Archive | Larry Ellison

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The BMW Oracle rocket

Posted on 15 June 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Last Sunday, the RC44 fleet finished in Copenhagen its 3 event of the 2010 season and BMW Oracle, helmed by Larry Ellison, won it after a great comeback in the final day. On Saturday, all official racing was cancelled due to the very strong winds, reaching 35 knots.

However, not everybody sat on the dock. BMW Oracle’s RC44 ventured into the strong winds for some training and as the amateur video below clearly shows they has some great action. Thanks to Tom Ehman and the BMW Oracle blog for the video, I just wish it lasted more than 55 seconds.

Larry Ellison at the helm of BMW Oracle’s RC44, screaming downwind at 25 knots. Copenhagen, 12 June 2010. Video copyright Johan Granath

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BMW Oracle wins RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

Posted on 13 June 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: BMW Oracle] The tricky conditions, strong and shifty wind, put one team after the other out of contention for the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup fleet race title. Separated by one point ahead of the last race, BMW ORACLE Racing and No Way Back had a last race of their own…

The cold and windy conditions prevailed for the last day of the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup. Four beautiful races took place today; they led to the elimination of one team after the other from contention for the fleet race and overall titles.

Igor Lah’s Ceeref was the first and biggest casualty of the day, going from second overall to eight. “Just a day of hell”, summarised tactician Rod Davis. The team’s worse moment occurred when they collided with Paul Cayard’s Katusha during a tacking dual. Ceeref got two points penalty whilst Katusha had to stop racing in order to change their crash bow. They got redress from the Jury.

Highlights from the RC44 Copenhagen Cup. Copenhagen, 13 June 2010. Video copyright RC44 Clas

Many teams broached, ripped their spinnakers or suffered in a way or another. Team Sea Dubai, who got some brilliant results today – a 2nd and a 1st – lost it all because of two DNF’s due to a spinnaker problem and a man overboard during the last race; an incident that occurred as the team was controlling its third place overall against Artemis and that cost four places in the overall ranking!

The wind was blowing quite hard throughout the day, at 18 knots with gusts up to 25 that put great emphasis on crew work and tactical decisions.

BMW ORACLE Racing, who was fifth overall this morning, started the day with a 1st and a 2nd. On the other hand, No Way Back couldn’t do any better than 4th and 6th. With both Team Aqua and Artemis failing to obtain consistent results, the final race would definitely be between those two teams.

Both of them started the last race at the pin end of the line, with BMW ORACLE Racing controlling No Way Back. The American team reached the top mark ahead of its opponent, and chose the worse side of the course during the run, letting the Dutch team grab the lead within this personal race (John Kostecki’s 17 had a huge lead over the rest of the pack).

Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts then opted for the left of the course during the second beat whilst Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies went to the right. The American’s choice was the right one. The american team then controlled No Way Back until the arrival, crossing the line in third, two places ahead of its opponent.

Winner of the fleet regatta and second of the match race event earlier in the week, BMW ORACLE Racing conquers the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup – the combined fleet / match race ranking ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua.

The next regatta will take place in Valencia on July 27 – August 1.

They said: 


Larry Ellison, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: “This has been a fantastic event. Yesterday we practiced in strong winds and reached the speed of 25 knots. In hindsight, it has helped us a lot today: I felt very confident and more precise at the helm. Having said this people sometimes put too much credit on the helmsman: this is a real team effort and all the guys did a great job. Russell was also fantastic at making the tactical choices.”

Great comeback victory for Larry Ellison. Copenhagen, 13 June 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Pieter Heerema, helmsman, No Way Back: “Everything was open ahead of the last race; unfortunately we were a bit out of phase. I am happy with our result but not pleased with the way we got there. It was all a bit messy. Of course the conditions were difficult but we should be able to master this. Altogether I have loved this event. I just found that the weather was unfair with the venue.”

Terry Hutchinson, tactician, Artemis: “This was a tough day for the helmsmen and it also required a great team effort to succeed. There were massive wind shifts but at the end of the day it didn’t really matter if you went right or left; you just had to be in phase with the shifts. This morning Torbjorn told us to make the best of it and have fun. That’s what we did; I feel very privileged to have an owner like him.”

Chris Bake, helmsman, Team Aqua: “It has been very challenging few days. Today we struggled during the first two races and then I started to feel settled. I am pleased that Team Aqua won the match; it was difficult for me to arrive and settle in immediately, I took me a little while.”

René Mangold, helmsman, AEZ RC44 Sailing Team: “We were sailing with two new people and we struggled because of this: we couldn’t look out of the boat. We definitely need more practice and we will do this in the future.”

Fleet race, final results after eight races:

1) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 8, 6, 2, 41, 2, 4, 3 – 30 points
2) Team No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 10, 1, 4, 1, 4, 6, 2, 5 – 33 points
3) Artemis, Torbjor Tornqvist / Martin Hestbaek, 3, 5, 8, 2, 5, 5, 6, 4 – 38 points
4) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 2, 3, 9, 5, 6, 9, 3, 2 – 39 points
5) 17, Anders Myralf 4, 7, 6, 7, 9, 1, 7, 1 – 42 points
6) Katusha, Guennadi Timtchenko, 6, 8, 1, 8, 3, 4, 7 (RDG), 5,3 (RDG) – 42,3 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, Harm Muller Spreer, 7, 4, 3, 6, 2, 11 (DNF), 1, 11(DNF) – 45 points
8) CEEREF, Igor Lah, 5, 2, 7, 3, 7, 8, 10, 8 – 50 points
9) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 1, 10, 5, 9, 8, 7, 5, 7 – 52 points
10) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, René Mangold, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 3, 9, 6 – 66 points

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup – Overall Ranking:

1) BMW ORACLE Racing, 2, 1 – 3 points
2) Team Aqua, 1, 4 – 5 points
3) No Way Back, 4, 2 – 6 points
4) Artemis, 3, 3 – 6 points
5) 17, 5, 5 – 10 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, 7, 7 – 14 points
7) Ceeref, 6, 8 – 14 points
8) Katusha, 9, 6 – 15 points
9) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, 8, 10 – 18 points
10) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 10, 9 – 19 points

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BMW Oracle wins RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

Posted on 13 June 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: BMW Oracle] The tricky conditions, strong and shifty wind, put one team after the other out of contention for the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup fleet race title. Separated by one point ahead of the last race, BMW ORACLE Racing and No Way Back had a last race of their own…

The cold and windy conditions prevailed for the last day of the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup. Four beautiful races took place today; they led to the elimination of one team after the other from contention for the fleet race and overall titles.

Igor Lah’s Ceeref was the first and biggest casualty of the day, going from second overall to eight. “Just a day of hell”, summarised tactician Rod Davis. The team’s worse moment occurred when they collided with Paul Cayard’s Katusha during a tacking dual. Ceeref got two points penalty whilst Katusha had to stop racing in order to change their crash bow. They got redress from the Jury.

Highlights from the RC44 Copenhagen Cup. Copenhagen, 13 June 2010. Video copyright RC44 Clas

Many teams broached, ripped their spinnakers or suffered in a way or another. Team Sea Dubai, who got some brilliant results today – a 2nd and a 1st – lost it all because of two DNF’s due to a spinnaker problem and a man overboard during the last race; an incident that occurred as the team was controlling its third place overall against Artemis and that cost four places in the overall ranking!

The wind was blowing quite hard throughout the day, at 18 knots with gusts up to 25 that put great emphasis on crew work and tactical decisions.

BMW ORACLE Racing, who was fifth overall this morning, started the day with a 1st and a 2nd. On the other hand, No Way Back couldn’t do any better than 4th and 6th. With both Team Aqua and Artemis failing to obtain consistent results, the final race would definitely be between those two teams.

Both of them started the last race at the pin end of the line, with BMW ORACLE Racing controlling No Way Back. The American team reached the top mark ahead of its opponent, and chose the worse side of the course during the run, letting the Dutch team grab the lead within this personal race (John Kostecki’s 17 had a huge lead over the rest of the pack).

Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts then opted for the left of the course during the second beat whilst Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies went to the right. The American’s choice was the right one. The american team then controlled No Way Back until the arrival, crossing the line in third, two places ahead of its opponent.

Winner of the fleet regatta and second of the match race event earlier in the week, BMW ORACLE Racing conquers the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup – the combined fleet / match race ranking ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua.

The next regatta will take place in Valencia on July 27 – August 1.

They said: 


Larry Ellison, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: “This has been a fantastic event. Yesterday we practiced in strong winds and reached the speed of 25 knots. In hindsight, it has helped us a lot today: I felt very confident and more precise at the helm. Having said this people sometimes put too much credit on the helmsman: this is a real team effort and all the guys did a great job. Russell was also fantastic at making the tactical choices.”

Great comeback victory for Larry Ellison. Copenhagen, 13 June 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Pieter Heerema, helmsman, No Way Back: “Everything was open ahead of the last race; unfortunately we were a bit out of phase. I am happy with our result but not pleased with the way we got there. It was all a bit messy. Of course the conditions were difficult but we should be able to master this. Altogether I have loved this event. I just found that the weather was unfair with the venue.”

Terry Hutchinson, tactician, Artemis: “This was a tough day for the helmsmen and it also required a great team effort to succeed. There were massive wind shifts but at the end of the day it didn’t really matter if you went right or left; you just had to be in phase with the shifts. This morning Torbjorn told us to make the best of it and have fun. That’s what we did; I feel very privileged to have an owner like him.”

Chris Bake, helmsman, Team Aqua: “It has been very challenging few days. Today we struggled during the first two races and then I started to feel settled. I am pleased that Team Aqua won the match; it was difficult for me to arrive and settle in immediately, I took me a little while.”

René Mangold, helmsman, AEZ RC44 Sailing Team: “We were sailing with two new people and we struggled because of this: we couldn’t look out of the boat. We definitely need more practice and we will do this in the future.”

Fleet race, final results after eight races:

1) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 8, 6, 2, 41, 2, 4, 3 – 30 points
2) Team No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 10, 1, 4, 1, 4, 6, 2, 5 – 33 points
3) Artemis, Torbjor Tornqvist / Martin Hestbaek, 3, 5, 8, 2, 5, 5, 6, 4 – 38 points
4) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 2, 3, 9, 5, 6, 9, 3, 2 – 39 points
5) 17, Anders Myralf 4, 7, 6, 7, 9, 1, 7, 1 – 42 points
6) Katusha, Guennadi Timtchenko, 6, 8, 1, 8, 3, 4, 7 (RDG), 5,3 (RDG) – 42,3 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, Harm Muller Spreer, 7, 4, 3, 6, 2, 11 (DNF), 1, 11(DNF) – 45 points
8) CEEREF, Igor Lah, 5, 2, 7, 3, 7, 8, 10, 8 – 50 points
9) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 1, 10, 5, 9, 8, 7, 5, 7 – 52 points
10) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, René Mangold, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 3, 9, 6 – 66 points

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup – Overall Ranking:

1) BMW ORACLE Racing, 2, 1 – 3 points
2) Team Aqua, 1, 4 – 5 points
3) No Way Back, 4, 2 – 6 points
4) Artemis, 3, 3 – 6 points
5) 17, 5, 5 – 10 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, 7, 7 – 14 points
7) Ceeref, 6, 8 – 14 points
8) Katusha, 9, 6 – 15 points
9) AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, 8, 10 – 18 points
10) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 10, 9 – 19 points

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Video: Highlights from the RC44 Austria Cup

Posted on 05 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Highlights from the RC44 Austria Cup. Gmunden, 4 May 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

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Video: Highlights from the RC44 Austria Cup

Posted on 05 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Highlights from the RC44 Austria Cup. Gmunden, 4 May 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

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Video: Highlights from Day 4 of the RC44 Austria Cup

Posted on 03 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Note: Today and tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, you can watch the RC44 fleet races LIVE, here on Valencia Sailing. Similarly to all the major sailing events that are streamed live on Valencia Sailing, the internet TV player is located at the very top of the website.

Racing is scheduled to start at 11:30am, Central European Time, but this will obviously depend on the prevailing wind conditions at that time. The player starts automatically and until there is live feed, a spinning circle will be all you can see.

Highlights from Day 4 of the RC44 Austria Cup. Gmunden, 3 May 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

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Video: Highlights from Day 4 of the RC44 Austria Cup

Posted on 03 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Note: Today and tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, you can watch the RC44 fleet races LIVE, here on Valencia Sailing. Similarly to all the major sailing events that are streamed live on Valencia Sailing, the internet TV player is located at the very top of the website.

Racing is scheduled to start at 11:30am, Central European Time, but this will obviously depend on the prevailing wind conditions at that time. The player starts automatically and until there is live feed, a spinning circle will be all you can see.

Highlights from Day 4 of the RC44 Austria Cup. Gmunden, 3 May 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

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Four teams on top of the RC 44 Austria Cup fleet race leaderboard

Posted on 02 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] The America’s Cup team BMW ORACLE Racing is on great form since the beginning of the year, and confirms it in the RC 44 Austria Cup. Indeed, USA 17 (Ian Vickers / John Kostecki) and USA 18 (Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts) share the lead at the end of day one of the fleet regatta, ahead of Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back and Igor Lah’s Ceeref.

The wind was blowing from the north-east this afternoon, between 5 and 12 knots. In most cases, the right of the course proved favourable and the RC 44’s had to head for the coast and stay as close as possible from the shore in order to benefit from land effects. However, the right proved favourable on rare occasions, allowing some spectacular come-backs.

BMW Oracle’s two teams lead the RC44 fleet. Gmunden, 2 May 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

It was definitely a tough day for the tacticians and the results show it clearly: except for RC 44 Challenge – who finished all the races in the top five – all the teams scored at least one counter performance, finishing 8th, 9th or even 10th. On the other hand, some well known teams such as Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis or Chris Bake’s Team Aqua didn’t manage to score a top three.

Igor Lah and his team onboard Ceeref started the day with a disastrous tenth place but finished with two consecutive wins. Katusha’s owner Guennadi Timtchenko also had an interesting time: today he discovered the sport of sailing, the RC 44 Class and yacht racing! Benefiting from Paul Cayard’s advice, Timichenko spent most of the day fighting in the middle of the pack, racing hard and discovering why this sport – and this particular Class – are such a passion for its members.

The RC 44 Class proposes for the first time a live GPS tracking and 3D visualization of the event, available on the Class website (www.rc44.com). Today, no less than 2191 armchair sailors from all over the world followed the races. They will have the opportunity to analyse the world’s best sailors’ moves in the coming days. With four teams separated by three points and the top teams showing fairly high score averages, the fleet race remains totally open and the next days will with no doubt be interesting.

Gennady Timchenko, owner of Team Katusha, helms his RC44 yacht in his third day sailing ever!! Gmunden, 2 May 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

They said:

Guennadi Timtchenko, owner, Katusha: “This is all new for me and I will remember this first regatta all my life! It is an absolute pleasure to sail on this lake with Paul and the other guys; the place is absolutely beautiful and the sport is very interesting. My only regret is to discover it so late!”

Pieter Heerema, owner, No Way Back: “You are never safe on this lake and the sailing is really difficult, but I enjoy it immensely. This lake is less predictable than the sea and there is a portion of luck, good or bad. You just need to accept it and to be patient. The organisers of this event are doing a tremendous job. Nobody knows anything about sailing here but there is a huge crowd; people are passionate and very friendly. The atmosphere is great.”

Chris Bake, owner, Team Aqua: “I was asleep during the first race; we got stuck in a tree in the second, took a premature start in the third and started sailing decently in the last race. This summarises our day pretty well.”

Harm Muller Spreer, helmsman, Team Sea Dubai: “The boat is very nice and I enjoy it very much; the concept of the Class is also great. But there is still a long way to go for me to be competitive.”

Igor Lah, owner, Ceeref: “We did a good job after an embarrassing first regatta. The racing here is very interesting; we really need to sail close to the shore in order to catch the lifts, it’s very exciting.”

James Spithill, grinder, RC 44 Challenge: “I find it awesome to sail on this lake, it is beautiful but also very interesting. The strategy is very different, we need to play with the land effects and John Kostecki did a good job at putting us in the right place.”

Fleet race, provisional results after four races:

1) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 1, 2, 8, 2 – 13 points
2) RC 44 Challenge, Ian Vickers 3, 5, 2, 3 – 13 points
3) Team No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 2, 1, 3, 8 – 14 points
4) CEEREF, Igor Lah, 10, 3, 1, 1 – 15 points
5) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 4, 9, 4, 5 – 22 points
6) Team Sea Dubai, Harm Muller Spreer, 6, 4, 10, 6 – 26 points
7) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, Daniel Calero, 5, 7, 5, 10 – 27 points
8) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 7, 10, 7, 4 – 28 points
9) Katusha, Guennadi Timtchenko, 8, 6, 9, 7 – 30 points
10) Team Austria, René Mangold, 9, 8, 6, 9 – 32 points

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