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News: America’s Cup 2010 Yacht Race Count Down

January 6, 2010 by john
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“I’m not going to be on board in the first race.” Larry Ellison

3, 2, 1…Excitement and anticipation proved the prevailing emotions evident when the two teams which will face off for the 33rd America’s Cup held their respective press conferences this evening.
With the clock counting down, less than three days remain until the scheduled first start of the best-of-three races match.

The substantial media contingent visiting the consecutive evening briefings for Alinghi and BMW ORACLE Racing heard from team owners, design chiefs and key afterguard members – some with many America’s Cup successes – but the universal feeling is that they cannot now wait to go racing, to take their cutting edge, giant multihulls racing.

With limited knowledge of each other’s craft and no actual racing experience to draw on, and such huge technological advances predictions from either team were thin on the ground, but Alinghi and BMW ORACLE afterguard members both admitted that they felt each craft will have their preferred conditions.

The start, so much a crucial feature of match racing, will be entirely different. Steps have been agreed to minimise any immediate danger when the pair enter the arena. But from the first time gun, it will be all new racing territory as the America’s Cup moves into another new chapter on the water.

Alinghi tactician Brad Butterworth (NZL) confirmed that they can sail Alinghi 5 with between 10 and 16 crew. Team president Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI) said that helming the catamaran will shared between himself and Loïck Peyron (FRA).

BMW ORACLE team founder Larry Ellison (USA) said that he would be unlikely to be on USA in the first race while CEO Russell Coutts (NZL) quipped that he was waiting to hear from helm James Spithill (AUS) whether Coutts would be on board.

Quotes of the day:

Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi president and helmsman:
“We are really looking forward to it. As with the last two editions we have done everything that we can to be ready. As of this point there is not much more that we could do. It would always be nice to have a few more days but it would not make much of a difference. I am very proud of the team, of every decision that has been made. We are ready, ready to go.”

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi skipper and tactician:
“It is still the same cut and thrust of the America’s Cup. There is no real difference in terms that you have to go out there and sail well, that part of it, and the intensity that is inside the group, that part of it is very similar, or the same as has been.”

“As a New Zealander, as a Kiwi growing up in New Zealand I never thought I would even dream of sailing the America’s Cup on boats like this. It has been a fantastic journey for me and the other guys on the team who have come through sailing not only multihulls but a lot of us have got monohull experience, but to be able to sail on boats like this, that are cutting edge, to the limit of their design, of the loads that are on them, the speeds which we achieve. Certainly I would not give my spot away!”

Larry Ellison, BMW ORACLE Racing owner and afterguard:
“When I got here I was told we are right at the weight limit and so I was expecting to be on at least on the first two races, we don’t know if there will be a third. But, there is a weight limit and we are right up against the edge of it and so it looks like I’m not going to be on board in the first race. I am disappointed but I don’t want to do anything that would jeopardise our chances to win that race.”

“This is extreme sailing. This is the ‘X’ version of the America’s Cup. It is the limits of technology. These two boats are the fastest sailboats that have ever been built. And they are going to match off one against the other, And I think it is simply the greatest spectacle in sailing history. I am very proud to be part of it. “

Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing CEO:
“I think it (the outcome) will be very dependent on the wind conditions of the day. It will be very interesting series. Clearly I think Alinghi will be favoured in very light conditions and I think our boat will be favoured with more wind. I think that will change as well with the mode we are sailing, if we are sailing upwind, downwind or reaching. I think that the first five minutes of the first race will be a small indication of what we’ll see.”

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1 Comment - Share Your Thoughts

  1. john

    john on February 9, 2010

    Shame about the lack of wind on Monday – but now looking forward to the first race on Wednesday, tomorrow!

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