Photos this page credit Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA
The end of April saw the launch of the second AC 72 to bear the Oracle Team USA logo. After a toast and traditional breaking of the Champagne over the hull at the team’s base at Pier 80 in San Francisco, the boat and the Oracle team took to the water. Named Oracle Tam USA 17, this new AC72 will join the team’s primary boat in their training routine and, later, when they defend the America’s Cup in September. The launch of the vessel almost perfectly coincided with the 150anniversary of the Port of San Francisco which brought out even the city’s mayor Ed Lee.
The team’s Helmsman Jimmy Spithill says, “There’s been a lot of energy, a lot of hours, put into this boat from the entire team. 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.”
When asked to describe sailing in the Bay area, tactician John Kostecki says, “We’re going fast, probably faster than a car on the Golden Gate Bridge. Upwind we’re doing speeds of around 20 knots, downwind we’re doing speeds over 40 knots. It’s really going to be interesting to take into account the current, that is ever-so-changing, and the winds that are ever-so-changing here on the Bay. That’s what keeps San Francisco an interesting and exciting place to race sail boats because it’s always different every day.”
For more images from the team's preparations, visit www.oracleteamusamedia.com