Saturday, February 06, 2010

33rd America's Cup - Two days to go

Greetings from windy Valencia. Sorry for the delays in reporting and the messed up website but I've working on changes in the layout in order to make room for the live stream of the races starting Monday.

With the absence of any sailing today, we, unfortunately, have to talk about politics. There have been three press conferences in the last 24 hours but I have to admit, we dind't get a lot wiser. All the important questions were left unanswered or diplomatically evaded.

First it was Alinghi's top brass to meet the press, Ernesto Bertarelli, team owner, Brad Butterworth, skipper and tactician, and Grant Simmer, design coordinator. Right after the Alinghi conference was over, the more than 100 journalists rushed to the BMW Oracle base to listen to Larry Ellison, team owner, Russell Coutts, CEO, and James Spithill, helmsman and skipper.

I will not talk about the personal attacks or the bragging statements about who's a better sailor, but instead concentrate on the issues.

Sailing Crew
Ernesto Bertarelli stated he would share the helm of Alinghi 5 with Loïck Peyron. For Bertarelli, Peyron is like a Swiss knife, his vast multihull experience could be used in all positions. As for the size of the crew, the yacht can sail competitively with as little as 10 sailors but they could be with up to 16 sailors aboard Alinghi 5 on Monday. Still, the final decision will be taken on the morning of each race.

As for BMW Oracle, neither Ellison's nor Coutts' presence is certain. As Ellison himself stated, his weight is close to the limit so, at least on Monday, it's highly improbable he would be onboard USA. Still, the final word is on James Spithill.

Legal situation
Bertarelli was much more straightforward on that issue. According to the Swiss billionaire, the result of the regatta on the water should also be the final outcome of the 33rd America's Cup. Whoever lost on the water in Valencia shouldn't continue the match in the New York courtrooms.

On the other hand, both Coutts and Ellison, evaded answering whether they would proceed with their litigation should they lose in Valencia. Their answer was that they are 100% concentrated and aren't considering anything else than the next week's races.

34th America's Cup
Just one thing is for sure in the next edition of the America's Cup. If BMW Oracle wins in Valencia, the 34th America's Cup will be held in "fast" monohulls on shorter courses, similar to the RC44's, as Ellison stated. That of course doesn't come as a surprise. It won't be a surprise either if we see smaller catamarans racing in the next Cup, should Alinghi finally prevail.

Regarding the format, the venue or the next Challenger of Record, neither Ellison nor Bertarelli wanted to reveal anything. We will have to wait until the races are over, or maybe longer as Bertarelli was quick to state he wouldn't rush and that Alinghi would take the time necessary to think about the next step.

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At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have the boats been measured yet?

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BORAMA Press conference was ridiculous! No answer to the right questions.The next time, the building cleaning crew will answer the questions! It wil be mor interesting! It looks like that they are already loose the race!

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The oracle press conference was a disaster. Ellison and his CEO are not interessed to the race! They work on new lawer attacs!

At 6:38 PM, Blogger sailboatracer said...

I missed the Alinghi Press Conference but watched the BOR Conference. There was a noticable absence of bragging and politics from BOR other than Larry stated he would not be able to find the time to attend the Owners Conference because Russell Coutts has been specifically prohibited from attending the Owners conference.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger WetHog said...

Yeah the presser's were much a do about nothing. Although the one thing I did learn is that Grant Simmer's neck is un-usually long...

As for EB taking his time deciding on what to do after this Cup is over should he win, well he better get a COR lined up quick or close down the SNG headquarters and hide all the officers underground because if LE loses he might come around again with another DoG challenge.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger sailboatracer said...

Reference the CIC sail issue. If BOR win the AC then we should not be surprised if GYC continue with the CIC court action on the basis that GYC, as the new AC trustees, will want to have a formal ruling from the NY courts which will eliminate disagreements in the event of a future Deed of Gift challenge. If this happens it will be very interesting to see what will SNG do.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger shorethinglo said...

The Fact: Neither EB or LE wanted to reveal anything. They have no obligation to tell us what they don't know! The Boats must do the Sailing, and with the Sailing the Answers to some of our questions will be answered. The Technology and the Theories of what it will take to last a race will be Tested. My Hope is, Alinghi and USA have made the right decisions on the Theories and the Technology. No Excuses, No Hold Bar Racing with NO Breakage. Yeah Right, I Can Dream Right?

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Osea que el pajarito de RC lo que quiere es que el futuro de los barcos AC sean su RC44. Acabaramos. Menudo pelotazo ($$$$) haciendo carita de que se yo y su mirada de yo no fui.

At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Press Con's - Seems some folks were at different Press Cons then I. GGYC's was festive while SNG's was a funeral

Legal issues - It's well known regardless of who wins that GGYC will continue with the CIC & the BOFD as it's important to this AC & future AC's.

At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the only website I actually bother to look at anymore for unbiased AC reporting. I thank you for that.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbiased AC reporting? Sorry to say, but as there is nothing here on the Saturday Owners Press Conference, I must assume that Pierre joined Larry in not attending. Too bad.

At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BOR press conference was festive ??? Yes it was if you were to look for three VIPs on bar chairs moving constantly from right to left and back, giving very little information. And Tom Ehman as a clown running around, trying to be funny when introducing the guests ! Check it out again with a video replay and you'll see.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing for the Cup is to get out of the Courts.
Let's hope whoever wins has a solid COR in place and mutual consent on all parties not being able to take issues to Court. If Alinghi win that then gives Larry a choice, litigate from the outside or sail with everyone else.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have obviously enjoyed the last two years and I sense some dissapointment that it's now about sailing.
I doubt whether Alinghi will leave any doors open for your friends at GGYC this time.

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Borama arrogance is now history. It show how Ellison, the US technology guru, was not able to celebrate these technologies! The "wing" is a US technology, the rest, the boat is euroepean technologies, Boat (french), Hydrolic (Italien), Engine (BMW, German),... so a european technology with a lot of Ellison US$

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:51 - I believe the wing was designed by a frenchman too. I remember an interview by him. Although, nothing against the rules there.


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