ORACLE TEAM USA wins 34th America's Cup

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.”

Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

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.

Dean Barker, ETNZ Skipper (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

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.)

ORACLE TEAM USA (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

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.

Sunset in San Francisco (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

 

Team  Oracle  USA Spithill  (Photo by George Bekris)

Team Oracle USA Spithill (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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.

Energy and Oracle by Castle Hill Light  (Photo  by George Bekris)

Energy and Oracle by Castle Hill Light (Photo by George Bekris)

“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.

Crew Lists
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 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.

 

img_4037

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.

img_4052

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!

img_4008 O

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.