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News: America’s Cup 2010: Multi-Hull Sailing Monsters

May 15, 2009 by Yacht Designer
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A Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of New York upheld an order that Alinghi meet the Americans in the best of three yacht racing match in February which makes way for a 2010 America’s Cup with huge mulit-hull sailing yachts.

Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich has ordered America’s Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland to face bitter American rival BMW Oracle Racing in a rare one on one yacht race showdown in super fast monster multihull sailing yachts.

A long, convoluted court fight between billionaires Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli has put the Swiss and Americans on course to meet in massive multihull racing yachts. These catamarans or trimarans will be so large and so cutting edge that they can sail up to 2-1/2 times the speed of the wind.

Judge Kornreich strongly urged the bickering syndicates to go to mediation to finalize the dates in what could be the most spectacular racing in America’s Cup history.

She didn’t hold Alinghi in contempt of court, as the Americans had asked, for saying it wanted to race in May 2010 and she didn’t disqualify BMW Oracle Racing as Challenger of Record, as the Swiss wanted, but said it needed to promptly provide a measurement certificate for its trimaran and threatened disqualification if the boat didn’t match the dimensions provided in its challenge papers.

Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing has been testing a 27m x 27m trimaran yacht. The Americas cup challenger has a mast as high as a 16 story building and a mainsail twice the size of a Boeing 747’s wing. At present this space age looking yacht is hidden under a tent in a San Diego boatyard – for what the syndicate said are extensive modifications.

In a recent court document, the Americans said the boat “is now still under construction,” and that a Certificate of Documentation can’t be obtained from the Coast Guard until it is finished.

This perhaps suggests the trimaran has been dismantled after undergoing initial sea trials in Anacortes, Washington and two test sessions on the Pacific Ocean off San Diego.

BMW Oracle Racing might be replacing some or all of the hulls and possibly the cross beams.

As for the Swiss, they are secretly building a 33.5m catamaran on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

Racing between the two America’s Cup yachting syndicates will be in Valencia, Spain, or another Northern Hemisphere port picked by the Swiss, who must give the Americans six months notice of their choice.

“Today’s hearing should end any further delay to the 33rd America’s Cup and we can now look forward to some exciting racing in state-of-the-art boats early next year,” BMW Oracle Racing spokesman Tom Ehman said in a statement.

“We had a really good day today,” said lawyer Barry Ostrager, who represents Alinghi and its supporting yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve.

(In early April, the New York State Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which backs BMW Oracle Racing, was the rightful Challenger of Record. The Americans and Swiss haven’t been able to agree to rules for a traditional, multichallenger America’s Cup in monohulls, and therefore will face off against each other for the oldest trophy in international sports.)

Ehman said BMW Oracle Racing believes the races should be held on February 8 and 10, with a third race on February 12 if necessary.

Alinghi has raised concerns over the weather in Valencia in February and could try mediation to get the dates moved back in 2010.

When Kornreich asked if the American sailing yacht was a multihull, attorney James Kearney was evasive. That prompted the judge to warn of a disqualification if the racing yacht wasn’t to the dimensions specified in the challenge.

Ehman said the Americans will provide the document, now referred to as a Certificate of Documentation, “as soon as possible. You have to have a boat that’s able to be measured and be seaworthy,” he said.

The Swiss team have refused to provide details on their boat.

Larry Ellison versus Ernesto Bertarelli, Oracle versus Alinghi, America Versus Switzerland, Lawyer versus lawyer and maybe soon Sailor versus Sailor and yacht designer versus yacht designer and catamaran versus trimaran!

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