Hamilton, Bermuda, Friday, October 16, 2015 - ORACLE TEAM USA will face the fleet of America’s Cup Challengers on home waters when racing gets underway tomorrow in the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda. The two-day regatta features four races from October 17-18 on a course set on Bermuda’s Great Sound – site of the America’s Cup Finals presented by Louis Vuitton in 2017.
“Bermuda has been so welcoming to the team, to the America’s Cup. Trust me, we would like nothing better than to reward everyone with a great result here,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill, who, along with the entire ORACLE TEAM USA crew, have lived and trained in Bermuda for six months. “It’s an awesome little race track. Tomorrow looks a bit ordinary wind-wise, but Sunday looks like it could be great. Fingers crossed, hopefully we get some great racing out there.”
ORACLE TEAM USA has spent the last two days back on the AC45F racing yachts, preparing for the weekend. The practice races marked the first time the team has been on these boats since the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg, Sweden in August.
“We haven’t sailed these boats since Gothenburg and we haven’t been able to do much sailing in general the last two months. So, it’s been awesome to get back out there and mix it up with all the teams,” said wing trimmer Kyle Langford.
The course will feature racing on the Great Sound, near Spanish Point, with start times at 14:10 local in Bermuda both Saturday and Sunday, two races each day. The forecast is for light conditions on Saturday and moderate winds Sunday.
“It’s a pretty shifty race course,” said trimmer Joey Newton after practice racing. “We actually don’t sail up in that corner of the Great Sound very much. It wasn’t necessarily new to us, but it was a little bit of a learning experience as well.
“It’s good to have all of the teams here in Bermuda – we’re glad to have the competition,” Newton said.
The race crew features the same lineup as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Gothenburg. Spithill is at the helm, with Tom Slingsby as tactician, Langford as wing trimmer, Newton as trimmer, and Louis Sinclair will be on the bow.
ORACLE TEAM USA enters in third place in the overall standings with 64 points, behind Land Rover BAR (65 points) and series leader, Emirates Team New Zealand, with 72 points.
“What Bermudians will get to see, hopefully if the wind gets up, is some sailing like they’ve never witnessed before,” Spithill said. “It’s all about getting everything tight and close. That’s really part of the lead-up to the America’s Cup. It’s great because we all race against each other, you’re in regatta pressure, but also this Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series counts. We’re not just racing for a trophy, this counts toward the ultimate showdown.”