Oracle Racing gears up for next America's Cup

February 21, 2012 9:12:09 PM PST
The 2013 America's Cup that will be held in San Francisco Bay is 15 months away, but the reigning champ, Oracle Racing, is in overdrive for the 34th cup. ABC7 takes a look at their top secret facility -- their impressive home base at Pier 80.

The entire team is there to practice on the smaller version of the final product, the AC45s. We weren't allowed to film the design work on the AC72s as competitors might use our photos for their own design.

I asked helmsman Jimmy Spithill, who won the cup for the United States in 2010, what the biggest challenges were on the bay.

"Everything, there's the tide, there's the wind, and it's not always apparent which direction to go, you know which is the most favorable way to go. Given that the bay is very small, there will be a lot of spectator craft, the boats are more physical than ever before, it's just going to be extremely challenging," said Spithill.

The actual America's Cup trimaran will be 72 feet long with a 223 foot mast. That's over 20 stories. These boats are capable of going three times the speed of the wind.

"50-60 mph, so you're really going to have to hold on," said Spithill.

The team's tactician John Kostecki was raised in Marin County and learned to sail on the bay, which makes him a bit of a ringer.

"We hope to have an advantage from my experience here on San Francisco Bay, but quite honestly the other teams will figure it out and get they'll get a hang of it," said Kostecki.

The course will be between the Golden Gate Bridge and Treasure Island, in this amphitheater we know as the San Francisco Bay.

"San Francisco is a perfect arena for it, it's going to be incredible," said Kostecki.

Pier 27 will be the place to be in 15 months for the 2013 America's Cup.


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