After an absence of several months, USA-87 of BMW Oracle, reappeared this morning in front of the team’s base in Port America’s Cup. Together with her new sistership USA-98 this was one of the most anticipated appearances given the fact BMW Oracle is after all the Challenger of Record.
The most obvious change, even for an untrained eye, is the disappearance of the bowsprit. Ironically, USA-87 was the first yacht in the 32nd America’s Cup to incorporate such an element in its design and was then followed by Alinghi who tried it on both SUI-64 and SUI-91 as well Shosholoza on RSA-83 and finally China Team on CHN-95. Apparently, BMW Oracle’s design team has concluded it was not a feature worth keeping in the boat.
What hasn’t changed though was the jumperless mast.
Note: We write about USA-87 because it is the yacht that came out of the boat shed numbered 87 and we assume BMW Oracle keep their boats in the corresponding sheds. If now it turns out it actually was USA-98, then we hope they don’t race with the wrong yacht and get eliminated in the first round of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
In all photos there is a clearly visible difference in the glare below and above a line on the bow. We tried to draw it on this picture. Could this be the possible cut line of the new bow? This difference was first noticed by user “Huevos Rancheros”. Valencia, 28 February 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing