BMW Oracle's BOR 90 starts journey to Valencia
[Source: BMW Oracle] The BMW ORACLE Racing team has departed San Diego for Valencia, Spain, in preparation for February's 33rd America's Cup Match.
The cargo ship Oceanlady left the Port of San Diego early on Tuesday afternoon and turned south. It will pass through the Panama Canal before heading across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Mediterranean Sea. The trip to Valencia will take approximately three weeks, depending on weather.
The cargo on board is unique, with the ship is carrying approximately 200 tonnes of material, including: the BOR 90 trimaran, the main element of the wing sail, four custom made boxes containing the wing flaps, two spare masts, 19 shipping containers, and 10 other boats (RIBs etc.).
"It's certainly been a challenge to get through all of this," said Scott Sandford (NZL), who managed the process for the team, along with Julien Di Biase (SUI).
All of the material was taken to ship from the team base by water, and loaded on board with the ship's crane.
BOR 90 en route to Valencia. San Diego, 15 December 2009. Photo copyright Bob Grieser / BMW Oracle Racing
"Everything was staged on two barges - the chase boats and pushers, and the shipping containers. We pushed the barges over to the ship and they were unloaded by the ship's crane. The trimaran was lifted up with a big floating crane and it rode 'under the hook', suspended in the air, over to the ship. It was the same for the masts and the main wing element," Sandford explained.
Weather proved to be an additional challenge, with wind hampering the first attempt at moving the wing. But overnight Monday night, the wing was transported across in calm conditions and loaded safely onto the Ocean Lady.
With the San Diego base now closed down and packed up, the team will re-assemble in Valencia following a short Christmas break and immediately resume preparations for the Match.
On Tuesday, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed an earlier decision confirming Valencia as the venue. The first race of the 33rd America’s Cup Match is scheduled for February 8, 2010.