This week's Cup news has been dominated by the announcement that Patrizio Bertelli's Luna Rossa syndicate will be competing in the 34th America's Cup. Interestingly, Luna Rossa has partnered with Emirates Team New Zealand (ENTZ) so that both programs will be sharing technology and resources—a huge boon to the Italians and to Cup fans, as the stiffer competition raises the bar and (almost) always ensures that the best team wins. Moreover, it's great business for the Kiwi marine trade, which is now looking at multiple AC72 orders, not to mention extra wingsail purchases, which, as ETNZ boss Grant Dalton explains in an interview with journalist Peter Montgomery (inside), are significant.
According to the sources, both teams will sail identical first-generation AC72s that are built in New Zealand. This marks the first formal partnership between two teams in the Cup's storied history. After building the first-generation AC72s, 'we will then share testing information on the water,' said Dalton. 'We will make alterations to the boats—and we will find out what works and what doesn't. It also allows us to get testing a little earlier than you would normally able to do under the rules.' Get the full scoop on this partner—including its open-book possibilities, and low-down on the forced split of this partnership in 2013, plus much more—inside this issue.
Emirates Team NZ - Wingsail test - 3 November 2011 Richard Gladwell
Speaking of wingsails, be sure to check out Richard Gladwell's piece on ENTZ's new wingsail, which they recently tested on their SL33 catamaran in Auckland. It's believed that ENTZ is the first team participating in the 34th Cup to test a wingsail outside of the AC45 class. As if the announcement of ENTZ's deal with Luna Rossa hadn't already raised the temperature in Oracle Racing's offices, you can bet that this bit of news has their attention. Stay tuned for more on this, as it becomes known.
Also inside, be sure to check out all the great Volvo Ocean Race media, as Leg 1 of the 2011/2012 edition kick off on Saturday, taking the fleet from Alicante to Cape Town. The Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic has begun, the ISAF Sailing World Cup series has kicked off with Sail Melbourne, and Laser designer Bruce Kirby sounds off about the mess that is quickly becoming the Laser class. Enjoy.
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