Nine of the best racing crews in the world will descend on Naples, Italy this month for the final event in the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series.
The Italian team, Luna Rossa Challenge, will again be the center of the attention, as it was last year, when the team made a stunning debut in Naples.
“The most beautiful memory from last year's event in Naples is the Neapolitans, their warmth and support not only for our team, but for the event itself,” said Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena. “Still today the image of the crowd spread all over the sea-front and on the surrounding hills remains the symbol of last year's event. I trust that the crowd will be even larger this year, and that it will support us even stronger.
The America’s Cup defending champion, ORACLE TEAM USA, currently tops the table and is looking to repeat its win in the inaugural America’s Cup World Series. Young Tom Slingsby will have the responsibility of bringing home top spot as he takes over the skipper role from Jimmy Spithill for the Naples regatta.
“I’ve been in the tactician role, but now to steer in an America’s Cup World Series event, I can’t wait,” Slingsby said. “I saw my name on the wing the other day, and there was a realization that it’s going to happen. Having been the tactician and calling a lot of the shots on the water, it shouldn’t be too hard of a transition.”
The America’s Cup World Series Naples runs from April 16-21, with championship racing starting on April 18 in both the Match and Fleet Racing disciplines. Championships for both the Naples event and for the overall 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series will be decided over these four days of racing. As well, it will be the last opportunity for the teams to get ‘match fit’ before the Summer of Racing in San Francisco.
“It has been a while since the last event and even though we've been racing in-house and a bit against the Kiwis it's not the same as the real thing,” said Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper. “For the team it will be a nice part of our preparation before the America’s Cup itself and I'm certain we will take some valuable things forward from the event.”
The nine teams for the America’s Cup World Series Naples are (with skipper and points earned in the 2012-13 season championship):
ORACLE TEAM USA SLINGSBY (Tom Slingsby) – 165 pts.
Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) - 121
Artemis Racing White (Charlie Ekberg) - 120
J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) - 116
Energy Team (Yann Guichard) - 102
Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) - 100
Luna Rossa Swordfish (Francesco Bruni) - 71
China Team (Mitch Booth) - 43
HS Racing (Roman Hagara) - 0
Check out the racing format here.