• Completing The AC 72 Puzzle: Oracle Racing's Big Wing Arrives

    The main wing components arrive at Pier 80 mid afternoon, hours after their companion parts.

    The crossbeams arrived 1st and were painstakingly unloaded

    The Dogpatch Area of San Francisco was alive with activity today, not only with the return of the Spithill and Coutts teams, back on the water for more practice, but the long awaited arrival from New Zealand, the main wing and crossbeams of the AC 72 from Core Builders in Warkworth. Arriving at the port of Oakland in the early morning via cargo ship the two piece leading edge of the wing were placed on one semi truck and the cross beams and strut on a second. The trip for the crossbeams was more direct, allowing them to drive over the SF Bay Bridge. The wing component was a different matter, being too tall to fit under many structures on the Bay Area’s Bridges, the 2nd truch was forced to take the long road home, south on 880 all the way to San Jose and around the Bay and then back up 101 to Pier 80 in San Francisco.

    Former Giant Pitcher and current on air personality, Mike Krukow dropped by to check things out!

    Still languishing on the grounds, the boat that started it all!Some good reading!

    The components delivered today will complete the puzzle and as hull 2 of boat one nears completion, the launch of Oracle Racings 1st AC 72 nears. We spoke with Tim Jeffery of Oracle Racing on the current status with the program.

    Tim indicated that with only 30 days allowed in 2012, commencing July 1st, they are in no hurry to launch the boat, and are looking for quality time on the water, that is days with good breeze. They will ease into the program though and not push the boat too hard initially, seeking to make minor adjustments early on and allow the crews a bit of time to get used to the expected massive power the boat is capable of. The hulls were built in a female tooling, just as the 45’s before them were, allowing for more exacting standards and quick duplication. Hulls for the 2nd boat will begin immediately after the 1st ones are complete and will be shipped to New Zealand for winter practice in 2013, along with however many days they have on their 30 day calendar allotment following breaking camp in SF at the end of October. The trailing edge portions are currently in house and hiding in the "Top Secret" portion of the warehouse.

    “The Crews have gotten very comfortable with the 45’s” says Tim, “ In the 5 World Series events thus far, even with collisions and capsizes , the boats have been able to recover very quickly. With the 72’s, failure or mistakes can prove very costly.” With only 2 wings allowed, the more well heeled syndicates can’t hold a large quiver of back ups. This was purposefully incorporated into the rules to help level the playing field. “ The goal is to bring both ends of the spectrum together so that even the smaller, lower funded teams have a real chance to win”

    In regards to the training in SF “ We will be looking very closely at the forecasts, and picking the high value days, ones we can gain the most from which will mirror conditions expected in September on SF Bay."

    As for the Pier 80 Compound itself. The large rusty drydock which sits in Islais Creek, is due to be removed, and the 72' will launch from the eastern edge of the compound, away from prying eyes. Dogzilla will move to the front of the facility for display. Open houses to the general public will then proceed giving the average Joe a up close look at the machine which is Oracle Racing.

    Currently the crews on the AC 45s are back in town and will be sailing through next Thursday on the Bay, before packing up and heading to Newport for the 2012 World Series finale!