Tag Archive | "BMW Oracle"

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BMW pulls out of Oracle Racing

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

At the end of the year BMW will bring to a close its longstanding partnership with ORACLE Racing and thereby end its involvement in the America’s Cup. This is by mutual agreement of both partners. Both parties set ambitious goals and achieved the ultimate objective: winning the America’s Cup.

BMW has partnered BMW ORACLE Racing since 2002. Technology and skills have transferred freely between the automaker and sailing team, most notably in the fields of structural engineering and high-modulus composite construction. The result was celebrated in the February when the yacht USA 17, the fastest yacht in the history of the America’s Cup, won the 33rd Match with a resounding 2:0 victory off Valencia, Spain.

“On the design and engineering front, BMW engineers set new benchmarks in terms of intelligent lightweight design,” said Ralf Hussmann, General Manager BMW Sports Marketing and Brand Cooperation. “In winning the 33rd America’s Cup, we achieved all of our ambitious goals. We will continue to be involved in the sport on a national level.”

“The America’s Cup combines a technological challenge with a sporting one and success is measured by the result on the race course,” added Russell Coutts CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing.

No more BMW in BMW Oracle as of January 1st, 2011. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget

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BMW Oracle officials “very serious” in intent to move forward with Rhode Island

Posted on 21 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Related documents

- Letter from Stephen Barclay, COO of BMW Oracle, to Keith Stokes, Executive Director of the RI Economic Development Corporation, dated December 17th, 2010

Yacht Road, San Francisco, California USA 94123

December 17, 2010

Mr. Keith Stokes
Executive Director
Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.
Suite 101, 315 Iron Horse Way
Providence, R.I. 02908

Dear Keith,

I would like to thank you for meeting with our team over the past week and, in particular, arranging the meetings yesterday with Governor-elect Chafee and Senate President Paiva-Weed.

Over the past week, you have clearly presented why Rhode Island, and Fort Adams State Park, in particular, has the capability to host the 34th America’s Cup, an event that is one of the largest sporting events in the world in terms of economic benefit and mass media audience. In particular, we are impressed with Fort Adams and the possibility of its being the center of public access, use and enjoyment of Narragansett Bay.

We are very serious in our intent to move forward with Rhode Island. There is much to do to meet the timeframes we have set. The Golden Gate Yacht Club has committed to other America’s Cup teams that a host city will be announced by December 31, 2010.

On our side we must establish the how the teams, visitors and VIPs will be accommodated and how we will raise the necessary corporate sponsorship. You can greatly assist us by advising on the readiness of Fort Adams to complete the necessary public infrastructure improvements to base the teams and hold the event within the timeframes we have discussed with you and your team.

To demonstrate our interest in working with Rhode Island, I have asked Tom Ehman, a fellow member of the GGYC Board and America’s Cup Committee, and head of External Affairs for BMW ORACLE Racing, to attend next Monday’s Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s December board meeting to convey our interest to your Board and the Governor.

I look forward to our continued dialogue over the next several days.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Barclay
GGYC Board and America’s Cup Committee

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Adios Valencia…

Posted on 20 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

I never had the slightest doubt this would be taking place, I only thought it would have been in 2011 instead of 2010. As one can observe from the photo, I’m referring to BMW Oracle, the America’s Cup defender, permanently leaving its base in Valencia. After more than 5 years in the Spanish city, the holders of the world’s oldest sports trophy are packing up in order to leave by January 1st, 2011. When Valencia Sailing visited the base earlier on Monday morning, the most visible sign was the crew stripping the base of any BMW Oracle branding, starting with the giant poster of USA17.

The personnel will only be working a couple of days this week and then definitely leave, handing the base to the crews that will dismantle it. Although this information has not been confirmed, we understand BMW Oracle will be based in Auckland for the next few months.

An era ends now in the America’s Cup. After seven years and one month, Valencia ceases to be the “world’s sailing capital” and another city will take over. However, with only eleven days left until their deadline, of which 4 are holidays, BMW Oracle would rather hurry up and announce the venue of the 34th America’s Cup.

Crews striping all BMW Oracle branding from the base. Valencia, 20 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Ellison, BMW ORACLE Raicng secure 2010 RC 44 Season Championship

Posted on 13 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] Larry Ellison and his BMW ORACLE Racing crew wrapped up the 2010 RC 44 Season Championship with a second-place finish in the fleet racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.

Coupled with the team’s sixth place in the match racing portion of the regatta, BMW ORACLE Racing placed fourth overall in the Miami regatta, which equated to a 2-point victory over Artemis Racing for the season championship.

“We were up and down. We’ve had good regattas and sometimes things didn’t go so well, but overall the team did a great job sailing,” said Ellison. “We came first in fleet racing and first overall. We had a rough match racing regatta here in Miami, but the fleet was good enough and we’re happy with the result.”

Ellison and crew, including tactician Russell Coutts, finished 3-4-3 today but had to pull a few rabbits out of their collective hat.

They started one race early and found themselves constantly battling back on a day with very shifty winds. In particular they gained a few places in the last half of the runs to the finish that kept their score low enough for the championship.

“We do better when it’s breezy,” said Ellison. “There are more opportunities to pass downwind. I’ve got a lot of experience sailing on San Francisco Bay and we love the breeze.”

While Ellison got the spoils for the season championship, Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino won the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami title.

Mascalzone Latino showed great improvement at this regatta after rejoining the class in July. The Italian crew placed third in both the match and fleet racing for the overall victory with the low score of 6 points.

“Winning this event is special meaning for me because the past three years have been difficult for me in my life and in sailing,” said Onorato, a six-time world champion in yacht racing.

“Russell asked us to come back to the class and we couldn’t be happier with this result. We’ve worked hard to regain our form and we will do our best in the future to perform in this class,” Onorato said.

Yet a third winner today was William “Doug” Douglass aboard the RC 44 World Champion yacht 17. Douglass, sailing with Australian James Spithill as tactician, won the fleet racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami with the low score of 39 points.

“The class seems extremely well organized. It was good, we had a lot of fun out there,” said Douglass, a veteran of the Farr 40 and Melges 32 classes. “Today was a little windy and we saw how the boats could get wicked up and go.”

The 2011 RC 44 Season Championship begins in March in San Diego, Calif.

RC 44 2010 Season Championship
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – (8)-1-1-4-2-4 – 12 points
2. Artemis Racing (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 1-(8)-4-2-5-2 – 14 points
3. 17 (USA) William Douglass/James Spithill – (11)-3-5-3-1-3 – 15 points
4. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 2-2-3-5-3-(6) – 15 points
5. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 4-6-2-1-(8)-5 – 18 points
6. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 3-4-6-7-6-(9) – 26 points
7. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 6-5-(8)-6-4-8 – 29 points
8. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 5-7-7-(9)-7-7 – 33 points
9. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 11-(12)-12-11-9-1 – 44 points
10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 7-9-10-8-(11)-11 – 45 points
11. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 9-10-9-10-10-(14) – 48 points
12. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 11-12-12-(13)-13-10 – 58 points
13. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 11-12-12-(13)-12-12 – 59 points
14. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 11-12-12-13-(15)-13 – 61 points

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Do yacht clubs really matter in the America’s Cup?

Posted on 12 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

According to the Deed of Gift, the basic set of rules that govern the America’s Cup, “any organized yacht Club of a foreign country, incorporated, patented, or licensed by the legislature, admiralty or other executive department, having for its annual regatta an ocean water course on the sea, or on an arm of the sea, or one which combines both, shall always be entitled to the right of sailing a match for this Cup”. In the 32nd edition of the world’s oldest sailing event, a few exceptions were granted. The Spanish challenged through their national sailing federation, the Chinese through the newly-created Qingdao International yacht Club, while finally the Germans opted as well for a previously non-existent club.

Then in June 2007, Alinghi lowered the bar even further and together with their sinister bedfellows, the then President and Vice President of the Spanish Sailing Federation, Gerardo Pombo and Manuel Chirivella, created the Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV) in a week in order to have a hip-pocket challenger of record for the 33rd Cup. Although duly registered as a yacht club, the CNEV didn’t exist beyond paper. BMW Oracle filed a lawsuit and the rest is history.

Start of the first race of the 2010 Aleph Cup. La Grande Motte, 27 November 2010. Photo copyright Aleph Yacht Club

However, and despite its rhetoric during the long and tedious legal battle of the 33rd America’s Cup, the current Defending yacht club, Golden Gate Yacht Club, accepted and validated on Friday, December 10th, a formal challenge by a yacht club that is a barely a month old (officially registered on November 4th) and held the first edition of its annual regatta just two weeks ago, on November 27th.

We are referring to the newly-created Aleph Yacht Club that will be represented by Aleph Team France, the team headed by Bertrand Pacé and Alain Gautier. I think this is another proof that the yacht clubs are mere technicalities and the organizers focus instead on the credentials of the project rather than the underlying club and of course you could hardly get stronger credentials in France than the duo Pacé-Gautier. The yacht club, obviously, meets the criteria set by the Deed of Gift, but just the strict minimum.

The offices of Aleph Yacht Club are in Paris and their regatta was held at the premises of the Yacht Club de La Grande Motte (YCGM) in southern France. This is understandable since the French capital is not anywhere near an “ocean water course on the sea, or on an arm of the sea”. It’s puzzling though that not one single member of the club took part in their first ever annual regatta, as per the score table!!

Maybe that’s why the America’s Cup is still at the pinnacle of our sport and if they ditch that antiquated rule they might just become another circuit like the Volvo Ocean Race or the AUDI Medcup.

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Douglass, Ellison look to wrap up RC 44 championships

Posted on 12 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] In a season that has seen a number of newcomers to the RC 44 Class, it’s yet another newcomer that’s dominating the fleet racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.

William “Doug” Douglass of New York is no stranger to competitive one-design racing, having campaigned a Swan 45, Farr 40 and Melges 32. Today he guided the RC 44 World Champion yacht 17 to another two bullets and leads the fleet with the low score of 14 points in six races.

“I’ve got a good crew and a great tactician in Jimmy Spithill,” said Douglass. “He’s putting me in the right place and the guys have the boat tuned great. It’s easy to go well when the boat’s fast.”

Douglass and the 17 crew have a 20-point lead on second-placed BMW ORACLE Racing, led by Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts. Ellison went 8-5 on the day to solidify his crew’s grasp on the 2010 RC 44 Season Championship.

Other contenders for the title include Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back, Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing and Chris Bake’s Team Aqua.

Highlights from day 5 of the Oracle RC44 Miami Cup. Miami, 11 December 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

While BMW ORACLE Racing is in good standing to convert the win, the ease with which points accumulate make it far from a certainty.

“We’re not there yet,” said BMW ORACLE Racing mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder. “There are a lot of boats out there and it’s easy to rack up the points. The key is to get a free lane. When you get near other boats you tend to slow down, so it’s almost worth it to sail extra distance and get a clear lane.”

Incredibly, a mere 11 points separate BMW ORACLE Racing in second place from ninth-placed Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The Spanish yacht from the Canary Islands scored 8 points on the day to move up the standings. As skipper Daniel Calero cautioned, significant points are easy to come by.

“Yesterday we went home really upset about our performance,” said Calero, whose mast broke on Day 1. “We committed many errors and in this class you pay a lot, every single error you pay. Today we tried to avoid the errors. Our starts weren’t great, but we were always able to climb up the fleet.”

Another crew climbing the leaderboard today was Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino. The Italians scored a 6-2 to move into third place in the fleet racing.

“We are improving and learning the boat better every day on the water,” said Onorato, who returned to the class in July. “This is our third regatta, so I’m happy. This is a beautiful boat and I’m enjoying my stay here.”

Douglass, too, is enjoying his stay. The New Yorker described the RC 44 as a, “big, powerful boat. There are a lot of good sailors out there. We have to keep plugging away, have good starts, get a good lane and take it from there.”

The 2010 season is set to conclude tomorrow with a warning signal scheduled for 12:00 pm.

ORACLE RC 44 Cup Fleet Racing Provisional Standings
(After 6 races)
1. 17 (USA) William Douglass/Jimmy Spithill – 3-5-3-1-1-1 – 14 points
2. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – 5-10-4-2-8-5 – 34 points
3. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 7-3-9-8-6-2 – 35 points
4. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 10-2-1-5-4-14 – 36 points
5. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 2-8-5-10-7-4 – 36 points
6. Artemis Racing (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 4-1-2-6-13-12 – 38 points
7. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 9-13-7-7-2-6 – 44 points
8. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 1-12-11-9-3-9 – 45 points
9. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 8-7-8-14-5-3 – 45 points
10. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 11-4-6-11-10-13 – 55 points
11. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 6-6-13-12-9-8 – 56 points (includes 2 point penalty)
12. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 12-11-10-4-11-11 – 59 points
13. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 14-14-14-3-12-10 – 67 points
14. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 13-9-12-13-14-7 – 68 points

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ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami hits wind block

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] After yesterday’s wet and wild start to the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami, the regatta ground to a virtual halt today with a lack of wind.

After waiting all day for the wind to build, Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio was forced to abandon the day’s schedule at 1520 hours with insufficient breeze on the racecourse.

The loss of the semifinal round today sees the event advance to the match racing final tomorrow morning where Chris Bake’s Team Aqua, led by Cameron Appleton, will square off against Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing, with Terry Hutchinson as skipper. The two crews won Group A and B, respectively, with 5-1 records.

Highlights from the opening day of the Oracle RC44 Miami Cup. Miami, 8 December 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

Additional racing will take place as follows:

3rd and 4th place: Synergy Russian Sailing Team vs. Mascalzone Latino

5th and 6th place: BMW ORACLE Racing vs. Team Sea Dubai

7th and 8th place: 17 vs. No Way Back

9th and 10th place: Katusha vs. Ceeref

11th and 12th place: Ironbound vs. Peninsula Petroleum

13th and 14th place: Puerto Calero Islas Canarias vs. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team

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ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami off to rollicking start

Posted on 08 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class Association] The RC 44 class made its debut in American waters today in conditions that make Miami a renowned racing venue: a northwesterly breeze gusting over 20 knots and the boats planing around the racecourse north of Government Cut at speeds of 17 to 20 knots.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami commenced today with the 14-boat fleet split into two groups of seven for preliminary match racing. If time permits by mid-Thursday, semifinals and a final will be held for the top two from each group.

Wintertime racing off the southeast coast of Florida has long been a sailor’s playground. The sun is brilliant, the water is warm and the conditions usually challenge the best of crews.

Although the Northern Hemisphere winter is still officially two weeks away, chilly temperatures this morning had the sailors thinking it came early. The passing of a cold front helped stir up the strong northwesterlies, and the fleet completed eight flights of five matches for 40 races in total.

In Group Alpha, Cameron Appleton has Chris Bake’s Team Aqua tops in the group with a 5-1 record, followed by Harm Müller-Spreer and Markus Wieser in Team Sea Dubai. Sea Dubai actually posted a 6-0 record, but had penalty points applied by the umpires.

Highlights from the opening day of the Oracle RC44 Miami Cup. Miami, 7 December 2010. Video copyright RC44 Class Association

In Group Bravo, Terry Hutchinson guided Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis to the top of the group with a 5-1 record. Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino enjoyed its best day since returning to the class and is second at 4-1 with one flight to complete the round. BMW ORACLE Racing, with Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, is third at 4-2.

The conditions taxed many of the crews, who were sore from being thrown about the light-displacement yachts, but none other than Daniel Calero’s crew aboard Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The Spanish crew from the Canary Islands was forced out of action with a broken mast before morning had turned to afternoon.

Islas Canarias had just completed a jibe in its Flight 1 race when the mast broke about five feet above the gooseneck, where the boom attaches to the mast, and the spar went over the port side.

“We had just completed our jibe when we heard a big crunch,” said Calero. “There wasn’t much we could do to save the mast.”

Crewman Carlos Hernandez jumped into the warm Atlantic Ocean to help the crew recover some of the sails and disassemble the rigging so the mast could be brought back aboard the yacht for the motor to the harbor.

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero returned to shore where the crew began stepping a spare mast that the RC 44 Class Association has available at each regatta for just such an incident.

“This is the good side of this class, there’s a mast ready to go and we’ll be ready to race tomorrow,” said Calero. “We were enjoying the great conditions today and can’t wait to get back out tomorrow.”

ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami Day 1 Quotes

Cameron Appleton, Team Aqua: “We came off the water with one loss and that was good on a day like today. It was very shifty. Wind started out with puffs up to 28 knots or more, we saw the first rig come down in the class, and everyone seemed to be handling the conditions in different ways. It was a good test for the crews. A really good crew was rewarded today by sailing the boats well. Today was tricky because of a little cross swell and change in pressure. It kept us all on our toes.

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero dismamsts on the opening day of the Oracle RC44 Miami Cup. Miami, 7 December 2010. Photo copyright Nico Martinez

Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino: “We’re very happy, obviously. We had four good starts. We’re making big progress from Valencia to here and are now starting to win some races. We’re learning the boat more and more. It’s normal to struggle in the beginning, but now we’re learning again. We had 20 knots, sunny and breezy. It was puffy, shifty, a very nice challenge. It was just a bit too cold, but everything else was brilliant.”

Pieter Heerema, No Way Back: “Today was exciting, a beautiful wind but tough. Lots of people had problems in boathandling. That makes the sailing exciting. We had an up and down day. We sailed well, no problems with the boathandling, but we didn’t always grab the opportunities we created for ourselves. At a certain point you just have to nail it.”

Terry Hutchinson, Artemis: “It was an incredibly difficult day. Our guys sailed very well. This was our first regatta since Dubai where we had any training prior to the first day of racing and it showed. Sailing north of Government Cut (the channel leading to Miami Harbor) was pretty good. The course gave options for both sides to work.”

Harm Mueller-Spreer, Team Sea Dubai: “We had six wins, good boatspeed and very good starts. We had a bit of bad luck in the second to last race because we hit the Russians (Synergy Russian Sailing Team). But our boathandling is good, the maneuvering is good and the feeling for the pre-start is good. I feel very comfortable. First off we had not so much wind and then it increased to 25 knots or more and slowly decreased all afternoon.”

Ian Williams, Ironbound: “The boat’s fantastic. The best thing is that you only have eight guys and lots to do. Everybody needs to pull their weight and be aware of what’s going on, doing right things at the right time. It makes it a great challenge as a team to do well.”

ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami Provisional Results
(Through 8 flights)

Group Alpha
1. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 5-1, 5 points
2. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 6-0, 4 points*
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 2-3, 2 points
3. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 4-2, 2 points*
3. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 2-4, 2 points
6. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 1-4, 1 point
7. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 0-6, 0 points
(* penalty points applied)

Group Bravo
1. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 5-1
2. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 4-1
3. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – 4-2
4. 17 (USA) William Douglass/Jimmy Spithill – 4-2
5. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 2-4
6. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 1-4
7. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 0-6

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