BMW Oracle announce crew line-up

No surprises as Kostecki and Spithill join Coutts in the afterguard

Wednesday March 19th 2008, Author: Jane Eagleson, Location: United Kingdom
Following yesterday's court decision so today BMW Oracle Racing have announced its core sailing team for the 33rd America’s Cup. The team also confirmed the start of a comprehensive 2008 training and racing program that includes both monohulls and multihulls.

Joining skipper Russell Coutts in the accomplished afterguard are American John Kostecki and Australian James Spithill. Among the crew roster are nine sailors returning from BMW Oracle Racing and 11 from Luna Rossa’s 2007 Italian challenge.

“We have assembled a fantastic team who are not only experienced and talented but who have winning attitudes and are great fun to race with,” said CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts. “I have sailed with most of these guys on different projects over the years, and am really pleased to have had the opportunity to bring them together into one America’s Cup team. We are looking forward to getting out and doing some racing.”

Spithill will share helming duties with Coutts, and Kostecki has been named tactician. In addition to Spithill, there are 10 other recruits from the 2007 Luna Rossa challenge. Jonathan Macbeth joins from 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup winner Emirates Team New Zealand. Among the crew are Hamish Pepper, strategist, and Carl Williams, grinder, the 2006 Star World champions representing New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics in the Star class.

The team’s on-the-water training program began last week in Valencia with sailing in two Extreme 40 catamarans. This summer the team will compete in the Extreme 40 European tour. Team members will also be competing in the TP 52 Med Cup Series. Additional details about the 2008 program will be announced soon.

The BMW ORACLE Racing core sailing team for the 33rd America’s Cup includes (in alphabetical order name, country and position)
- Alberto Barovier, Italy, foredeck
- Russell Coutts, New Zealand, skipper
- Simone de Mari, Italy, pit
- Dirk de Ridder, The Netherlands, mainsail trimmer
- Noel Drennan, Ireland; mainsail trimmer
- Larry Ellison, USA, afterguard
- Shannon Falcone, United Kingdom, mast
- Daniel Fong, New Zealand, trimmer
- Ross Halcrow, New Zealand, trimmer
- Jared Henderson, New Zealand, pit
- John Kostecki, USA, tactician
- Michele Ivaldi, Italy, navigator
- Jonathan Macbeth, New Zealand, grinder
- Brian MacInnes, Canada, grinder
- Gilberto Nobili, Italy, grinder
- Joe Newton, Australia, trimmer
- Hamish Pepper, New Zealand, strategist
- Matteo Plazzi, Italy, navigator
- Max Sirena, Italy, foredeck
- Alan Smith, New Zealand, foredeck
- James Spithill, Australia, helmsman
- Joe Spooner, New Zealand, grinder
- Andrew Taylor, New Zealand, grinder
- Simeon Tienpont, The Netherlands, grinder
- Brad Webb, New Zealand, foredeck
- Carl Williams, New Zealand, grinder

Julien di Biase, Switzerland, is sailing team coordinator.

But where are all the French multihull sailors?

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