The start list for the America’s Cup World Series in Naples includes some new lineups:
HS Racing: Hagara (Roman) and Steinacher (Hans Peter) are the Austrian double Olympic gold medalists in the Tornado catamaran. They will sail under a US flag in partnership with Oracle Team USA. I expect to see Red Bull branding on their boat because… they sailed on the Extreme Sailing Series as the Red Bull Sailing Team and because they ran the selection series for independent youth teams for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Their crew includes trimmer Hervé Cunningham of France, bowman Graeme Spence of Australia and floater David Swete of New Zealand. Graeme sailed with Roman and Hans Peter in the ESS and Hervé has also sailed in the ESS. Dave Swete was “Rookie Sailor of the Race” in the last Volvo Ocean Race.
Artemis Racing will be helmed by Charlie Ekborg, skipper of the Swedish entry in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Another of Charlie’s youth teammates, Niclas During will be backup. Most of the Artemis regulars will remain in California to get their AC72s ready for the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Mitch Booth will be back helming China Team for the first time since the first ACWS regatta in Cascais in August 2011. Mitch has been one of the most popular TV commentators for the ACWS racing. According to my information, the rest of the crew will be Chinese nationals, probably including Cheng Ying (“Kit”) who has been with the team since the start of the ACWS.
Australian Tom Slingsby will helm Oracle Team USA’s only entry in the Naples regatta, while Jimmy Spithill remains in San Francisco preparing AC72 racing. Tom has won six world championships (five of them in the Laser) and the 2012 gold medal in the Laser.
The rest of the field:
- Emirates Team New Zealand brings their “A team” with Dean Barker on the helm and seven other sailors sharing crew duties: Glenn Ashby, Ray Davies, James Dagg, Derek Saward, Adam Beashel, Winston Macfarlane and Jeremy Lomas.
- Luna Rossa will have two boats – sure to please the Italian crowds. Chris Draper won the Naples fleet racing last year and returns helming Luna Rossa “Piranha.” Francesco Bruni will helm Luna Rossa “Swordfish.”
- Yann Guichard will be at the helm of Energy Team with the usual team around him: Christophe André (Bowman), Devan Le Bihan (foredeck) and the two Arnauds: Psarofaghis as wing trimmer and Jarlegan taking care of the headsails.
- Ben Ainslie will helm BAR, sponsored by J.P. Morgan. Ben’s crew of Simon Daubney, Matt Mitchell, Kyle Langford and Simeon Tienpont are all members of Oracle Team USA – Ben sails with OTUSA on the AC72 and will be sparring partner for Jimmy Spithill in preparation for the America’s Cup Match in September.