Our tour began at Team Oracle's top-secret warehouse located at San Francisco's Pier 80. The foreboding fence with signs reading "No Trespassing" might seem a bit much -- it felt more like walking into NASA's headquarters. However, the upcoming 2013 America's Cup World Series marks not only a potential gold for the U.S. but also breakthroughs in sailing technology, as Oracle has been paving the way for innovations in the sport.
At the 2010 America's Cup World Series, in which Team Oracle won the gold, it already had begun to change the game by moving from the typical yacht mast to what's called a fixed-wing sail. Bigger than the wing of a Boeing 747 and quite a bit heavier than the sails of old, the fixed-wing sail added not only speed to the vessel but also quite a bit more weight.
"Like plane's wings making the transition for airplanes, wings are a big transition. Now, sailing finally made [that transition]," said tour guide Eduardo Aldaz, a performance analyst for Team Oracle U.S.A.