34th America's Cup Plymouth LogoThe field of international competitors who will race in Plymouth as part of the America’s Cup World Series have revealed their game plans for winning the prestigious trophy.

Teams representing China, France (with two teams), Italy, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Sweden and USA were unveiled ahead of the inaugural America’s Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal in August. The second stop on the circuit is Plymouth from 10 to 18 September, which will see the trophy on home soil for the first time in its 160 year history.

The City Council announced its role as a host city in April 2011 and has since been gearing up for what promises to be a truly sensational international event, where the eyes of the world will be firmly upon Plymouth.

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Vivien Pengelly said: “The excitement really is building in Plymouth as the city prepares to welcome thousands of visitors and the international America’s Cup teams. This is one of the top sporting events in the world and the week long regatta will be packed full of amazing racing with the catamarans out in Plymouth Sound, the teams have already been demonstrating just how dramatic the sailing can be with their training in San Francisco. There will also be lots of entertainment on the Hoe and we’re going to be showing everyone what a truly vibrant, waterfront city Plymouth is.”

Plymouth is taking a real partnership approach to delivering the America’s Cup event, which expects to attract over 500,000 visitors from across the UK and the world to the city. The Council has engaged numerous partners across the public and private sector which have offered their support and are taking advantage of the opportunities this kind of event offers.

Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor at Plymouth University, said: “We are delighted to be a key partner involved in hosting this prestigious international sporting event. Using our graduation marquees on the Hoe to help stage the event will really showcase what Plymouth has to offer. Our strong marine and maritime heritage and the University’s world class standing in research and innovation will create opportunities to share in and benefit from partnering with the America’s Cup.”

Leading city businessman Dave Young, MD of the Una Group, is leading the private sector’s response and involvement with the America’s Cup as Chairman of a Task and Finish Group, at the request of the City Council.

Speaking of the international line up, Ian Murray, Regatta Director for the 34th America’s Cup and CEO of America’s Cup Race Management said: “This field of competitors is truly global, representing a mix of established teams as well as new ones in sailing’s top event. The new vision for the America’s Cup has created the opportunity for teams from Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America to enter the Cup and compete in dynamic, new, wing-sailed catamarans, in an exciting race format.”

Among the challenging nations, Republic of Korea is new to the America’s Cup, while China is entering for just the second time.

The inaugural AC World Series competition will be held 6 to 14 August in Cascais, Portugal. The second stop on the circuit will be Plymouth, England on 10 to 18 September, followed by the final stop in 2011 in San Diego.

The competitors for the 34th America’s Cup are (nation, team, yacht club)*:
– China – China Team, Mei Fan Yacht Club
– France – Aleph – Équipe De France, Aleph Yacht Club
– France – Energy Team, Yacht Club de France
– Italy – Venezia Challenge, Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria
– New Zealand – Emirates Team New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
– Republic of Korea – Team Korea, Sail Korea Yacht Club
– Sweden – Artemis Racing, Kungliga Svenska Segel Sallskapet
– United States – ORACLE Racing, Golden Gate Yacht Club, (Defender)

* The ninth confirmed Team will be announced at a press conference on 23 June in Europe

As they said it, quotes from the teams:

China Team

China Team, Wang Chaoyong, Team Principal: “China Team is a true Chinese challenger as it will be powered by mainly Chinese sailors on a China-built boat. We are currently actively recruiting the Chinese sailors through a series of training camps all over China, and at the same time, our existing team is training with Olympic multihull medalists on the China Team AC45 boat to ensure that we are ready to compete in the first World Series in August. China Team truly represents the spirit of sports in China; while sailing is still a relatively new sport in China, we will be ready to compete against the best sailing teams in the world for the most prestigious sailing sports trophy.”

ALEPH – Équipe De France

ALEPH – Équipe De France, Philippe Ligot, CEO: “Aleph is proud to continue France’s heritage in sailing’s pinnacle event the America’s Cup. The America’s Cup is a great contest of design and sailing skill. The new boats and format promise to transform a magnificent event into an even more exciting competition. Aleph looks forward to racing here in San Francisco.”

Energy Team

Energy Team, Bruno Peyron, General Manager: “Energy Team comes to the America’s Cup with great experience in world-class multihull racing. With this new format, we see an exciting opportunity to excel in the America’s Cup. The French public are huge fans of multihull racing so this move to new, dynamic boats will be great for the French sailing audience. And I have no doubt that the passion the French have for fast multihulls will be shared globally once people see these teams racing.”

Venezia Challenge

Venezia Challenge, Dario Valenza, Operations Manager: “This new formula is very exciting, it is a great format able to attract sponsors and audience. Venezia Challenge will plan mobile campaigns using TV and radio in Italy and organize a Village in the most important cities to involve the mass market not just sailing fans. Technically it is a new level playing field, the boats are exciting, the format ensures close racing and expenditure is kept under control by limiting the available design led performance advantage and putting the emphasis on the sailing. Our team is coming together well and is looking like a formidable lineup, an exciting mix of people who are a pleasure to work with.”

Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand, Kevin Shoebridge, COO: “Emirates Team New Zealand, twice winner of the America’s Cup, is working through the multiple challenges presented by the radical changes in boat and format. The team is happy with the venue but recognizes that translating the vision to reality will require a massive effort by all involved.”

Team Korea

Team Korea, Kim Dong-Young, Team Principal: “We are very proud to represent South Korea’s first-ever Challenge for the America’s Cup. With a new boat and new format, South Korea can enter the America’s Cup for the first time with a better chance of success. We look forward to building our team and racing the AC45s starting in Portugal.”

Artemis Racing

Artemis Racing, Terry Hutchinson, Helmsman: “The AC45 is a high performance, powerful boat which also maneuvers well in close situations. The wing definitely adds to the performance of the AC45 and when combined with the rest of the technology onboard, it’s certainly a step ahead in multihull sailing. The racing promises to be close and action-packed, as well as demanding for the five crew on board. Likewise, as sailors, we need to be flexible, agile and physically fit, ready for just about anything that the short courses will present.”

ORACLE Racing

ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts, CEO: “These boats, and the bigger AC72s, aim to test the best sailors in the world. It’s about pushing boundaries and gaining confidence so that your team is sharper than the next. It could be the difference between winning and losing.”

Source: Plymouth City Council

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