Valencia, Spain. BMW ORACLE Racing today began the final two-boat race training session in the lead-up to Louis Vuitton Act 13 and the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup starting next month in Valencia. The team’s two 2007-generation race yachts USA 98 and USA 87 lined up together for the first time today as skipper Chris Dickson and the sailing team performed a series of tests and in-house races in the waters off Valencia today.
“It is great to be here in Valencia in the race venue with our two race yachts,” Dickson said. “I am satisfied with where we are at this stage – everyone has put in a supreme effort. We’ve achieved a lot but there is still plenty to do. With our end-goal now in sight with racing about to begin, there is a renewed energy and focus within the team. Everyone is aware of how intense the racing will be through the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup. Now the challenge is to reach our maximum performance at the right time.”
The team sea-trialed USA 98 in New Zealand and ran a two-boat race training session there in January and February. USA 98 arrived to Valencia by Antonov February 23 and underwent on-the-water technical checks last week. USA 87 also sailed last week for the first time following winter modifications.
“We now have two 2007-model America’s Cup Class yachts,” Dickson said. “All we learned from USA 87 in 2006 was incorporated into USA 98. The winter period also gave us the opportunity to upgrade USA 87, bringing 87 into the current model year. We now have the hardware in place to do the job.”
BMW ORACLE Racing will continue the two-boat race training programme through March in preparation for the 2007 racing season which begins with Louis Vuitton Act 13 (fleet racing) on 3rd of April. The Louis Vuitton Cup starts 16th of April.
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