Oracle Racing back in San Fran
Oracle Racing has returned to its home in San Francisco for training and preparation. The team last trained on the Bay in June and put on a spectacular show. In strong winds team CEO Russell Coutts capsized his AC45 wingsail catamaran two days after team skipper Jimmy Spithill nearly did the same thing.
October’s session isn’t expected to be as windy, but still will provide valuable practice ahead of the next America’s Cup World Series event in San Diego, 12-20 November, with racing scheduled to begin 18 November.
“This session will be two-fold,” said Spithill. “It’ll provide us an opportunity to practice for San Diego and include some more of our sailors who haven’t had an opportunity to race yet.”
Oracle Racing announced last month that Coutts would be turning over the helm of the Oracle Racing Coutts AC45 to Australian Darren Bundock, the two-time Olympic Tornado silver medalist. Bundock will take the helm with Coutts moving into more to a tactical role combined with his land-based chief executive’s duties.
The team recently acquired two additional AC45 boats and is using them to finalise concepts for the wing and appendages. Construction of the team’s first AC72 is already underway, with tooling created by Core Builders Composites in New Zealand.
“The session also gives us time to meet with the design team guys and settle the key choices for our first AC72,” Spithill said. “The sailing team is closely involved with the design team in discussing systems, layouts and general characteristics. After the great success of the AC45, we’re very excited about the AC72. It’s going to be awesome.”