The 34th America’s Cup teams appeared together for the first time in San Francisco this week during a press conference to announce the line-up of competitors. Already down from the 15 teams that filed to compete by the April 1 deadline, eight arrived in the 2013 host city, with a ninth to be announced in Europe next week.
New to the America’s Cup is the Republic of Korea, and China will compete for only the second time – promising a less French crew than its 2007 edition. Two teams from France and one each from Italy, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States round out the announced entries.
The defending United States ORACLE Racing team took its two AC45 catamarans out for a test sail in San Francisco Bay this week, but team member Russell Coutts capsized his cat during pre-start maneuvering. “The boats are spectacular,” Coutts said, but “hard to sail. They’re gonna test the best sailors in the world.”
The first real test is scheduled for August 6-14 in Cascais, Portugal, under the new World Series format. Ten AC45s are set to battle it out in both fleet and match racing (ORACLE Racing is entering two teams for the 2011 AC World Series). Racing continues in Plymouth, England on August 10-18 and San Diego, California in mid-October. For more on the America's Cup, be sure to check out www.americascup.com