bor 90 wing sail

BOR 90 Sailing with Wing Sail

America’s Cup Sailing News: Valencia and Wing Sail

Both the Alinghi and BMW Oracle America’s Cup teams have stated they are ready to hold their best-of-three multihull showdown in February in Valencia, Spain, where the Swiss team won the last edition of the Cup in 2007. However, it was still uncertain whether the 33rd America’s Cup can go ahead there as planned, or will instead take place in the Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. Ras al-Khaimah was Alinghi’s original choice for the event, but the New York court declared the venue invalid, a decision which Alinghi has appealed. “It’s Valencia in February unless the separate appeal over Ras al-Khaimah is successful,” an Oracle spokesman said on Thursday.

The court also ruled in Oracle’s favor on a number of technical issues on Thursday. “This is a victory for fair rules and common sense,” Tom Ehman, spokesman for Oracle representative, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, said in a statement.

Alinghi said in a brief statement that the court “has brought a degree more certainty to the 33rd America’s Cup today.”

Alinghi and Oracle, owned respectively by Swiss biotech billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and American computer billionaire Larry Ellison, have been locked in a legal battle over the event for more than two years. Oracle first launched a legal challenge that accused Alinghi, which as defending champion is charged with organising the next event, of bending the rules to give it an unfair advantage. The New York Supreme Court ruled in April that the Cup should be settled by a one-on-one multihull duel between the two sides next February instead of the traditional fully-fledged regatta with several teams, and for this match the teams will be sailing multihulls.


BMW Oracle America's Cup Boat BOR 90

Meanwhile testing continues for the two America’s Cup boats, Alinghi’s catamaran Alinghi 5 and BMW Oracle Racing’s trimaran BOR 90, which is now sailing with a wing sail.

Earlier in the week the BMW Oracle team tested some soft sails to go with the wing sail, taking a look at code zeros and gennakers for use with the hard wing sail configuration.  Unfortunetely, the bowsprit broke, bringing the day’s testing to a close. “It’s frustrating to break gear but we would rather break it now,” Simeon said. “We are still finding the limits on this boat and breakages are part of that process. We are all learning together.”

The BMW Oracle America’s Cup team had a dockside maintenance day on Saturday, it was the first time the boat platform has returned to the dock from its mooring since the wing was installed two weeks ago. The platform was carefully guided back to the team dock with the wing lowered. Once at the dock, two cranes lifted the wing to allow for maintenance while the wing was suspended above the boat. The America’s Cup boat BOR 90 will be returning to testing on Monday.

– LB

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