Oracle's new AC72 and OD news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

The Nacra 17 start line in Hyeres - Photo Thom Touw - ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2013
The big news in the competitive sailing world this week is coming from the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres, France, where 2016 Olympic hopefuls have gathered to race and to draw early quad speed comparisons against their rivals. According to reports, the famous Mistral breezes returned to the racecourses, helping to raise American fortunes, especially in the Women’s 470 class, where Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha are currently sitting in third-place, followed by Sydney Bolger and Sarah Lihan, who are in tenth place. Impressively, Bolger and Lihen have earned two bullets so far in this regatta, showing that they are clearly on the pace.

'With the advice of our local knowledge, our coach Romain Bonnaud, we decided that the left side was favored with more pressure and a consistent angle at the top of the beat,' said Lihan. 'We set up ourselves up for a start that would let us hold on starboard, off the line, for a long time. We did that and tacked once. That put us into a really good position, tacking before the majority of the fleet. We rounded first and stayed first and finished first.'

Get the full multi-media scoop from this international regatta, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for more racing news, as it unfurls.

Icarus at the Atlantic Cup 2012 Leg One finish in New York, NY. - Atlantic Cup Race


And in American distance-racing circles, the Atlantic Cup has announced its critical dates and information for its third annual event. Racing will start on May 10 in Charleston, South Carolina and will take the fleet as far north as Newport, Rhode Island.

'With a growing American fleet and two of the top international Class 40 sailors racing in this year’s Atlantic Cup, the competition is going to be very close,' said Hugh Piggin, Race Director. 'After a tough winter and heavy hurricane season that affected two of the three cities we will visit, our environmental commitment has become even more relevant and we are proud to be continuing our efforts to raise awareness and demonstrate that making small changes to how we organize and run our race can make a great impact over time.' Get the full story, inside this issue.

Oracle Team USA sail their second AC72 on San Francisco Bay for the first time on April 24, 2013


And in America’s Cup circles, Oracle Team USA has now test sailed/foiled their second-generation AC72, dubbed 'USA17-2', on San Francisco Bay, reportedly sans incident or drama. 'We foiled pretty much on the first downwind run we did, which was hard to avoid,' said wing sail trimmer Dirk de Ridder. The new boat is reportedly stiffer than the team’s first-generation AC72, but it will take some time for the team to work 'USA17-2' fully up to pace. Stay tuned to the website for more information, as it becomes known.

And in soon-to-be legal circles, the plot thickens with Bruce Kirby’s legal battle against LaserPerformance and the International Laser Class Association. Inside, don’t miss the famous Laser designer’s latest volley over his intellectual-property rights. Here’s a sample:

2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Laser


'I have tried to work with ILCA and ISAF on rebranding the boat, but they refused and demanded instead that I get a Court Order,' wrote Kirby. 'So they are named in the lawsuit. After filing of the lawsuit, ISAF initially asked ILCA to stop issuing ISAF plaques to Laser Performance, but I don’t yet know if ILCA complied. In a new twist, ISAF and ILCA now seem prepared to issue a new version of the plaque to Laser Performance which removes my name from my own design.'

More inside, and stay tuned to this evolving news item, as its ramifications could be far-reaching and tumultuous for the world’s most successful One Design class.

Balz Muller - PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf 2012


Also inside, get the latest scoop from the CISA Youth Advanced Racing Clinic and the Extreme Sailing Series, and, finally, don’t miss the event preview of the Podersdorf Surf World Cup, which is the opening event of the 2013 PWA World Tour.

May the four winds blow you safely home,