Fueled by advances in boat design and all the data expertise you'd expect in an Oracle-sponsored project, Team USA looks to gain a high-tech advantage as it defends its America's Cup championship.
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"San Francisco is an awesome place for sailing," said Aldaz. "It's got wind, it's got current; they're bringing [the race] very close to shore." Indeed, thanks to the catamaran design, the boats are able to sail very close to shore, giving both in-person spectators and TV crews a dynamic vantage point that could open the sport up to new fans. In the past, races were held miles off the coastlines.
The advanced catamarans also allow for a shortened course that forces sailors into constant adjustments--a more daunting challenge, but also a more impressive one.
The picturesque setting is certainly camera-friendly, but given that the Oracle team uses the San Francisco Bay for practice on a regular basis, one wonders if familiarity with the area's tricky conditions might yield a competitive advantage. John Kostecki, a sailor on one of two Oracle AC45s racing in the World Series, is doubtful. The Marin County native told the San Jose Mercury News , "It evens out pretty quickly as teams sail here more. The course area is very small, so at the end of the day there really isn't any home field advantage."
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