Austrians Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, double Olympic Gold medalists in the Tornado catamaran, have entered the upcoming America’s Cup World Series Naples, scheduled Apr. 16-21.
The duo will sail under the banner HS Racing, and race under the US flag in partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA.
“It is a dream come true for us,” said Hagara, 46, whose aim, along with tactician Steinacher and their crew is a top placing at the final event of the 2012-13 AC World Series season.
HS Racing’s crew will also include trimmer Herve Cunningham of France, bowman Graeme Spence of Australia and floater David Swete of New Zealand.
“We trained on the AC45 back in February in San Francisco and felt very good from the start,” said Steinacher, 44. “The boat is extremely difficult to handle at strong winds and it develops unbelievable forces, but we are happy to take on the challenge.”
Hagara and Steinacher were Gold medalists at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympics. They are also the sports directors for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, scheduled Sept. 1-4 in San Francisco.
“It’s great to have Roman and Hans Peter involved,” said ORACLE TEAM USA CEO Russell Coutts. “They aim to be serious competitors and this is a great platform to launch their America’s Cup aspirations.”
A total of nine crews are slated to compete at AC World Series Naples, including ORACLE TEAM USA, Artemis Racing (Sweden), China Team, Emirates Team New Zealand, Energy Team (France), J.P. Morgan BAR (Great Britain) and Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy).
(Photos courtesy Red Bull Content Pool)