AC34: Oracle vs. ENTZ
“To race for the America’s Cup you have to win the Louis Vuitton Cup,” said Barker. “We’ve definitely come here to win the America’s Cup, so winning the Louis Vuitton Cup is all part of the preparation. The guys are extremely focused. We came short in Valencia in 2007 and we’ll give it our all now in the next few weeks to make sure we’re as ready as can be.”
History buffs will remember that ETNZ won the last Louis Vuitton Cup, which was held off of Valencia, Spain, in 2007, defeating (drumroll please) Luna Rossa Challenge for the right to meet Alinghi for the start of the 32nd. Ultimately, Alinghi beat ETNZ across the finishing line by a razor-thin margin to win the Cup. Barker and his crewmembers swore to avenge this loss, and, based on their performance in this year’s LVC, the Kiwis are extremely serious customers.
ETNZ wins the Louis Vuitton Cup Final. Photo © ACEA / PHOTO ABNER KINGMAN.
According to the latest reports, ETNZ plans to bring their mighty catamaran into the shed for a few days before returning to the water for their final push before the September 7 start of the America’s Cup. Oracle Team USA, however, will likely have a far less relaxing time before AC34, as the team must first face a hearing on Thursday (August 29) by the International Jury for allegedly violating Rule 69 of ISAF’s Racing Rules of Sailing and Article 60 of the Protocol that governs the America's Cup in an incident involving illegal modification of several of their AC45 class catamarans prior to several America’s Cup World Series events. It is unclear what ramifications this hearing could have for the Defender, but it’s fair to say that the temperature is likely hotter in Oracle’s camp than their leadership would prefer.
Oracle practices on San Francisco Bay. © ACEA / PHOTO GILLES MARTIN-RAGET
Yachting will be on the scene in San Francisco for the start of the 34th America’s Cup (September 7-21), so stay tuned to this space for the latest racecourse news and on-scene reportage, as the racing action unfurls.
Click here to read more about America's Cup 34.
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