With the second half of the AC World Series 2011-12 getting underway in less than two weeks, ORACLE Racing tactician John Kostecki says he's expecting the competition to be hotter than ever in Naples, Italy.
"At each event every team has improved," Kostecki said on Friday. "We're expecting Luna Rossa, with two teams, to be very, very competitive. Although the AC World Series is new for them, some of their sailors have been competing on other teams and other boats (in the Extreme Sailing Series), so they have great, talented sailors and we expect them to be among the top boats.
"We also can't forget about Energy Team who sailed so well in San Diego and obviously Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing are both solid teams. Every team has improved, it's just a matter of how much compared to everyone else."
Kostecki is the tactician on ORACLE Racing Spithill, and he won't be overlooking his stablemates on ORACLE Racing Coutts, which is led by Australian multihull legend Darren Bundock. As the team was wrapping up a two week training session in San Francisco last week, what should have been a tack and dip behind by Bundock resulted in a heavy collision. If the maxim practice how you play means anything, both ORACLE Racing crews are ready for battle.
ORACLE Racing Spithill heads into Naples trailing Emirates Team New Zealand by a single point on the season championship leaderboard, but is coming off scoring the 'double' in San Diego, having scored wins in both the Match and Fleet Racing Championships.
The battle resumes on April 11 in Naples.