Two years away from the Cup, we are starting to see things a little more clearly: the boat chosen should therefore be a 48-foot catamaran with a wing sail and foils.
The first tests of the AC 45 thus equipped have shown an impressive speed potential, even though a few of us will miss the majesty and gigantic size of the AC 72s... Although the choice of this new catamaran has annoyed the Italians to the point of making them quit the competition, the reduction in costs that this ‘little’ boat will create has allowed the Japanese to launch themselves into the competition. The Japanese challenge will be led by Dean Barker, who has been in the New Zealand team since 1995, winning the Cup once in 2000 and finishing as the unlucky finalist three times. Certainly the best current racing record in this prestigious competition!
Another piece of good news is that is now in battle order, and has found its main sponsor, with Groupama, which will therefore be continuing to support Franck Cammas. Since 1998, the duo have won almost everything, with their record in the Rhum, the Jules Verne, the Volvo Ocean Race. There only remains the Cup for the French team, which will be having its say in the competition!
Finally, Ben Ainslie has also announced that he has found a main sponsor, with Land Rover, which will allow the British to be present on the start line.
The first regatta of the AC World Series took place at the end of July, at Portsmouth, UK; all the protagonists will be meeting up again at Gothenburg in Sweden at the end of August.
For more information: www.americascup.com