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Oracle Team USA, is scheduled to be training on its new AC45 foiling catamaran this month in San Francisco.

by Sail-World.com NZL

“It will be great to commission the new boat,” said tactician and sailing team manager Tom Slingsby.

“You have to go back to the last America’s Cup since we’ve sailed foiling catamarans. The new boat looks great and this is really going to be the start of our new America’s Cup campaign.”

“This will be the first time we’re all sailing on the foiling AC45 so it will be a big learning curve for the whole team and it will be interesting to see how we all gel together,” said trimmer Kyle Langford.

‘We have a few new faces and we have to get these guys out sailing on foiling cats,’ Slingsby said. ‘Guys like Andrew Campbell and Matt Cassidy, who haven’t sailed these boats before so we’re looking forward to showing them the ropes.

‘But we’re also looking forward to learning. As you saw in the last America’s Cup our learning curve was so steep.’

In addition to getting the sailors up to speed, the new foiling AC45 will allow the team to test design configurations.

‘The foiling AC45 will be our tool to understand how to make our AC62 as fast a boat as possible,’ said coach Philippe Presti, who will be on hand to guide the team.

The team will be training together in San Francisco for most of the month. This will be their last training session before relocating to Bermuda in April/May 2015.


The ‘Oracles’ have spoken at McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship

Oracle Team USA is fielding a team of five at the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship and all have made it into the Gold fleet Final’s. No mean feat when some, like Rome Kirby, have only been at it for three months.

“it’s been fun, a big learning curve,” says Kirby, a trimmer with the winning America’s Cup Oracle Team USA. “You are rewarded by time in the boat, that’s for sure.”

“it’s some of the hardest sailing all of us have ever done. But it’s something new, and I love to try new things,” the 25 year-old says.

Kirby and some of his Oracle teammates’ initiation in the giddy world of Moth sailing came when they descended on Nathan Outteridge and Iain ‘Goobs’ Jensen’s home patch at Wangi Wangi on the NSW Central Coast in October.

The location came on the advice of Oracle team member and NSW Central Coast sailor, Tom Slingsby. He chose it due to its similar conditions to Sorrento and because it was away from prying eyes. And it is a quiet place where they could focus solely on Moth sailing.

Doing so has paid dividends. The entire team made it into the Gold fleet Finals a few days ago. “We haven’t spent much time in the boat, so we can’t get too upset about results. There are a few good people in the Silver fleet who have been sailing Moths for five years and more at the top level,” the American says.

“These boats are super technical. There’s so much going on and everything changes, depending on the conditions,” he concedes, referring to foil selection among other things. “A lot of the principles are the same as sailing the America’s Cup boats though – including the foiling, which we’ve obviously done with the big cats.

“Big cats are obviously faster, but both boats test your reaction time and you have to have good boat handling,” ends Kirby, who became a sailing fan as a child.

He and father Jerry are the only father and son in memory who can claim winning the America’s Cup. Jerry was a bowman on America3 when it won in 1992, Kirby in 2013, in the biggest comeback since 1983 when Australia removed the Cup from American hands.

Tom Slingsby has a different mindset to Kirby. “Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. I’ve finished top five in all but one race, but you’d never know it, because things keep going wrong,” he says.

“I keep breaking things. Yesterday I snapped off my heavy air foil before the start of the first race, so couldn’t race. In the second race I got done for being over the start half a second early. I’m now sailing with my light air foil in heavy air which has slowed me down,” said Slingsby who came here to win – and had a good shot at it.

“Being 90 kilos and hiking, I run into issues. It’s about keeping the maintenance up. I can’t stop breaking things and then I’m still fixing the next day, so I’m late getting on the water. So I have to get better at maintaining my boat,” the 30 year-old admits.

The top sailors say Slingsby is very quick upwind. “I’m quick downwind too, with the right foil. Even though his heavy air foil is broken, and thereby not a prospect for today’s racing in heavy air, Slingsby is on a mission.

“Even with my light foil I’m going to beat Pete,” he says of Peter Burling (NZL) the man at the top of the leaderboard with eight standout wins on his scorecard, double that of second placed Nathan Outteridge (AUS), the defending champion and Artemis Racing skipper.

“I’ve got to get him today; I’ve just got to do it. I am going to do it,” the determined 2012 Laser Olympic gold medallist and winning Oracle Racing Team strategist says.

Today was a windy final day of racing, Peter Burling (NZL) has been crowned the 2015 International Moth Class World Champion.

By Di Pearson, McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds Media

Emirates Team NZ gets shipshape at McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds

2015 McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds. Sorrento - VIC AUSTRALIA  . 6/16 January 2015. 023,Peter BURLING,NZL 4219, 039,Chris DRAPER,GBR 4050

Some of the biggest names in America’s Cup sailing are here at the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds, honing their skills, team bonding and generally coming to grips with the exciting foiling Moth. America’s Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) is no exception.

Dean Barker, Ray Davies, Glenn Ashby are experienced AC team members. The 2012 Olympic 49er silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were added to the Team this time last year, their talent and flare an obvious asset, highlighted by Burling leading these Worlds by a large margin heading into tomorrow’s racing.

“We’re sailing against our crew mates from other classes, Olympic team mates and mates in the other America’s Cup Syndicates (Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa),” Ashby, a sailmaker points out.

“It’s every man for himself, but once we’re ashore there’s lots of friendly banter and laughter,” says wing trimmer Ashby, who was head coach with Oracle’s 90ft trimaran for their 33rd America’s Cup win.

The Victorian-based sailor has more multihull world, national and state titles as a skipper than you can count on your fingers and toes. And he is a Tornado Olympic silver medallist from the 2000 Games with skipper Darren Bundock.

The whole idea of being at the McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds, Ashby says, “came from us (ETNZ) doing the A-Class Worlds last year in Takapuna, New Zealand, where Ashby won his eighth consecutive A-Class world title. Notably, Tuke and Burling were second and third respectively. Ray Davies was fifth. All were sailing foiling A-Cats.

“It’s good for team bonding, morale and developing as a group. It helps us technically too. The Moth is a step up. It’s a very technical boat,” Ashby says.

Explaining the principle of foiling in simple terms, Ashby says, “It’s like a plane, which needs air under its wings to lift off. With the Moth, it’s water flow that gets us up and foiling.”

The 37 year-old says the entire ETNZ team sails various classes. “You definitely have to sail as much as you can, because the America’s Cup game has changed vastly over the last two Cups. The Moth goes hand-in-hand with the America’s Cup.

While guys like Davies, Barker and Ashby are the experience of their AC team, Ashby says it’s great to have the young blood of Burling and Tuke.

“It’s fantastic having the young 49er guys (Burling is 23 and Tuke 25). We’re the experience and they bring a new perspective, dynamics, new skills and passion,” say Ashby, who has his team members and their families staying at his and his extended family’s homes. “The plan is to fast track to our experience level.”

On Oracle Team USA beating them in one of the biggest sporting comebacks of all time, when down 1-8 to ETNZ and winning eight races on the trot, Ashby said: “I don’t think we’ll ever get over it, but time heals.”

What brought them undone to an extent were the lay days. “We were in full maintenance mode during the lay days. They learned to sail their boat faster in that time. We didn’t get any worse, they just got better. They did a fantastic job. Every delay seemed to play into their hands. We nearly had it, until a race we were leading to win was abandoned that day.

“Losing was brutal and the people of New Zealand were brutal. When they love you and what you are doing, they really love you. But when things go wrong, well, they are brutal.

“But it’s still the best sailing I’ve ever done in my life. It was an amazing journey. We set the bar early on and kept it going. Not being able to finish it off was soul destroying,” Ashby openly admits.

“I take my hat off to the designers and engineers on both teams. They were impressive.”

Ashby says they are now looking forward to the next Cup. “Dalts (Grant Dalton) is still running the show. He’s a good leader and operator in every respect. He’s the guy who has to make the hard decisions, and he does because he is so passionate about the sport”.

So here they are at the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship and doing well. Burling is leading by 11 points with two days of racing left. Tuke is 13th, Ashby 15th, Davies 21st and Barker 29th.

“I hope I can move up the standings a bit. My boat got smashed into in one race, which left me out of the next. We’ll see…,” Ashby ends.

Full results, news, photos and video at: www.mothworlds.org/sorrento/

By Di Pearson, McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds Media