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Posts Tagged ‘BMW Oracle Racing’

All done and dusted

February 16th, 2010 No comments

The Beast has prevailed over Beauty.  I am still shell-shocked, although not entirely surprised.

In the words of the Swiss :

Alinghi put forth a tremendous effort today in its attempt to defend the 33rd America’s Cup. The Swiss team from the Société Nautique de Genève led for most of the first leg of the triangular course, but couldn’t hold off the Challenger BMW Oracle Racing. Alinghi lost the race by 5m26s and the America’s Cup Match, 2-0.

Team president and principal helmsman Ernesto Bertarelli congratulated his competitor after the race: “Congratulations to the BMW Oracle team. The boat was faster, there’s no question about that.”

Today’s race was postponed for more than six hours from the scheduled start time of 10:06 as, similar to Friday, the race committee waited for the wind to settle. Around 16:10 the race committee set a windward mark bearing 100 degrees, just south of due east, and the two crews started at 16:25. Bertarelli guided Alinghi 5 onto the race course on port tack about mid-line, despite receiving a penalty. The crew wanted the right side of the course, hoping for the favourable wind shift. Almost 14 minutes into the race Alinghi 5 tacked to starboard and into a right-hand wind shift that lifted the 90ft load waterline catamaran into the lead. For the next 35 minutes or so both boats held starboard tack with Alinghi, now steered by Loïck Peyron, to windward of the challenger and holding the lead in the wind shift.

Alinghi crossed the challenger near the windward mark, but lost the lead when it tacked to port to approach the mark. The challenger led by 28 seconds at the first mark and then, propelled by its wing, increased that lead by more than 2 minutes at the second mark.

Alinghi showing better upwind speed (c) Guido Trombetta / Alinghi

Alinghi showing better upwind speed (c) Guido Trombetta / Alinghi

So its all over.  The cup goes to GGYDC and Larry Ellison – to be fair he has tried for long enough to win it so he probably deserves it!  And Russel Coutts still the man in the middle – now with the most amazing run of cup wins.

What next for these mammoth boats?  Mothballs?  Ernesto going to compete on Lake Geneva with Alinghi (I be he does)?  And whither the America’s Cup?  Back to monohulls and processions around a short course?

GGYC have accepted the Italians as challenger of record in a multi-challenger series, so it is now clear that the 34th cup will return to being the jamboree (and providing employment for many more) that it was last time.  Ellison has sortof said it could be Valencia but I have to say my money would be on San Francisco for the next cup.

America’s Cup to return to Valencia

November 10th, 2009 No comments

In a letter written today to New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich following the unsuccessful discussions with the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the America’s Cup Defender, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), has confirmed that it will conduct a Deed of Gift Match with GGYC in February 2010 in Valencia, which is the date and venue repeatedly requested by GGYC and previously ordered by the Court.

Good news for those of us living in Spain!  There must be a few rather angry chaps down in the Gulf though.  We now will see how these boats hold up in the winter in Valencia.  I stand by my theory that the cup will be decided by whoever still has an intact boat at the end of the series.  Valencia can deliver some nasty seas this time of year. Bring it on!!!!

BMW Oracle dismasted

November 6th, 2009 No comments

So it’s now one-all in the dismasting stakes!  With both BMW Oracle and Alinghi having now suffered a dismasting one has to question the reliabiity of these boats. Perhaps the outcome of the America’s cup, should the race ever move out of the courthouse, would be more determined by who makes it through all 3 races!

Alinghi are now saying they will move the race to Australia on the east coast.  Given that it could only be in Valencia if in the northern hemisphere,  according to the various legal wrangles, this is not that surprising.  The Swiss team is not popular in New Zealand and the only other possible southern venues would be South America or South Africa – the latter undoubtably too rough for these fragile craft.  Expect the venue to be somewhere very sheltered!!

More on the dismasting …

RIBs that follow the BOR 90 during testing sessions recovered the damaged mast and returned to the base later in the evening.

The team will spend Tuesday night assessing all the available data to gain a full understanding of what happened.

“We really need to go back and look into the numbers and see what footage we have. Right now, it’s too early to say why and where it failed,” Spithill said.

“The biggest priority was making sure everyone was safe and getting back to the dock and now we’ll evaluate (what happened).”

That process was well underway on Tuesday night.

No more RAK for the America’s Cup

October 28th, 2009 No comments

Yesterday the NY court considered a number of issues on the latest Cup fiasco with at least one significant decision …

“The most significant ruling from yesterday’s hearing was that Ras Al Khaimah will not be the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup, despite the government there having, according SNG lawyer Barry Ostriger, already forked out $125 million in preparations.”

So – Valencia for the giant multihulls???

Alinghi and the ISAF letter

September 23rd, 2009 No comments

Perhaps I was too hasty in my “analysis” of the ISAF letter. In an excellent article this morning legendary sailing journalist Bob Fisher points out that the letter in effect gives “the Swiss holders of the America’s Cup carte blanche with the sailing rules for the event, in exchange for a sum of €150,000 (£136,000).”

BMW Oracle are not happy, predictably, with this situation.  “We don’t know when we go out to race what trick they are going to pull,” said the challenging team’s owner, Larry Ellison. “We can finish first, only for them to say, ‘You have broken this or that rule.’ We probably will be ruled out of every race.”

So – the battle rages on in the courts.  From my side I just want to see these amazing racing machines on the water!  Oh – incidentally – it occurred to me that this could all be irrelevant!  Either of these boats could capsize rather easily (even in the placid waters of the Arabian Gulf). Were that to happen the race would be over since both parties have only the single boat each…

I like this pic!

August 31st, 2009 No comments

A short hello and LOOK AT THIS!!!  What a great piccie of the BMW monster trimaran!

How small is that guy on the helm?   BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

How small is that guy on the helm? BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

There is a nice video with footage of the beast sailing on Youtube here.

What is even more awesome is that the rig cants.  Now – you dont have to understand the benefits of this to see the rather obvious issues associated with canting an 18 story high mast into the wind!  Some serious engineering challenges there.  Here is a pic with the rig canted…

BMW ORACLE Racing with rig canted -  BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW ORACLE Racing with rig canted - BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW Oracle Racing Trimaran

August 10th, 2009 No comments

Never let it be said that your scribe is biased!  Here are some latest shots of the BMW Oracle trimaran with a bit of breeze.

BMW Oracle Trimaran (c) Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW Oracle Trimaran (c) Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

This crazy race is going to be very interesting if this is in fact the boat that will contest the Alingho monster cat.  Two very different boats!  Here we have a boat that clearly likes a bit more wind, with the winches powered by muscle rather than a motor.  Alinghi have now announced the venue for the race in February next year as a part of the United Arab Emirates – very close in fact to Iran!

BMW Oracle Trimaran - (c) Photo Gilles Martin Raget

BMW Oracle Trimaran - (c) Photo Gilles Martin Raget

The UAE will probably have less sea state and wind than was expected in Valencia, and I would not be surprised to see BWM Oracle either go back to the drawing board for a new, lighter design for the lighter air or radically revise this boat.

Ahh – to have money to throw at toys like this!  What fun!