America's Cup: AC45's start massing in the Viaduct Harbour

Oracle Racing AC45 Sea trials - Sail # 1 - Oracle Racing - First sail 14 March 2011

Oracle Racing sailors took to the water today in their team-branded AC45. With skipper James Spithill on the helm and joined by teammembers Ross Halcrow (trimmer), John Kostecki (tactician), Murray Jones (traveler), Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen (bow) and others, the crew went zipping around the Hauraki Gulf for approximately 90 minutes in an orientation sail.

'The boys had a good sail,' said Matthew Mason, a teammember and one of the AC45 project coordinators. 'They went out in the afternoon in an 8- to 10-knot northeasterly and had a look at a few sails. It was uneventful, probably the biggest news is that JK and Roscoe had their first sails.'

Kostecki and Halcrow are veteran members of Oracle Racing, but neither was in Auckland in January during the sea trialing period of the prototype AC45.

11/03/2011 - Auckland (NZL) - ORACLE Racing - Team own AC45 assembly and finalization - Wing delivery - Oracle Racing - First sail 14 March 2011

The crew won’t be on the water today as Tuesday, Mar. 15, is a maintenance day for the catamaran. Beginning Thursday, however, Oracle Racing sailors will sail their own boat and one chartered from Mascalzone Latino, the Challenger of Record.

'The Mascalzone Latino boat is the first one from Cookson Boatbuilders,' said Mason. 'It still needs finishing but we hope to get it going by Thursday. Then we’ll have two boats out testing for a few days.'

Sail-World understands that there will be at least three AC45's and maybe more in the Viaduct Harbour vicinity on Wednesday. Stay tuned to www.sail-world.com for further reports