Tentative first moments
“What a great feeling to get this amazing boat under sail power,” said team CEO and skipper Russell Coutts. “This boat is incredibly challenging. We will take it conservatively in this testing session as we learn more about the boat and its potential.”
After leaving the dock at 11am, the team first hoisted the 5,000sqft (500sqm) mainsail up the 158ft (48m) carbon fibre mast towering above the trimaran. Following the mainsail tests, the team hoisted the staysail and completed some initial tacks. Along with 14 sailing team crew on board today were eight members of the design and build team who continued structural and systems reviews during sailing.
The team partnered with Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) of France to design the innovative trimaran. One of the most successful skippers in multihull racing, Franck Cammas, has also consulted to the team and is the boat’s helmsman for the Anacortes shakedown.
Led by Mark Turner and Tim Smyth, the BMW Oracle Racing construction team built the carbon composite boat over a nine month period. With engineers on the team, BMW provides its unique technological competence in intelligent lightweight design, and specialist expertise in finite element analysis and EfficientDynamics technology.
The new yacht is a key element of the team’s preparation for the next America’s Cup, representing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), on which a ruling is expected from the New York State Court of Appeals in the next six months.
The initial on-the-water testing session will continue in Anacortes until the middle of September.
More photos on the following pages...