America's Cup style competition comes to the Solent
Preparations in their final stages for the 1851 Cup match between TeamOrigin and BMW Oracle Racing, starting tomorrow Tuesday from Cowes.
The boats being used both below to BMW Oracle Racing, USA-87 and USA-98, the two boats Larry Ellison's team built for the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia in 2007. Since then they have been used for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland in 2009 and most recently at the Louis Vuitton Trophy where they were involved in a major incident when USA-98 rammed into the back of 87 breaking its bow off.
Since then the boats have been shipped to Cowes and fully repaired. USA-87 is now liveried up in TeamOrigin’s colours, including the new Jaguar logo down the side, while BMW Oracle Racing will competed in the newer USA-98.
On Saturday, the mixed crew from TeamOrigin and BMW Oracle Race took USA-98 out for the small shakedown sail, while yesterday the TeamOrigin crew went to further reacquaint themselves with the Solent aboard two Etchells keelboats.
Most of the crews have raced in Cowes before but not all, some have never been to Europe’s largest regatta before.
Principal Race Officer for the 1851 Cup is New Zealander Harold Bennett, the man who was also PRO for the 33rd America’s Cup Match in Valencia last February. Bennett, one of the world's most experienced race officers and youth coaches in the world, has never been to Cowes before either. He will work with the Royal Thames Yacht Club Race Committee to blend his experience of organising short course match racing courses for the America’s Cup with the Thames’ experience of operating in the highly-congested and tidal Central Solent area.
“This is a truly outstanding spectacle," said Bennett of the Cowes Week spectacle. "To run racing for all these classes in this stretch of water requires a finely honed and experienced organisation. I have just arrived in Cowes and so its all new to me. I’m really looking forward to watching the racing.
“With regard to the 1851 Cup and working with the Royal Thames YC Race Committee, they’ll be doing everything just as they always do. I’ll keep an overview on proceedings and manage the relationships with the two teams, but I’m going to need to totally rely on the Thames’ vast experience of running racing here in Solent.”
Where and when:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - windward-leewards on a course to the west of the Bramble Bank most probably with the weather mark set just off the island, between the Royal Squadron and Egypt Point. Start times will typically be around 15:30.
Thursday - round the island race, clockwise on the original America's Cup course. Start time TBC.
Ben Ainslie - Skipper & Helmsman
Iain Percy - Tactician
Andrew Simpson - Strategist
Juan Vila - Navigator
Mark Mendelblatt - Upwind Traveller
Anthony Nossiter - Runner/Pit Assist
David Carr - Runner/Aft Grind
Warwick Fleury - Mainsail Trim
Chris Brittle - Forward Grind
Will McCarthy - Main Grind
Mark McTeague - Forward Grind
Christian Kamp - Trim Down
Simon Daubney - Trim Up
Rodney Ardern - Pit
Julien Cressant - Mast
Matt Cornwell - Mid Bow
Matthew Mitchell - Bow
BMW Oracle Racing:
James Spithill- skipper and helmsman (AUS)
John Kostecki- tactician (USA)
Rodney Daniel- runners/strategist (AUS)
Ian Moore- navigator (GBR)
Murray Jones- traveller (NZL)
Dirk de Ridder- mainsail trimmer (NED)
Simeon Tienpont- aft grinder (NED)
Joe Spooner- mainsail grinder (NZL)
Gilberto Nobili- aft grinder (ITA)
Joe Newton- downwind trimmer (AUS)
Ross Halcrow- trimmer (NZL)
Jonathan MacBeth- starboard grinder (NZL)
Brian MacInnes- port grinder (CAN)
Matthew Mason- pit (NZL)
Shannon Falcone- mast (ANT)
Brad Webb- mid bow (NZL)
Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen- bow, (NED)