GBR 75 went sailing for the first time on Saturday, and did some speed testing against a replica of the winner of the first America's Cup, the schooner America. Thankfully GBR 75 was a fair click quicker...
Thanks to ACM photo editor Carmen Hidalgo/ACM 2007 for her photos (captioned). All others non-captioned are from Carlo Borlenghi/ACM 2007, thanks too to him.
Mike Sanderson was there to oversee the test sail for the two days before the boat gets packed up and sent to the UK. There was a mix of sailors/support people onboard to assist with the test sail.
Now that Alinghi has announced a new 90-footer for the 33rd Cup, Hull 75 isn't perhaps quite such a sweet purchase for Sir Keith Mills' team as we originally thought. But every team has to start somewhere, and '75' will at least give the Brits some insight into the exquisite structural engineering that Dirk Kramers and his team at Alinghi put into Rolf Vrolijk's design.
It must be somewhat demotivating, however, to know that the yacht you've just bought will bear no resemblance to the new yachts that we have yet to learn more details of. It was hard to find a sailor in Valencia who would be openly critical of the state of limbo that the Cup currently finds itself in, but privately a number of sailors and designers have voiced their frustration at the lack of detail about the 33rd Cup.
Apparently, if the venue is to be Valencia again, then we'll know this to be the case by the end of July. Otherwise we could be in for a long wait while ACM weighs up bids from other competing cities in Europe. Hopefully the decision will come sooner than later, otherwise all the momentum built up from the great show of the 32nd Cup will be lost.
With the Golden Gate Yacht Club's counter-challenge last week to mock yot club, Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, followed closely by the sad confirmation of Louis Vuitton's long-rumoured withdrawal as the event's chief sponsor, these are uncertain times for the future of the Cup.