Friday, November 28, 2008

BMW Oracle successfully completes trimaran trials


– State-of-the-Art Trimaran Will Undergo Modifications to Improve Performance and Start Phase II Sea Trials in San Diego in Late January

– BMW ORACLE Explores New Racing Options for Trimaran

San Diego, California, November 28, 2008 – Russell Coutts, CEO and Skipper of BMW ORACLE Racing, today announced that BOR 90, the syndicate’s state-of-the-art trimaran, has successfully completed Phase I of its sea trials in San Diego.

The 90 foot high-tech trimaran now will undergo further modifications to improve performance based on the team’s experiences with the trimaran on the Pacific Ocean off California since October. Over the next few months, a number of design changes will be implemented in order to make the trimaran an even faster, more responsive boat. In addition, decisions will be made about the optimum crew size and placement.

The boat will return to the water in late January for several additional months of testing in San Diego.

Archive footage from the construction of the trimaran. Video copyright BMW Oracle

Said Coutts, “We’ve had some great sailing over the past seven weeks. Our team worked hard and pushed the limits of the boat, identifying its many strengths as well as several areas where it needs improvement. We saw it can consistently sail one-and-a-half to two times the speed of the wind, regardless of sea and wind conditions, and it has remarkable agility. Overall, it’s an amazing machine – none of us have ever sailed anything like it. Its extreme engineering enables extreme performance.”

Coutts also announced that BMW ORACLE had begun to explore opportunities to race the trimaran. “Our racing options for sailing a multihull are not limited to the America’s Cup. Indeed, a Deed of Gift race is only a default option forced on us if Alinghi declines to agree to a multi-challenger event after we win the appeal. It remains our hope that we will reach an agreement with the America’s Cup Defender that will enable a traditional, multi-challenger America’s Cup in monohulls.

The BMW Oracle trimaran sailing in San Diego. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

“With that in mind, we are exploring a number of other ways to sail the boat, including match races, regattas or even an attempt at one of the sailing speed records,” he said.

Coutts added, “On behalf of all of us at BMW ORACLE Racing, I want to thank the people of San Diego – the reception we’ve gotten from the sailing community and everyone else has been wonderful.”

The Phase I sea trials followed several weeks of “shake-down” testing in Puget Sound off Anacortes, WA earlier in September.

The BMW Oracle trimaran sailing in San Diego. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

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