On Sunday afternoon, on the waters off Valencia,Spain, BMW ORACLE Racing became the first American challenger in 23 years to win the
For team founder and afterguard member Larry Ellison (USA), the win is the culmination of a 10-year quest to win the oldest international trophy in sport, and sailing’s biggest prize.
“I’m enormously proud of this team,” Ellison said following the prizegiving ceremony Sunday evening. “It’s been a fabulous experience and I’m exceptionally proud to bring the America’s Cup back to the United States of America after a very long absence.”
Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing team represents San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club. For skipper James Spithill (AUS), the victory comes in his fourth attempt at the Cup. After becoming the youngest ever helmsman of a Cup team in 1999, on Sunday, at the age of 30, he became the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in,” Spithill said on Monday afternoon. “The only downer is we don’t get to sail the boat (anymore). We all really look forward to sailing every day. It’s a very special boat and so rewarding to sail.”
The last time an Australian skipper won the Cup was in 1983, when John Bertrand used the power of a winged keel on Australia II to upset the Liberty team and break the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year stranglehold on the trophy.
This year, sailing the most innovative trimaran ever built, Spithill flew around the race course powered by the biggest wing sail the world has ever seen.
On Monday afternoon team CEO Russell Coutts confirmed that Club Nautico di Roma, and its sailing team Mascalzone Latino, is the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup and reaffirmed that details of the next edition would come following a period of consultation with the America’s Cup community.
“There will be independent management of all competitive aspects of the regatta,” Coutts confirmed. “I think that’s important for all of the competitors to know the rules will be fair and equal for all.”
The team will fly with the America’s Cup to San Francisco on Friday. More details on the USA homecoming to be confirmed soon.
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BMW ORACLE Racing has started the 33rd America’s Cup Match with a convincing victory over the defender, Alinghi.
Racing was postponed for four and a half hours before Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett gave the start signal in a gentle 4 to 5 knot southerly wind.
After both boats entered the start box, skipper James Spithill (AUS) was able to speed deep into the box on starboard tack, preventing Alinghi 5 – the give way boat –from crossing ahead. As the boats dialled-up into the wind, the Umpires judged Alinghi hadn’t done enough to keep clear and penalised the Swiss team.
Alinghi, however, made a good recovery. With both teams to windward of the start line, the Swiss made a quick return to start ahead. In fact, by the time USA crossed the starting line, it was over 600-meters behind A5.
But then USA started to simply outpace A5 by sailing higher (closer to the wind) and slightly faster. The 600-meter deficit was soon erased, and USA went on to lead by 3:21 around the top mark.
Downwind, the advantage to the American boat was even more pronounced. USA continued to add to its lead all the way to the finish line.
The final delta at the finish, after Alinghi completed its penalty turn, and finished correctly, was 15:28.
Reaction from the sailors on USA will follow once the boat returns to port.
Strong winds kept both America’s Cup boats in port on Thursday. It was much colder in Valencia this morning and much windier as well. BMW ORACLE Racing’s trimaran, USA, remained on its mooring throughout the day.
“The boat is moored at the buoy with the wing sail vertical and we’ve seen more than 30 knots,” said Max Sirena (ITA) who is in charge of the wing sail logistics. “It looks scary, but all is good so far.”
The team remains eager to race. The main reason for leaving the wing sail up is so that the boat is ready to go racing early Friday morning.
“Over the last couple of weeks we’ve built up heaps of confidence,” mast man and boat director Matthew Mason (NZL) told the media in a Q+A session.
“We’re very satisfied. Logistically this thing (the wing sail) is hard. At one stage we thought we’d be lowering it down all the time, but as of today, we’ve got it up in nearly 35 knots.”
The forecast is for the strong winds to persist into Thursday night. Friday morning brings a significant easing trend. Cold temperatures are expected for several days.
Race One of the 33rd America’s Cup Match was abandoned for the day on Monday afternoon.
With very light and shifting winds over the race area, the Race Committee was unable to find suitable conditions for racing.
“We had a southerly breeze well offshore that was occasionally filtering into the start area,” explained team meteorologist Chris Bedford (USA). “But closer to shore we had a westerly breeze for most of the afternoon. At times it was showing up to 14 knots at the top mark.
“So there was pressure (wind) trying to make it onto the course, but because of these two winds converging, we never had enough breeze over a 20-mile leg to get going… I think the Race Committee did a good job today.”
After waiting for nearly four hours, and moving the race course area in an effort to find more wind, Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett decided to abandon racing for the day, shortly before 14:00 CET.
Under the schedule of the 33rd America’s Cup, the next race day is Wednesday, 10 February, when the start is scheduled for 10:06 CET (04:06 EST, 01:06 PST).
Strong winds are forecast on Tuesday and will linger into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“On Wednesday, I’m looking for quite a bit more seaway; we’ll probably be getting some kind of a swell down from the Northeast, along the coast,” Bedford said. “We’ll likely be in a waning Northwesterly that may turn into some kind of a sea breeze in the afternoon, if we’re lucky. That’s what we’re keeping our fingers crossed for.”
You can follow all of the action on Wednesday on www.bmworacleracing.com with our “Race Day” coverage, which features live original programming, as well as the Host Broadcast feed of the racing.
In addition to the main team website, friends of the team can follow our blog at http://bmworacleracingblog.blogspot.com, our YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/bmworacleracingteam, or on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/bmworacle2010.
The Golden Gate Yacht Club’s (GGYC) position with regard to supplying the Custom House Registry (CHR) document has been
vindicated by Justice Shirley Kornreich in the New York Supreme Court.
Justice Kornreich says, in her decision of September 18, 2009 and issued today, that
the CHR (or “COD” as it is now known) for GGYC’s yacht challenging for the 33rd
America’s Cup need only be provided at least two weeks ahead of next February’s
Her decision also states that the Deed of Gift does not compel the challenger to obtain
the COD within a specific period of time, and that a challenger may continue to make
modifications even after a CHR has been issued.
“Issuance of the COD does not freeze the vessel in time,” Justice Kornreich wrote.
GGYC spokesman Tom Ehman said, “The Swiss defender, Société Nautique de
Genève, has failed to understand the simple reality that a vessel is not complete upon
its launch but when sea trials have been completed and it is ready for hand-over to its
This, Justice Kornreich said in her decision, was explained clearly in evidence to the
court submitted by Thomas L Willis, Director of the USCG’s National Vessel
Documentation Center. She wrote, “The vessel of an America’s Cup challenger is by
nature a yacht undergoing intense technological development.”
GGYC’s racing team, BMW ORACLE Racing, currently has its yacht (known as the
BOR90) out of the water and undergoing further modifications in San Diego as part of its
continuing development process.
“Under these circumstances the Court agrees that the vessel is not completed for the
purposes of COD,” Justice Kornreich said.
“Super light construction and huge sail area mean that the BOR90 is one of, if not, the
most extreme and powerful yachts to sail in 158-year history the America’s Cup. We are
looking forward to February’s match with huge anticipation,” Ehman added.
It will be reminiscent of Newport’s America’s Cup days when 19 yacht club teams from 14 nations descend on this “City by the Sea” next week. Like in 1983, when Newport last hosted the Cup races here,* the patriotic teams will be sailing on Rhode Island Sound for a trophy kept by the New York Yacht Club, but this time it isn’t the “Auld Mug.” It’s the Invitational Cup, which the New York Yacht Club has recently put into circulation for the purpose of reviving amateur racing on these shores and around the world.
Tim Jeffery joins BMW ORACLE Racing today as Director, Communications.
The 33rd America’s Cup will be his ninth.
He has reported on the America’s Cup, as well as five Olympics and many
of the world’s major sailing events as The Daily Telegraph’s (London)
longstanding sailing correspondent. His work has been appeared in
many of the world’s leading sailing journals, including Seahorse,
Yachting World, Yachting Monthly, Boat International (UK), SAIL (USA)
and Kazi (Japan).
Sir Keith Mills, leader of the British Challenge for the America’s Cup, TEAMORIGIN, will be the keynote speaker at the America’s Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 30, 2009. This black-tie event, being held at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan and presented by Rolex Watch U.S.A., will also feature a special presentation about the history of the Cup by Gary Jobson and John Rousmaniere.
America’s Cup designers from Alinghi and the five challengers attended the first design consultation meeting on Saturday 15 September at the AC Management offices in Valencia.
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