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33 America's Cup | Bmw Oracle vs. Alinghi

America’s Cup, the numbers of a victory

The youngest helmsman to take part in the America’s Cup, at Auckland 2000 with Young Australia, James Spithill is now the youngest to have won it. After Young Australia, Spithill (born Sydney, 28th June 1979) took part in the OneWorld Cup in 2003 and in 2007 on Luna Rossa. The previous record-holder was Charlie Barr (Gourock, Scotland, 1864), who beat Sir Thomas Lipton’s Shamrock on Columbia in 1899.

Race 1. 40 miles upwind/downwind. 14.35 start, 4-hours delay. Southerly wind, 6-7 knots rising to 10 knots. USA 17 drew the starboard position. Spithill attacks Alinghi, slowly. Ernesto Bertarelli is hit by a penalty. The boats stall over the line. Alinghi gets going first. BMW follows 1’27” later, hits racing trim and 15 minutes later overtakes Alinghi fast. At the buoy it was 3’21” in favour of Spithill. Alinghi crosses the line after carrying out the penalty, 15’ 28” later.

Race 2. 39-mile triangle. Start at 16.25, only 5 minutes before the time limit. South-west wind of 7-8 knots. Alinghi in an irregular position before the off-penalty. First at the start, it seems to be a rerun of race 1 for USA 17, but Alinghi takes advantage of change in wind direction and gains control. Up to 450 metres it’s Alinghi up front, but she fluffs the entry to the lay line for the windward buoy and USA passes with 28” advantage. In the first free run USA stretches the lead to 2’44”. At the line Alinghi is 5’26” behind. Two-nil.

Just under an hour. That’s the total gap between Alinghi and USA 17. After the 15’ of the first race, in race 2 the dominance lasted a little under 40 minutes. In total, around 55 minutes in 5 hours and 29 minutes of racing.

Race 2 shouldn’t be run. Alinghi sent this signal to her representatives on the committee boat, but president Harold Bennet decided to give the off and hoisted the flags. Certain of the “no race”, Alinghi found herself inside the line, working off the penalty.

Made in Italy.
Not just on board USA 17 with Matteo Plazzi and Simone de Mari – 18 Italians overall helped the BMW Oracle squad to victory, from the design team to the equipment. The trimaran’s complex hydraulic systems were made by Giovanni Cariboni.

Before. “After the first 5 minutes of the first race we could see what was going to happen,” Russell Coutts. “Well, I spent more on my wedding,” Larry Ellison. “I’ll be at the helm, if Larry does the same I’ll be alone without Loïck Peyron,” Ernesto Bertarelli.

Half. “I don’t think we have the time to build a wing by Sunday. But we have other solutions. We’ve got a day to think it over,” E.B.

After. “The most important thing isn’t holding the silver cup in my hands, it’s having a successful team,” Ernesto Bertarelli. “What they turned up with wasn’t a boat, it was an aircraft,” Brad Butterworth. “The next Cup will have an independent jury, judges and management, to give all competitors the chance of a fair contest,” L. E.

Stars&Stripes (Dennis Conner’s winning cat in the 1988 Cup) and USA 17. Length: 18.30/34 m. Beam: 8.80/27 m. Sail area: 167/650 sq m. Mast height: 32.60/68 m. Displacement: 3/11-12 tonnes.

Russell Coutts.
Born 1st March 1962, in Wellington, New Zealand. Wins: 29th America’s Cup, San Diego, 1995, Team New Zealand helmsman. 30th America’s Cup, Auckland, 2000, Team New Zealand helmsman. 31st America’s Cup, Auckland, 2003, Alinghi helmsman. 33rd America’s Cup, Valencia, 2010, head of board, BMW Oracle Racing.

Spithill’s glasses were equipped with an electronic visor displaying all the sailing data. M uch happier after BMW Oracle’s victory, Bruno Troublé, creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup, due to return to Auckland in March, and Christine Bélanger, the French fashion house’s corporate events manager. Rejoining the Cup has now become a certainty.

Emilio Martinelli



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