RSSAmericas Cup

Barker blir skipper og direktør i Softbank Team Japan

| 21/05/2015 | 0 Comments


Etter en bitter skilsmisse med Team New Zealand har Dean Barker vært på markedet for andre Cup-lag og Barker ble tidlig knyttet opp mot Softbank. Ingen stor overraskelse at Barker nå annonseres som skipper og direktør med andre ord.

Med drøye to år til Cup’en på Bermuda og en mildt sagt lett organisasjon så langt er det mye som skal til før Team Japan ender i finalen, men Barker er uten tvil en av de mest rutinerte skipperne i gamet:

SoftBank Team Japan will be led by Dean Barker, who has been appointed skipper and CEO of the Japanese challenger.

Barker brings over 15 years of America’s Cup experience to the Japanese team, including having sailed in four America’s Cup Matches.

“This is an incredible opportunity to build a new team from the ground up,” Barker said from Bermuda where he and team general manager Kazuhiko “Fuku” Sofuku have been meeting with America’s Cup officials.

“It’s an honour to take on the responsibility of both CEO and skipper of SoftBank Team Japan.

“We’re filling the key roles on the team as quickly as we can. I think we’re pulling together a very strong team. We want to compete at the head of the fleet and we’re assembling a team that is capable of doing that. Our goal is to win the America’s Cup.”

SoftBank Team Japan was confirmed as a challenger earlier this month. The team has a big job list ahead as it prepares to race at the first America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth in July.

“In the short term, our job is to be ready to compete in Portsmouth,” said Fuku. “Then, our focus will shift to trialling more Japanese sailors as we continue to build and develop our team.”

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Dean Barker in the America’s Cup

1995 – trains with Team New Zealand
2000 – America’s Cup winner with Team New Zealand, helming the deciding race
2003 – skipper, unsuccessful defence of America’s Cup with Team New Zealand
2007 – skipper, winner, Louis Vuitton Cup
2013 – skipper, winner, Louis Vuitton Cup

KNS stiller helnorsk lag i M32 Cup

| 12/05/2015 | 0 Comments

  

Kongelig Norsk Seilforening har sikret seg tilgang til en M32 i mai og juni – der målet er å gi seilere i foreningen en introduksjon til flerskrogseiling slik vi har sett den i Extreme Sailing Series og M32 Cup. Som del av pakka vil det også være et norsk lag med i serien i Oslo, samt Gøteborg. 

KNS sin tilgang til en M32 i Oslo gjennom en hel måned vil også gi en unik mulighet til å vise hva seilformen har å tilby til næringsliv og samarbeidspartnere. Benytter man sjansen godt kan dette med andre ord bare være starten på noe mer – en sjanse vi håper man benytter seg godt av… 

Eivind Melleby (KNS) blir rormann for det norske M32-laget som skal delta i den spektakulære skandinaviske flerskrogsserien som seiles i Oslo 21.-24. mai. Katamaranen kom til KNS Seilsportsenter Ulabrand mandag ettermiddag,

– Vi ser på M32 Series som en veldig attraktiv arena å tilby våre seilere, og ser frem til å være med på å utvikle den kommersielle delen av satsningen, sier Anders Kristensen, generalsekretær i Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS). KNS håper at satsingen kan være med til utvikle flerskrogsmiljøet i Norge, hvor utviklingen går veldig fort internasjonalt.


M32 Series er et sportslig og kommersielt produkt som leverer på begge arenaer. Dette er spektakulær toppidrett på sitt aller beste, og serien har også klart å utvikle et konsept som leverer tilbake til sponsorene i serien, sier Thomas Nilsson – primus motor for det norske laget og prosjektleder i Wolfpack Racing.

Hovedfilosofien bak prosjektet er å gi unge norske seilere en mulighet til å teste ut det som er en viktig del av fremtiden til både norsk og internasjonal seilsport. Publikumsvennlige raske flerskrogsbåter som konkurrere tett på land, samtidig som sponsorer har mulighet til å bli med ut å få en fartsopplevelse av de sjeldne er nemlig det som gjør dette til en unik arena til å forene seiling og næringslivet på en felles arena

Den spektakulære katamaranen M32 skal seiles av et helnorsk lag med Eivind Melleby som rormann. KNS er hovedpartner i satsningen og båten skal ha base på det nye seilsportanlegget på Ulabrand i nesten en måned.

– Internasjonal flerskrog seiling og ikke minst M32 Series er en unik seilarena hvor det er viktig er at også norske seilere deltar. Med så kort tid til forberedelser er så klart ambisjonsnivået der etter. Det som imidlertid er veldig viktig for oss er at vi bruker denne muligheten til å tilegne oss kunnskap og erfaring og ikke minst skaper en fantastisk arena på Aker Brygge hvor seiling og næringsliv kan dra veksler på hverandre, sier Nilsson, Wolfpack Racing

En av Norges mest erfarne seilere, Harald Blom Bakke, formann i F18 klubben og en av støttespillerne i dette prosjektet ser dette som en fantastisk mulighet for norsk seiling

– F18 klubben ser meget positivt på denne satsingen på moderne flerskrogsbåter og håper det kan bidra til å gi mange norske seilere en spennende og fartsfylt seilopplevelse. Dette er en unik mulighet for å promotere seiling som en fartsfylt og publikumsvennlig aktivitet, sier Harald Blom Bakke

Svenskene som står bak M32 Series er veldig fornøyd med at de nå har fått med seg et norsk lag. Kampen om gullet kommet til å bli hard.

M32 Series Scandinavia er en seilingsserie med raske kullfiberkatamaraner. Delseilasene avgjøres i Oslo, Gøteborg, København, Helsingfors og Stockholm. Seilerne har bakgrunn for OL, Americas Cup, Volvo Ocean Race og matchseiling. Seilingen i Oslo avgjøres 21.-24. mai.


Se http://m32series.com/series/scandinavian-series/ for mer informasjon

Oracle’s first sail in Bermuda | Video

| 06/05/2015 | 0 Comments

Japansk lag klart for Americas Cup

| 30/04/2015 | 0 Comments

 
Ryktene har gått en stund, men i dag kom bekreftelsen: Japan er tilbake i Americas Cup. Ser ut som laget ønsker avtrykk av japanske seilere, men noe internasjonale seilere blir det garantert og et navn som Dean Barker er allerede nevnt.

Det er grunn til å spørre seg om ikke Team Japan kommer i gang i seneste laget. Skal man stille et Cup-prosjekt på bena er 2 år fryktelig kort tid – selv med teknisk bistand fra forsvareren. 

Jo flere lag jo bedre er det, men med et lag basert på støttehjul fra Oracle blir Japan neppe den største trusselen i 2017…

SoftBank Corp. and the Kansai Yacht Club announced they have come to an agreement to challenge for the 2017 America’s Cup. As SoftBank Team Japan, the team will compete in the 2015 America’s Cup World Series events, and challenge for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.

The campaign was confirmed today by Kazuhiko Sofuku, “Fuku”, a veteran of four previous America’s Cup campaigns who has been appointed as the team’s general manager.

“To lead a Japanese challenge for the America’s Cup is a dream come true,” said Fuku, who last raced with a Japanese team for the Cup 15 years ago as bowman for Nippon Challenge during the 1999/2000 Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series.

“This is a great opportunity for Japan and for Japanese sailors to get back into the America’s Cup game,” Fuku explained. “We are planning to build up our team using America’s Cup World Series events to recruit and train Japanese sailors for our crew.”

SoftBank Group representative Masayoshi Son said, “I am thrilled to announce that we will be supporting Team Japan at the America’s Cup.” He added, “Taking on this major challenge at the pinnacle of yacht races matches with the SoftBank Group’s aim to be the global No.1. We look forward to cheering on Team Japan along with all of their supporters.”

SoftBank Team Japan is challenging under the banner of the Kansai Yacht Club, among the most distinguished clubs in the country.

“It is an honor for the Kansai Yacht Club to try for the America’s Cup for the first time,” said Commodore Ko Watanabe. “This is a great challenge to take on, not just for our club, but for the entire country. With support from across the entire nation, I am sure we will represent Japan with pride.”

A base level of technical assistance from ORACLE TEAM USA will be provided to SoftBank Team Japan as it prepares for the 2015 America’s Cup World Series events.

“SoftBank Team Japan is a very positive addition to the America’s Cup,” said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller. “The Japanese challenge will increase interest in the America’s Cup across Asia which is good news for all of our teams and partners.”

Bob Fisher går hardt ut mot Oracle’s håndtering av America’s Cup

| 12/04/2015 | 0 Comments

 

Bob Fisher, en av de mest respekterte skribentene rundt America’s Cup har skrevet et åpent brev der han tar et knallhardt oppgjør med Oracle’s. Fisher mener Larry Ellison og Russel Coutts er i ferd med å øedlegge cupen og posisjonen den har hatt som verdens ypperste seilevent.

Misnøyen med hvordan Cupen er drevet ser ut til å ha steget betraktelig etter at Oracle endret protokollen ved hjelp av utfordrere som i realiteten ikke hadde midler til å stille. Tidligere denne uken kategoriserte Bruno Trouble, Louis Vuitton’s toppmann i America’s Cup, eventet som et beachevent med lukt av pommes frites. Bob Fisher går noe mer saklig til verks, men essensen er den samme: 

I cannot escape notice of what you are doing to the America’s Cup – it has been nothing short of a disgrace to the premier event in the sport of Sailing. You have abused it, misused it and reduced it to no more than an average regatta, losing on the way its prestige and at the same time driven away the most serious competitors.

In the last America’s Cup event, held on the waters of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, for whom you act in a management role, the two challengers that came up to the mark were those from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Circolo della Vela Sicilia – Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Luna Rossa. In the course of the past week you have made it virtually impossible for ETNZ to raise the necessary funds to continue by removing any chance of a major regatta in Auckland, and, by a huge change in the size of boat, caused the Italian team to withdraw. Is this what you really want?

Gone is all semblance of stability and adherence to rules unanimously agreed at the outset and in their place an undercurrent of commercial misunderstanding and constantly changing rules without the unanimity of the challengers as initially agreed. Both of these are a disgrace to the Cup and to yourselves.

It was brought to my notice by you, in Auckland, that it was important for a part of the Challenger Final Selection Series to be held in the City of Sails in order to generate publicity for the America’s Cup in Asia and the reason for that was a Japanese team would shortly emerge, and that this would encourage television networks to purchase the rights.

Subsequently ACEA has made it clear that ALL Challenger Selection races will be held in Bermuda, effectively slapping ETNZ in the face and reducing the Kiwis’ chances of Government sponsorship (which hung on a major AC regatta in Auckland), possibly even eliminating this team from AC35

It is unnecessary for the America’s Cup to have a television audience. For many years there was no television coverage, and later only inserts into News programmes. Televising the event began in 1983 and was carried to a new height by ESPN in 1987 in Fremantle. Even then it didn’t need catamarans on hydrofoils sailing at 40 knots to be attractive – just 12-Metre yachts in boisterous conditions with some live sound from the boats.

Now, thanks to the wizardry of Stan Honey and his colleagues, full details of the speed and direction of each of the competitors is overlaid on the live pictures of the racing. The technology of other sports has improved television for even the non-sailor, but this does not drive the America’s Cup. Money does. And there will certainly not be enough from television rights to pay for the somewhat unnecessary regattas that take place using the name of the event that has, over 164 years, taken place only 34 times.

The America’s Cup is a one-off event. It does not need promoting with pseudo regattas in the intervening years, which use its name. The Challenger Selection Trials, together with the long lost Defender Selection Trials, are adequate and the responsibility for their expense is down to the individual teams. Now there is a state of affairs in which the Defender trials have been eliminated. In the Protocol, Item 17 clearly states:

“Defender means GGYC and the sailing team that represents GGYC in AC35;” 

You have excluded any chance of another US Yacht Club from competing for the Cup, maybe even giving GGYC the type of competition it needs to retain the Cup. Not even the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) felt sufficiently confident to resort to that.

Neither did the NYYC resort to changing the boats at a late date – the move from the AC-62 to the AC-48 has been very last minute and particularly hard on the teams that had set up their design groups well in advance to produce the smaller AC-62, as announced soon after the last AC match. It is hardly surprising that you have put Patrizio Bertelli’s feelings in disarray to the extent he has withdrawn Luna Rossa from AC35. His team had been working since early January 2014 at its headquarters in Cagliari with a Design Office of 40, all working on the design of a 62-footer. I suppose your comment will be: “Silly him,” but you have lost one of the biggest commercial sponsors of the Cup – just look where the Prada advertisements for Luna Rossa appear.

To throw fat on the fire, you are offering to give design and financial support to the French team, which has made little progress, and what is worse attempting to justify this with the terms of the Deed of Gift, where it indicates that the event is to be: “a friendly competition between foreign nations.” But you may well counter this with the quote from the judge of the New York Court of Appeals in the case between the Mercury Bay Boating Club and San Diego Yacht Club, who queried: “Where in the Deed of Gift does it say the America’s Cup is supposed to be fair?”

The loss of Louis Vuitton, after 30 years, is another huge loss of commercial sponsorship, but the writing for that was on the wall in San Francisco.
Everything this time around has been late, and bringing in new entries at this stage is another breach of the Protocol. I implore you to get your act together, remember the event with which you are dealing, with its glorious past, and begin to act in a proper manner.
– Bob Fisher, April 11, 2015

Oracle gir design til Team France

| 10/04/2015 | 0 Comments

Team France - Franck Cammas

Oracle’s desperasjon etter å skaffe flere deltakere til en allerede tynnslitt deltagerliste til Americas Cup ser ut til å ha nådd nye høyder. Ikke bare presset Oracle, ved hjelp av pengelense utfordrere, gjennom en endring av protokollen som presset Luna Rossa ut av Cupen. Nå viser det seg også at Larry Ellison og Russel Coutts i Oracle Team USA bistår utfordrere med teknologi.

Franck Cammas som leder Team France bekrefter dette gjennom et intervju med Europe 1.

Bemerkelsesverdig at man tilsynelatende gjør alt for å presse ut utfordrerne som har noe å fare med, mens man pleier de uten penger? Larry Ellison, Russel Coutts og Oracle Team USA har et rart syn på hva som er en bærekraftig America’s Cup…

Du leser mer på stuff.co.nz…

 

 

Luna Rossa trekker seg fra America’s Cup

| 03/04/2015 | 0 Comments

 

Luna Rossa har fått nok og trekker seg fra America’s Cup. Bakgrunnen er at laget mener man bryter et viktig prinsipp ved at NoR ikke overholdes, selv om alle lagene aksepterte denne da de entret konkurransen. Det er første gang i historien at båttypen endres et år inn i syklusen. 

Utrolig synd at Luna Rossa trekker seg etter over 20 års involvering i America’s Cup. Et av historiens lengst engasjementer er dermed over og Oracle har dermed kvittet seg med en av sine sterkeste utfordrere.

 Her er Luna Rossa sin uttalelse i forbindelse med at laget trakk seg i går:

The result of the vote proposed by the Event Authority with the agreement of the Defender of the 35th America’s Cup has overturned, with a majority vote, the America’s Cup Class Rule for the boat with which this edition will be held; this happened notwithstanding the fact that such rule had been previously adopted unanimously by the teams and was in force since June 2014.

Following a careful evaluation of the serious implications of this unprecedented initiative, Team Luna Rossa confirms that it will withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup.

Team Luna Rossa indeed considers illegitimate the procedure adopted and founded on an evident abuse of process by surreptitious use of procedures to modify the Protocol in order to overturn the Class Rule, which instead requires the unanimity of the teams entered.

This is an attempt to introduce boats that are substantially monotypes and in total contrast with the ultra-centennial tradition of the America’s Cup, not to mention a two-month extension period to introduce further modifications to the rules, decided by the majority.

All of the above contributes to a lack of credibility and uncertain technical grounds for what should instead be the most sophisticated sailing competition in the world.

This radical change also implies a waste of important resources already invested based on the rules that were sanctioned in June last year. This means that the claim to reduce costs reveals itself as a pure pretext aimed to annihilate research and development achievements of some teams, and to favor instead preconceived technical and sporting positions by means of changing the most important element in the competition, the boat.

As a confirmation of this, it is important to underline the fact that Luna Rossa frequently advanced proposals aimed at containing costs that however would not have changed the nature of the boats, but these proposals have systematically been rejected by the Defender.

Team Luna Rossa has also taken into consideration the possibility to protest through the Arbitration Panel as foreseen by the Protocol; it has however noted that, ten months after signing the Protocol, the Defender is only now initiating the first formal procedures to compose this important body. This fact contributes to making the entire governance of the Event even less credible and reliable.

Team Luna Rossa regrets the repercussions that this difficult decision will have on the members of the Team – although it will honor all of its contractual obligations – and on the sailing event planned to take place in Cagliari next June and obviously understands the disappointment of the many fans who have supported Luna Rossa during the last four editions of the America’s Cup.

Patrizio Bertelli declared: “I want to thank the whole team for its hard work during this past year; regretfully this effort has been frustrated by this manoeuvre that is unprecedented in the history of the America’s Cup.

However, in sports, as in life, one cannot always go for compromise, after compromise, after compromise; sometimes it is necessary to make decisions that are painful but must be clear cut, as only these can make everybody aware of the drifts of the system and therefore set the basis for the future: respect of legality and sportsmanship”.

Bråket i gang rundt Americas Cup

| 27/03/2015 | 0 Comments

Det har nesten vært litt for fredelig rundt Americas Cup den siste tiden, men nå er det slutt på idyllen. Etter at America’s Cup-organisasjonen i går sendte ut en pressemelding som gav inntrykk av enighet rundt en nedskalering fra AC62 til AC45 det begynt å boble. Den italienske utfordreren Luna Rossa toppet det hele ved å true med å trekke seg:

Team Luna Rossa Challenge is distinctly opposed to the proposal – announced today on the official web site of the America’s Cup – to change the Class Rule for the 35th America’s Cup and therefore the boat that was previously accepted by all challengers on June 5th 2014.

Luna Rossa does not believe that a sporting event should be disputed in a courtroom and does not intend to initiate a lengthy litigation process that would only bring prejudice to the event.

If the principle of unanimity of all challengers required to change the Class Rule were not to be respected  Luna Rossa will be obliged to withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup.

Team Luna Rossa trusts that the Defender will quickly announce a public clarification, also to avoid jeopardizing the organization of the America’s Cup World Series – Cagliari – Sardinia event planned to take place from June 4 to June 7, 2015.

Senere skulle det vise seg at Oracle har forsøkt å lokke lagene til å stemme med forslaget ved å legge ved en liten gulrot: Man skulle droppe Auckland som arrangør for kvalifiseringsseilasene. Det passer jo Emirates Team New Zealand dårlig…

Virker som vi er tilbake i “business as usual” for cupen…

Americas Cup nedskalerer fra 62 til 45 fot

| 26/03/2015 | 0 Comments
Artemis Racing practice session

Foto: Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing

 

Oracle Team USA og Americas Cup-organisasjonen har tydeligvis bestemt seg for at AC62’ene blir for dyre og annonserte i dag at man nedskalerer til det som mellom linjene ser ut til å være en AC45. Vi nærmer oss 1. april og dette kunne vært en god kandidat, men ettersom man er noen dager for tidlig virker man å mene alvor. Oracle med Russel Coutts i spissen fortsetter med andre ord i kjent stil fra forrige Americas Cup.

Det er lett å forstå motiavasjonen for endring av båttype. AC62’en har sett dyr ut hele veien og lagene som har vært avhengige av sponsorer for å få gjennomført kampanjen – Emirate Team New Zealand, Ben Ainslie Racing og Team France, har sett ut til å slite med å få på plass de kommersielle partnerne som har vært nødvendig. Hadde man holdt på AC62’ene er det stor sannsynlighet for at flere av lagene hadde falt av lasset og det hadde vært katastrofalt. Artemis Racing og Luna Rossa har på sin side jobbet på spreng i et år og mye av dette arbeidet ser det nå ut som kan skrotes eller i beste fall skaleres ned til en AC45…

Americas Cup i en 45-foter? Cupen kommer til å bli en skygge av seg selv – for det er nå en gang slik i seiling at størrelsen teller. Selv om båtene er raske vil man ikke få seilingen spektakulær nok med AC45’en. For å skape historisk sus på Bermuda har man hentet J-båtene – som har stått som den mest ikoniske Americas Cup-klassen siden 30-tallet. En AC45 vil se ut som en liten jolle til sammenligning.

Cupen skrumper bokstavelig talt bort fra sin posisjon som seilsportens ypperste event…

Det skal stemmes over endringen i løpet av neste uke, men avgjørelsen virker å være tatt:

 

The competitors and organizers of the 2017 America’s Cup are planning to implement a series of rule changes to dramatically reduce team operational costs, primarily by racing in a smaller boat.

“After reviewing prototypes of the new AC45 sports boats being tested on the water over the past several months, it is clear that if we raced smaller boats in 2017, we could dramatically reduce costs without sacrificing any of the spectacle or the design, engineering and athletic challenge fundamental to the America’s Cup,” said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller.

“We have a responsibility to think of what is best for the long term health of the America’s Cup as well as improving the value equation for team principals and partners. Racing a smaller boat in 2017 and beyond is a big step in the right direction.

“The existing operational costs of teams is much too high with a boat like the AC62. We discussed making this change early last year at a Competitors meeting in London but at that stage only ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand were in favor of using a smaller boat.

“But now that the teams have seen these new boats in action there is a clear majority of competitors who support the idea. I’d like to be able to say we have unanimous support from all the teams but that is not the case.”

Boat speed in the new boat is expected to be similar to what was achieved in the last America’s Cup through increased time foiling and advances in design and engineering.

“This will be a big change, but it is a necessary one if we are to create a sustainable America’s Cup for the future,” said Sir Ben Ainslie, the skipper and team principal of Ben Ainslie Racing. “These boats will create a significant cost saving whilst still providing a real challenge for sailors and designers alike.”

“For Team France this will be a game-changer,” said skipper Franck Cammas. “We will be able to have a very competitive team for about half the budget. With the smaller boat we can imagine that a budget between €15-20 million would be enough to win the America’s Cup.”

To lock in the cost saving measures over the long-term several competitors, including Artemis Racing, have committed to using the new smaller class in the next edition of the America’s Cup should they prevail in this one.

“These changes may help some current teams be more competitive, but this is clearly also about building the future of the America’s Cup,” said Iain Percy, the team manager of Artemis Racing.

“By making a commitment now to using the smaller boat next time, it will be that much easier for new teams to join as they’ll have access to existing boats and technology. So this has required us to look a little bit beyond the scope of ‘what’s in it for us?’.”

The rule changes are being drafted and teams will be asked to vote on these changes before the end of March.

Sail Racing blir partner for Oracle og Americas Cup

| 11/03/2015 | 0 Comments

Svenskene er i vindene om dagen og alt ser ut til å skje i Gøteborgs-området. Volvo Ocean Race-avslutningen, Americas Cup World Series, World Match Racing Tour og RC44 skal alle innom i 2015. I går annonserte Gøteborgs-firmaet Sail Racing partnerskap med Oracle og Americas Cup som etter alt å dømme blir en boost for Sail Racing sitt globale avtrykk. Alt som er seilrelatert i regionen har en ekstrem flyt om dagen?

 

SAIL RACING – OFFICIAL CLOTHING PARTNER OF THE AMERICA’S CUP AND ORACLE TEAM USA

The Swedish company Sail Racing International has been appointed as official clothing partner of the America’s Cup and ORACLE TEAM USA, defender of the prestigious America’s Cup trophy. Sail Racing will provide technical and shore gear for the America’s Cup and ORACLE TEAM USA along with official merchandise collections for each America’s Cup World Series Events in 2015 and 2016, as well as the America’s Cup finals in Bermuda in 2017.

The partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA, defender of the 35th Americas Cup, skippered by the Sailor of The Year, Jimmy Spithill, allows Sail Racing to supply all shore and technical sailing gear to the team. This collaboration will provide Sail Racing the base to develop clothing for a new generation of sailing athletes.

“We are very proud to be the official clothing partner of ORACLE TEAM USA, the fastest sailing team in the world’s most prestigious sailing series,” says Joakim Berne, Project Manager at Sail Racing International. “The sailors will be highly involved in the development of our new technical products. All the feedback on existing products, new ideas and evaluation of our products in a demanding environment will be very important for our product and development team.“

Sail Racing International is focused on technical products for high speed sailing. Now the brand will be featured in the heart of the most spectacular sailing competition in the world. “Sailing has changed tremendously over the past several years,” Berne says. “The power and speed of the boats have created a much greater demand on the sailor’s physique and agility, which requires different equipment ,” he continues. “Our approach has changed from producing garments for sailors, to developing technical gear for sailing athletes. Over the last two years, we have spent a lot of time and effort together with our fabric suppliers, designers and pattern constructors searching for lighter materials, better features and more functional fits. Now we will apply and evaluate this with Jimmy Spithill and the rest of the crew of ORACLE TEAM USA.”

ORACLE TEAM USA and Jimmy Spithill tried the gear for the first time in February. “We’ve already started to test some of the gear during our training session in San Francisco,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “The first impression is very positive and I think it’s to our benefit that our sailors are assisting with the design of what we will end up wearing on the race boat over the next two years,” Spithill said.

The partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA is based on 3-year contract and extends to the finals of the America’s Cup in June 2017. “This constitutes three years of enormous potential to develop our product range, and it also gives us the opportunity to reach new markets and create great international business opportunities,” says Joakim Berne, Project Manager at Sail Racing International. “The US market will now be the next step for Sail Racing to take.”

Starting at the first event of the America’s Cup World Series in June 2015 in Cagliari, Italy, Sail Racing will present an official ORACLE TEAM USA merchandise collection. The collection will be available at all of the events including the America’s Cup finals in Bermuda in 2017, as well as online for shipping worldwide.

Sail Racing will also design and manufacture official America’s Cup merchandise that will be made available through an online store, along with the on-site merchandise store at America’s Cup World Series events around the world in 2015 and 2016 and at the America’s Cup race village in Bermuda, the home of the 2017 America’s Cup.

“We will build a concept store at all of the America’s Cup World Series events to offer a wide range of merchandise products for the America’s Cup and the host events of the America’s Cup World Series,” Berne said. “In addition, Sail Racing will supply technical gear and shore clothing to all the America’s Cup staff.”