 40 million.  The document describes the negotiations between the company and the sailing team as ongoing and not finalized, however. 

One curiosity is the description of the regatta as being the XXXIII edition of the America's Cup, although XXX plus III equates to the 33rd Defense that entered the history books 20 months ago in Valencia, while Golden Gate YC's defense in San Francisco will be the 34th (or XXXIV for those of you keeping score in Rome).

 Possibly some of the finer points are getting lost in translation, but anything that holds out the promise of an Italian team becoming a challenger sounds exciting, and Luna Rossa's return to the America's Cup for 2013, even at a late date, would be an unexpected bonus for fans.

Read Prada Announcement (pdf)

Read Stuart Alexander's story at The Independent

An additional question arises as to whether Luna Rossa would be a full-fledged challenger, entitled to compete in the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup and potentially race Golden Gate in the America's Cup Match, or whether LR's immediate ambitions would be built around the America's Cup World Series.  A 40 million sponsorship over the 20 months that remain in this Cup cycle surely seems on the order of magnitude of a full challenge effort, making the Prada news intriguing, but considering the difficulty that existing teams face in order to get new AC72's designed, built, and launched, Luna Rossa will have a lot on their plate if they become a challenger. 

The Protocol for the 2013 event was modified this summer to allow additional teams to join up and compete solely in the ACWS, but, depending on how the Protocol is interpreted, by missing the first two ACWS events an intended challenger might seem to have lost their eligibility for the LVC and America's Cup before they started.  The rules, though, don't explicitly address the scenario for entries once the ACWS regattas have begun, and in any case the Protocol can be amended, if necessary, providing that a majority of the challengers, plus Artemis (as the Challenger of Record) and Golden Gate/Oracle Racing (as the Defender) agree.
 


Cayard Outlines Artemis Plans

(Oct 14) Interviewed by Vsail.info, Paul Cayard explained some of the team's current plans for 2012 and 2013, including their intention to expand beyond Valencia and test their first AC72 yacht against Oracle Racing in San Francisco next year.

Paul Cayard: "We decided we needed to stay close to our design team and test some components on the ORMA.  We decided it would be more convenient to be [in Valencia] this year and go to San Francisco next year.  We will in fact go there in July with our AC72 and train together with Oracle.  So, we plan to get a little of both.  Also, some components of our AC72 are being built right here in Spain.  The hulls will be obviously be built in Sweden but the assembly and lots of bits and pieces will be done around Valencia, thats why its convenient for our design team to stay in touch with all of that.

"As you can imagine there are a lot of factors influencing where we go.  The truth is that Valencia in the winter time is a much better place to sail than San Francisco.  There is a lot of current and not much wind in San Francisco in winter time.  Hopefully, we will have nice conditions here through the winter and spring and then well go to San Francisco."

Read Interview at vsail.info

Note: The AC72 yachts won't compete in earnest until 2013, but under the rules of the America's Cup Protocol, teams may launch their first AC72 boats July 1, 2012 (or even earlier in some cases), and spend up to 30 days sailing them before the end of January, 2013.  Though under the NYYC's reign, the defender would have avoided sailing against a challenger even in practice for fear of giving away vital performance information, there have been no formal rules against doing so.

It has always been a point of contention the extent to which a defender and challenger are benefiting each other by trialing against each other, and whether the defender and a challenger meeting in advance of the actual Match is appropriate given the challenge nature of the America's Cup, not to mention whether such activity favors the participating challenger over the others.  It's in a sense a mitigating factor here that Oracle and Artemis will be training very early in their AC72 experience, a year before the actual LVC and the 34th Defense.  Also to be considered is that none of the teams will be launching their second AC72 until February 1, 2013, making the alternative of solo testing a single boat not nearly as helpful to a development program.  Still, the prospect of two of the best funded and fully staffed campaigns comparing notes may not be very reassuring to other 2013 challenger candidates.


No Rest for Shore Crews


Photo:2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

The crew escaped uninjured, but China Team punished their wingsail with a capsize in training on Tuesday's rest day, breaking internal structure in several panels and shredding the cover.  After being brought back into port, shore crews will be hard at work overnight, but Charlie Ogletree, Skipper for China Team, expects the AC45 to be ready for the start of racing tomorrow.

Read story at Americascup.com and see more photos
 


Ciao Venice!

(Sept 4) Venice is the latest announced stop for the America's Cup World Series, which will hold a regatta in the uniquely nautical Italian city May 12-20, 2012. Venice will also host a Cup-related regatta in 2013on dates still to be determined.

Read ACEA Press Release

The announcement of Venice throws into doubt the chances that the city of Naples will be hosting an ACWS event, at least for the 2011-12 season.  Reports throughout August in Italian media said that an agreement with the southern city were on offer, but that various political aspects might delay a deal long enough that instead an agreement with Venice would come to the fore, which appears to have become reality.
 


Match Racing 360

(Aug 31) The first issue of Match Racing 360, a new online magazine, gets perspective from Brad Butterworth and Russell Coutts on the role of multihulls in the America's Cup.

From "Match Racing Multis": Whether the America's Cup's future lies in two hulls or one, Butterworth says match racing must remain at its core.  "The Cup has always been a match race between two boats and if it is just to become a fleet race there are plenty of series to do that," he said.

Read more in premiere of Match Racing 360
 


San Diego on the Horizon

San Diego is just around the corner....
San Diego is just around the corner....
Photo:2011 Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing

(Aug 25) Following the second ACWS Regatta in Plymouth in September, the first AC45 multihull racing in the US is just a few months away, too.  San Diego leaders were part of an America's Cup press conference in town Thursday to help get the word out.

This exciting event will provide the city with a healthy economic jolt and also serve as a great advertisement for San Diego, said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.  Media from all over the globe will broadcast images of San Diegos spectacular scenery to viewers as far away as China and New Zealand.

Read ACEA Press Release
 


Wired Up

(Aug 18) Adam Fisher visited the AC45 cats in development earlier this spring, sailed onboard for some trial races, and filed a detailed report on the state-of-the-art boats, and the state of the Cup, in a feature article for Wired magazine:

"On the way up, Spithill calls out a warning to his untethered crew: 'It looks like this time' -- the boats deck reaches full vertical, tossing Kostecki and Dirk de Ridder, the wing trimmer, into the water -- 'were really going' -- Spithills voice is even and calm as the boat pirouettes on her port hull to flop on her side -- 'all the way...'"

Read "Winging It" at Wired.com
 


Naples to Host?

(Aug 17) Naples, Italy, could be on the verge of becoming an America's Cup World Series host, according to a report at napolicentro.com that cites a joint statement by local and regional political leaders.

Read more at napolicentro.com (in Italian)
or View machine translation via Microsoft Translator

Meanwhile, an earlier report at corriere.it (also in Italian) says that an event-hosting agreement with America's Cup organizers is awaiting government signature, which could happen within the next week or two, though the article goes on to suggest that if political issues in Naples cause too much delay in closing a deal that the Italian city of Venice, which is also pursuing an ACWS regatta, could get the nod instead.
 


An Absorbing Interest

(Aug 16) Bob Fisher's landmark multi-volume history of the America's Cup will be available again this fall, in a limited number of copies.  Sample chapters from An Absorbing Interest: The America's Cup - A History 1851-2003 are available for reading, and pre-orders can be placed, at Wiley Nautical
 


Quotes of the Day:

Terry Hutchinson, Skipper, Artemis Racing:  "The guys did awesome work to battle us back into the race.  I think its probably the best that weve gone the entire regatta, today, so it was nice there to peak boatspeed-wise and performance-wise.  Team New Zealand showed the way, kind of, down the second run, kind of showed a good spot to jibe in and showed that there was pressure over there and we could see them making a gain on Oracle4 ... so we followed them over there, we made a nice gain.  Then we followed Oracle 4 around the righthand gate looking downwind and made the decision to tack earlier rather than later just to get out of the fray on that side, and the next time we came together we were ahead."

"Nobody got bogged down on the fact that I copped up the start.  The first run Kevin did really nice work picking a couple good lanes for us to sail in.  Its nice to have a slightly longer leg and let the boatspeed work for you a little bit."

See more photos and read team statements
 


ETNZ Seeks Vote on Web Policies

(Aug 8) Emirates Team New Zealand is asking that all teams weigh in on the internet policies instituted for the 34th Defense of the America's Cup, which introduced the new requirement that the competitors host their web presences solely on the official web site.

ETNZ's concern is that the situation hinders their ability to work with the sponsors that the team needs to be viable and prevents effective integration of the team's America's Cup efforts with their other activities.

Read ETNZ Press Release
 


"America's Cup Uncovered"


Photo:2011 Gilles Martin-Raget/americascup.com

(Jul 28) Normally in match racing, covering is what you want, but when it comes to getting a peek behind the scenes, regatta organizers will be telling weekly on- and off-the-water stories via a new video magazine focused on the 34th Defense: "America's Cup Uncovered".  The program will be available on broadcast TV in several countries, and streamed online, too.

Read more in ACEA Press Release
 


Venezia Challenge Excused from 2013 America's Cup

(Jul 24) Italian team Venezia Challenge, representing Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria, was deemed "excused" from further participation in the 2013 America's Cup by regatta organizers.  The team was apparently unable to meet event requirements.

According to Iain Murray, Americas Cup Regatta Director and Chief Executive of Americas Cup Management Limited: Following discussions and attempts to resolve in a timely way, there was an agreement to meet certain obligations by this weekend and the deadline passed.

Read ACEA Press Release

Update: While the ACEA announcement contains a statement from Venezia, the team also posted a notice at their website saying that the team is continuing their efforts and that:
1) "The statement represents a unilateral interpretation of the facts that has not involved the independent Jury."
2) "Venezia Challenge rejects as a matter of fact and of law the communications and measures adopted by the organization which are plainly at odds with the procedures for exclusion of Competitors as set out in the Protocol."

Read entire Venezia Statement at team site

Barring any reversal of fortune, Venezia is out of the both the America's Cup World Series and the Louis Vuitton Cup.  Their exit leaves seven challengers from six countries to face Golden Gate YC for the trophy.  Venezia's departure means that 2013 will mark only the second Louis Vuitton Cup since 1983 without a challenger candidate from Italy, as was also true in 1995. 

Il Moro di Venezia in 1992 and Luna Rossa in 2000 both won the LVC and raced in the actual America's Cup match, while Azzurra, Mascalzone Latino, and +39 also carried the flag, popularizing the sport back home and bringing a hearty Italian enthusiasm to the proceedings.
 


Energy Team Adds Corum Sponsorship


Image:2011 Energy Team

French Challenger Energy Team, representing YC de France, and lead by the Peyron brothers, has picked up sponsorship from watchmaker Corum.

Read Energy Press Release
 


Tangling With The Web

July 18: ETNZ has asked for mediation of issues regarding folding the team's website, emiratesteamnz.com, into the official America's Cup website, americascup.com, as required by the Protocol for the 34th Defense.  Involved are questions about who maintains control over identities and content, including visibility for sponsors' logos and links, and for a team with multiple campaigns in a variety of sailing arenas, such as ETNZ's Volvo Ocean Race and Extreme Sailing Series efforts, there is a central concern about being able to effectively promote the team and secure sponsorships to make that racing possible.

ETNZ Statement: Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed today that it is seeking mediation in its dispute with the Americas Cup Event Authority (ACEA) over rules that restrict the teams internet presence.  Challengers are forbidden from having an independent Americas Cup presence on the internet.  All Americas Cup content generated by individual teams is contained within the 34th Americas Cup web site.

ACEA is seeking to prohibit teams from altering page templates, which control the look, feel and personality of the space allocated to them, without ACEA approval and without incurring costs.

Team managing director Grant Dalton says that one effect of this is to stifle the ability of commercially funded teams to raise sponsorship, and that affects all commercial teams.  I would have thought an ACEA objective should be to help teams secure sponsorship, not hinder them.

He said: For example we are an established team which has been in continuous operation since the 1987 Americas Cup challenge at Perth.  We have a campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race and we are competing in the Extreme Sailing Series.  We need to be able to project ourselves to the public as we see fit, not controlled from within someone elses web site.  

Dalton said the event authority, by controlling all Americas Cup internet traffic, was promoting the event at the expense of the teams, without which there would be no event. 

People follow teams, not events....  people are not fans of the Rugby World Cup soon to be held in New Zealand, they support the teams within the Rugby World Cup.
 


Dell Joins ETNZ


Grant Dalton, right, and Mike Hill, Dell NZ, left.
Photo: 2011 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Dell will provide technology support to the Emirates Team New Zealand 2013 America's Cup effort, Grant Dalton, ETNZ CEO, announced Wednesday in Auckland.  Using large high-speed computing clusters, Dell will help in the design phase of the team's new AC72 yachts, and the technology company will also assist in analyzing extensive datasets gathered from live onboard instrumentation once the new boats are sailing.  Support for the logistics of ETNZ's daily IT operations, internal and external, including web and social media, are also part of the partnership.

Read brief story at ETNZ team site and
 Read longer story at Stuff.co.nz
 


America's Cup World Series Season Kicks Off August 6

Racing in Cascais, Portugal, will include Fleet Racing and a Match Racing Bracket, plus a speed trial over a measured course.  Ten AC45 cats will compete close to shore in the 9-day event.

ACWS Cascais:
Day-by-Day Race Schedule | Format and Scoring
ACEA Press Release


Jury Confirms Challenger of Record Issues

(July 7) The America's Cup Jury has issued a ruling confirming that the role of "Challenger of Record" (COR) appropriately passed to the Royal Swedish YC (KSSS) after the resignation of Club Nautico di Roma and Mascalzone Latino, the original COR.

The issue of the proper order of succession had been questioned by Royal New Zealand YS (RNZYS) representative Emirates Team New Zealand, who believed that they submitted their Notice of Challenge at the very opening of the challenge window last November.  ETNZ's $25,000 payment, however, was not received until later, while KSSS had prepaid the required amount.  The New Zealanders asked the Jury to determine whether the procedures of the Protocol for the 34th Defense had been properly applied by Golden Gate YC, raising the issue of whether RNZYS should instead be the COR.

GGYC for their part, believed that they had received notice via email from KSSS 15 seconds after the challenge period opened, and from RNZYS the better part of an hour later.  Both challengers had also sent  messages before the midnight deadline, RNZYS's attempt arriving 1 second too early apparently, which GGYC deemed premature.

In any case, GGYC's position was that receipt of payment was essential to a Notice of Challenge being accepted as official, and that KSSS should take precedence in the order of succession for that reason.

The America's Cup Jury accepted GGYC's reasoning, though the Jury also chided Golden Gate for less than complete transparency.  In confirming the need for timely financial payment, the Jury also avoided the complicated and probably still uncertain investigation that would have been needed to untangle when which email was actually sent and received.

For anybody wanting to learn more, the full text of the Jury decision is available, and contains a great deal of procedural matters to establish whether the parties have standing to participate in the dispute, whether ETNZ's "request for clarification" was in fact a formal "protest", and who pays for the costs of the hearing process.  Thankfully, the America's Cup Jury is the final arbiter on such matters.

Download the America's Cup Jury Decision
(pdf, 8 pages, 161KB)

 


 Iain Murray Profiled at New York Times

(Dec 25) Iain Murray is now the Regatta Director for the 2013 America's Cup, but few other people have had as much responsibility and success in the America's Cup so early in their lives.  Murray was skipper and designer of the first non-US defender in history, Kookaburra III, in 1986, facing challenger Stars&Stripes.  Murray was in his mid-twenties at the time.  The New York Times' Christopher Clarey caught up with Murray as he prepared to race in this year's Sydney-to-Hobart, and talked with him not just about where the America's Cup is going, but about where Murray came from:

Iain Murray: "We had little dinghies on top of the roof of cars and rigged them up on the grass there together and off wed go.

Read story at New York Times
 


Artemis Racing's Sean Clarkson

(Dec 21) Sean Clarkson, Trimmer for Artemis Racing, is a veteran of five previous America's Cup challenges.  Diane Swintal got Clarkson's perspective on what the team has learned in their transition to multihull racing,  and what they are doing to prepare for the AC72:

Adapting from monohulls to the multihulls:
Sean Clarkson: "I think we made it harder on ourselves, actually.  Its really not that difficult, we just tried to over-analyze everything.  As soon as we appreciated that its just a sailboat -- you go out there, have a good start, get the shifts and have good crew work -- it all goes well.  The smoother you sail it, the better shifts you get, the better starts you have, you still win races."

On the demands of the AC45:
Sean Clarkson: "You dont see many of the big, burly grinders out here, you see more athletic guys.  Mid-range guys -- smart, athletic guys.  Theres no place for someone whos not a very good sailor.  From the bowman back, we all have to be very tactical and intelligent as well as strong and fit.  Its a new breed.  Its supposed to be the Facebook generation, right?  But I think us old guys are still going pretty well!"

Read more at CupInfo.com
 


Cayard Looking Ahead

(Dec 21) Michelle Slade talked with Paul Cayard and got his views on Artemis Racing's progress in 2011, and their outlook for 2012 and 2013.  Looming largest is the effort it's going to take to manage the beast of a multihull that will be the new AC72 class:

Paul Cayard: "It doesnt take a brain surgeon to figure out that the handle-ability of this seriously over-powered boat which is under-crewed on an extremely short course in the windiest venue in the world you multiply all that together and you have a s---fight on your hands."

Read more at SailBlast
 


San Francisco Groups Appeal Environmental Report Certification

(Dec 16) In the wake of Thursday's unanimous vote by the San Francisco Planning Commission to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2013 America's Cup, several local groups have filed appeals of the finding.  Their objections mean that the elected body for San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors, will by law need to respond within 30 days.

Opponents claim that the "Final" EIR as certified is not "...adequate, accurate or objective," which are statutory terms that an EIR must meet.  Opposition centers on whether complete details of mitigation plans have been provided and found sufficient, along with a position that some significant impacts have not been included in the study.  In Thursday's board meeting, Commissioners responded to such criticisms by pointing out that CEQA, the state law which requires the EIR, does not also require the details of mitigation plans be included in order for an EIR to be considered adequate, and that many of the specifics for mitigation are intended by CEQA to be addressed during the approvals process still to come with the various authorities.  An EIR is an informational document about the impacts which serves as the basis for considering discretionary governmental approvals, and not an actual approval of the project itself.

Depending on public and private actions over the next 30 days, it is too soon to gauge whether the appeals will mean any actual delays in America's Cup preparations for 2013.  Even those who asked Thursday to delaying the certification vote were at pains to stress their overall support for the event and their appreciation of the efforts that both city and America's Cup officials have made to address their concerns.

"This is part of the process, it's not a lawsuit and we have no intention of pursuing litigation," said Jon Golinger, President of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, in the SF Appeal.  "We just want more eyeballs on these issues."

Read more at SF Chronicle and at SF Appeal

In related news, with the EIR certified, America's Cup organizers cooperated with the city to modify the Host City Agreement (HCA) so that organizers will receive long-term leases on Pier 54 rather than Piers 14-1/2 to 22 as planned.  Development on the original site risked obscuring what is presently an open stretch of water views, the politics of which led the city to seek the change.  Read more at SF Chronicle
 


America's Cup Environmental Report Approved

(Dec 15, 7:24 pm) The San Francisco Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday to certify the Environmental Impact Report for the 2013 America's Cup.  Once certified, the individual agencies, more than a dozen in all, who need to grant approvals for holding the regatta in San Francisco can proceed to consider the issues within their jurisdictions.

Such business gets underway Friday, at a meeting of the Port Commission to negotiate terms with the America's Cup Event Authority and approve contracts for the pier improvements.

Also:
Read Stories at SF Gate and SF Examiner
 


San Francisco Plans May Face Opposition

(Dec 14) The "Final" Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco, a necessary document under California's Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) allowing the city and related agencies to provide the approvals the event requires, will be considered for certification by the San Francisco Planning Commission on Thursday.

The EIR which has been in process for much of the past year, and subject to a mandatory public review and commentary period for 45 days last summer, acknowledges the expected consequences of staging the regatta on the Bay, and the steps that are proposed in mitigation.

Despite widespread cooperation from local environmental groups, some of those groups say that the "Final" EIR does not sufficiently detail the scope of mitigation programs, and does not guarantee the sources of funding under certain scenarios.  One alliance of twelve groups has written a letter seeking delay of the Commission's certification vote.

The big question is what impact any delays might have on preparations for the 2013 event, and whether delays could threaten holding the event in San Francisco at all.

If the Commission does vote to certify the Report, the groups in opposition have 20 days to file an appeal.  Under state law, an appeal would then require the City's publicly elected body, the Board of Supervisors, to take action within 30 days of the appeal.  If the Board does not satisfy the objections, opponents could take the matter to court. 

Though the environmental groups are at this point asking primarily for more time to review the contents of the FEIR, and for more details about the mitigation efforts, in any case the time needed to file an appeal and schedule it with the Supervisors could be two or three times longer than the period elapsed since the FEIR was issued December 1.  Certification is the likely outcome for Thursday.  What follows an appeal, if one is made, is harder to define.

The combination of the appeal and response periods means that the Board would have to take action on or before early February.  The Board could uphold the FEIR, or request modifications before eventually voting to uphold the FEIR, while a settlement could also be agreed between the parties before or after the Board takes up the matter.

Such back-and-forth on certifications and appeals is not unusual in the CEQA process, and does not mean a lawsuit is imminent.  And the language of the various members of the coalition asking for delay is not entirely hostile.  "I think it will be approved in a timely fashion," Jon Golinger, President of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Other projects have come in with a high-handed manner.  That was not the case here.  We're mostly happy."

While a cloud of uncertainty would not be welcome, even if a lawsuit did result it does not necessarily mean a court would issue an injunction preventing the event from going forward.  More likely, the length of the process and the uncertainty of the outcome will prompt negotiation.

Read Stories:
San Francisco Chronicle: Vote on Report Big Hurdle for America's Cup
Bay Area Citizen: "EIR in Limbo" plus Coalition letter  requesting Certification Delay
Also, story at: SF Examiner
 

San Francisco Planning Commission:
The FEIR item is scheduled for 5:00 pm PT.
See Agenda for December 5 and Draft of Certification Motion
 


North Carolina Group Sues to Become Defender

(Dec 14) According to a report from the Associated Press, an entity named African Diaspora Maritime Corp. (ADMC) has filed suit against Golden Gate YC, claiming that GGYC should be forced to accept the North Carolina entity as a candidate to defend the America's Cup in 2013, and be allowed to compete in defense trials against Oracle Racing.

Read AP story at Wall Street Journal

Notes: On the face of it, claims reported in the Associated Press story appear to be at odds with the provisions of the Deed of Gift, let alone the Protocol for the 34th Defense.  Golden Gate YC as trustee and defender is under no legal or protocol obligation to include anyone as a defender candidate unless GGYC chooses otherwise.  "We believe the lawsuit is utterly without merit and that GGYC will prevail," said a club representative.

The claims as reported would also appear entirely unrelated to the issues decided in court from 2007-2010, which centered the Swiss defender's acceptance of what the court ruled was a illegitimate challenger.

African Diaspora Maritime was also the name of an effort that explored becoming a defender candidate for the 1995 America's Cup Defense in San Diego.  That undertaking was headed by a Charles Kithcart.  The same name appears on incorporation documents from October 2011 for ADMC that were filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State, and on an ADM-related US trademark registration.

The situation of an unsolicited and unaccepted would-be defender candidate is not unprecedented in the America's Cup.  In 1901 Thomas Lawson, despite being unaffiliated with the New York YC, built a radical but uninvited boat, Independence, which he intended would defend the America's Cup.  The NYYC saw it otherwise.  Then, as now, under the Deed of Gift it was the domain of the defending yacht club to select their representative.

See article at CupInfo: Lawson, Rockefeller, and the America's Cup for more background
 


Chris Draper to Leave Team Korea

(Dec 13) Korea's White Tiger Challenge will name a new skipper shortly in the wake of the departure of Chris Draper, who led the team to fourth place in the ACWS standings after the first three regattas.

Chris Draper: "It has been a huge experience and one that I will always look back on with pride, however there are other opportunities that I cannot overlook, and so I would like to wish Team Korea all the best of success and good luck for the future."

Read Team Korea Press Release
 


Emirates Team New Zealand and ACEA Reach Agreement on Blog

(Dec 6) Following several months of discussion, ETNZ and the America's Cup Event Authority have mutually accepted that a team blog can be considered as "social media" and can be permitted to exist outside of the official America's Cup website.

This appears to settle a dispute that had been brewing since last June, when under the rules of the Protocol for the 34th Defense, all teams were to have made americascup.com their "sole online presence."  An exception to this requirement, however, was carved out for social media.

ETNZ believed that the rule frustrated the efforts of teams like themselves that rely on the support of corporate sponsors, and who maintain presences in other sailing arenas.  Among other efforts, ETNZ has active programs in the Volvo Ocean Race with their Camper entry, and in the Extreme Sailing Series.  ETNZ was reluctant to fold all of their online content under the americascup.com domain address.

The ACEA in turn, even if willing to allow ETNZ room to publish an blog, still held concerns whether the rule was being appropriately applied, and raised the issue with the America's Cup Jury.  Today's notice memorializes the agreement between both sides to accept ETNZ's conduct as being within the rules, and the Jury "..considers the matter closed."

Also: Read (Brief) Jury Notice (pdf)

On the face of it this dispute was a seemingly minor matter, but the manner of resolution does take the measure of the balance of power and the willingness of the people involved to find a workable solution to the needs of the teams and the event overall.


The AC72 Cats are Coming: A Preview from Paul Cayard

(Dec 1) Kimball Livingston spoke with Paul Cayard of challenger Artemis Racing, and got some tantalizing hints of what the big 72-foot multihulls for the 2013 America's Cup are going to be like. "Big and Complicated" is the theme here.

Excerpt:  But when you scale up to a wing 130 feet tall, how do you control the beast?  The first Artemis wing is under construction in a special facility in Valencia, Spain, Cayard says, and to control the moving parts in that wing, We have 38 hydraulic cylinders.  We want to avoid running hydraulic piping to each of them, because that would be heavy, so we have electro-valves embedded in the wing to actuate the hydraulics.  But if you had two wires, positive and negative, running to each electro-valve, your wing would look like a PG&E substation, and thats heavy too, so we use a CAN-bus [controlled area network] with far fewer wires.  Still, its incredibly complex."

Read more at Blue Planet Times
 


Shared Design Program Launches

(Apr 7) America's Cup organizers announced Thursday the commencement of the "Shared Design Program" for the new 72-foot multihulls that will compete in the 2013 America's Cup.

Any of the currently entered teams, 14 Challengers and the Defender, can participate in the common study of hull platform, wing sail, and appendage designs which will produce a baseline AC72 that all can use as the starting point for their 2013 yachts.  The resulting "ACRM" boat as designed might be sufficient for start-up teams with limited resources, though the top teams are likely to move well beyond the shared design in many respects.

With the first AC72 yachts set to launch between as soon as January 1, 2012, and the start of construction imminent in the second half of 2011, the design pressures on the new class are immense.  Designers, plans, and performance data may be shared among teams up until June 1, 2012.

The shared program draws upon industry experts across several yacht design and construction disciplines to create the jumping off point for the first batch of 72-foot multihulls.  Sharing of design data in this manner for the America's Cup, which at its core has always been a contest of yachting technology just as much as sailing ability, is unprecedented and would have been against the rules in many years.  Regatta organizers are allowing (and encouraging) the practice within limitations as a means of getting the new and technically advanced yacht class up to speed, literally, in a shortened time frame.

Read ACRM Press Release
 


Honey to Lead Cup Technology Efforts

Stan Honey, experienced navigator and an innovative engineer, has been named as Director Of Technology for the 2013 America's Cup.  Honey has been working with America's Cup organizers since last year on bringing advanced visualization to the America's Cup.  Among Honey's achievements, he invented the system that superimposes first-down yard lines and other information over live video during NFL football games, itself an outgrowth of a system originally created to show the start/finish lines on America's Cup broadcasts. 

The scope for the 2013 America's Cup is much more ambitious.  Live depiction of distances ahead or behind, rules situations, locations of marks and boundaries, and other performance data can be shown in high-resolution, accurate to within centimeters, on the actual race video without cutting away to a computer animation.  The system may also be incorporated in the conduct of the race itself, determining overlaps, rights or lack of them at mark roundings, and used by umpires to enforce penalties.

Read ACEA Press Release
and Read More with Stan Honey from Michelle Slade at SailBlast
 


Korean Challenger Meets the Public

(Jul 6) Team Korea, aka White Tiger Challenge, met the press and the public in Korea on Tuesday.  Kim Dong-Young, CEO Team Korea, introduced Chris Draper who will be skipper for the first America's cup effort from the country.  " I am looking forward to the first regatta in Portugal next month, and an intense period of training ahead of that with our new crew," said Draper, a British sailor with experience racing the 49'er.  "We have selected experts I have been sailing with for many years, and will be formally announcing them all next week."

Read Team Korea Press Release
 


Dell Onboard with ETNZ?

(July 5) Is there a new sponsor for Emirates Team New Zealand?  A Dell computer representative in Australia says via Twitter that an announcement is coming July 13 in Auckland.

If so, it's good timing.  Yesterday ETNZ won Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Boston, with a victory in the final race putting them ahead of rival Artemis (see See video at YouTube).  The computer company is launching a new marketing campaign, More You, aimed at making a lifestyle connection with consumers by emphasizing how Dell's technologies link people to favorite activities.  Emirates Airlines has already re-upped as the Kiwis' naming sponsor for the 2013 America's Cup, while Camper has the lead for Team New Zealand's Volvo Ocean Race entry.  Is there room for Dell on ETNZ's AC72, or is the computer company a potential name sponsor for the team's ESS campaign?  Or something else entirely?
 


Circle the Dates

(Jul 4) America's Cup organizers have released the schedule, format, and scoring for the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup.

The event will start several days earlier than first planned, with opening ceremonies in San Francisco on Thursday, July 4, 2013, and a fleet racing round kicking off July 5.  This is the first time in history that fleet racing has ever counted as part of the Louis Vuitton Cup itself.  There will be two match racing Rounds Robin to rank the challenger candidates, and the top four RR finishers will compete in Semi-Finals and a Final match to determine the winner of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup, who becomes the 34th Challenger for the America's Cup.

The actual America's Cup Match is set to begin September 7, as per previous announcements.

See 2013 LVC and America's Cup Race Schedule and Read Press Release
 


How Fast is Fast?

America's Cup AC45 catamaran on a wave in San FRancisco Bay. Photo copyright 2011 Gilles Martin-Raget americascup.com
Photo:2011 Gilles Martin-Raget/americascup.com

(June 23) Kiteboarders are some of the fastest sailors on the water, and now along comes the AC45 wingsail catamaran.  Kimball Livingston caught up with the speed freaks of San Francisco Bay to see who has the horses:

Kiteboarder Johnny Heineken: "...Joey Pasquali (who will be joining John Craig ((AC34 PRO)) as a mark-set boat driver), Bryan Lake and I followed them around for an hour or so on our courseboards.  I would say that on upwind angles we were even, but they had a tiny speed advantage with that not-slowing-down-over-chop thing theyve got going.  We get bounced on our 6-foot boards.  Their leeward hulls just drive through it.  But it was pretty amazing to sail half a boatlength away from one of those things, just to leeward off their bow, and hang with them."

Read more at Blue Planet Times
 

America's Cup AC45 catamaran and kiteboarder in San Francisco Bay. Photo copyright 2011 Gilles Martin-Raget americascup.com
Photo:2011 Gilles Martin-Raget/americascup.com
 


Spanish Club is 8th Challenger

Green Comm Racing Logo

(June 23) Real Club Nautico de Valencia (RCNV), represented by Green Comm Challenge, announced today that they are a challenger for the 2013 America's Cup.  Green Comm, although never a challenger in the America's Cup, has had previous association with Italian yacht club Circolo Vela Gargnano, who challenged in 2007 when they were represented by the +39 team. 

Led by Francesco de Leo, the team will train in Valencia with crew selection trials coming in September particularly focused on recruiting young sailors.  Target budget is 40M.  Though some key sailing team leaders are Italian, and leaders say they will draw from talent across Europe, the RCNV effort is presented as the Spanish Challenge.  Luca Devoti is Sports Team Manager and Vasilij Zbogar will be helmsman on the team's AC45 this August in Cascais.  Others bringing plenty of top Finn class experience include Jonathan Lobert, Ed Wright, Zach Railey, Anthony Nossiter, and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, Alex Muscat, Jorge Zarif, and Paul Hobson.

Read Green Comm Press Release

Team Website: Green Comm Racing

From Stuart Alexander: Story on Green Comm's Ed Wright at The Independent

With the announcement, all eight of the current challenger entries for the 2013 event will finally be publicly known.  Three still-unnamed teams that were officially accepted have since had to drop out.
 


On The AC45: First-Hand Reports

Kimball Livingston: "I have my hand on the hiking stick of AC45 #4, and Jimmy Spithill at my elbow is telling me to press a little harder, and a little harder, and were just shy of the Golden Gate Bridge and 'pressing' means to turn the boat farther away from the wind, more toward 'downwind' and back into the bay and Ive finally extricated my foot from the loop in the line that grabbed me when I was crossing the net in the tack and Im pretty sure that Spithill has no intention of allowing me to send this machine down San Francisco Bay with five souls aboard even if they are pros and better paid than I am but he keeps telling me to press a bit more and I can feel the boat accelerating, getting loose like a thoroughbred at a bugle call and Spithill is saying, 'Dont worry, mate, youre fine, just press a little more.'"

Read more from Kimball Livingston at Blue Planet Times

Journalist Michelle Slade also got a ride with the Oracle crew, skippered by Russell Coutts, fresh off the capsize heard 'round the world. From her report:

"The only instruction: hold onto to the piece of yellow rubber hosing fixed on the crossbeam.  And we shot off on a reach toward the Golden Gate Bridge.  I did my own mental safety check, recalling that the only thing to do in the event of a capsize is to hang on.  I cant say there was ever a moment where I was white-knuckled because the sheer excitement was the more overwhelming feeling."

Read more at SailBlast Blog
 

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart rides aboard an America's Cup AC45 multihull yacht. Photo copyright 2011 Gilles Martin-Raget americascup.com
Windward Beat: Mickey Hart, drummer for The Grateful Dead, gets a ride on the AC45. As his old band once sang:
"The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will."
Photo:2011 Gilles Martin-Raget/americascup.com
 


Australia May Return?

(June 16) Down but not out, Team Australia was officially accepted earlier this year by Golden Gate YC as a challenger for the2013 America's Cup, and is still working to satisfy requirements to move forward as a viable team.  The non-mention of Australia at Wednesday's competitor announcement event in San Francisco raised the implication that Team Australia was out, but Peter Baker, spokesman for the Australian hopeful, attributes some of the delay to finalizing legal technicalities needed for the challenger to receive funding. "It hasn't stopped our (America's Cup) challenge," Baker said.

Read story at NineMSN.com
 


Revealing Competitors for 2013

(June 15) America's Cup organizers held a press conference Tuesday in San Francisco to reveal the details of which teams are official challengers, and other plans including dates for the America's Cup World Series in San Diego. 

San Diego is now expected for late November, the 12th through 20th.

Eight Challengers are confirmed for the 2013 Cup, one still to be named. Aleph, Artemis, China, Energy, ETNZ, Korea, Venezia, and one to be announced will face Golden Gate YC's Oracle Racing.

Read ACEA Press Release

The unnamed team is to be announced in Europe on June 23rd.  According to Stuart Alexander, expectations are that the new challenger is also Italian.
Read more at The Independent
 


Cats Debut in SF

Presentation at Golden Gate YC for AC45 yachts. Photo copyright 2011 Guilain Grenier americascup.com
Photos:2011 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing
 

(June 13) Oracle Racing Held a Press Conference at Golden Gate YC to help show off their new AC45 multihulls now sailing on San Francisco Bay.

James Spithill: "In San Francisco youll get rewarded for pushing the boat hard unless you go over the limit!"

Read Oracle Press Release
 


Protocol Amendment Eight Released

(June 9) Several changes to the rules for the 34th Defense of the America's Cup are incorporated, along with the recital that KSSS is now the Challenger of Record.  A $100,000 USD entry fee is deferred until August 1, 2011.  A $200,000 entry fee is now due June 1, 2012, pushed back one year.  June 10, 2011, is a mandatory date to have made a purchase deposit on an AC45 yacht.

The first AC72 yachts may launch July 1, 2012, and a team's second AC72 can launch Feb 1, 2013, instead of November 1, 2012.  Related AC72 deadlines have also shifted, and there are limited sailing days for the yachts up until May 1, 2013.

Additionally, competitors who are not officially entered as challengers may be permitted by GGYC to compete in the America's Cup World Series events.  This provision could retain competitors for the ACWS who otherwise might have been forced to drop out immediately.  Alternatively, unofficial teams in the ACWS could be on a pathway for late entry, if they can design and build an AC72 yacht in time.

Read the 2013 Protocol including Amendment Eight (pdf, 45 pages)


Hyperspace

Video still of AC45 multihulls in trials, Auckland, NZ. Image copyright 2011 americascup.com
Click image to watch video at YouTube.
Video:2011 americascup.com

(Jun 2) Footage of the AC45 tests in Auckland last month has been cut into another fast-paced spectacle, this time with some nice onboard and aerial shots of the cats in action, inbetween a bit of more obvious media messages at YouTube.  For a treat, check the above (brief) sequence at the 2:30 point as ETNZ stuffs a hull and Oracle veers off nearly too hard trying to get clear.
 


Easing the Curve

(June 1) America's Cup organizers announce that they have modified several event requirements to help aid teams facing difficulties as they work to prepare for upcoming races.  The biggest change is that the AC45 yachts, which were scheduled to be used in the 2011-12 World Series, will now be used for the 2012-13 season as well.  The individual AC72s will launch in July 2012, but will not race in the World Series events, instead using their time on the water to focus on development and preparation for the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection that begins in 2013.

Among other changes the performance bond for the America's Cup World Series is eliminated, and upfront money for an AC45 purchase is reduced, along with several smaller tweaks.  Format and scoring plans for the ACWS were also released.

Read America's Cup Press Release

A Protocol amendment (which would be the 8th amendment to date) to memorialize the changes has circulated to the teams, a majority of whom must agree, though the final form has not been made available yet.
 


ETNZ Asks Review of Artemis Racing's Succession to Challenger of Record

(May 27) Although the Protocol in Article 6.4 appears to have directed the order of succession, Emirates Team New Zealand has asked the America's Cup Jury to "clarify" the process that passed the title of "Challenger of Record" to Artemis Racing in the wake of Club Nautico di Roma/Mascalzone Latino's decision to resign. 

Statement From ETNZ: Emirates Team New Zealand is asking the Americas Cup jury to clarify the method of selecting the Challenger of Record for the 34th Americas Cup. Mascalzone Latino, the original Challenger of Record, announced on May 12 that it could not proceed with its challenge. Golden Gate Yacht Club appointed the Swedish team Artemis to fill the role which involves representing all challengers in negotiations with race management.

Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said that with so much public money and sponsorship involved in the New Zealand challenge it was reasonable to seek clarification on how Artemis was selected.  Dalton likened the move to a rugby team going to the referees association to get clarification of a change to the rules of rugby.

We can see circumstances arising where the smaller commercial teams could be disadvantaged by the marriage between these two super powers Oracle as the Defender and Artemis as the Challenger of Record.

The team is seeking clarification now rather than waiting for that to happen.

 

 

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