America's Cup in Canada
The BMW Oracle Racing Team, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup last February, continued its America’s Cup Victory Tour with a
visit to Toronto. Accompanied by the famous America’s Cup itself, it is believed that this is the first time that one of sports’ most iconic trophies has been brought to Canada.
The highlight of the team’s America’s Cup victory occurred in June with a visit to the White House and meeting with President Barack Obama. It was just the second time that the America’s Cup has met a sitting president (President Ronald Reagan, 1987). The tour has previously seen the trophy taken to Auckland, New Zealand, Rome and Sardinia, Italy, San Francisco and San Diego, Calif., Anacortes and Seattle, Wash. and Newport, R.I.
Amongst the “Canadian connection” with BMW ORACLE Racing are sailing team members Brian MacInnes (Nova Scotia) and Ross Halcrow, a Kiwi turned Canadian.
Multihull sailor Magnus Clarke from Toronto was night skipper aboard USA 17. The 18-storey tall wingsail meant that the yacht was always trying to sail, even on the mooring. Spithill handed-over to Clarke, winner of the International C Class Catamaran Championship in August, as soon as USA 17 was tethered.
Fred Eaton also from Toronto, owner and skipper of the International C Class Catamaran Championship winner Canaan, gave generous assistance to Spithill’s crew with training sessions aboard his own wingsailed catamaran, while Paul Henderson, the former ISAF President was an unflinching friend of the team.
The America’s Cup trophy was made in 1848 by the London Crown Jewelers, Garrard. It pre-dates Hockey’s Stanley Cup by 45 years.
The program at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club included a special presentation to juniors.