Countdown to America’s Cup World Series Toulon
Published on September 5th, 2016
The America’s Cup defender and five challenging teams will be coming to France for the the penultimate event of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Toulon on September 9-11.
One thing that is certain in the Mediterranean waters is that nobody can predict what the conditions will be like. “You can have good winds with calm seas, or a light breeze with a big swell,” reports Franck Cammas (FRA), Skipper of challenger Groupama Team France. “Basically you never know what to expect!”
Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) of challenger Land Rover BAR has been critical of the random conditions the teams have been forced to face. Ainslie is prepared for he calls “a different venue and conditions as we really get towards the end of this World Series now.”
At the top of the overall rankings, just one point separates Ainslie’s team from Oracle Team USA, with Emirates Team New Zealand sitting 10 points astern. These three teams are fighting for the bonus points that only the top two teams receive at the conclusion of the America’s Cup World Series. These points carry into the America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda in May 2017.
At the last World Series event in England on July 22-24, three teams – Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand, and Artemis Racing – were missing crew due to their training for the Rio Olympic Games. While these teams are now back at full strength, Oracle Team USA is not.
Oracle Team USA skipper/helmsman Jimmy Spithill (AUS) will not compete as he rehabs an injured elbow. “I wanted to be 100% right before I load it up in racing environment,” Spithill explained. “The rehab is coming along well, but there’s a slight chance that I could re-injure it by coming back too early, and that’s a risk we don’t need to take.”
Taking over at the helm for Spithill will be sailing team manager and tactician Tom Slingsby (AUS). “Tom has been steering and racing our AC45S boat in Bermuda a lot over the summer and I know he’s keen to get out there and show what he can do,” noted Spithill.
The full race crew in Toulon will consist of Slingsby (AUS), Kyle Langford (AUS), Sam Newton (AUS), Joe Newton (AUS), Louis Sinclair (ANT).
Background: The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) racing circuit forms part of the 35th America’s Cup programme, with ACWS scoring contributing to the selection of the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger. The ACWS will feature fleet racing in one design foiling AC45 catamarans.
July 25-26: Portsmouth, UK
August 29-30: Gothenberg, Sweden
October 17-18: Bermuda
February 27-28: Muscat, Oman
May 7-8: New York, USA
June 11-12: Chicago, USA
July 23-24: Portsmouth, UK
September 10-11: Toulon, France
November 19-20: Fukuoka, Japan
Using a format of fleet racing in foiling, wing-sailed 45ft catamarans, the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) winner will be the team with the most points accumulated from all the ACWS events.
In 2017, the six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, beginning with the America’s Cup Qualifiers, a double round robin match racing series which will reduce the five challengers to the top four teams. In this series, the winner of the America’s Cup World Series starts the America’s Cup Qualifiers with a 2 point advantage (runner-up in ACWS begins with 1 point advantage).
At the conclusion of the America’s Cup Qualifiers, only the four challengers with the most points (each match win earns 1 point) advance to the final stage to determine the challenger which will face the defender in the 35th America’s Cup. Complete schedule.
Source: ACEA, Scuttlebutt