The 34th America's Cup revolution

Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle Racing
Russell Coutts shares more of his vision
Russell Coutts’ vision for the 34th America’s Cup represents the most dramatic upheaval our sport has possibly ever seen as the BMW Oracle Racing boss attempts to drag yacht racing into the 21st century, virtually wiping the slate clean and replacing it with a dramatic sporting event to appeal to the masses. So any opportunity to glean some more insight into this is one we have to grab. AC34 venue announcement imminent While we were expecting an announcement about the venue for the 34th America’s Cup to come in December, according to Coutts this should now be this month (ie imminently). “Obviously these are complex negotiations, so you never quite know when it will be finalised, but we have a schedule for finalising that contract and it is progressing according to the schedule.” Valencia has the facility but not the financial resource it had five years ago, so the toss-up seems to be between a venue near Rome and San Francisco; the latter, home of both Larry Ellison and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, felt to have the upper hand at present. AC45 Tooling is well underway in Warksworth, New Zealand for the new generation of AC45s, with the first boat scheduled to be launched around this Christmas. This seems incredibly swift, even more so when you consider that the process is all the complex because the team, led by Tim Smyth and Mark Turner, are gearing up for a production run. After its launch, the first AC45 will obviously undergo sea trials. “Hopefully we won’t have to change much, but there are always bugs to iron out with a new class,” says Coutts. “So it will be a case of checking that the systems are correct and also that the build weights come out on their targets, which I’m pretty sure they will.” This first