BMW Oracle at London Boat Show

USA-61 to take pride of place at ExCeL in January

Wednesday December 13th 2006, Author: Jane Eagleson, Location: United Kingdom
BMW Oracle Racing is set to launch the New Year in style with a unique visit to the Collins Stewart London Boat Show at ExCeL on 5-14 January, as the excitement of the world’s premier sailing event, the America’s Cup, gathers momentum for its first visit to European waters since the inaugural race around the Isle of Wight in 1851.

This is the first time an America’s Cup yacht has exhibited at the London Boat Show at ExCeL. Visitors will be able to view the full-scale BMW Oracle Racing yacht, USA-61, in close detail and enjoy a truly interactive America’s Cup experience.

Weighing 2 tonnes, the 24m long hull will take pride of place on the BMW exhibition stand, located in the North Hall (N425). The stand will be dedicated to celebrating the development of the team’s 2007-generation America’s Cup Class yachts, regarded as one of the most technologically advanced classes of racing yachts in the world.

BMW’s involvement in the design and optimisation of the yachts has been significant. Visitors will learn how the marque’s wealth of automotive manufacturing experience has been applied to maximise performance on the water. This includes the use of carbon fibre lightweight technology, the creation of the keel fin in the BMW plant in Eisenach and how construction techniques mirror those used in manufacturing of BMW motorcars, including the BMW Sauber F1 car.

The stand will also play host to a selection of the team’s sponsors and technology partners including leading manufacturer of specialist sailing clothing, Henri Lloyd and Swiss watchmakers, Girard-Perregaux, who will exhibit their BMW Oracle Racing collection.

Aside from the spectacular full-scale replica hull, the stand will also feature two BMW cars, the M6 coupe and the X3, guest speakers from the team, and two virtual simulators offering yachting enthusiasts a taste of what it is like to helm these incredible machines.

The crew of BMW Oracle Racing is currently training in New Zealand with USA-71 on the Hauraki Gulf. Home to many of the team, including skipper Chris Dickson, Auckland offers existing marine infrastructure and summer sailing conditions during the Valencia winter months.

The testing programme of design, research and boat speed development, which started in 2004, is now over. With the construction of the second new generation yacht nearing completion in Seattle, the focus is now very much on the team’s performance. Following a Christmas break, the team will continue training in New Zealand along with a second America’s Cup Class yacht.

Peter Walker, General Manager, Sports Marketing, BMW (UK) Ltd said: “We’re delighted to bring the BMW Oracle Racing yacht to the London Boat Show. With the America’s Cup coming to Europe for the first time since 1851, we thought it was an ideal occasion for UK sailing enthusiasts to share in the excitement and see for themselves the extraordinary technology behind these amazing boats. BMW is immensely proud to be involved in this prestigious sporting event. The F1 of sailing, it fits perfectly with our sporting pedigree whilst also allowing us to play an active role through the transfer and application of our automotive design and technological expertise.”

Speaking on behalf of the Collins Stewart London Boat Show, James Gower commented: “The America’s Cup is without doubt the pinnacle of competitive sailing and we’re thrilled that visitors will be able to share in the excitement through the BMW Oracle Racing stand. Preparations are well under way for another great show. With over 700 exhibitors and a number of new interactive features for the public to enjoy, we’re anticipating excellent numbers for what promises to be a fantastic 10 days.”

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