SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Following the first day of testing for ORACLE TEAM USA’s new AC72, the boat has returned to the shed at the team’s Pier 80 base in San Francisco. The boat, 17, hit the water in San Francisco Bay for the first time on Thursday, Aug. 30, to begin sea trials. On Friday, testing was cut short due to daggerboard failure in the starboard hull, and repairs are now underway.
“We are currently building replacement daggerboards, which is a significant construction project with a duration of several weeks. Our boat builders and designers are working long hours together to have these new daggerboards completed as soon as possible,” ORACLE TEAM USA General Manager Grant Simmer said.
The team returned to on-the-water training after a couple days off to take advantage of the Labor Day holiday. Two boats spent the afternoon sailing on the San Francisco Bay.
“Today we were testing concepts for the AC72, a few things with the dagger foils,” said helmsman Jimmy Spithill. “Now that sailing on the big boat has stopped, we will continue sailing on the AC45s to provide feedback towards the design of the second AC72. This week and next will be testing on the AC45s, then when Russell [Coutts] and Ben [Ainslie] return, we’ll switch back into regatta mode.”
Last week, ORACLE TEAM USA’s AC72 was rolled out of the shed for the first time and the 130-foot wingsail was fit onto the hull. The AC72, 17, is the first of two yachts to be used in the 2013 Defender Trials and 34th America’s Cup.
The America’s Cup World Series returns to San Francisco Oct. 2-7 with activity taking place around Marina Green.