America’s Cup second round shares stage with Fleet Week
San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The America’s Cup World Series will share the spotlight and the space with Fleet Week when its second round of races unfurl Wednesday at the Marina Green waterfront.
Despite being forced to move their course about 100 yards farther from shore due to safety reasons, America’s Cup organizers see this as a “win-win” situation as Fleet Week will give the prestigious sailing event a greater exposure.
“Everyone has to give and take a little bit,” regatta director Iain Murray said, assuring that the course remains essentially the same despite the move. “And we’ll do our best to stay out of everyone’s way.”
An estimated crowd of 150,000 is expected to watch the race while Fleet Week has drawn up to a million people for air shows featuring the Blue Angels.
The two entries from Oracle Team USA are expected to dominate the event, just like they did in the first leg. Jimmy Spithill narrowly won the fleet competition and the second Oracle boat, with veteran Russell Coutts at the helm, edged Spithill to capture the one-on-one event.
The same 11 participants from the last leg will be competing but two will have different skippers. Nathan Outteridge, who led Team Korea to a surprising third-place finish in August, will take over Artemis Racing Red.
Peter Burling will replace Outteridge at the helm of Team Korea. At 21, Burling is the youngest skipper in the competition.
Murray expects every team to make strategic adjustments based on what they have experienced during the first leg.
“They would have all analyzed what they’ve done in the last regatta,” he said. “The guys that did well will be looking to add to their strength and the guys that didn’t do so well will be looking to fix their weaknesses.”
Murray also reminded participants that racing conditions also could be different than they were in August.
“Generally, the breezes come in later in the day and with less velocity than they would in July or August,” Murray said.