BMW ORACLE Racing’s USA 87 sails for first time in New Zealand
[Source: BMW Oracle] BMW ORACLE Racing skipper Russell Coutts was back on the helm of an ACC yacht for the first time since the 31st America’s Cup in Auckland when the team took USA 87 sailing today for a shakedown and rig tune in preparation for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series (LVPS). The sail also marked USA 87’s inaugural sail in New Zealand waters.
With Coutts at the helm, the team docked out this morning and sailed for five hours on a blustery Waitemata Harbour with winds pushing 30 knots.
“It was a great day and I enjoyed getting back out there again,” Coutts said. “There was a lot of wind out there today for these boats. The racing will be just fantastic.”
Russell Coutts helms an America's Cup yacht in Auckland for the first time since 2003. Auckland, 19 January 2009. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Louis Vuitton Pacific Series
Martin Tasker reports on the first day of training on the BMW Oracle and Team NZ boats. Auckland, 19 January 2009. Video copyright TVNZ
BMW ORACLE Racing briefly lined up against Dean Barker and the Team New Zealand crew. “I think we’ll see some really close racing in this regatta. It will be a test for each team to see how well they perform. This regatta is really about sailing skill,” Coutts said.
The four ACC yachts – Team New Zealand NZL 84 and 92 and BMW ORACLE Racing’s USA 87 and 98 – have been simplified for the LVPS which will use a format of shared boats among the 10 competing teams. “There’s a lot of cooperation among the teams to get everyone back on the water in a cost effective way. It will put more emphasis on sailing.”
The racing begins 30 January and runs through 14 February.
BMW Oracle and Emirates Team NZ carry out the first training session. Auckland, 19 January 2009. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Louis Vuitton Pacific Series