BMW Oracle spying RIB nearly hits fisherman in Genoa
If the 33rd America's Cup didn't exist someone should have invented it in order to provide us with some entertainemnt during these hot days of the Mediterranean summer when there is either no racing at all or the one that takes place suffers from very light conditions. The TP52's are scheduled to start racing today at 1pm in Portimao with a southerly breeze between 4 and 9 knots. Under such conditions it will, unfortunately, be a drift race and as a result we need something to brighten up the day.
According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the tender pictured in the photo below is related to BMW Oracle and its mission is to follow the daily sea trials and tests of Alinghi 5, as close as possible, and gather all the necessary intelligence that could help the American team's designers learn as much as they can about the Defender's yacht.
According to Italian news agency ANSA this is the BMW Oracle spying tender. Genoa, 18 August 2009. Photo copyright ANSA
As our friends at ZeroGradiNord report, it appears that the same tender was involved in an incident with a local fisherman yesterday, when in their eagerness to follow the Swiss catamaran they ignored all basic safety rules and rammed into him, cutting his boulter, as the ANSA agency reports.
According to the fisherman, he was 600 meters from the coast, on his own tender, trying to recover his boulter when he saw Alinghi 5 and the rest of the Swiss tenders coming towards him. While the entire Swiss "fleet" maneuvered and passed him safely, the female driver of the BMW Oracle-related spy tender kept her course, ignored his horn signals and rammed into his boulter while he had to swiftly maneuver his own tender in order to avoid a collision. Always according to his statement, the alleged spy tender sped away while one of Alinghi's tenders got back to check whether he needed any help.
Finally, the BMW Oracle-related tender returned half an hour later and one Italian man aboard tried to apologize for what had happened. The fisherman wanted to "stress the incivility and impropriety of certain behaviors in the sea".
This is getting funny...