BMW Oracle Racing confirm participation

With all the Acts for 2005 announced, so America's Cup teams start organising their schedules

Monday February 14th 2005, Author: Jane Eagleson, Location: none selected
With the dates for the America's Cup three pairs of Acts now set for 2005 (see 'America's Cup' in thedailysail calendar above for full details) so BMW Oracle Racing have confirmed that they will compete in all six Louis Vuitton Acts scheduled in 2005. With the venue of the final two Acts announced by ACM today, BMW ORACLE Racing, along with at least eight other America's Cup teams will be racing this year in three different countries - Spain, Sweden and Italy.

The team is now ramping up for its in-house, pre-season spring and early-summer training and testing session at Valencia, Spain, site of the 32nd America's Cup in 2007.

"We are looking forward to a tough racing season in 2005," said Chris Dickson, BMW Oracle Racing CEO. "As we continue to develop as a team, there is no better measure of how we're doing than competing against our rivals. With at least 39 races scheduled for these six regattas, we will continue to push ourselves and try to improve on last year's strong performance."

In 2004, BMW Oracle Racing won two of the four regattas, placing second overall for the year. Dickson said, "The playing field leveled significantly by the end of 2004. With as many as nine teams racing this season, we will have to sail smarter and faster to emerge at the top of the leader board. The intense racing the 2005 schedule offers is extremely valuable and exactly what we envisioned for this new America's Cup

On 1 January 'Version 5' of the America's Cup Class Rule came into effect. The new rule tightens up the yacht specifications, makes the yachts a ton lighter, and adds more downwind sail area. The result, Dickson said, is "turbo-charged" AC yachts that should offer closer racing and more lead changes, especially on the downwind legs of the race

Since the end of the 2004 season last October, BMW Oracle Racing along with other teams have modified their Version 4 America's Cup yachts (used in the 2003 America's Cup) to comply with the new version of the AAC rule.

"We are looking forward to test driving our modified boats in March to see how much they've improved," Dickson said. "The increased downwind power should make them trickier to sail, and help keep it close right to the finish - and that will put even more pressure on the crews.

"With what we learn racing these modified yachts this year, we will finalise the design of our two new AC yachts to be built before the start of the 2007 Cup racing. The rules prevent teams from building more than two new yachts, so testing and racing this year with our old boats modified to the new rule is critical to getting the design of our new boats right."

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