Team Oracle USA Foiling Camp

In 2012, we were fortunate to be in San Francisco during America’s Cup season. We watched an AC45 World Series race live, and not long before, saw the open-water debut of Oracle Team USA’s AC72.

While in Gosford, Australia we met Gosford Sailing Club director David Slingsby, who invited us in for a post-race drink after the club’s Saturday racing event. We had a great time chatting with the group about sailboat racing and our trip across the South Pacific. David offered us the opportunity to meet the defending America’s Cup champions, Oracle Team USA, who were at nearby Lake Macquarie for Foiling Camp focusing on hydrofoil sailing skills using Moth class boats. David’s son Tom Slingsby is Oracle Team USA’s helmsman, strategist and sailing team manager.

When we arrived at Lake Macquarie, the team was tuning and fixing their rigging following the previous day’s training. In the rightmost picture below, Tom Slingsby is splicing a line on his Moth. Also attending were Joshua McKnight, the current Moth world champion; Tom Burton, the top-ranked Laser sailor in the world; Andrew McDougall, a multiple-time Australian Moth racing champion who has several times placed second in the Moth world championships; and David’s son-in-law Joel Castle, who we’d watched Moth-sailing at Gosford and who also has raced competitively internationally.

Andrew McDougall is the designer of the Mach 2s that dominate Moth racing. He was at the camp to provide training on hydrofoil rig setup and sailing technique. In the leftmost photo below, Andrew is wearing the black T-shirt, and David Slingsby is standing between Andrew and Jennifer.

It’s rare to meet a group like this who are at the top in their field. Everyone was focused, but quite friendly, and willing to answer questions as we watched them work. Thank you David for bringing us along, and Tom for allowing us to attend. It was a real highlight of our trip.

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