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America’s Cup Racing Resumes

The Cup arrives in Muscat’s Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque for a photo shoot. Left to right: Glenn Ashby, skipper of ETNZ; Adam Minoprio, who is taking the place of the injured Franck Cammas in Oman only for Groupama Team France; Dean Barker, SoftBank Team Japan skipper and CEO; Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA skipper; Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR skipper; Iain Percy, Artemis Racing team manager.

© 2016 Jesus Renaldo / Lloyd Images

America’s Cup racing returns to the water: The 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series kicked off in Muscat, Oman today.

Three different teams won the three regattas in the 2015 series. Golden Gate YC’s Oracle Team USA finished in second place, behind Emirates Team New Zealand, in the overall  standings. “This event is very much up for grabs,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill. “We know it’s going to be tough. We know that if we make a mistake on the race course we’ll be punished for it, and that’s how it should be.”

Jimmy Spithill and crew went for a sail aboard the Oracle Team USA AC45F after launching yesterday.

© Sam Greenfield / Oracle Team USA

The teams set up their AC45F foiling catamarans on Wednesday, launched on Thursday, and had official practice racing followed by the opening ceremony today. Artemis Racing found the most success today, winning both fleet races and taking one of two match races. Conditions were light, with winds of 4-7 knots. The forecast calls for 7-10 knots over the weekend. Counting races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. local time each day — that’s 2 a.m. PST. 

They’re just like us: Crews cling to the leeward rail in the very light-air conditions of today’s practice racing.

© 2016 Ricardo Pinto / ACEA

Given the 12-hour time difference, it seems unlikely that many fans here on the West Coast of the US will try to watch the racing live. But diehards who also happen to be night owls can get the AC+ app here. The season pass for 2016 costs $24.99. A weekend pass for each event is $7.99.

If anyone still cares by Saturday, March 12, NBC Sports Network will replay the highlights at 3-4 p.m. PST.

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This photo shows one of several anchorages at Antigua’s Green Island. That’s ‘ti Profligate on the lower left, just in front of the reef.