America’s Cup News – One Big Publicity Stunt?
Alinghi says the 33rd America’s Cup, the challenge between the Alinghi and BMW Oracle sailing teams, will be held in the Kingdom of Ras Al-Khaimah, not in Spain as most expected. This decision struck us as strange, and we went diving for our atlas, and searching the Internet to find information about the little country. What we found was shocking, and made us wonder why Alinghi would choose this location for the next America’s Cup.
On the human rights scale, the UAE overall and Ras Al-Khaimah in particular are considered by most standards to be on the low end. As the UAE is a loose federation of tribal monarchies, democracy does not exist. Freedom of the press, freedom to criticize the rulers and the government, freedom of (or from) religion, legal rights (particularly women’s, children’s), and many of the other freedoms most watchdog groups find minimal standards are simply not available. So, why would Alinghi want to bring the America’s Cup to Ras Al-Khaimah? Read more about this question at America’s Cup = Bad Publicity?
On a lighter note, after two weeks of sea trials on Lake Geneva, the Alinghi America’s Cup boat Alinghi 5 was hoisted off the Lake today, and lifted over the Alps to the sea. Alinghi 5 was secured in a cradle of ropes, and lifted by the world’s most powerful helicopter, a Russian MI-26 military transporter. Flying along the Rhone river valley, the America’s Cup boat followed the Great St. Bernard Pass across the Alps before a scheduled refueling stop at Biella, Italy. The operation lasted 5 hours, 15 minutes, ending at the Yacht Club Italiano.
The Alinghi 5 catamaran will now spend four weeks based near its boatyard at Le Bouveret to Genoa on Italy’s Mediterranean coast, and is expected to be seen around the area performing sea trials. “We have had a very good initial trial period on the lake,” said skipper Brad Butterworth. “In Genoa, with a bit more sea room, we will be able to stretch Alinghi 5’s legs.”
Meanwhile BMW Oracle Racing continues testing its trimaran BOR 90 in San Diego, California.
By Sailing the World
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