SHOWTIME: Old places, new faces

Published on April 15th, 2013

The city of Naples hosts the grand finale of the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series, which marks the final organized regatta prior to the 34th America’s Cup. Nine boats will be racing on April 18-21, and while each of the four America’s Cup teams will be represented, there are some new faces in charge.

For the defender, Oracle Team USA has kept their skipper Jimmy Spithill in San Francisco to remain focused on the development of their AC72 program, which will see their second boat launched on April 23. In his place is Tom Slingsby, gold medalist from the London 2012 Olympic Games, marking his first ACWS as skipper.

Slingsby has been in the tactician role in previous ACWS regattas, including the 2012 ACWS in Naples. “I’m really excited,” Slingsby said. “I’ve been given an opportunity that I’m sort of taking with both hands and trying to run with it. It won’t be easy – any skipper in their first event in the AC45s hasn’t traditionally done too well, and it’s always quite tough. But, we’ll do our best. We’re a young, motivated team and we’ll see how it goes.”

Joining Slingsby will be Sam Newton (wing trimmer), Kinley Fowler (jib trimmer), Rome Kirby (runner), and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman).

The other teams competing are Artemis Racing, China Team, Emirates Team New Zealand, Energy Team, HS Racing, JP Morgan BAR, and two crews from Luna Rossa. The first match race gets underway at 13:45 local CET in Naples / 4:45 am PT on Thursday, April 18, followed by fleet racing. Watch the racing live at Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

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