The AC45 sailing team leaves for Venice today to compete in the fifth of the America’s Cup World series regattas.
And they’re expecting a regatta unlike any seen previously on the ACWS circuit
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker says “most of the racing will be on courses close in to the city, on very confined water. Courses will be smaller and narrower that we have experienced at previous ACWS regattas.
“Then overlay the breeze at Venice which is typically ‘light to light’ - we will be lucky to see it much over 10 knots – and we have a very different set of conditions. We expect a lot of boat-on-boat action, very much like an Extreme 40 event. It will be very difficult for teams to be consistent.”
Forecasters agree the breeze will be light for the entire regatta, whether racing close in to the shore or outside the breakwater.
Racing starts at the weekend with the two-day City of Venice regatta. Six fleet races – three on each day – will be held on a course set in the Bay of Venice.
Racing moves closer in shore when the in the ACWS regatta starts on Thursday May 17. The event runs through to Sunday with a mix of fleet races, speed trials and match racing.
The last regatta of the ACWS 2011-12 series will be held at Newport, Rhode Island, at the end of June.
Emirates Team New Zealand is second overall in the America’s Cup World Series after four regattas - at Cascais in August 2011, Plymouth in September, San Diego in November and Naples in April 2012.
With 66 points of a possible 80, the team tops the match racing standings with Oracle Racing 4 and is second in fleet racing.
With experience of sailing multihulls competitively of only a year, the team is satisfied that its transition from being recognised as the most successful, top-level monohull teams in recent years to a potentially successful multihull racing team, is well on track.
The team is also competing in the Volvo Ocean Race – a 39,000-mile race around the world which started November 5 and finishes in July 2012.
America's Cup World Series Championship
Placing Team Match Fleet Total
Racing Racing Points
1 ORACLE Racing 4 30 37 67
2 Emirates Team New Zealand 30 36 66
3 Artemis Racing 33 21 54
4 Energy Team 25 23 48
5T ORACLE Racing 5 26 21 47
5T Team Korea 25 22 47
7 China Team 12 14 26
8 Luna Rossa Piranha 9 10 19
9 Luna Rossa Swordfish 7 5 12
Team record since 32nd America’s Cup July 2007
2009 – Season champions Audi MedCup circuit
Winner Louis Vuitton Pacific championship
2010 - Season champion Audi MedCup circuit
Louis Vuitton Trophy series winner three of four regattas
2011 - Leading ACWS 2011-2012 series after three regattas
Third overall Extreme Sailing Series. Series used as multihull practice for sailing crew
2012 - Second overall ACWS 2011-2012 season