And then there were eight
Sailors from around the globe are descending upon Naples, Italy as training begins for the fourth regatta in the 2011/12 America’s Cup World Series. The Event Village opens on 7 April and practice takes place over the Easter Weekend with the racing to be held next week over 11-15 April.
The America's Cup World Series Naples will feature nine boats from seven countries, including:
- Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA), with two boats, helmsmen to be revealed tomorrow
- Artemis Racing (SWE), skipper Terry Hutchinson
- China Team (CHI), skipper Fred Le Peutrec
- Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), skipper Dean Barker
- Energy Team (FRA), helmsmen Yann Guichard
- Oracle Racing (USA) with two boats, skippers James Spithill and Darren Bundock
- Team Korea (Korea) with skipper Nathan Outteridge.
Racing is expected to be extremely close, with fierce battlelines already drawn between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Racing Spithill, who are separated by just one point on the season championship table after the first three events in the 2011-12 America's Cup World Series.
The World Series talent pool is deeper than ever before with teams recruiting new athletes since the last event at San Diego in November. “I think a lot of the teams will be in the hunt and I think it will be tougher than the regattas last year,” says Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker.
While two crews from Luna Rossa Challenge join the field, two of last year’s teams will not be competing in Naples. France’s Aleph has withdrawn from the AC World Series and the 34th America’s Cup, and Spain’s Green Comm Racing has informed Regatta Director Iain Murray that it will not be participating in Naples.