Monday, April 15, 2013

Slingsby & Co Prepare To Take Naples

Oracle Team USA arrived in Naples over the weekend in preparation for this week’s America's Cup World Series AC45 regatta that kicks off on Tuesday. Led by Australian Skipper Tom Slingsby the crew includes Sam Newton (wing trimmer), Kinley Fowler (jib trimmer), Rome Kirby (runner) and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman).
Photo: Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA
“All of our focus has been on the AC72 and on the days that we are not sailing on the AC72, we have been able to get out on the AC45s. We’ve had a few training sessions over the last couple of weeks which have been really important,” Slingsby said. 

“We’ll have a few days of training and hopefully improve as much as we can before racing starts. And I know to expect huge crowds. Last year was the biggest crowd I’ve seen in sailing so I’ll be ready for that, which will hopefully take away some of the nerves.”

Slingsby, who won a gold medal in the Laser class at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will helm the team’s entry, marking his first time as an ACWS skipper. His previous role in America's Cup World Series regattas has been as tactician.

“I’m really excited. I’ve been given an opportunity that I’m taking with both hands and trying to run with it. It won’t be easy. Any skipper in their first event in the AC45s hasn’t traditionally done too well, and it’s always quite tough. But, we’ll do our best. We’re a young, motivated team and we’ll see how it goes.”

Nine boats will compete in the ACWS Naples, including Artemis Racing, China Team, Emirates Team New Zealand, Energy Team, HS Racing, JP Morgan BAR, two crews from Luna Rossa and Oracle Team USA SLINGSBY. 

The first match race gets underway at on Thursday followed by fleet racing. The first match race for Slingsby and his crew will take place on Friday.

“Obviously we’ve been busy with the AC72, and our focus, for the most part, has been on the Cup. Training on the AC45s has been put on the back burner a bit,” said Rome Kirby. 

“We’ve all raced in World Series events but not as a team. We have been out training, but things change when you get around other boats. Now that the Naples event is here, we’re all excited to go racing again. We have a good team so we’ll see what happens. It should be fun," he added.

Lulu Roseman

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