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The editor's focus

America's Cup: the AC 72s are sailing

08/10/2012

America's Cup: the AC 72s are sailing

Since the announcement that the 34th America's Cup was going to be raced in 72-foot catamarans with rigid wing sails, we have been drooling... Now the first AC 72s are in the water and sailing!

The Cup holders, the Americans, decided to pass the time whilst waiting for them with incredibly exciting, particularly athletic and spectacular machines: the AC 45s. Result: some cut-throat regattas, committed match racing, and the proof that the catamaran could actually become the ultimate machine in which to race for the famous America's Cup.    

But there is a world of difference between a light, athletic 45-foot cat and a 72-foot machine! The first pictures of the first two AC 72s sailing leave us thinking that the racing in a year's time will be spectacular!
We had to wait until 31st August before the American defender's giant catamaran, equipped with its impressive rigid wing sail, sailed for the first time in the waters off San Francisco. A first outing lasting just two hours, as Oracle Team USA had a daggerboard problem.
On the other side of the planet, Emirates Team New Zealand's AC 72 is also sailing.
In any case, given the gigantic size of these boats, we can imagine what the racing will be like on the legs between several boats. If the Cup teams are looking for crew, I know of a few people here at the magazine who would willingly volunteer!  
For the moment, only two AC 72s are sailing, those belonging to the American and New Zealand teams. The Italian boat for Luna Rossa should be in the water next October.


See them on: www.americascup.com
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