Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography

BMW Oracle America's Cup Winner February 14, 2010 (Photo by  Jose Jordan/America's Cup)

BMW Oracle America's Cup Winner February 14, 2010 (Photo by Jose Jordan/America's Cup)

BMW Ocacle has fufilled a dream James Spithill,  Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts , The BMW Oracle Racing Team and America as they win back the America’s Cup.  For the first time in a Deed Of Gift  race the challenger wins.. The one hundred and fifty nine year old cup has found her way back to America.

BMW Oracle wins by 5 minutes and 26 seconds. 

Alinghi cross the finish line 5 minutes and 26 seconds after USA. The Swiss team were 24 seconds behind off the start line, 28 seconds behind at WW 1 mark, 2mins 44 secs behind at the gybe mark, Mark 2.

US challenger Oracle giant trimaran (R) and Swiss defender Alinghi huge catamaran sail at the start of the second race of the 33rd America's Cup on February 14, 2010 off Valencia's coast. Alinghi are in a must win situation after their catamaran suffered a heavy loss in the opener -- a 40-nautical-mile windward-leeward course -- of the best-of-three series against Oracle's wing-sailed trimaran. (Photo by Jaime Reina)

US challenger Oracle giant trimaran (R) and Swiss defender Alinghi huge catamaran sail at the start of the second race of the 33rd America's Cup on February 14, 2010 off Valencia's coast. Alinghi are in a must win situation after their catamaran suffered a heavy loss in the opener -- a 40-nautical-mile windward-leeward course -- of the best-of-three series against Oracle's wing-sailed trimaran. (Photo by Jaime Reina)

  

 BMW ORACLE Racing, the American challenger, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, won the 33rd America’s Cup Match on Sunday in Valencia, sweeping past the Swiss defender, Alinghi, to a 2-0 victory.

This was an historic race for the oldest trophy in international sport, featuring two of the most innovative boats on the planet. BMW ORACLE Racing’s trimaran, USA, powered by the largest wing sail ever built, proved to be the faster of the two multihulls, overpowering Alinghi’s catamaran in both races.

Today marks the culmination of the San Francisco team’s 10-year quest for the America’s Cup, sailing’s pinnacle event. Founded by Larry Ellison (USA), the team is led by CEO Russell Coutts (NZL), now a four time Cup winner, and James Spithill (AUS), the skipper and helmsman of USA.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Spithill. “The amount of work the whole team has put into this boat and now to go two races without any issues – you just have to hand it to the shore guys, the boatbuilders and all of the support team and designers.

They gave us an awesome tool.”“It’s absolutely an awesome feeling,” added Larry Ellison. “I’m really proud to be part of this team. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Alinghi and BMW Oracle In Race 2 (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle Racing)

Alinghi and BMW Oracle In Race 2 (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle Racing)

After a long postponement on Sunday afternoon, racing started at 16:25 in 7-8 knots of wind.
There was an unusual start to the race, with Alinghi entering the start box very late. In fact, they were on the wrong side of the start box at the 5-minute gun, forcing the Umpires to assess a penalty. BMW ORACLE Racing started with more speed, but Alinghi held held the right hand side of the race course and prospered early when the wind shifted to the right. At one point, the advantage line was as big as 600-meters to the Swiss. But before the top mark, the BMW ORACLE Racing crew made a perfect layline call. After tacking on the line to the mark, BMW ORACLE Racing saw Alinghi cross ahead, but cede the inside position at the mark to USA, and that was all the advantage the challenger would need to lead around the mark by 28 seconds. From then onwards, the powerful USA boat extended its lead, to cross the finishing line ahead by 5.26.
“It was an awesome race. It was touch and go,” Spithill said. “We didn’t see that shift going as far right as it did and that made it pretty exciting early on.”

At one point, Alinghi was flying a red protest flag, but the team quickly confirmed after finishing there would be no protest.

With the win, BMW ORACLE Racing becomes the first U.S. challenger to win the Match since Dennis Conner hoisted the Cup with his Stars & Stripes team in Fremantle, Australia in 1987. Today also marks the first win for an American team since 1992 when Bill Koch’s America3 successfully defended the Cup in San Diego.

 

BMW Oracle and Alinghi 5

 

BMW ORACLE Racing crew list for Race Two of the 33rd America’s Cup:
Brad Webb (NZL) – Bowman – 1st America’s Cup win
Simone de Mari (ITA) – Pitman – 1st America’s Cup win
Ross Halcrow (NZL) – Jib Trimmer – 2nd America’s Cup win (1995, 2010)
Dirk de Ridder (NED) – Wing Sail Trimmer – 1st America’s Cup win
Joey Newton (AUS) – Wing Sail Caddy – 1st America’s Cup win
John Kostecki (USA) – Tactician – 1st America’s Cup win
James Spithill (AUS) – Skipper/Helmsman – 1st America’s Cup win
Matteo Plazzi (ITA) – Navigator – 1st America’s Cup win
Thierry Fouchier (FRA) – Aft Pit – 1st America’s Cup win
Matthew Mason (NZL) – Mast – 3rd America’s Cup win (1995, 2000, 2010)
Larry Ellison (USA) – Afterguard – 1st America’s Cup win

 Alinghi 5 Racing crew list for Race Two of the 33rd America’s Cup:

Crew List
Bow 1: Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED)
Bow 2: Curtis Blewett (CAN)
Bow 3: Jan Dekker (RSA/FRA)
Pitman: Rodney Ardern (NZL)
Trimmer upwind: Simon Daubney (NZL)
Trimmer downwind: Nils Frei (SUI)
Mainsail trimmer: Warwick Fleury (NZL)
Traveller: Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)
Helmsman: Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
Tactician: Brad Butterworth (NZL)
Strategist: Murray Jones (NZL)
Navigator: Juan Vila (ESP)
Floater: Loïck Peyron (FRA)
Pre-start: Peter Evans (NZL

 

BMW Oracle and Alinghi 5 (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle)

BMW Oracle and Alinghi 5 (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle)

Brief History of the America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest continually contested trophy in any sport. In 1851 the New York Yacht Club sailboat America beat 15 British boats from the Royal Yacht Squadron, thus beginning the America’s Cup race history. The British challenged in 1870, but the Cup remained at the victorious New York Yacht Club. For roughly the next hundred years, every challenger was beaten in Cup races held every three to five years, first in New York, then in Newport.

In 1983 the Americans lost to the Australian team, and the Cup left the United States for the first time. In 1987 the American team under Dennis Connor brought the Cup back home, where it remained until New Zealand took it in 1995. In 2003 the Swiss team took it from New Zealand, kept it through the challenge in 2007, and is now being challenged by the American team BMW ORACLE.

BMW Oracle and Alinghi 5 Battle for the America's Cup (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle)

BMW Oracle and Alinghi 5 Battle for the America's Cup (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW Oracle)

Through almost 160 years of racing, the America’s Cup boats have undergone various design changes, and legal challenges have been waged over design elements as controlled by the original and amended Deed of Gift, the document that governs the race. Almost all races, however, have involved monohull sailboats of equivalent size and general design—with two highly notable exceptions. In 1988 the San Diego team of Dennis Connor defended with a catamaran, which easily beat New Zealand’s monohull, leading to a number of court battles and appeals concerning the legality of a catamaran, finally ending with the Americans keeping the Cup. The next five races involved more traditional matched monohulls, in the design often now called the “America’s Cup Class boats.” The 2010 race will again involve multihulls, a trimaran challenging a catamaran—the first race of its kind in the long history of the Cup. Despite the poor publicity the race received throughout 2009 because of repeated court battles, the race in February 2010 promises to be fast and dramatic and, Cup supporters hope, to restore the international prestige of this historic competition.

 

 

 

US challenger Oracle giant trimaran (R) and Swiss defender Alinghi huge catamaran (L) sail at the start of the opening race of the 33rd America's Cup off Valencia (Photo by Jose Jordan/AFP Photo

US challenger Oracle giant trimaran (R) and Swiss defender Alinghi huge catamaran (L) sail at the start of the opening race of the 33rd America's Cup off Valencia (Photo by Jose Jordan/AFP Photo)

 

 

BMW Oracle Coming Back After Day 1 Racing Cancelled (Photo by Gareth Evans)

BMW Oracle Returns To Base After Day 1 Racing Cancelled (Photo by Gareth Evans)

by Gareth Evans 

Race day 1 started light, but the forecast promised winds would increase.  Bryan Willis, the British representative on the America’s Cup International Jury, was confident that racing would go ahead.  Matt Sheahan of Yachting World magazine, a renowned expert on Valencia weather, was forecasting 8 knots, with possibly 14 knots during squally showers.  Unfortunately the weather failed to cooperate.

 

Racing was officially cancelled at 1350 Valencia time.

 

Within the America’s Cup village, the area in front of the large screen was packed with standing room only.  The lucky few that arrived early had managed to find seats.  The crowds were entertained with music & acrobats, and videos of the America’s Cup final from 2007 shown on the screen.  Large groups of school children were brought along to enjoy the America’s Cup experience.

 

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BMW Oracle Returns to Base (Photo by Gareth Evans)

 

Following racing I was very kindly granted access to the BMW Oracle Racing base, hidden deep within the Port away from prying eyes.  Shortly after arriving at the base, USA-17 emerged from the rain.  A number of ribs went out to meet her, and brought her onto her mooring buoy.  The wing is left standing during normal weather conditions, so she sits on a swinging mooring allowing her to move with the wind.  The wing is breathtaking, and even more impressive in real life.

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BMW Oracle Rib Lifting Sails (Photo by Gareth Evans)

The BMW Oracle genoas weigh about 200kg each – that is why they use a lifting beam.  The main sail – before the wing went up – was about 600kg.

 

The race crew were still on board, and assisted with the de-rigging of the boat.  A RIB brought Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts ashore.  Ellison immediately boarded another tender which took him to his private yacht, anchored in the distance just outside the port.  He has a view of USA-17 at all times from his yacht.  When asked how the days sailing was, Russell Coutts replied “Good for us”, implying the suspected dominance of Alinghi in lighter airs.

 

Whilst at the BMW Oracle base I was afforded a close look at the Racers Edge wind measurement binoculars.  They were sitting on a sofa in a large protective case, with Racers Edge emblazoned on the lid.  They work in two modes.  The first measures wind at 400m, 700m and 1000m distances from your location.  The second mode measures wind speed vertically through a 40 degree arc at a distance of 400m from the boat.  They communicate with the yacht’s on board computer system via Bluetooth, allowing a 3-dimensional image of wind speed to be calculated.  At $150,000 a pair I did not ask if I could hold them!

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Alinghi At Port America's Cup (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Alinghi At Port America's Cup (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Alinghi 5, the 33rd America’s Cup defending yacht, left the Alinghi base this morning for Race 1 of the 33rd America’s Cup amid a cacophony of Swiss bells and cheers from Alinghi fans, friends and families. This moment has been long awaited.   Too bad that enthuasism was cut short by a postponment of today’s racing due to lack of wind. 

“We have been looking forward to this moment for a long time,” said Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president and principal helmsman. “It is good to be going racing at last. The designers have done an amazing job in creating this boat for us and the shore team have done a phenomenal job in building it. It’s time to go racing.”

Race 1 of the America’s Cup is a 40 nautical mile windward/leeward course (20nm upwind and 20nm down) and is due to start at 10:06 this morning, weather permitting.

 

Defender vs. Challenger

Alinghi 5, Société Nautique de Genève (SUI) vs. BMW Oracle Racing, Golden Gate Yacht Club (USA)
Alinghi, the Defender of the America’s Cup, has the blue flag, which means port entry in to the starting area.

Crew List BMW Oracle Day 1:

BMW Oracle Racing (Photo by Gareth Evans)

BMW Oracle Racing (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Below is the crew list for BMW ORACLE Racing for Race One of the 33rd
America’s Cup Match.Name Position on Board
Brad Webb (NZL) Bowman
Simone de Mari (ITA) Pitman
Ross Halcrow (NZL) Jib Trimmer
Dirk de Ridder (NED) Wing Sail Trimmer
Joey Newton (AUS) Wing Sail Caddy
John Kostecki (USA) Tactician
James Spithill (AUS) Skipper/Helmsman
Matteo Plazzi (ITA) Navigator
Thierry Fouchier (FRA) Aft Pit
Matthew Mason (NZL) Mast

Team Alinghi (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Team Alinghi (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Crew list Alinghi Day 1:Bowman: Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED)
Midbow: Curtis Blewett (CAN)
Pitman: Rodney Ardern (NZL)
Trimmer upwind: Simon Daubney (NZL)
Trimmer downwind: Nils Frei (SUI)
Mainsail trimmer: Warwick Fleury (NZL)
Traveller: Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)
Helmsman: Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
Tactician: Brad Butterworth (NZL)
Runner: Murray Jones (NZL)
Navigator: Juan Vila (ESP)
Floater: Jan Dekker (RSA/FRA)
Floater: Loïck Peyron (FRA)
Pre-start: Peter Evans (NZL)

Quotes from the race boat

Nils Frei (SUI), downwind trimmer

What’s the feeling among the team this morning?
“It’s good, very good. We are looking forward to racing. I think we have had some good training the last couple of weeks and we’re confident with the forecast. We’re looking forward to it.”

How important is this line-up with BMW Oracle? What will the team learn?
“We’ll learn a lot today. We’ll see how the boats are going. So far we’ve observed them and they’ve observed us, but we’re not 100 percent sure how it’ll go on the water. I think about 20minutes after the start we’ll probably know a lot more. It’s going to be interesting.”

What’s been the most fascinating aspect of this campaign?
“These boats are so huge. They are fast. It’s something new to everyone. We’ve been able to develop the boat, and every day we make it faster. It’s high tech and very, very interesting.”

Murray Jones (NZL), runner

Race 1 for the America’s Cup; what’s the weather forecast and how will it affect the sailing?
“There’s about 5-12 knots forecast. We’ll see when we get out there. It’s always changing here in Valencia and it depends exactly where we are out there. We’ll line-up and see how we go.”

Did you know?

The last – and only – time a catamaran competed in the America’s Cup Match was in 1988 when the 60ft cat Stars & Stripes defeated the 90ft load waterline length monohull KZ-1.

On a typical practice day in the week leading up to the 33rd America’s Cup Match Alinghi 5 sailed approximately 100nm per day.

Alinghi was the first European team to win the America’s Cup in 2003 and in 2007 it became the first team to successfully defend the Cup in Europe.

Alinghi has a 10-2 record in races for the America’s Cup.

Alinghi 5 is 90ft/28m long. It has a beam equivalent to the width of two tennis courts and a mast 17 storeys tall. The total sail area is the equivalent of nine tennis courts.

On this day in America’s Cup history

1990 – The New York Court of Appeals affirmed the First Division’s judgment and confirmed Dennis Conner’s controversial Stars & Stripes victory for the San Diego Yacht Club in the 27th America’s Cup Match. Popularly known as the “mismatch”, it featured a match between challenger New Zealand, a 90ft load waterline monohull sloop, and the defender’s 60ft catamaran Stars & Stripes. The decision brought to an end almost three years of legal turmoil in the America’s Cup.

2009 – Alinghi defeats BMW Oracle Racing in Round Robin 2 of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series held on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. It would be the first of three match race victories against BMW Oracle Racing in the regatta, securing Alinghi´s record of not having lost a match race against BMW Oracle since 4 October 2005 in Trapani, Sicily.

Fireworks Light Up Port America's Cup As The Festivities Heat Up (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Fireworks Light Up Port America's Cup As The Festivities Heat Up (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Challenge and Adventure’s Gareth Evans was on hand for the coin toss.

“At the coin toss, SNG/Alinghi were asked to call heads or tails. They thought they had won and asked for the starboard entry into the start box. GGYC/BMW Oracle subsequently won the toss, and spoilt Alinghi’s plans by asking for starboard!” Gareth Reported.

The coin-toss to decide which side of the start box the challenger and defender will enter the start area for Race 1 of the 33rd America’s Cup was the central moment of the exciting opening festival in Valencia’s Port America’s Cup Sunday afternoon.
Opening Ceremony Images by Gareth Evans

Tens of thousands of visitors swarmed the signature Veles e Ventes building and the surrounding area of the America’s Cup Park to enjoy the festivities on an otherwise tranquil Sunday afternoon of mild temperatures.

Race director Harold Bennett (NZL) set the coin spinning in the air, watched by Pierre-Yves Firmench (SUI), commodore of the Société Nautique de Genève, the yacht club of the Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup and Marcus Young (USA), commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco.

The American team will therefore take what is commonly held to be the initial advantage, entering with right of way, on starboard tack.

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Alinghi At Port America's Cup (Photo by Gareth Evans)

On the water there was scarcely enough wind to create ripples, but in the distance the lack of breeze was scarcely a worry for one of the giant multihulls, which with its towering rig still paced the horizon, making best use of the final hours of practice and tuning before racing is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning around 1000hrs 

The opening festival was brought to a noisy crescendo with a barrage of mascleta, firecrackers which increased in size and noise.

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Ernesto Bertarelli Speaking To The Media (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Ernesto Bertarelli Speaking To The Media (Photo by Gareth Evans)

 Article and Photos by Challenge and Adventure’s Gareth Evans

The Owners’ Press Conference held this afternoon was very well attended by the press – approximately 150 out of the 600+ accredited media personnel were there.  Unfortunately, the same could not be said about the team owners. 

Whilst Ernesto Bertarelli arrived for the press conference, Larry Ellison failed to show.  The compere explained (in response to a question from the audience), that there had been a misunderstanding within BMW Oracle.  The event had been organised for the two Owners to have a head to head interview in front of the World’s press.  They were informed that sending a substitute would not be acceptable – they took this to mean that other team members would not be welcome, and refused to attend.  Due to the no show by Ellison, Bertarelli had offered the second seat to Brad Butterworth to field some of the questions – he offered to ask Brad to leave the stage if that was what the audience wanted.  The response he received was that Brad could stay. 

Ernesto Bertarelli and Brad Butterworth (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Ernesto Bertarelli and Brad Butterworth (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Some sound bites from Bertarelli:

·         The Oracle rig is possibly an advantage.

·         His contribution this time was very different.  He has been more involved than before.  He felt it very important that the owner should be on board steering (possibly a dig at Larry Ellison).

·         Loick Peyron is like a very handy Swiss knife – he can do anything.

·         There were a number of choices for helm.  The boat is a copy of EB’s 1999 boat.  He said that he is not the fastest helm in all conditions, but certainly is not the slowest.  Loick Peyron is handy in manoeuvres.

·         What does EB fear most – the boat or LE’s desperate will to win?  “The Boat” (said with a grin).

·         “There are two boats that will be on the start line on Monday.  Let’s see who wins.”

·         Why did the EB/LE friendship fall apart?  EB: Today sums it up.  I came here to shake his hand.  I was determined to have this meeting today, but Larry did not turn up.

·         The boats are sailing downwind at 2.5-3 times the wind speed.  The reaches are exciting!

·         It will be a war of the shore crews to keep the boats sailing at 100%

 There is no doubt that Larry Ellison scored an own goal today (to use a soccer term!).  EB had the world’s press at this press conference, with nobody there from BMW Oracle to offer their side of the story.  And EB is a clever man who knows how to turn the situation to his advantage.

Article and Photos by Gareth  Evans

 

Port America's Cup (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Port America's Cup (Photo by Gareth Evans)

 

Alinghi At The Dock In Valencia (Photo by Gareth Evans)

Alinghi At The Dock In Valencia (Photo by Gareth Evans)