(Tuesday 7th March, Miami) – Just as they led after the first day of racing in Key West in January, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew top the early leaderboard at the 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup for after a dramatic first day of TP52 racing in brisk SE’ly winds and big, disorderly waves off Miami Beach.Platoon’s victory in the second race, gained in the closing stages of a fast final run, credits them with the overall lead on tie break from the Roemmers family’s Azzurra, which posted two consistent second places.
“It was a really good start for us. We had good speed and we made some nice comebacks and in that last race on the last downwind it was down to just a few metres, so that was good. It was really great racing. But of course tomorrow is all different, new situations and new challenges, but it is good to start well.” owner-helm Müller-Spreer smiled on the dock of the Miami Beach Marina where the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet is hosted.
The 16-20kts winds and the unruly swell kicked up by the strong winds of the last few days punished small errors and placed a real premium on well-coordinated crew work. Azzurra in second place lead Quantum Racing who are one point behind in third. With Bora Gulari steering his first 52 SUPER SERIES races Quantum Racing won the first race but did not get the start they wanted in the second contest, taking fourth.
But the toughest challenge at this second regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES is that facing the Gladiator crew. Their new boat was hit by Sled during the second beat of Race 2, only the second race for Tony Langley’s team with their latest Gladiator, suffering a significant gash to their port topsides which eliminates the boat from further competition at the regatta.
The shore team and crew now aim to re-dress and step the mast on their previous Gladiator, which they aim to bring from West Palm Beach which is some 70 miles away, aiming to be ready for racing on Thursday. Sled suffered damage to the forefoot of their bow but hope to be back in action Wednesday.
Race 1: Gulari Shows His Mettle As Quantum Racing Opens With A Win
There may have been a new hand on the helm, but Quantum Racing carried forward the momentum from their impressive 2017 52 SUPER SERIES opening win at Quantum Key West Race Week six weeks ago.Bora Gulari, the team’s newest addition, moved from the strategist role to the helm for this event and showed that all his time sailing foiling moths and Olympic cataramans has prepared him well for driving these 52-foot thoroughbreds in some challenging conditions off Miami Beach.Quantum Racing was among a handful of boats, including Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon and Tony Langley’s new Gladiator, which controlled the front row off the starting line.
Azzurra, with Guillermo Parada at the helm and Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, didn’t have quite the same freedom early in that first leg, but made the critical call to hit the left side on the top third of beat and so squeaked past Quantum Racing around the first mark.
Those two boats battled nip and tuck down the first run with Azzurra holding the lead and choosing the left side of the next leg. It was the right which paid better for Quantum Racing which was able to take over the lead when the boats converged again midway up the second beat.
Azzurra pushed Quantum Racing hard on the final run, closing to within a boat length, but the American team held on for the win. Platoon was third with Rán Racing fourth and Provezza rounding out the top five.
Race 2: Platoon Steals A March With Win, Leads Overall
With John Kostecki calling tactics and Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Jordi Calafat on strategy the Platoon team displayed poise under pressure to win Race 2 of the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup and grab the overall lead.From a four way final sprint to the finish line, the outcome of the second race was in the balance until the final metres. Platoon edged out Azzurra by only four second and were only six seconds ahead of Provezza.Miami Royal Cup. 52 SUPER SERIES.
After Day 1, Two Races.
1 Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER) 3,1 4pts
2 Azzurra (ITA) (Roemmers Family, ARG) 2,2 4pts
3 Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos, USA) 1,4 5pts
4 Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre, TUR) 5,3 8pts
5 Rán Racing (SWE) (Niklas Zennström, SWE) 4,8 12pts
6 Alegre (GBR) (Andy Soriano, USA) 8,6 14pts
7 Gladiator (GBR) (Tony Langley, GBR) 7, RDG (7), 14pts
8 Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS) 10,5 15pts
9 Sorcha (GBR) (Peter Harrison, GBR) 9,7 16pts
10 Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura, USA) 6, 12 (DSQ) 18pts
11 Paprec (FRA) (Jean Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) DNC 12, DNC 12 24pts
John Kostecki (USA) tactician Platoon (GER):
“[There were] some really big shifts and if you missed it you were out the back. In that second race, first beat, at times we looked like we were in last place. Sometimes we were in first place. It was quite shifty. We learned in the first race we really needed to attack the shifts and be a little more aggressive. We did that in that second race and it seemed to pay off. The waves made the crew work a challenge. You can definitely get thrown around and get your timing off because of the waves. So you play it a little conservatively at times, at least we did. The last race, it was close. On the final run we were pinned and we couldn’t jibe. Azzurra pinned us out all the way to the layline. Then they jibed away and we all of the sudden got a little header, so we kept going and extended away from them. That seemed to help us a little bit on the final jibe in. We were a minute or so separated [from Azzurra and Provezza] and they had to do an extra jibe and we were able to sail straight through the finish. It was close racing.”
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):
“I think we still made a couple of small mistakes. They are little, stupid mistakes but in the end they are what cost us a point and the lead. But we have to be happy. In the second race we were better, but still we gybed twenty second too late and so lost the chance to win that race. And so, overall, we have to be happy with two second and a share of the lead with Platoon. But on the other we need to clean up our way of sailing and not lose these kind of points. The level is so high every point is so important. The breeze was oscillating a lot. You work to what you think is the average for the day, still I think the right was generally better, with current and other things. It was exciting and I feel we positioned the boat quite nicely.
I am getting older and so don’t remember too much about different venues. I remember little things but I try to go out each day with a clear mind. I think we have sailed a lot here with the wind and 90 and 100 degrees but not so much 120 which we saw today. I clean all past from my head and just work with what I see and I go on the water with a plan, knowing how I want to sail.”
The 52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup will take place from 7-11 March. Live commentary and boat tracking via the Virtual Eye is available Tuesday and Wednesday. 52 SUPER SERIES TV powered by Quantum Sails goes live THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY with live action streamed from the race course supported by tracking, commentary and comment from 15-minutes before racing starts each day. All available at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE and the the app.
ORACLE TEAM USA won the 34th America’s Cup in a winner-take-all 19th race, defeating challenger Emirates Team New Zealand by 44 seconds in today’s clincher. Led by 35-year-old skipper Jimmy Spithill, ORACLE TEAM USA won by the score of 9-8.
This is the second America’s Cup win for ORACLE TEAM USA and Spithill, which won the 162-year-old trophy in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010. Then 30 years of age, Spithill became the youngest to ever skipper a Cup winning team.
In the past week ORACLE TEAM USA has steadily improved its boatspeed to the point where it could hydrofoil upwind at 30-32 knots, incredible performance never seen before in the America’s Cup.
“It was a fantastic race. We wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Spithill, the two-time Cup winner. “We came from behind, the guys showed so much heart. On your own you’re nothing, but a team like this can make you look great… We were facing the barrel of a gun at 8-1 and the guys didn’t even flinch.
“Thanks to San Francisco, this is one hell of a day,” Spithill said.
ORACLE TEAM USA’s victory marks one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of sport. The team won 11 races to score the 9 points required for victory due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury. Just last Wednesday, Sept. 18, ORACLE TEAM USA trailed the series 8-1. With the challenger on match point, the defender closed out the series with eight consecutive victories.
This was the third time in the history of the America’s Cup with a winner-take-all final race. Previously, the defender won in 1920 and the challenger won in 1983. Both times the winner rallied from a multi-race deficit, but never anything amounting to eight straight wins.
“This was a wonderful match of teams,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray, who’s been involved with the America’s Cup since 1983. “In the case of a boat coming from behind, 3-1 down as was the case with Australia II in 83, the shoe is on a different foot this time around. Then it was the challenger behind and this time it was the defender. But in the end we had great competition between two great teams, evenly matched, battling it out to the end.”
One million fans visited the official America’s Cup venues at Piers 27/29 and Marina Green since they opened on July 4, and hundreds of thousands more lined the shores of San Francisco Bay to catch a glimpse of the flying, foiling AC72.
34th America’s Cup Standings (first to 9 points wins)
ORACLE TEAM USA – 9 (11 wins; ORACLE TEAM USA was penalized its first two victories by the International Jury)
Emirates Team New Zealand – 8
Race 19 Performance Data
Course: 5 Legs/10.07 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 23:24, ETNZ – 24:08
Delta: OTUSA +:44
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.9 NM, ETNZ – 12.2 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 30.55 knots (35 mph), ETNZ – 30.55 knots (35 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 44.33 knots (51 mph), ETNZ – 45.72 knots (53 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 18.2 knots, Peak – 21.3 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 9/7, ETNZ – 9/7
34th America’s Cup Race by Race
Race 1 (Sep. 7): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :36
Race 2 (Sep. 7): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :52
Race 3 (Sep. 8): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :28
Race 4 (Sep. 8): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :08*
Race 5 (Sep. 10): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by 1:05
Race 6 (Sep. 12): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :46
Race 7 (Sep. 12): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by 1:06
Race 8 (Sep. 14): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :52*
Race 9 (Sep. 15): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :47
Race 10 (Sep. 15): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :16
Race 11 (Sep. 18): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :15
Race 12 (Sep. 19): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :31
Race 13 (Sep. 20): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by 1:24
Race 14 (Sep. 22): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :23
Race 15 (Sep. 22): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :37
Race 16 (Sep. 23): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :33
Race 17 (Sep. 24): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :27
Race 18 (Sep. 24): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :54
Race 19 (Sep. 25): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :44
(* ORACLE TEAM USA’s first two victories don’t count towards is scoreline as part of a penalty issued by the International Jury.)
As the sun sets on San Francisco and another America’s Cup the defenders keep the cup and look forward to the 35th America’s Cup and the new generation of sailing.
ORACLE TEAM USA unveiled its crew to race in the 34th America’s Cup today. With Jimmy Spithill at the helm, the 11-member crew will comprise the starting lineup when the team’s quest to defend the America’s Cup begins on San Francisco Bay this Saturday.
Spithill, the youngest winning skipper in America’s Cup history, takes the helm again, this time on the team’s AC72 catamaran. The crew also features grinder Shannon Falcone, grinder Rome Kirby, grinder/tactician John Kostecki, wing trimmer Kyle Langford, grinder Jonathan Macbeth, jib trimmer Joe Newton, grinder Gilberto Nobili, grinder/strategist Tom Slingsby, grinder Joe Spooner and grinder Simeon Tienpont.
“We’ve got a great mix across the board – from Rome and Kyle, the youngest on the team, to JK [Kostecki], who is one of the most experienced. It’s a great group, and these guys are all incredibly hard workers,” Spithill said. “We have our boats, we have our race crew, now we’re all really ready to race.”
The 34th America’s Cup commences on Saturday, Sept. 7, on the San Francisco Bay. Two races are scheduled with the first starting at 1:10 pm local, followed by race two at 2:10 pm local. Races will be broadcast in the U.S. on NBC for the first two days before reverting to the NBC Sports Network, with live coverage of all races.
“We’ve got a fantastic team all around – our shore crew, our support team – and everyone is working hard to get us ready every day,” Spithill said. “We’re all here to go racing, and come Saturday, that’s what we’ll do.”
Jimmy Spithill, Helmsman
Birthdate: June 28, 1979
Jimmy boxes with fast hands, serves a fast ball in tennis, needs horsepower under his right foot and, on a race boat, likes to “send it.” He is the America’s Cup’s youngest-ever winning skipper, and twice he’s been named the Australian Male Yachtsman of the Year. Going fast is what he does.
Shannon Falcone, Grinder
Birthdate: June 28, 1981
Shannon’s first footsteps as a child were on his father’s 44-footer Caccia alla Volpe. He went on to win several championships around the world including a 33rd America’s Cup.
Rome Kirby, Grinder
Birthdate: June 6, 1989
Rome is among the youngest members of ORACLE TEAM USA. He recently completed the around the world Volvo Ocean Race onboard with PUMA Ocean Racing, sailing more than 39,000 nautical miles.
John Kostecki, Grinder/Tactician
Birthdate: June 7, 1964
San Francisco native John Kostecki was the first sailor in the world to collect the sport’s “Grand Slam,” after winning the 33rd America’s Cup, adding to his round-the-world 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race victory as skipper and Olympic silver medal at the 1988 Games.
Kyle Langford, Wing Trimmer
Birthdate: July 30, 1989
As the youngest sailor on ORACLE TEAM USA, Kyle is accepting the challenge full-on. He is no stranger to skipper Jimmy Spithill. The Aussie compatriots teamed together in 2010 aboard yacht 17 to win the RC 44 World Championship and RC 44 World Match Race Championship.
Jonathan Macbeth, Grinder
Birthdate: March 26, 1973
Seasoned sailor Jonathan “Jono” Macbeth has garnered his fair share of championships, including a Louis Vuitton Cup win and two America’s Cup titles.
Joe Newton, Jib Trimmer
Birthdate: December 16, 1977
Australian mates skipper Jimmy Spithill and Joe Newton formed a tight bond in their early days competing with Young Australia, and the duo went on to win the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010.
Gilberto Nobili, Grinder
Birthdate: April 29, 1974
Gilberto Nobili, “Gillo,” is not only an America’s Cup champion but also a double-agent for the team – sailor by day and Java developer by night, building customized displays for each crew member onboard the AC72.
Tom Slingsby, Grinder/Strategist
Birthdate: September 5, 1984
Tom Slingsby is an all-around athlete, with a promising tennis career and a gold medal in sailing from the 2012 Olympic Games in his past and the 34th America’s Cup Finals in his future.
Joe Spooner, Grinder
Birthdate: October 31, 1973
Entering into this 34th America’s Cup, skilled sailor Joe Spooner already has two America’s Cup titles, three Fastnet Race wins and a Rolex Maxi Worlds championship in his trophy case.
Simeon Tienpont, Grinder
Birthdate: January 20, 1982
Simeon is no stranger to speed, sailing with the record-setting 24-hour monohull run in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2005-06 and a 33rd America’s Cup title. He is a jack of all trades from a shipbuilding family and studied design and construction of yachts at university.
ORACLE TEAM USA Skipper Jimmy Spithill and crew have their eye on the prize – the 2011-’12 ACWS Season Championship.
Championship racing for ACWS – Newport, the final event of the 2011-’12 ACWS season, begins Thursday, June 28. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL enters the finale holding a 4-point lead in the overall standings.
“We’ve always just wanted to be in a position to win the championship, and now we’re there,” said Spithill. “We’ll have a shot to wrap up the season and it’s obviously something we’d like to win. I think we’ll have great turnout in Newport and that’ll help us get the job done.”
Spithill will be racing with his regular crew of tactician John Kostecki, wingsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder, headsail trimmer Joe Newton and bowman Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen. They’ll be racing in U.S. waters for the first time since last November’s third round in San Diego when they swept the match and fleet racing championships.
“Newport will be fantastic.” said Spithill. “We have a huge amount of support there. I think the racecourse and viewing landscape will be great for spectators. I think everyone’s genuinely looking forward to it.”
While Spithill will be gunning for the title, team CEO Russell Coutts returns to the helm of the No. 5 boat for the first time since last September in Plymouth, UK. Coutts handed over the helm to double Olympic medalist Darren Bundock to focus on the event side of the 2013 America’s Cup.
“Newport’s a great venue for racing,” said Coutts, the all-time America’s Cup-winning skipper. “I’ve raced there a lot and with the racecourse placed along the shore of Fort Adams it will offer fantastic viewing for fans.”
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS is aiming to improve on its sixth place in the standings. Coutts will race with wingsail trimmer Kyle Langford, headsail trimmer Simon Daubney, Matt Mitchell on runners and new bowman Sam Newton, who joined the team late last year and has raced high-performance dinghies such as 18-foot Skiffs.
Both crews have been practicing in San Francisco the past 10 days in preparation for the finale. They’ll begin practicing on Narragansett Bay tomorrow. Newport most likely will have more breeze than the fifth round of the 2011-’12 AC World Series in Venice, where huge crowds turned out to watch the racing.
“Newport is the sailing capital of the East Coast, so I think there’ll be a huge turnout,” said Kostecki, the tactician for Spithill. “I’ve spoken with a lot of people who are looking forward to coming down and watching us race. I think there’ll be a bit more breeze and it’ll also be tricky with the currents, so it should be a great race track.”
The ACWS – Newport Race Village opens tomorrow, June 23, and championship racing is scheduled June 28-July 1. The fleet race finale on July 1 is scheduled to be broadcast live in the U.S. on NBC.
ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL – Jimmy Spithill (skipper/helmsman) John Kostecki (tactician), Dirk de Ridder (wingsail trimmer), Joe Newton (headsail trimmer), Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman)
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS – Russell Coutts (skipper/helmsman), Kyle Langford (wingsail trimmer), Simon Daubney (headsail trimmer), Matt Mitchell (runner), Sam Newton (bowman)
2011-’12 America’s Cup World Series Overall Standings
Team (Country) Match – Fleet — Total
1. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (USA) 38 – 46 — 84
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 36 – 44 — 80
3. Artemis Racing (SWE) 43 – 28 — 71
4. Energy Team (FRA) 32 – 33 — 65
5. Team Korea (KOR) 30 – 26 — 56
6. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (USA) 29 – 24 — 53
7. Luna Rossa Piranha 18 – 16 — 34
8. China Team (CHN) 13 – 15 — 28
9. Green Comm Racing (ESP) 11 – 12 — 23
10. Luna Rossa Swordfish 11 – 10 — 21
(After five of six scheduled events)
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.
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.”
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 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:
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
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.
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.
– Official launch of the 2009 iShares Cup staged today in Sèvres – Paris.
– Extreme 40s sailing on the River Seine for the first time ever!
– Ten top teams, legendary skippers, and six premier European venues.
Today in Paris the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series was officially launched with the top line-up of skippers and sailors in attendance alongside Rick Andrews, Head of iShares Marketing Europe at the Parc Nautique de l’île de Monsieur, Sèvres. And for the first time ever the Extreme 40s actually sailed on the River Seine, stopping passers by i n their tracks as the 40-foot catamarans raced by!
Nick Moloney (BT), Mike Golding (Ecover), Yann Guichard (Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild), Franck Cammas (Groupama), Loick Peyron (Oman Sail’s Renaissance), Carolijn Brouwer (Holmatro), Shirley Robertson (iShares), Erik Maris (LUNA), Pete Cumming (Oman Sail’s Masirah) and John Kostecki, representing skipper James Spithill, from BMW ORACLE Racing gave their impressions of the iShares Cup season ahead. Over 150 media and guests gathered at the Parc Nautique de l’île de Monsieur.
Gilles Chiorri, OC Events Director : “It has been great to officially launch the iShares Cup 2009 and we extend thanks to Voiles de Seine and very much appreciate the presence of François Kosciusko-Morizet Mayor of Sèvres, Deputy Mayor of Boulogne Billancourt, Pierre-Christophe Baguet and Jean-Pierre Champion President of the French Sailing Federation (FFV).”
Rick Andrews, Head of iShares Marketing, Europe said, “As the title partner to the iShares Cup, we have had a great two years so far and are looking forward to the third season of the Extreme 40 Series which we are sure will go to another level in terms of sporting competiveness and reaching an even wider audience. It’s a great experience; for our clients to go out racing on the boats is really exceptional experience, the media coverage provides a great return – we even have a 60-foot billboard out racing on the water, so we are very happy. The iShares Cup is about teamwork, strategy and passion – that’s what we believe in at iShares. To lead from the front, promoting cutting edge competition and a global presence – this sport and our business are well-matched.”
The award-winning iShares Cup pan-European series will visit six major European destinations this season in Italy, France, UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain between May and October. Each regatta is made of up three days of competition with a media day held on the preceding day of each event. Up to 24 short and adrenalin-pumping races can be staged at each round, each race lasting just 15-20 minutes.
Attending the press conference today at the Parc Nautique de l’île de Monsieur, Sèvres, Francois Kosciukso-Morizet, the Mayor of Sèvres welcomed the skippers and international media, “I’m really glad to welcome the iShares Cup today at this fantastic venue dedicated to sailing in the heart of Paris. It’s a great pleasure to have all these talented sailors and world champions with us today. I wish a great success to all of you for the season.”
Forty sailors across 10 teams are now officially confirmed for the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series. The World’s best sailors, who between them hav e over 50 World Championship titles, 27 America’s Cup participations, 17 Round the World navigations and 14 Olympic campaigns will be aspiring to lift the iShares Cup Overall Trophy at the end of the season in Andalucia.
Also announced today were the final two venues on the 2009 circuit. The iShares Cup at Cowes Week (1-3 August) will host the UK round and Amsterdam, will see the penultimate event when the series returns for the third year to the IJ Haven Canal.
Quotes from the iShares Cup Skippers:
Franck Cammas, Groupama 40:
I first discovered the iShares Cup in Marseille two years ago. I find it amazing straight away. The boats are fast and extreme, the venues are amazing and you can share all that with the public which is just a couple of meters away from the race course. We all have a lot of fun and I’m really glad that Groupama wanted to get involved.
Yann Guichard, Gitana Extreme 40 – Groupe LCF Rothschild:Gitana Team is involved since a very long time with sailing and they participate in almost all the greatest oceanic race with multihulls, big or small. When we proposed the iShares Cup project to the Baron de Rothschild he was really enthusiastic and we just decide to do it and join this amazing event and line up.Loick Peyron, Renaissance (Oman Sail):
I’m really glad to participate in the iShares Cup this season. The format of mixing the sport of sailing and the public is fantastic. The Extreme 40, well, it’s a perfect name for the boat! They are perfect to deliver a close and crazy show to the public.
Nick Moloney, BT:
It’s obviously difficult to pick out the two strongest teams especially from this line-up of skippers we have here today. I have a huge admiration for many sailors especially on the extreme side of the sport. But I guess for me, Loick Peyron and Franck Cammas are the two biggest threats on the circuit this season down to their pure knowledge of racing multihulls.
Pete Cumming, Masirah (Oman Sail):
We’ve spent the last six months training in Oman this winter with our Omani squad from Oman Sail. One of the key objectives of Oman Sail is to reignite the country’s maritime heritage and to inspire Omanis to take up the sport of sailing. We will have some of the Omani squad shadowing us for the 2009 iShares Cup season, taking the 5th man spots when they can as we continue their Extreme 40 training with the aim of having an Omani racing onboard the Extreme 40 full-time next season.
Carolijn Brouwer, Holmatro:
I competed in the circuit in 2007 but not in 2008 as I was competing in the Olympic Tornado class but, for sure, the level has sky-rocketed since I started in the Extreme 40 class.
Shirley Robertson, iShares:
I’m really looking forward to this season. Racing for iShares this season, I have a new crew includ ing Hugh Styles who raced the boat last year and he is really my right-hand man and a veteran Tornado sailor so he is teaching me! The calibre of sailors just gets better and the venues just get smaller – it’s going to be an interesting iShares Cup this year!
Mike Golding, Ecover:
Well, I definitely like a challenge and the iShares Cup will be one, for sure. I’ve watched the circuit grow and there really is not other circuit that exists in our sport like this one with such an eclectic mix of sailors on one race course. It’s the perfect fit for Ecover and it goes to every target market so a great corporate fit. On a personal level, I thought it would be a great thing to do and I get a lot of pleasure sailing with a crew. Really looking forward to the iShares Cup Venice – I think it will be a sensory overload!
John Kostecki, BMW ORACLE Racing:
It’s important to be the best we can be and we’ll be racing against the top field here. It will be the best experience in the short period of time we have [Note to Ed: until the start of the next America’s Cup] and we definitely want to win the iShares Cup!
2009 Venues iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series:
Event 1 – Venice, Italy, 15th to 17th May
Event 2 – Hyères-TPM, France, 3rd to 5th July
Event 3 – Cowes, United Kingdom, 1st to 3rd August
Event 4 – Kiel, Germany, 28th to 30th August
Event 5 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 25th to 27th September
Event 6 – Almería, Andalucía, 10th to 12th October
2009 Entries iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series:
BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) – James Spithill (AUS)
BT – Nick Moloney (AUS)
Ecover (EUR) – Mike Golding (GBR)
Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild (FRA) – Yann Guichard (FRA)
Groupama 40 (FRA) – Franck Cammas (FRA)
Oman Sail’s Renaissance (OMA) – Loïck Peyron (FRA)
Holmatro (NED) – Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
iShares (EUR) – Shirley Robertson (GBR)
LUNA (FRA) – Erik Maris (FRA)
Oman Sail’s Masirah (OMA) – Pete Cumming (GBR)
Follow all the action from the iShares Cup at www.iSharesCup.com