In preparation for the 2011/2012 America’s Cup World Series, Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour is hosting two testing sessions. The testing will run between 26th – 29th April and 2nd – 6th May. The first session allows course configurations, umpires and race management the chance to get to grips with the new boat so they can make instant calls during the competition. The second session will give broadcasters their first chance to test new techniques that will revolutionize the way we watch sailing on television.
Six of the 10, new generation wing sailed AC45 catamarans will take part in the testing. The boats were built in Warkworth, New Zealand by Kiwi boat builders, Tim Smyth and Mark Turner of Core Builders Composites. They were designed to not only meet the racing criteria, but to also fit inside a 40 foot container, which is the shipping vessel for the America’s Cup World Series. The biggest challenge with multihulls is learning how much to anticipate the boats. They are capable of tripling the wind speed so the testing will allow everyone to sharpen their reactions and skills in time for the World Series.
The America’s Cup World Series will consist of five nine-day regattas in 2011, finishing up with three more regattas by mid 2012. The event will bring America’s Cup racing and the America’s Cup experience to top international venues around the world. So far Cascais, Portugal, Plymouth, England and San Diego, USA have been chosen with the remaining schedule to be revealed by October 2011. Televised coverage will make it possible for millions of fans to watch both fleet and match racing at each event world wide.
To experience sailing on 1995 and 2000 generation boats, Sail NZ offer an America’s Cup Sailing Experience on the Waitemata Harbour. If you get the timing right you will be able to witness these training session up close and personal.