Oracle Racing head for Cascais
Following a training and promotion period on their home waters of San Francisco Bay, so Oracle Racing's two AC45 are now being packed up ready to head to Cascais, Portugal, where their two boats – one skippered by Jimmy Spithill and the other by Russell Coutts – will be competing in the AC World Series regatta over 6-14 August.
“Cascais is going to be the first time that Oracle Racing, as the defender, goes up against the other challengers, so we’re particularly motivated to win,” said John Kostecki, tactician for Spithill. “We’ve got to beat many good teams that are out there. Emirates Team New Zealand with Dean Barker, Artemis Racing with Terry Hutchinson, then there’s Loïck Peyron from France. We have a Chinese team that’s new to America’s Cup racing, so there are a lot of tough teams out there.”
The AC45 wingsail catamaran is easily disassembled and shipped in containers. Last Wednesday the team placed three containers on a tractor trailer for a seven-day trek across the U.S. to the east coast port of Savannah, Georgia.
The containers carry the team’s two catamarans plus spare parts, sailing gear and other equipment. From there they’ll be shipped to Algeciras, Spain, and then be loaded onto trucks again for an 8- to 10-hour trek to Cascais.
“It’s a tight schedule, but we’re pretty used to it,” said Chris Sitzenstock, in charge of shipping logistics. “The ship should arrive in Spain on July 28 and then the truck in Cascais on the July 29 or 30.”
"It’ll be great to be in Cascais, it’s a fantastic venue for sailing,” said Murray Jones, wingsail trimmer for Coutts. “I’ve sailed there quite a few times before and it’s always been really enjoyable. I think we’ll have some awesome racing. It’ll be tricky. It’ll be quite puffy, shifty; we’re sailing quite close to shore. It’ll be a great regatta.”