Coming off what skipper Phil Robertson described as a “fantastic showing” for China Team at last week’s America’s Cup World Series San Francisco, the team has announced a partnership with a local university for design concepts.
Robertson, at 25 the second youngest skipper in the AC World Series fleet, was enthused by the team’s performance last week. China Team scored its first match racing victory on the America’s Cup World Series circuit and they counted a 5th as their top finish in the fleet racing championship. Robertson said the crew work was much improved.
“We won our first match race and had a 5th, 7th and 8th in the fleet racing, which is fantastic for the team,” said Robertson. “It shows how much we’ve improved over the past two weeks. In between the two events we worked hard in the gym and we’ve managed to put in a few more training sessions. Now we’re competitive with a little more momentum behind us, and we’re really happy with how it’s all gone.”
China Team isn’t an official challenger for next year’s Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Selection Series, but it is making plans for the 35th Cup. Robertson said the team is embarking on a promotional tour in China and will also open a base to start training the next generation of Chinese sailors. China Team also has entered the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
“The team wants to set up a circuit in China to create more awareness. The biggest move is to get the nation behind it,” said Robertson. “The team needs to create more awareness and understanding of sailing and the America’s Cup. Once they start getting more media coverage and into the market in China, things will start steam rolling. It’ll be big step forward for the team and the America’s Cup.”
Although the 35th America’s Cup is no more than a title at this point, China Team is leaning on its strong cultural ties with San Francisco and has engaged students at the Academy of Art University to sketch design concepts that could be used in the future.
According to a press release from the Academy of Art University, students have begun their exploration into the future of yacht design by researching and understanding the advancements in aerodynamics and fluid dynamics.
The press release says that China Team representatives have reviewed the students’ initial design concepts and will soon select the one they want the students to pursue. At that time, students will begin developing a digital model of the design, which will be followed by building a physical model.
“With China Team competing in the America’s Cup World Series here in San Francisco last week, our students had a unique opportunity to witness in person what they have a chance to impact with their design in 2016,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University.