Racing in the America’s Cup World Series – Naples gets underway today, with Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand crew clinging to a one point lead on the overall series leaderboard over ORACLE Racing Spithill.
Two new Luna Rossa crews, sailing on home waters, are expected to be near the front of the fleet this week, while Artemis Racing, currently third, will be keen to improve on its podium position, with ORACLE Racing Bundock trying to knock them off. Team Korea, skippered by multiple world champion Nathan Outteridge will be pushing hard, as will Energy Team, looking to consolidate on gains made in the last regatta in San Diego. China Team, with new skipper Fred Le Peutrec, is coming fresh off a training camp in Sanya, China, and could surprise here in Italy.
Local support in Naples for the event has been incredible, with Paolo Graziano, the President of the local organizing committee, estimating the crowd along the waterfront over the course of a sunny holiday Monday at nearly 250,000.
Over the Easter weekend, Yves Carcelle, the CEO of Louis Vuitton, a 30-year partner of the America’s Cup, had the opportunity to sail as a guest racer on board the AC45 wing-sailed catamarans.
“It’s much more sport now on the AC45s than it was on the monohulls,” he said, after getting a close up view of the action. “Today it is a young man’s game to sail these boats. On board, the five crew have to be very, very fit. The movement and speed just never stops. It’s permanent action. At the end of the day, the sailors must be totally exhausted.”
Photo Credit: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
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