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Americas Cup

Americas Cup

BMW Oracle won the 33rd America’s Cup for USA by beating Swiss holders Alinghi.

BMW Oracle beat Alinghi in the second race of the America’s Cup to claim the best-of-three series 2-0.

The boat, which featured a towering wing-shaped sail, beat Alinghi by more than a kilometre in the second race off the Spanish port of Valencia.

The carbon fibre and kevlar American boat hit speeds of up to 33 knots, at times more than four times the speed of the wind.

The team and its hi-tech trimaran are owned by Larry Ellison, the billionaire who founded computer giant Oracle over 30 years ago.

“It’s an absolutely awesome feeling. I couldn’t be more proud,” Ellison told America’s Cup television. “Alinghi sailed really hard today,” he added.

Ellison is number four in Forbes magazine’s list of world billionaires.

Alinghi had been flying a protest flag during the race, meaning the result was provisional until the complaint was heard. But later an Alinghi spokesman said they decided to withdraw it.

BMW Oracle won Friday’s first race equally easily. They had to wait to start the second race after delays of more than six hours as officials waited for suitable wind.

The two races were the culmination of acrimonious legal wrangling. There were arguments over who could contest the regatta, where it could be sailed, and what kind of boats could be used.

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33rd Americas Cup

33rd Americas Cup

Valencia, Spain — The opening race of the 33rd America’s Cup Deed of Gift match between Alinghi and BMW Oracle off the east coast of Spain was canceled on Wednesday due to rough seas. This is frustrating America’s Cup fans as this happened just two days after race one of this best of three showdown was postponed for the first time due to weak winds. This is causing some sailing fans to ask why these million dollar America’s Cup boats are so fragile, as every sailor knows even a cheap beach cat could have raced in conditions found in Valencia today.

America’s Cup race director Harold Bennett said the waves of more than two metres in the race area some 25 miles off the port of Valencia would be unsafe for the giant multihulls fielded by US team Oracle and defending Swiss champion Alinghi.  “These are different boats than what we are normally used to. With conditions like today, I am not sure they would have done terribly well,” he said.

Guess they don’t build America’s Cup boats like they use to!

The race – 20 nautical miles upwind and 20 back – is now set to be held on Friday, the next scheduled racing day, in accordance with the rules of the 159-year-old event, sailing’s oldest and most prestigious trophy.

The America’s Cup has traditionally been run in monohulls but this year for the first time both sides will sail multihulls that can sail at three times the speed of the wind. Alinghi’s giant catamaran, the Alinghi 5, and Oracle’s equally large trimaran, the USA, are the biggest, fastest and most expensive entries in the event’s history.

As opposed to Monday when both teams agreed with Bennett’s decision to cancel the race, this time around Alinghi backed the move while Oracle, whose boat is thought to have an edge in strong winds, opposed it. “We were more than happy with those conditions, those waves,” said Oracle’s Australian helmsman James Spithill, adding his side had already sailed under similar conditions in San Diego.

Bennett’s decision to cancel Wednesday’s race revived the debate over the impartiality of the Societe Nautique de Geneve, which Alinghi represents, and which is charged with organizing the 33rd America’s Cup. Bennett defended his impartiality, saying he was employed by the International Sailing Federation to oversee the competition.

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Alinghi 5

The 33rd America’s Cup has been a long time coming, but after two years of litigation between Alinghi and BMW Oracle the Deed of Gift match between two of the world’s most extreme multihulls is about to take place.

Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president, speaking at the press conference on Friday evening praised his team: “The nice thing is that for the last 10 years I’ve been sailing with the same people and that has been very important to the whole experience. Three campaigns with almost the same group make each day more interesting and more rewarding. The fact that the heart of the team has been the same since the very, very beginning makes this America’s Cup campaign rewarding and I wouldn’t be here today without all the members of the Alinghi team. I’ll be helming but I’ll be sharing the helm with Loïck Peyron. Neither of us would be able to do our job without the other guys onboard and the team ashore.”

The Alinghi America’s Cup team has designed and built Alinghi 5, a 90ft catamaran on load waterline that spans 110ft overall, with a mast that towers more than 17-storeys above the sailors and settles on a foundation the size of a tennis ball. The boat has taken approximately 100,000-man-hours to build and is deeply rooted in the multihull heritage that Switzerland is so well-known for. “Designing and building Alinghi 5 has been a huge ask in such a short timeframe, and the guys on the design and shore team have done an extraordinary job in giving us this boat. Our opponent is formidable, BMW Oracle has a very good sailor in James Spithill and their boat is a credit to their design team. I speak for all of us on the sailing team when I say we are looking forward to racing and getting the sport back on the water where it belongs,” said team skipper and four-time America’s Cup winner, Brad Butterworth.

America’s Cup racing is scheduled to start on Monday, with a first race warning signal at 10:00 local time in Valencia, Spain.

Read more:

33rd America’s Cup – Looks Like We Have a Race!

America's Cup News: Alinghi 5

America's Cup News: Alinghi 5

America’s Cup News: No RAK Yes Spain

RAK is out as the site of the America’s Cup, and the yachting showdown between Swiss and American crews in giant multihulls is headed to Valencia, Spain, on February 10, 2010. The New York appeals court unanimously upheld a lower court’s order on Tuesday, saying that Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, doesn’t qualify under the 19th-century Deed of Gift to be the port for the nautical grudge match between defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland and American challenger BMW Oracle Racing.

With their choice of RAK now a two-time loser in court, including Tuesday’s 4-0 ruling by the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, the Swiss said they will abide by the court’s decision. “Once again BMW Oracle’s strategy to try to win the America’s Cup in court instead of on the water has been successful,” Fred Meyer, vice commodore of Alinghi’s backing yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve, said in a statement.

“For the first time in the history of the America’s Cup the defender has been stripped of its fundamental right to select the venue. Societe Nautique de Geneve accepts this decision and Alinghi is looking forward to racing for the America’s Cup on the water in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010.”

The Americans hailed a double court victory. “This is a big stride forward,” said Tom Ehman, a spokesman for San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, which sponsors BMW Oracle Racing. “GGYC and BMW Oracle Racing are pleased but not surprised that the Appellate Division upheld the invalidity of RAK.”

The Appellate Division also upheld a lower court’s ruling that rudders are excluded from measuring a boat’s load-waterline. The Americans said the Swiss wanted rudders included in the measurement in an attempt to disqualify the trimaran. The rudder issue was an important technical victory for the Americans.

The rulings came a few hours after BMW Oracle Racing finished loading its 90-by-90-foot trimaran BOR 90 and wing sail aboard a container ship in San Diego, where the syndicate has been headquartered since September 2008. The ship was to leave Tuesday afternoon for Valencia. The first race is scheduled for Feb. 8. Ehman also confirmed that BMW Oracle Racing and Alinghi are discussing making it a best-of-seven showdown rather than a best-of-three series as stipulated in the Deed of Gift, which governs the America’s Cup.

Alinghi’s 90-foot catamaran, Alinghi 5, has been in RAK since late September. The Swiss fought desperately to save RAK as the venue because officials there committed $120 million for infrastructure to host the giant boats and their shore crews.

BMW Oracle Racing fought RAK as the port based on terms of the Deed of Gift as well as safety concerns due to its proximity to Iran.

Tuesday’s ruling could be the end of a long, twisting America’s Cup court fight between bickering billionaires Bertarelli of Alinghi and his counterpart with BMW Oracle Racing, software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp., but we doubt it!


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America's Cup Boat Alinghi 5

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has appointed an International Jury for the 33rd America’s Cup which the BMW Oracle sailing team calls “highly qualified. ” The team stated that they “are pleased that it includes the members of the Expert Panel to which Justice Kornreich referred the five technical questions. The Panel’s recommendations were confirmed by Justice Kornreich in her recent decision. With the Jury’s appointment we expect that the remaining rules issues, including revision of the Société Nautique de Geneve (SNG)-ISAF agreement and the draft Notice of Race, will be quickly resolved consistent with the Court’s decisions and orders, and in accordance with normal – and fair – yacht racing rules and procedures. ”

Meanwhile, Ernesto Bertarelli is saying he would, “push for Ras al Khaimah to host the 34th staging of the America’s Cup if they defend their title next year.” Should Alinghi win the America’s Cup sailing trophy for a third time in the port city of Valencia – where the series will be held if the New York Supreme Court dismisses Alinghi’s appeal – then Ernesto Bertarelli and his team will again nominate the United Arab Emirates as host of their next defense. Read more about this in the The National.

See a great sailing video of the two America’s Cup boats (Alinghi 5 and BOR 90) here: Video of America’s Cup Boats

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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Ras Al Khaimah America's Cup Sailing Venue

Ras Al Khaimah America's Cup Sailing Venue

America’s Cup Skipper Says RAK Venue Doesn’t Comply

The proposed sailing venue in Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, is no more of a legitimate America’s Cup venue than the Colorado River or Walden Pond would be, says the American challenger BMW Oralce in its latest court filing in a long, bitter legal battle with defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland.

Safety concerns aside, the BMW Oracle sailing team said the Swiss choice of Ras al-Khaimah doesn’t meet the stipulations of the 19th-century Deed of Gift that governs sailing’s marquee event and the U.S. club is attempting to get the New York State Supreme Court to reject RAK as the port for the best-of-3 showdown beginning Feb. 8 in giant multihulls, and have it staged in Valencia instead.

Although GGYC and its sailing team, BMW Oracle Racing, have raised “grave safety concerns” about a giant, American-flagged trimaran racing within several miles of Iran, the Americans are asking the court to decide the issue based on stipulations in the 1887 Deed of Gift.

Justice Shirley Kornreich has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 27 on the venue issue and an ongoing rules spat. Her court holds jurisdiction over America’s Cup legal conflicts. Alinghi and its backing club, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), have argued that a court order from April 7 gives them the right to host the racing in Valencia or any other location. The Swiss announced in early August their choice of RAK, the emirate nearest Iran. GGYC counters in a reply memorandum filed late Monday that the Deed of Gift prohibits racing in the Northern Hemisphere from Nov. 1-May 1.

Although Valencia is in the Northern Hemisphere, neither side objected earlier in the court fight to holding the rare head-to-head showdown in Valencia. The Spanish port hosted the 2007 America’s Cup, which Alinghi won over Team New Zealand.

GGYC said in its filing that SNG argues that the April 7 order is unambiguous and means exactly what it says, that the match can be held in Valencia or “any other location selected by SNG.”

“In fact, however, as SNG effectively concedes, the order cannot be taken so literally,” GGYC attorney David Boies wrote. “Not even SNG believes that it can select the Colorado River or Walden Pond for the America’s Cup, which is what the literal words would imply, because SNG acknowledges that it cannot select a venue that is not on an ocean course or free of headlands. Given that the literal meaning cannot apply, the order must be interpreted consistent with the Deed of Gift. Accordingly, it means that SNG may select Valencia or any other venue that is permitted by the Deed of Gift.”

Boies also wrote that the court need not agree with GGYC that the Swiss have subjected the American syndicate to unnecessary danger by selecting RAK. “Nevertheless, GGYC has offered evidence of the serious safety concerns presented by SNG’s selection of Ras al-Khaimah to demonstrate the necessity of bringing the present motion to enforce the terms of the Deed of Gift.”

Alinghi and Ras al-Khaimah officials have said the emirate is capable of the security and infrastructure needed to host the America’s Cup. That hasn’t swayed the Americans. Last week, GGYC told SNG it is considering filing a complaint with New York courts on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty, in part because of the selection of RAK as the America’s Cup venue.

Read More about: America’s Cup in Ras al-Khaimah

Americas Cup Boat in RAK

America's Cup Boat Alinghi 5 in Ras al-Khaimah

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