Oracle Team USA is now double ready for the 34th America’s Cup after launching its second AC72 on April 23.
“We’re all very, very excited to get it out on the water,” helmsman Jimmy Spithill says. “There’s been a lot of energy, a lot of hours, put into this boat…Now it’s up to the sailors, along with the support of the rest of the team, to get out there and really try to get the most out of this boat.” Spithill added that there were months of preparation leading up to the launch.
Because no sailing event is complete without a popped bottle of champagne and a toast, Spithill and Oracle’s chief marketing officer Judy Sim helped lead an event that included remarks from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
The lowering of the boat, named Oracle Team USA 17, into the San Francisco Bay marks the beginning of a new phase in Oracle Team USA’s campaign. The team will start its training on this boat, and by late spring, both of Oracle’s AC72 will be in the water as it prepares to defend the America’s Cup.
“We’re going fast, probably faster than a car on the Golden Gate Bridge,” tactician John Kostecki says. The team looks forward to figuring out the Bay’s unpredictable currents and winds, says Kostecki, a Bay Area native.
“That’s what keeps San Francisco an interesting and exciting place to race sailboats…it’s always different every day,” he says.
For more information about America’s Cup, visit americascup.com.
Photos by Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA