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The result? Breathtaking boat speed will the next cup be held? When will
and unparalleled maneuverability.
“The third time is the
the next cup be held – and in what type
Combine that with 30-year-old Jimmy of boats?
Spithill’s superior helming ability and
charm. From the sailors to
All good questions, and if someone
well, even this writer, no great lover
the design team and boat
(Larry Ellison? Russell Coutts?) knows,
of “those crazy multi-hulls,” became a
builders… Everyone’s
they aren’t talking yet.
There are still a few outstanding
To be honest, I truly don’t think that work combined in legal issues to be resolved, such as
anyone, let alone the boys on BMW/
Valencia to deliver us the
the Country of Construction question.
Oracle, really expected the outcome to (Semantics again. Were Alinghi’s sails
be so definitive.
33rd America’s Cup.”
actually “built” or simply “assembled”
BMW/Oracle had made no secret
– Larry Ellison
in Switzerland? A moot point now but
of the wing, once it was brought out of could pop up again at the next AC.)
the shed (built in record time, by the Also, the Breach of Fiduciary Duty
way, thanks to the Herculean effort of vertical than horizontal, and unless a Complaint, which Oracle filed in their
unsung heroes: the boat-building team) major upgrade or repair was needed, ongoing attempt to get Alinghi to play
in Anacortes, Washington. How in the the sail was kept raised at night. Most fair (again, for this cup it’s no longer an
heck would you hide something that “incidents” took place when the wing issue…). And, after all was thought to
big anyway? was on its side.) be said and done, a possible rule 69.2
In San Diego, where the US team It would seem Ernesto Bertarelli, inquiry, “Unsportsmanlike Conduct”
relocated for on-the-water performance the skipper and CEO of his team did by ISAF in regards to the reported
testing, webcams tracked the team Alinghi no favors by insisting on “mutiny” by SNG race officers on
in real time for the world to see as it helming “his boat”. The Swiss boat board the committee boat, who
began zipping around the Pacific off started both races with prestart penalties apparently refused to start the race due
the California shore. But until Alinghi and then weaved and wobbled around to unfavorable conditions for Alinghi,
showed up in Valencia (after a little
side trip to Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE
(a whole story it itself) it was believed
by many BMW/Oracle team members
that the Swiss might also show up with
a wing.
Instead, the final match up in
Valencia, in the middle of a cold Spanish
winter, was between a lightweight
multihull with soft sails and a heavier
trimaran with that unique hard-sail
While confident that USA17
could probably out-sail Alinghi in
more breeze and bigger water, it was
generally accepted that Alinghi, having
been able to manipulate the rules
so that races would be held only in Russell Coutts, Larry Ellison, John Kostecki and James Spithill hoist the Auld Mug.
conditions that favored the Swiss boat,
would triumph. As a result, Alinghi the race course, appearing to not sail prior to the second, and final, race.
went into the first race feeling, perhaps, the boat to its full potential. But for now it’s time for the
overconfident while BMW/Oracle had On the other hand, USA17’s driver, Ellison’s BMW/Oracle Racing team
the pleasure of being quietly surprised Jimmy Spithill, a 30-year-old Australian to take a well deserved break, let the
at just how fast their boat really was, on his fourth AC campaign, schooled moment sink in, and celebrate.
regardless of conditions. the defender by demonstrating nerves For the 34rd America’s Cup,
Also telling (again, huge nod to of steel as he calmly pushed DOGZilla the official Challenger of Record is
the shore team including sailing team to its still-unknown limits and easily Vincenzo Oronato’s Mascalzone Latino
coordinator, Kathy Ryan) is that perhaps led the Swiss by margins of 15 minutes Audi Team, representing Club Nautico
the only two times USA17 came back to and 28 seconds (inflated slightly thanks di Roma. Also, Louis Vuitton’s Bruno
the barn after a day of sailing without to Alinghi’s reluctant penalty circle on Trouble is said to be back on board to
some type of failure which might have the finish line of the first race) and 5 help orchestrate the challenger series.
prevented it from actually finishing minutes 26 seconds in the second race. The America’s Cup is back in the
a race, were the two days it mattered So what next? After almost two possession of the Americans – let the
most: February 12th and February 14th. years of intrigue and mystery the next saga, with all its intrigue and drama,
(Note: The hard wing was safer when big question for the pundits is where continue. 48° N
48° No r t h , Ma r c h 2010 Pa g e 53
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