BMW Oracle's BOR90 ready to return to the water
[Source: BMW Oracle] The BMW ORACLE Racing team is putting the final touches on the latest modifications to its trimaran, the BOR 90, before it returns to the water to resume testing ahead of the 33rd America's Cup Match.
John Kostecki (USA) is the team's tactician and he's excited by the prospect of returning to the water next week as the team continues its preparations for the February Match.
The boat has been 'on the hard' for a month and extensive modifications have been made, including the addition of an engine, major changes to the deck configuration and layout on board and reworking of numerous on-board systems. When the team resumes training, the sailing crew will be without the grinders as they have been replaced by the engine.
He says while the boat has undergone extensive modifications this month, the crew was already thinking about how it would sail in the new configuration during its last testing session in September.
"We have made big changes but I think we were mentally prepared for the new systems on the boat," he said. "As we were winding down the last session, we were thinking about how the boat would be sailed after the changes. So I think we're as prepared as we could be for it and we're looking forward to sailing this new configuration.
"Some of the guys have been lending a hand with the work on the boat, so that helps in the sense that they're already quite familiar with it. We know it's a big change, but we think it's an important move, and hopefully things are going to happen a bit faster on the boat with the engine."
When the team resumes testing early next week Kostecki says he expects to have immediate feedback as to how beneficial the latest changes have been.
"Normally we can tell right away," he said. "This boat is revolutionary and any small change usually results in a pretty big difference. It's a lot different compared to the last Cup boats when many times you'd make changes, but it would be very hard to measure the gains; it was hard to see and sometimes, you really didn't know if you'd made a gain or not. That's certainly not the case with this boat."
With the America's Cup scheduled for early February, time is now at a premium, and Kostecki doesn't expect any further breaks before the Match.
"These past few weeks were our chance for the sailing team to re-charge the batteries. We know we'll be on a big push from now until the end," he said. "As in past America's Cups, boat speed wins races, so we're working very hard on making this boat as fast as we can over the next couple of months."