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The Best of the Best: Highlight Videos from the America’s Cup World Series 2011-2012

Think you know sailboat racing? The AC45 brings a whole new boatload of excitement, danger, and thrill to the sport, making it more visual and entrancing than ever before. Capable of speeds of up to 30 knots, the catamarans must still remain nimble enough to maneuver successfully on the tight racecourses.

June 13, 2012
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Energy Team could be a force to be reckoned with in Newport. 2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

With the recently debuted AC45 being a powerful multihull capable of tripling the wind speed, racing in the 2011-2012 America’s Cup World Series has been quite the experience thus far. In preparation for the highly anticipated arrival of the competition to Newport, Rhode Island, we’ve compiled some of the best highlight videos from the 2011-2012 events so that you can get as excited as we are.

In case you haven’t picked a favorite team yet, here are some short bios and the top 7 teams’ current overall standings:

1.) Oracle Racing 4: 84 points (38 match racing, 46 fleet racing)

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One of Oracle’s two teams competing in the World Series, Oracle 4 is helmed by Aussie James Spithill, who became the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup in 2010 at the age of 30.

2.) Emirates Team New Zealand: 80 points (36 match racing, 44 fleet racing)

Skippered by New Zealander Dean Barker, this team represents the tiny nation of New Zealand’s values: a can-do spirit, teamwork, taking on the big guy, and accepting a challenge while striving for excellence.

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3.) Artemis Racing: 71 points (43 match racing, 28 fleet racing)

Representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Artemis Racing is the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup. With a medly of nationalities onboard, including France, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Australia and the UK, the boat will be driven by American Terry Hutchinson.

4.) Energy Team: 65 points (32 match racing, 33 fleet racing)

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The winners of the AC World Series in Venice, this team has gathered speed and could be a force to be reckoned with in Newport. This French team is headed by helmsman Loick Peyron, who served as the cornerstone of Team Alinghi in the 2010 America’s Cup.

5.) Team Korea: 56 points (30 match racing, 26 fleet racing)

The only new team to take up the challenge of the oldest trophy in sport, team founder Kim Dong-Young has called this effort a learning experience with the aim of constant improvement. This team is not afraid to use new technology, which includes their gamble by trying out Doyle Stratis sails.

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6.) Oracle Racing 5: 53 points (29 match racing, 24 fleet racing)

The second team from Oracle, Oracle 5 is skippered by Russell Coutts (NZL), an Olympic Gold medalist and the most successful skipper in the history of the America’s Cup, having won it four times for three different countries.

7.) Luna Rossa Piranha: 34 points (18 match racing, 16 fleet racing)

While neither of the two Italian teams entered the racing until Naples (in April), Luna Rossa Piranha should not be discounted in the racing at Newport. This team is passionate, and has high hopes for 2013 despite their late start.

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At Cascais, PT, the World Series got off to a fantastic start, with 9 teams representing 7 nations competing. New boats, new rules, and new challenges.

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Don’t be daunted by the length of this video–the capsizes alone will keep you on the edge of your seat. Day 7 wraps up a fantastic week of racing in Plymouth, UK.

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Round Three of the World Series took place in San Diego, and included 3 fleet races to determine the seeding for the match races, thrilling spectators even with light and tricky winds.

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Gary Jobson and Mitch Booth highlight the most spectacular moments in Naples, Italy, where record-breaking crowds lined the shores to watch their country compete. Artemis Racing has a capsize that results in serious wing damage right before the Match Racing Championship.

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The passionate Italians get another chance to cheer on Luna Rossa Piranha in Venice, an ancient city that provides a fabulous backdrop for even more racing.

The inaugural champion of the AC World Series will be decided in Newport on July 1, the final day of racing in the series. Will the team from USA–Oracle 4–hang on to their lead? Or will the Kiwis overcome them in the homestretch? The racing will be intense, as will be the battle to spectate for avid fans. Get ready to hold onto your hats, folks.

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