Tuesday, July 01, 2008

BMW Oracle to enter the iShares Extreme40 Cup with two boats

[Source: BMW Oracle] Valencia, Spain, 1 July 2008: BMW ORACLE Racing’s sailing will continue a full program of training and competition in RC 44s and Extreme 40 catamarans through the European summer while it waits for delivery of its new America’s Cup multihull boat, skipper Russell Coutts (NZL), said today. As part of a stepped-up multihull program, the team also confirmed today that it will field two entries in the iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week 2-4 August, part of the highly-competitive iShares Cup Sailing Series.

Coutts and multihull consultant Franck Cammas (FRA) will share the afterguard duties for one entry in the Cowes regatta, with helmsman James Spithill (AUS) and tactician John Kostecki (USA) on the other. Final crew lists will be confirmed closer to the regatta.

“We are putting more time into racing the Extreme 40s now as well as match racing,” Coutts said. “Until the new boat arrives we will keep pushing our learning curve on multihulls and developing match racing techniques as much as we can.”

After a tough start in the Extreme 40s when one of the boats capsized in an exciting in-house match race in May, two BMW ORACLE Racing crews competed 20-22 June at the “Just the Best” regatta in Italy where Spithill and Coutts again faced off in the Extreme 40s with Spithill’s team earning the regatta victory.

The team’s 2008 season started in April in Italy with the RC 44 Cagliari Cup. The BMW ORACLE Racing entry, helmed by Larry Ellison with Coutts calling tactics, won the match racing event. In May, it was on to Austria, where BMW ORACLE Racing helmsman Spithill drove Team Ceeref to a win in both match racing and fleet racing in the RC 44 Austria Cup. The next stop on the RC 44 circuit will be 9-13 July on Lake Garda in Malcesine, Italy.

Ellison and Coutts teamed up again to win the City of Marseille Trophy in the TP 52 class June 7 in USA 17. Nine of the sailing team continue on the TP 52 circuit competing with owner Torbjorn Tornqvist on board Artemis. John Kostecki is calling tactics on this mostly-BMW ORACLE Racing crew.

June also provided plenty of multihull sailing for the team. Franck Cammas, with a team including sailing coordinator Julien di Biase (SUI) as pitman, won the prestigious Bol d’Or Mirabaud sailing the Decision 35 catamaran Zebra 7 Girard- Perregaux. Following a June training session on the 60-foot Groupama 2, sailing team member Alberto Barovier (ITA) joined Cammas and crew on the trimaran to win the ORMA class in the Trophy SNSM.

“So far it’s been a great year of sailing, and I think it will be even more exciting once we can start training in the new multihull,” Coutts said. “Cup racing in these big multis will be like nothing we have ever seen.”

BMW ORACLE Racing is the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup, representing the USA’s Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. The team is preparing for one-on-one match in multihulls against Swiss Defender, Team Alinghi. A New York court is expected to confirm the date for the two-out-of-three match to take place soon with the venue still to be nominated by the defender.

BMW ORACLE Racing is based in Valencia, Spain. The team’s multihull race yacht for the 33rd America’s Cup is under construction in Anacortes, WA, USA.

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