The Bay Area sports buzz will continue next week when ORACLE TEAM USA relaunches the AC72. Following months of repair work and delivery and assembly of the second wing, the boat is nearing completion and is on track to be sailing in the San Francisco Bay early next week.
“After the capsize, the team set the first week of February as the target date to get back on the water,” said General Manager Grant Simmer. “A lot had to come together for that to happen, and it’s a great achievement to be right on schedule. Everyone really worked hard and put in long hours to meet that goal.”
Last week with modifications wrapping up and painting finished, the assembly began. Nets have been tied back onto the platform, and system installation started – hydraulics, electronics, steering.
“Now the majority of the modifications are complete and we’ve moved on to the assembly process,” said Shore Team Manager Mark Turner. “We’ll be load testing at the end of the week and getting the boards back in.
“Everyone has been focused and really pushing to get all of the work done,” Turner said. “It’s meant a lot of long hours for a lot of people, seven days a week. They’ve been working not only on repairs, but also doing the work needed to modify the platform.”
The entire team is looking forward to watching the results of their labor roll back out of the shed, returning to the water for the first time since the October 16 capsize.
“With this group of sailors, there’s not one person who’s going to be holding back,” said tactician Tom Slingsby. “We’re going to get straight back into it.”