TeamOrigin to race BMW Oracle Racing for new trophy
Britain’s America’s Cup team, TeamOrigin, is to race BMW Oracle Racing, during Cowes Week for a new trophy called the 1851 Cup.
Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal of TeamOrigin has invited the America’s Cup the America's Cup defender to Cowes this summer to compete in a match race tournament that will include a race clockwise around the Island on the original course that saw the birth of the America’s Cup in 1851.
In that summer of 1851, fourteen British yachts raced a visiting US yacht America, clockwise around the Isle of Wight. The American yacht won and her owners were awarded a silver ewer, which became, and continues to be to this day, one of the world’s leading sports trophies – the America’s Cup.
Representing the Royal Thames Yacht Club, TeamOrigin is preparing to compete in the 34th America’s Cup, while the current holder of the America’s Cup, BMW Oracle Racing, representing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club is the present defender.
Named for the year of the original race, The 1851 Cup is a new invitational match race regatta which will become a perpetual event that will be competed for by America’s Cup teams invited by TeamOrigin and the Royal Thames Yacht Club. This year the British and American teams will use their own ACC Version 4 boats, GBR-75 and USA-76, both of which are currently being prepared for shipping from Valencia, Spain to the UK.
The 1851 Cup will bring together some of the world’s greatest sailors at the world’s largest sailing regatta and re-ignite and build interest in match racing in large yachts in British waters again. The newly crowned Defender, led by four times America’s Cup winner, Russell Coutts, and crewed by many of the winning team that sailed the radical wing-sailed trimaran against Alinghi in February for the America’s Cup, will be tested at Cowes against a world class British team led by triple Olympic Gold Medallist, and TeamOrigin Skipper, Ben Ainslie.
“This will be an incredible event which I am sure will capture the imagination of sports fans across the UK,” commented Ainslie. “We relish the idea of taking on the Defenders in our home waters. The complex tides and winds of the Solent are always challenging even to a team that has raced here a thousand times before. But the opportunity to show our home crowds what we are up to and what we are about is fantastic. We have a busy season in 2010 but The 1851 Cup will surely be the jewel in the crown for us.”
While details of the 34th America’s Cup are being discussed and finalised with the organisers of the event, the competition between this pair for The 1851 Cup during one of the world’s largest regatta, Cowes Week, will certainly touch a lot of people. During the week long sailing festival over 8000 competitors sail on around a 1000 sailing boats while watched by more than 100,000 spectators. This year the crowds ashore and afloat will have another magnificent spectacle to enjoy as these two teams battle for The 1851 Cup.
Ashore public and guests will have the chance to mingle with the two teams at The 1851 Cup Village on the Cowes Parade and get close to the two America’s Cup race boats used in the competition. The boats will be moored in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron and will be in full view for all to see.
TeamOriigin's Race for Change initiative, their commitment to inspiring positive action around climate change in partnership with the Carbon Trust, will be running during their time at Cowes Week. Precise details of this activity will be announced closer to the time.
TeamOrigin is also using The 1851 Cup regatta to promote the concept of international match racing competition in big boats in the Britain. Ports around the UK interested in hosting a full America’s Cup build-up regatta, with up to 12 teams racing over two weeks during the summer months from as soon as 2011, will have the chance to come and understand some of the logistics and opportunities associated with this kind of event.