I never had the slightest doubt this would be taking place, I only thought it would have been in 2011 instead of 2010. As one can observe from the photo, I'm referring to BMW Oracle, the America's Cup defender, permanently leaving its base in Valencia. After more than 5 years in the Spanish city, the holders of the world's oldest sports trophy are packing up in order to leave by January 1st, 2011. When Valencia Sailing visited the base earlier on Monday morning, the most visible sign was the crew stripping the base of any BMW Oracle branding, starting with the giant poster of USA17.
The personnel will only be working a couple of days this week and then definitely leave, handing the base to the crews that will dismantle it. Although this information has not been confirmed, we understand BMW Oracle will be based in Auckland for the next few months.
An era ends now in the America's Cup. After seven years and one month, Valencia ceases to be the "world's sailing capital" and another city will take over. However, with only eleven days left until their deadline, of which 4 are holidays, BMW Oracle would rather hurry up and announce the venue of the 34th America's Cup.
Crews striping all BMW Oracle branding from the base. Valencia, 20 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing