The Cup Part 6 – The Heat is On!

Jan 27, 2010 7 Comments by

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The sterling silver ewer once known as the ‘£100 Cup’ and named the ‘America’s Cup’ after America, the yacht of the same country that fought off the British fleet around the Isle of Wight in 1851, is the most sought after trophy in the sport of sailing.

It has resided at the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) in Switzerland since 2003 when the representing team, Alinghi – a first time challenger – wrestled it from the two-time winner, Team New Zealand, and returned it to Europe for the first time since the original race.

Alinghi successfully defended the America’s Cup for SNG in 2007 securing the trophy’s Swiss residency until today when the Cup arrived at the Defender’s base in Port America’s Cup, Valencia, where it will be exhibited to the public in the house of the America’s Cup at the Alinghi base.

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33rd Americas Cup

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Greetings yachties,

We are now in the last few days before the OD fires his 5minute gun and the heat in the kitchen is getting hot.

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Windfinder.com forecasts for Valencia here

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The bloggers at Sailing Anarchy have a few more weather links to play with here

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Sailing Anarchy Americas Cup Forums here

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BMWOracle blog here

Enjoy.

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From an article By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY

…………….There has, of course, been a shortage of trust in this increasingly hostile dispute in which BMW Oracle has steadily chipped away at Alinghi’s plans, prevailing on nearly every legal issue as it successfully fought to be challenger of record and hold this rare one-on-one Cup in Valencia.

Bertarelli sounds skeptical of the process, citing a comment from Bruno Troublé, a former America’s Cup skipper from France.

“One of the few intelligent things that Bruno Troublé said these last few years was that Alinghi going to court in the U.S. against a U.S. team is like going to complain to your mother-in-law,” he said.

Bertarelli said he respected the judicial process, but added that the court was not equipped, with its limited expertise and time, “to look into questions which are so specific to a sport and a tradition which is 167 years long.”

As the dispute has deepened, the antagonists have adopted similar tones and language, with each calling the other a bully and accusing it of obstructing reasonable agreements and seeking to delay the start of racing.

The Deed of Gift, the 1887 document that governs the America’s Cup, states that a defender must use a “yacht or vessel constructed in the country” of the club that holds the Cup. Alinghi claims that sails are not covered by that rule and that, even if they were, Alinghi’s were designed and finished in Switzerland, although the base material was molded in a factory in Nevada.

Coutts said BMW Oracle had been prepared to concede the sail issue as part of negotiations in Singapore earlier this month, but decided to file the suit after the talks broke down. S.N.G. filed opposition papers last week, as well a countermotion that accuses BMW Oracle of violating the same constructed-in-country principal because, although its yacht was built in the United States, its design is based on a giant French multihull. S.N.G. also alleges the BMW Oracle yacht uses German and Italian technology and further violates the deed by using a solid wing for propulsion that does not meet the established definition of a sail.

“When you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones,” said Bertarelli, who added that S.N.G. would withdraw its suit if BMW would also do so.

“Let’s see who’s fastest, and let’s have Larry come and sail his own boat,” Bertarelli said. “Because right now, the way it looks, the only thing which is American in his boat is his money.”

Coutts dismissed Bertarelli’s call for an end to litigation.

“We don’t want to go and race an illegal boat,” he said. “We want the rules sorted out now, and we want both parties to play by the same rules. The whole problem with this is there seems to be from the other side this expectation that they should be allowed to break the rules.”

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Just hours after BMW Oracle failed to disqualify Alinghi in New York before the America’s Cup Match race, Russell Coutts (NZL) and his BMW Oracle team attacked the Defender on another front lodging a request for redress with the International America’s Cup Jury.

This brings their total Jury applications to seven one week prior to the Match beginning. “Having failed to disqualify us in New York before the Match date, BMW Oracle are now not happy with the decisions of the New York courts and expert panel opinions. The Jury will deal with these applications along with others in due course and we are looking forward to starting the race for the America’s Cup on the 8 February,” said Grant Simmer(NZL), Alinghi design team coordinator.

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Valencia Sailing

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Enresto Bertarelli and Rita Barberá, happy in front of the America’s Cup trophy. Valencia, 29 January 2010.

Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

New York Supreme Court confirms America’s Cup Match for 8 February

Justice Kornreich tells teams to go racing; no decision or hearing will take place before the Match

Justice Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court informed the America’s Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève, and the challenging Golden Gate Yacht Club today via telephone conference that she will not hear the American challenger’s complaint regarding the ‘constructed in country’ requirement of the Deed of Gift before the 33rd America’s Cup Match which is scheduled to begin on 8 February.

This means the 33rd America’s Cup is free to proceed as ordered by previous New York rulings: in Valencia on the 8, 10 and 12 February.

“This is excellent news. We are delighted that BMW Oracle’s attempts to disqualify Alinghi and to win the America’s Cup in court have been denied. We look forward to meeting them on the start line here in Valencia on 8 February to race for the Cup; something they can no longer try to avoid,” said Ernesto Bertarelli – two-time America’s Cup winner – on hearing the news when returning ashore after today’s race training session.

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Valencia Sailing

BMW ORACLE Racing is employing a variety of environmentally-safe friction-reduction technologies. “Our hulls are more slippery and, therefore, move more efficiently through the water than ever before,” said design team member Manolo Ruiz de Elvira (ESP).

The only decision – out of fourteen – that Société Nautique de Genève has won in the New York Supreme Court was to have Racing Rules 49-54 deleted from America’s Cup racing for the first time ever. This not only permitted the yachts to use an engine to replace manual power, but skin friction reduction systems, previously banned, are now allowed.

“We are not going to say exactly what systems and technologies we are using on our trimaran, but I can assure you they make an already fast boat even faster,” Ruiz de Elvira said. “Our design team has found the ultimate solution – fast and green.

SNG’s blatant attempt to reverse the Court’s ruling permitting friction reduction systems, which the Swiss themselves fought for, is now in the hands of the International Jury at the request of GGYC.

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Consorcio Valencia 2007 will organise the America’s Cup on shore

For the first time, Racing will be broadcast Live on the internet. FREE

The Société Nautique du Genève (SNG), trustee of the America’s Cup, has delegated the responsibility for organising the media and event activities for the 33rd America’s Cup to Consorcio Valencia 2007. The 33rd America’s Cup promises to be a regatta unlike everything which has been seen so far.

The two fastest boats in history will fight for the America’s Cup over race courses that are up to six times bigger than the ones used in the 32nd America’s Cup. For this reason, the TV coverage of the racing will be key. For the first time in history, the races will be broadcast live and free of charge through www.americascup.com to reach the biggest, widest possible audience, including all the fans who will not be able to be in Valencia to witness live this historic competition

The on-shore action will be concentrated at the Veles e Vents, the landmark building central to Port America’s Cup. A giant screen will be installed for fans and spectators to follow the races live as well as enjoying a host of complementary activities around the Port area. The International media centre with capacity for 150 journalists will be in close proximity to the Veles e Vents.

Jorge Gisbert, General Director of Consorcio Valencia 2007: « We are very grateful to have the event back at Port America’s Cup, in the short term we have available we will do our utmost to set the stage for an unforgettable event here in Valencia. »

To organise this event in a short time Gisbert has surrounded himself with an international team involved in the execution of the 32nd America’s Cup. This team led by Michel Hodara (SUI, 48) consists of seasoned professionals in the field of television, media, public entertainment and hospitality

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follow the 33rd Americas Cup on twitter here

Watch AC33 on TV

Over 2 billion viewers will have access to the America’s Cup on TV
With less than two weeks until the first races of the 33rd America’s Cup, a massive TV broadcast reach has already been secured which should ensure that the dramatic, never seen before multihull races between the Defender Alinghi and the Challenger BMW Oracle Racing have the capacity to reach a huge global audience.
Through the agreements with the European Broadcasting Union, which reaches 56 territories and has an audience of over 650 million and,globally, with Sports News TV spanning 160 territories, broadcasting to over 1.4 billion people and also with Transworld Sport with a global audience of over 302 million, the America’s Cup News packages are assured of a massive international audience of over 2 billion viewers

Among the broadcasters are Great Britain’s BSkyB, TVE/Teledeporte and Canal 9 in Spain, French based Eurosport and Showtime in the Middle East. Broadcasters will take all of the America’s Cup output, including the 26 minutes race day Highlights package, Race News package as well as the 52 minutes summary wrap up programme at the end of the event.

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America’s Cup yachts stuck in port for third day

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MADRID — The two yachts that are do battle for the America’s Cup remained stranded in port for a third day Tuesday due to bad weather, less than two weeks before the controversial event is due to start in eastern Spain.

The massive trimaran of US challenger Oracle – featuring a 50-metre fixed-wing sail – is scheduled to face Swiss defender Alinghi’s huge catamaran in the Spanish Mediterranean port of Valencia over three legs from February 8-12 to decide the 33rd edition of yachting’s most prestigious event.

Concerns had already been raised about holding the event in mid-winter in the Mediterranean, when it risks being disrupted or delayed by rough weather.

The crews began training off Valencia more than a week ago, but the weather conditions have forced them to remain in port since Sunday.

Winds of more than 30 knots and waves of more than three metres were forecast off Valencia for Tuesday.

“We are trying to get out as soon as possible, maybe Thursday..,” said a spokeswoman for US challenger Oracle.

The bad weather is “unfortunate but expected at this time of the year..,” Alinghi’s weather specialist, John Bilger, said on its website. “It’s an interesting place to have an America’s Cup in February!”

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Valencia Sailing

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Closer look at Racer’s Edge, BMW Oracle’s cutting edge wind measurement device

When we read the press release from Catch the Wind that they were providing BMW Oracle with a laser sensor that could measure the wind up to 1,000 meters ahead, we were intrigued. So, Valencia Sailing spoke with Phil Rogers, CEO and President of the company, who shed more light on the device that reads the wind not where you are but where you are going.

Valencia Sailing: Let’s start with a brief background. Where are you located, when was your company founded and what does it do?
Phil Rogers: Our company is called Catch the Wind and was founded in 2008. It’s a spinoff from a company my wife and I founded back in 1990 in order to capitalize on telecommunications fiber optics technology to develop a fiber optic-based laser wind sensors, at that time for aerospace applications. Catch the Wind was founded in order to commercialize that laser wind sensor mainly for the wind energy industry, for wind turbine control. We were able to develop and miniaturize this technology into the handheld laser wind sensor which we call the Racer’s Edge for sailing applications.

Valencia Sailing: What deal do you have with BMW Oracle?
Phil Rogers: We launched our product and we are an official supplier to BMW Oracle. They have the first commercial unit of our product and they are currently using it in Valencia.

Valencia Sailing: What does the Racer’s Edge exactly do?
Phil Rogers: It’s a laser device, about the size of a large pair of binoculars, that can measure the wind up to a distance of 1,000 meters in multiple ranges, enabling to you to get a map of the wind up to 1,000 meters, at multiple ranges. So, a sailing team has a tactical advantage because they can see where the best wind is, one kilometer ahead of them.

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Hi-tech glasses boost America’s Cup’s skipper’s info

By KENT GRAY in Valencia – Stuff

BMW Oracle Racing helmsman James Spithill has revealed what goes on when he dons his game face for the US-challenger ahead of the rescheduled first race for the 33rd America’s Cup tonight (NZT).

The 30-year-old Australian hides behind a pair of sunglasses but not to deflect any glare from the Mediterranean Sea or to hide any pre-race fear from Oracle’s bitter rivals aboard Alinghi 5.

The sunglasses house a futuristic fighter pilot-style heads-up display to supply the Sydneysider with vital wind and sail load information aboard Oracle’s 90×90-foot trimaran USA-17.

Spithill hopes to tap into the information some time tonight when the warring syndicates head out of Port America’s Cup in an attempt to start the opening 40 nautical mile race in the best-of-three Deed of Gift match, abandoned at the first attempt on Monday due to unstable winds.

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Russell Coutts talks to international press here

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America’s Cup Defender submits ‘constructed in country’ opposition papers and a counter motion

Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the 33rd America’s Cup defending yacht club, today presented its opposition arguments to the New York Supreme Court in response to Golden Gate Yacht Club’s (GGYC) ninth lawsuit; a misguided interpretation of the ‘constructed in country’ (CIC) requirement of the Deed of Gift, the event’s governing document. SNG’s comprehensive set of papers reaffirms its interpretation that only the ‘yacht or vessel’ has to be constructed in the country of the club holding the Cup, and that sails do not.

SNG’s affirmations are supported by historical precedent, as reflected in the expert declaration of John Rousmaniere, a leading America’s Cup historian, ‘the donors of the original Deed of Gift never contemplated limits on foreign sails or foreign sail technology. Those donors, in fact, hoisted British sails in first winning the Cup with the schooner America. In fact, in adding the CIC clause to the Deed in 1882, George Schuyler, the last surviving donor, sought to ensure that the Cup remained a genuinely competitive event, while preserving the Cup’s international character. He thus struck that balance by limiting the CIC requirement only to a competing vessel’s hull, but not its sails.’

Additional documents presented to the court confirm that GGYC’s CIC claim is factually wrong: SNG’s sails were constructed in Switzerland and this fact is supported by an affidavit from Tom Whidden, president of North Sails, and an official certificate of Swiss origin from the Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

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GGYC seeks redress over NOR and SIs for AC33

Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) has issued a revised NOR and SIs for the 33rd America’s Cup, but the Challenger Golden Gate Yacht Club has accused SNG of bias in both documents.
Credit: Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW ORACLE Racing, first trials off Valencia for USA
Tom Ehman, spokesperson for the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) issued the following statement:

The America’s Cup defender, Société Nautique de Genève, issued today a revised Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for the 33rd America’s Cup Match set to begin on 8 February in the waters off Valencia, Spain.

Both documents are riddled with errors, and continue SNG’s practice of interpreting rules, or creating new ones, solely to favor Alinghi and harm the chances of the Challenger.

The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are heavily biased in favor of the Defender and its yacht despite input from GGYC and ISAF, the sport’s world governing body, during last week’s meeting in Singapore and a meeting in late December in Sydney.

Therefore, today GGYC has made an application for redress to the International Jury, asking that the Jury be convened as soon as possible to negate or revise the biased provisions before the Match.

Specifically, SNG has:

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more pictures of DoGzilla’s first sail here

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why are we here?

More debate, more noise, more memos, more letters, more slanging matches, more briefs, more complaints, more court filings, more wasted energy, more money, more waste.

Both Larry Ellison (USA), chief of BMWOracle, and Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), chief of Alinghi, are billionaires who should know better – so should their yacht clubs – but as you know, and I know, there is pathology at work here.

Depending on who you are, Ernesto is totally obsessive – and worse, he is European, you know, born to decide and to rule. On the other hand, he just wants to sail his boat and win America’s Cup 33.

Depending on who you are, Larry and his cohorts have consistently said the same thing and made the same demands – notably, fair, objective rules for AC33, and a level playing field for all. On the other hand, all he wants to do is win this event in the New York courts.

You have your view.

The fact is, everything has gone far, far beyond that.

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SNG issues 33rd America’s Cup Sailing Instructions and amended Notice of Race

Société Nautique de Genève has issued the Sailing Instructions and the amended 33rd America’s Cup Notice of Race.

Scheduled dates of racing
Monday 8th February 2010 First Race
Wednesday 10th February2010 Second Race
Friday 12th February 2010 Third race (if required)

Reserve Days

14th February 2010 to the
25th February 2010

The courses to be sailed will be as follows:

(a) The first race: twenty (20) nautical miles to windward and return;
(b) The second race: an equilateral triangular race of thirty nine (39)
nautical miles, the first side of which shall be a beat to windward;
and
(c) The third race: (if required) twenty (20) nautical miles to windward
and return.

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Valencia Sailing

Russell Coutts talks to Valencia Sailing

The 33rd America’s Cup match is right around the corner and Valencia Sailing had the opportunity to briefly catch up with Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW Oracle. Here is what the legendary kiwi sailor told us.

Valencia Sailing: We have a mere 3 weeks left until the starting gun is fired for the 1st race of the 33rd AC. Do you feel confident?
Russell Coutts: We are ready to race on February 8th. We remain committed to trying to get any rules questions resolved prior to the start of racing so that the winner on the water is the undisputed winner of the America’s Cup.

Valencia Sailing: You launched BOR 90 on Saturday but you stepped a conventional mast and not the hard wing. What is the reason?
Russell Coutts: We are using the conventional rig for our structural load testing prior to the commencement of sailing.

Valencia Sailing: When do you expect to sail her for the first time in Valencia?
Russell Coutts: We plan to sail Tuesday.

Valencia Sailing: Have you made a decision on the crew that will race the Cup?
Russell Coutts: James Spithill is the Skipper and helmsman. Come race day, he will put the best crew on board for the job.

Valencia Sailing: As far as tactics are concerned do you think James Spithill’s exceptional match racing skills will make a difference in prestart or is it going to be a long drag race?
Russell Coutts: Jimmy has done an amazing job with this boat. Unlike traditional Cup programs, we haven’t had two-boat testing so it will be really interesting once we line-up against the competition. I have no doubt Jimmy’s match racing skills will come into play. There is incredible anticipation for that first race. That’s part of the excitement. Neither team knows what’s going to happen. But I think this race will be more about boatspeed than match racing skill. The fastest boat will almost certainly win.

Valencia Sailing: What do you make of Alinghi 5, now that you have seen her sailing 2 days in Valencia? In the following days, when you also train with BOR90 will you try to get close to her and potentially try to assess any differences in performance?
Russell Coutts: Alinghi has some great people on both the design and sailing teams. From what we know, it seems they are well suited to light air conditions. We will assess what we can but our focus is on getting our own boat and team race-ready and to put our best package on the start line on the 8th of February.

Valencia Sailing: Tom Ehman, in the press conference in Zurich, stated that one of your team’s proposals was to postpone the regatta for a month or so and hold it in March. Why?
Russell Coutts: Alinghi has taken a big risk in building its sails in the USA and GGYC has flagged up the issue of CIC for over a year. Constructed in country (CIC) is the DNA of the America’s Cup. It is fundamental to the Deed of Gift – ‘competition between foreign countries’. We have no wish to DSQ Alinghi. If they need more time to build legal sails, we would offer it. It would also make for a better AC33, moving it from a direct clash with the Winter Olympics.

Valencia Sailing: Do you have any explanation to why Alinghi left the negotiation table in Singapore, despite the fact your team had signed an agreement drafted by them?
Russell Coutts: Their representatives telephoned back to Alinghi. They were not given permission to sign the Singapore Agreement.

Valencia Sailing: Ernesto Bertarelli said on Friday that “if Russell Coutts wants to win the America’s Cup in the NY Courts all he has to do is call me and I’ll send it to him”. Have you called him?

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7 Responses to “The Cup Part 6 – The Heat is On!”

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