Friday, April 17, 2009

Meanwhile in Valencia... BMW Oracle keep training on their Extreme 40's

The Energizer bunny keeps going and going in its funny TV commercials but James Spithill and the BMW Oracle crew keep training and training off the Malvarosa beach in Valencia for some very serious stuff, the 33rd America's Cup. The two Extreme 40 yachts of the America's Cup challenger and their pair of French sparring partners, Groupama and Team Gitana, concluded their second week of training this Friday.

Valencia Sailing spotted the four yachts very close to the beach, early Friday afternoon, racing under, unfortunately, very light and shifty conditions. We would be surprised if the 4 yachts sailed on the completely flat Valencian sea with more than 3-4 knots of breeze. Not only that, two of the test races we watched we abandoned halfway through as the breeze completely died down and then shifted close to 180 degrees. April is a tricky month in Valencia and one doesn't need to go way back in the past to encounter similar conditions. Almost 2 years ago, during the Louis Vuitton Cup of the 32nd America's Cup the nerves and patience of sailors, spectators and organizers were put to test after scores of races being canceled in windless days.

BMW Oracle keep on training aboard their two Extreme 40 yachts while at the back, Desafío start testing their TP52 boat. Valencia, 17 April 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Speaking of the past, Valencia Sailing will soon have the weather patterns that prevail on February 8th, 10th and 12th from as back as the 1950's. It might be wishful thinking but if indeed a one-on-one race takes place between Alinghi and BMW Oracle, here in Valencia next February, we will know at least what to expect. Obviously, the data will be limited, in fact it comes from an observation post not far from the beach but it will at least provide an indication.

While part of the BMW Oracle crew will be racing on the RC44 circuit starting next Tuesday, James Spithill will keep training in Valencia for the third and final week.

Last but certainly not least, while the 4 Extreme 40 yachts were carrying out their races, Desafío's TP52 yacht was being tested not far away. The Spanish team got reassembled in Valencia 3 days ago and started testing and training for the AUDI Medcup opening event in Alicante, less than a month from now. It was funny to see the monohull yacht of the former Challenger of Record crossing the multihull boat of the current one.

As far as we know, at least from what we can observe, there isn't any action taking place from Alinghi's side in Valencia.

BMW Oracle keep on training aboard their two Extreme 40 yachts. Valencia, 17 April 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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