Tuesday marked the first day of training at the America’s Cup World Series – San Diego as several teams took to the waters of San Diego Bay in advance of the first day of racing on Saturday.
Winds were light to moderate on the bay Monday, ideal for a first test sail. Stronger winds are expected beginning as early as tomorrow. But in all range of conditions, the wingsailed AC45 catamarans are capable of generating breathtaking speeds, making for spectacular racing.
Among the five crews training today was the French Energy Team, with Yann Guichard taking over the skipper and helming duties for the racing in San Diego. The training sessions this week are critical for him and his crew to gel as a team.
“I’m feeling more and more comfortable. After all, it’s still a boat, it’s a multihull and I know multihulls quite well. It’s more impressive with the wing, but we have a few days of training here so that’s good,” said Guichard. “It’s a small race area, quite narrow and with nine boats competing, it’s going to be challenging. For the first weekend, there is a low pressure weather system coming so there could be strong winds. We’ll be training a lot to be ready for that.”
Racing in San Diego begins with the Port Cities Challenge on Saturday and Sunday (November 12-13). Representatives from the member cities will be aboard the race boats on Sunday. The event culminates with a public prize-giving ceremony at the AC Village following racing.
The championship portion of the America’s Cup World Series – San Diego runs from Wednesday November 16 through Sunday November 20, and includes fleet and match racing, as well as AC500 Speed Trial drag races. The teams earn points from their final ranking in both the fleet and match racing events towards the 2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series.
Live, streaming video coverage of the racing runs from November 16-20 on the America’s Cup YouTube channel. And for the first time, there will also be live streaming to mobile devices through the America’s Cup YouTube channel.
Beginning on the opening weekend fans can enjoy the show from the America’s Cup Village, which features food, merchandise, exhibits and entertainment. The AC Village is housed on North Harbor Drive, between Broadway and Navy Piers. From November 16, the AC Village will feature live music each evening.
The races of the America’s Cup World Series will take place just off these Piers, within the tight confines of San Diego Bay. Spectators will be able to take advantage of a number of good shore-side viewing points, including a public spectator area at the end of Broadway Pier. In the AC Village there will be live video with expert commentary on the big screen from Wednesday through Sunday. Entrance to the AC Village is a suggested donation of $10 to help support ocean conservation efforts.
With racing now just days away, the sailors, the city and the Port of San Diego are looking forward to the start of the competition.
“San Diego Bay has a proven track record as a perfect venue for this type of action-packed sailing,” said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Scott Peters. “The Port Cities Challenge is really a community celebration and a perfect way to encourage residents of San Diego County to come to the waterfront, and cheer on their representative teams as the racing event gets underway.”
Racing at the America’s Cup World Series – San Diego is scheduled to start with a warning signal at 1:05 pm each race day.
Original story from 34th America’s Cup