• Grattis till BMW Oracle!!!

    Jag tror många med mig tyckte det var skönt när BMW Oracle till slut tog hem America’s Cup. Och på ett så övertygande sätt! På dagens presskonferensen så konfirmerade Larry Ellison också många av de saker som vi hade hoppats på… även om han lämnade många frågor öppna. Han erkände också att Mascalzone Latino troligtvis blir challenger of record?

    Man kan tycka vad man vill om AC i allmänhet, och AC33 i synnerhet. Med det finns inget race som kommer i närheten. Vare sig medialt, när det gäller att attrahera världens bästa seglare eller som drivande kraft i den tekniska utvecklingen (ryktet på stan är att BMW Oracle toppat 55 knop, och vi har alla sett hur fort det går i lite vind).

    Så stort grattis – och med stora förhoppningar inför nästa Cup!

    Larry Ellison: “It is a fabulous experience I am very proud to be part of this team and I am exceptionally proud to bring the America’s Cup back to the United States of America for the first time in a very long time.”

    James Spithill: “What a fantastic race. Firstly I would really like to congratulate Alinghi for bouncing back today. They were coming out there swinging. We knew they were a champion team and they showed that again today. Full credit to them it was one hell of a boat race. I tell you enjoyed every minute of it.” It was good to see the reaching race, I think you’ll appreciate the boats getting together and showed how exciting it can be.

    John Kostecki: “This is huge. I have been dreaming about winning the America’s Cup for 25 years and so it is a very special moment. It is a great team and this was very much a team effort. Everyone put in a lot. It was a difficult project especially with the wing sail, and there was some testing times.”

    Russell Coutts: “I think this was a very challenging event. Even two or three months ago I was not sure that we could have our team working effectively enough to beat these guys. I know, because I was in team Alinghi and I know how good they are. It was a fantastic effort on our behalf to have beaten them and certainly I hope to see them back and competing in the America’s Cup.”

    Larry Ellison ….one his thoughts on possible venues for the 34th America’s Cup in response to questions about San Francisco and Valencia: “I think we are open to considering a lot of options. We will talk to San Francisco, to Valencia…..Valencia have been fantastic hosts to the last two America’s Cups. And as you know we pushed very hard to hold this Cup in Valencia. It was not the Defender’s first choice, and overall we enjoyed sailing the 32nd and the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia.”

    Larry Ellison: “All I would like to say is that we definitely have Challenger of Record. One thing I would like to assure people about the 34th America’s Cup. There be a completely independent jury, there will be a completely independent umpires. It will be an independent group which manages the next America’s Cup and there will be a level playing field for all competitors.”

    James Spithill….on comparisons with his last America’s Cups in monuhulls; “This one has been an amazing experience, pretty much for al the team, but especially for the sailors, Pretty much everyone on the boat had very little multihull experience beforehand. In some ways this almost one feels harder. For me personally it was a really steep hill to climb. To be able to climb that you need to have good support and early on Franck Cammas and the Groupama guys, Glenn Ashby, Roman Hagara and a lot of these multihull experts. From my point of view there was no way I could have got to that level without their help and support.”

    Russell Coutts: “Of course we would like to see Alinghi back as a challenger. They are one of the best teams in this business, and they have proven that. I think that the Cup boats we should reach consensus with the rest of the America’s Cup world. I think it would be irresponsible for one party to make try and make a decision on behalf of the everyone else. You need to put a lot of thought into this. This is a 159 year old trophy and let’s look after it.”

    Larry Ellison: “This particular America’s Cup has got a lot of interest because for the first time in a long time it featured the two fastest sailboats in the world. And the limits of what is possible marrying high speed sailing and material science, carbon fibre, Kevlar, computational fluid dynamics, computer simulation of not only our hulls but also our wing. It was really a high tech race. And a bunch of people who really aren’t that interested in sailing followed it pretty closely. And we think that is important for our sport. We think that is important to get the television coverage, to involve non sailors as well as sailors. We are going to try and make decision along with the rest of the America’s Cup community so we can do just that, achieving sponsorship and funding for all of the teams from BMW ORACLE and Alinghi to the China Team and the South African Team and the Swedish team the New Zealand team. If we do our job well and work closely with them it should be the most popular America’s Cup ever, the 34th America’s Cup.”

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  • BMW Oracle tog hem Cupen

    Som väntat segrade amerikanska utmanaren BMW Oracle även i den andra seglingen om årets America’s Cup i Valencia. Försvararen Alinghi bjöd denna gång på inspirerat motstånd och var en stund uppe i ledningen. Med två raka segrar hemförde BMW den klassiska pokalen till amerikanska västkusten.

    Men racet blev nästan inte av. Efter 6 ½ timmes väntan på stabil vind gick startskottet 16:25, fem minuter före tidslimiten. Alinghi skaffade sig en onödig straff genom att inte vara i tid i startboxen. James Spithill lotsade BMW över linjen 24 sekunder före Alinghi.

    Därmed borde loppet vara kört? Icke sa Nicke. Medan BMW fortsatte ut på vänsterkanten, satsade Alinghi på höger sida av banan. Schweizarna hittade ett trevligt högerskift och slog inåt mot BMW. Till allas förvåning var Alinghi nu i ledningen. Det tog nästan hela den 13 sjömil långa kryssen för den amerikanska vattenspindeln att på nytt ta sig förbi sin schweiziska motståndare.

    Alinghi var i avsevärt bättre form än i fredagens utklassning. Det nya storseglet verkade bukigare, med större dragkraft. Man jobbade mera med vattenballasten. Brad Butterworths taktiska öga var skarpare än tidigare. Erfarna rorsmannen Loick Peyron lyckades hålla bättre fart på båten i de gropiga dyningarna. Dagens match blev pulserande och spännande.

    Dagens bana var en liksidig triangel med 13 sjömils ben. Vid kryssbojen före de två slörarna ledde BMW med bara 28 sekunder. Men det amerikanska rymdskeppet öppnade alla spjäll i sin vingmast och började genast gå 3 knop fortare än Alinghi. BMW gick rakt och fort som en släde på en med. Alinghi verkade vingla rätt mycket hit och dit, med ofta bromsande roder. Vid målgången hade Alinghi halkat efter enorma 5 minuter 26 sekunder. Alinghi struntade i ta sitt straff, loppet var ändå kört.

    Saken var klar. Jänkarna hade vunnit 2-0. ”America’s Cup will be Americas Cup again”. Det var bara femte gången i America’s Cups historia, som en utmanare hade vunnit Cupen. De övriga 28 hade försvararen lyckats hålla muggen. BMW Oracles ägare Larry Ellison var själv ombord, och kan vara stolt över sitt teams insats. Alinghi-bossen Ernesto Bertarelli var med på sin skuta. Säkert funderar han redan på en ny utmaning.

    Henry Ericsson

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  • The Future of Offshore Yacht Racing

    The offshore racing scene has changed a lot during the last few years, so there was a need for an update on design, technical development, rating rules and race formats. Against this background the German Offshore Owners Association together with Pantaenius, North Sails, hanseboot Boatshow and SGS arranged a free forum on the future in Offshore Yacht Racing.

    The offshore regatta scene has changed dramatically during the last years. New formalities and numerous changes In measurement have internationally caused a lot of discussion. Fast yachts and sailing fun are booming.

    Against this background the German Offshore Owners Association together with hanseboot Boatshow, the sail maker North Sails. the specialist for yacht insurances Pantaenius and SGS Yachttesting Services invite to a free forum concerning the future in Offshore Yacht Racing.

    We have been able to secure international experts as discussion partners for this workshop, who will elucidate various topics. In an open discussion the participants will be able to direct questions to the experts and discuss different points of view.

    The first edition of the International Yacht Forum was held this weekend in Hamburg with over 220 participants from Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Spain, Netherlandsm USA and the UK. Besides some of the best designers and leaders in the industry, we got to hear Michael Castania (ORM), Dobbs Davies (ORC/Seahorse), Rob Weiland (TP 52 Class Manager) Andrew McIrvine (Commodore of RORC) and many others presented their view on “The Future in Offshore Yacht Racing”.

    The day started out with a panel on Yacht Design, with Simon Rogers, John Corby, Mark Mills and Torsten Conradi from Judel/Vrolik & Co. They all had 5 minutes each to pitch a design philosophy, but with so many exciting designs and projects to talk about everyone spent mire like 20 minutes. Still very intersting.


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  • German Offshore Award 2009

    I går var det stor galamiddag i Hamburgs rådhus med 200+ seglare från 11 länder (roligare än väntat faktiskt). Värdiga vinnare av det prestigefyllda priset, German Offshore Award, blev Boris Herrmann och Felix Oehme som vann Portimao Global Ocean Race 2008/2009 med sin Class 40 Beluga Racer.

    Fantastisk bredd bland nomineringarna, allt från en Mini 6.50 till Swan 48, där folk vunnit race över hela världen.

    Och idag är det dags för “The future in Offshore Yacht Racing” med Mark Mills (som jag delade taxi med i går), John Corby, Simon Rogers och några andra hyfsade designers,

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  • Quotes of the day | AC33:1

    The best of what was said by both sides after Race 1, 33rd America’s Cup.

BMW ORACLE Racing Team: 

James Spithill (AUS) skipper/helm BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA): 
“Obviously it was quite exciting at the start. We were able to get a piece of them in the entry and that is something we had been thinking about for quite some time, and it started to set up to look like we might be able to get a penalty on them, so I pushed it pretty hard in there. Obviously that left us pretty close to them and we then we had a hard time slowing the boat down. We were in a pretty controlling position then, as time went on through we got ourselves stuck in irons, but also I want to say well done to Alinghi, they did a good job getting out from there.”

    “ We still have a lot to learn. It kind of showed today that we aren’t at race level preparation that we are kind of used to in these campaigns. But it was an exciting start with plenty of action.”


Larry Ellison (USA) team founder and afterguard BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA):
“ I think my emotions started when it looked like we were going to race in three and a half knots of breeze. Russell and I were on the boat and we were told that we might be sailing in 20 minutes then we had the call to get as many people off the boat and as much stuff as possible off the boat to sail as light as possible, because there was a very, very light breeze. I had to get off the boat and so did Russell. And so we sailed with a minimum crew. So I think it is more stressful to watch than to sail.” 

Russell Coutts (NZL) CEO and afterguard BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA):
“ I think it is early days. I said before the series that you wont be able to draw conclusions from the first few minutes of these races….but how about that win….?? 

    “It looked pretty good from where I was sitting today. I think the team did a good job. The guys on board sailed a really nice race, pretty much faultless. They had a few problems at the start, that can happen in these boats, but we are very, very happy with where we are, but we are only a tiny way into this series now. There is so much more work to do. We know we are up against the best team out there and we are certainly not going to take our foot off the throttle. We are going to try and improve our performance further.”

    Larry Ellison (USA) team founder and afterguard BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA): “ The piece of kit we are most proud is the wing.”

    “Today I did say that sailing is a lot harder than running a software company!”

    Russell Coutts (NZL) CEO and afterguard BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA): “I think it is just way too early to draw too many conclusions. We are only one race into the series. We will see at the end of the series in terms of the relative values of the wing.”

    James Spithill (AUS) skipper/helm BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA): “To be honest I think we carried a bit of pressure down, I think we carried it down the lane. It was one of those things, I think, where the boat in the lead was always gaining. Having said that I think that JK (tactician John Kostecki) did a really nice job, he absolutely nailed it on the downwind leg. Full credit to him and the weather team.”

    “It was very very shifty, very very puffy.”

    “It was certainly good to see the guys under pressure like that because it did not really phase them one bit. They all just got straight back into what they were supposed to do and that is sailing the boat fast.”

    Alinghi (SUI):

    Brad Butterworth (NZL) skipper/tactician Alinghi (SUI):  “We tried to keep the boats apart with having the bottom pin offset but it was not actually set up that well, and we thought we had just done enough but obviously not. But that really did not have any reflection on who won the race. It made some interesting stop and start, in irons and going backwards, something we’d never done on multihulls.”

    Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), helmsman and team president Alinghi (SUI):  “For sure at the start after the penalty it felt good they were stopped we could gybe and start. The wind changed quite rapidly. We had six or seven knots during the pre start and right off the start we were surprised with the wind coming in so strong, so quickly, 12 knots, but we thought we were doing good. But they caught up. We had to make a sail change which slowed us, but they were fast today and the wing seems to be quite a weapon. ”

    Brad Butterworth (NZL) skipper/tactician Alinghi (SUI):  “They certainly showed how fast they can get their boat going. They could not have come off the line in a worse position and they ended up in a very strong position. When you are sitting in front of them and they sail up and around you, that is speed.”

    Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), helmsman and team president Alinghi (SUI):  “Actually we had too much sail area for the most part of the race. We did not have the set up we would have liked to have had. There was a bit more wind than we expected, so I don’t think sail area would have made much of a difference. It does, I think, show that the wing is quite versatile in many different conditions, but I am not sure sail area would have made much of a difference.”

    Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), helmsman and team president Alinghi (SUI):  “I have absolutely no regrets and no frustration. Actually I quite enjoyed myself on the water today. It’s racing, you win, you lose that is part of the game. We gave everything we have got over the last two and a half years. So there there is nothing to be frustrated about or ashamed about. Again, the Cup is not over. We still have one race to go. They have to cross the line, finish the race and score two points.”

    Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), helmsman and team president Alinghi (SUI):  “ I tell you, when you are in my position with the ten years that are behind and the team I have and the opportunity to race one more, or maybe two more races in the America’s Cup, you can’t call any day a hard day in the America’s Cup. They are all good days. Today it just happened they were faster, they sailed a good race.”

    “ We lost and I learned over the years that losing is part of enjoying sailing and going racing.”

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  • BMW Oracle gjorde slarvsylta av Alinghi

    Äntligen start i America’s Cup i Valencia. Kombattanterna dockade för en gångs skull ut i tid. Efter nära tre timmars fumlande på havet lyckades tävlingschefen Harold Bennett fyra av startskottet. Då låg båda båtarna stilla i vindögat. Dags för sirentjut, BMW återkallades. Loick Peyron vid rodret på Alinghi lyckades nämligen klämma James Spithill på BMW Oracle över startlinjen. Amerikanerna rundade om, nästan en minut försenade, och satte fart efter den schweiziska rymlingen. Men Alinghi fick en straff för luffningen.


    I AmCupens historia talar man om ”the moment of truth”, de fem första avgörande minuterna, då två nya båtar för första gången möter varandra. Sanningens ögonblick hade nu kommit. BMW gick genast 2 knop fortare och fem grader högre, med besättningen liggande utanpå lovarts skrov i klassisk starbåtsstil. Efter en stund plockade BMW ner sitt korta, höga blad till försegel, och ökade till publikens stora förvåning farten ytterligare. BMW klockade stadigt 18-20 knop i en vind på måttliga 6-7 knop. En kvart efter tjuvstarten var man redan i ledningen. Alinghi sackade så småningom ner åt lä med sin konventionella rigg. När BMW kryssat halvvägs och slog mot märket, var försprånget redan 600 meter.

    Närmare land mojnade vinden en aning. BMW satte sitt försegel på nytt. Vid bojrundningen ledde BMW med enorma 1585 meter. Alinghi var 3 minuter 21 sekunder efter. Det blev inget match race. Det blev ett drag race i utklassningsstil. Den högeffektiva amerikanska ostkniven karvade obönhörligt schweizerosten i småbitar.

    På undanvinden förde båda båtarna sina gennakers, halsade från långa bogspröt. Alinghis gennaker var maximalt lång i foten, och gjorde storseglet förtret. BMWs gennaker slutade vid masten, så att vingseglet fick dra ostört. BMW tickade ofta på i 28 knop, mot Alinghis 21, en differens på enorma 7 knop. Orsaken är säkert BMWs ohyggligt kraftfulla storsegel. Garageöppnarna drog ihop vinkeln mellan masten och klaffarna till häftiga 30 grader, som på en Harrier vid landning. Det skapade en djup buk som genererade enorm dragkraft. Den djupa profilens motstånd spelar ju ingen större roll på undanvind. Alinghi försökte byta spår för att komma förbi, men BMW bevakade påpassligt sin ledning.

    Skotandet av förseglet var påfallande långsamt hos Alinghi. Undra på, skotmotorn är ju från en Rotax pistmaskin, ingen match för Oracles äkta BMW. Avståndet tänjde ut till pinsamt stora 3.4 km i mål. Dessutom måste Alinghi ta en straffrunda före målgång. Den officiella tidsskillnaden blev 10 min 2 sekunder. Alplandets koskällor klingade påfallande ihåligt då Alinghi äntligen hade tagit sig i mål.


    Hur skall man tolka kraschlandningen för katamaranen från gökklocksfabriken? Avsaknaden av vingmast är den största skillnaden. Men det enorma skatboet av stöttor och vajrar under trampolinen har säkert också sin bromsande effekt. Det lärde sig ju flygplanskonstruktörerna redan på 1920-talet, då röda baronen Manfred von Richthofens tredäckade snörlåda fick ge vika för smäckra Spitfires med självbärande vingar.

    Nästa start är på söndag. Just nu känns det som om det inte skulle behövas flera. Två segrar tar ju hem pokalen. Om BMW är så här överlägsen i lätt vind, som borde ha varit Alinghis forte, så lär det bli ännu värre slarvsylta i hårdare väder. De tuffa killarna i svarta hattar verkar ha vunnit. De trevliga joddlarna i vita hattar tycks ha dragit det kortare strået. Nice guys finish last, sägs det.

    Henry Ericsson

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  • Shorthanded + Bohusracet på Båtmässan

    I går så samlade vi 60-talet shorthandedintresserade i Norths seglarbar på mässan. Ungefär hälften hade seglat shorthanded tidigare, men andra hälften skulle komma igång i år. Det innebär minst 15 nya båtar. Då är det lätt att ordna sådana här aktiviteter.

    North hade inte riktigt dimensionerat för så många, utan man fick riva en vägg och låna in fler stolar. Kul! Och Expressernas X-race TV var på plats och filmade (någon som

    Jag inledde med en diskussion om varför jag tror att shorthanded var så poppis. Sedan pratade Peter Dahlsten om sina erfarenheter. Han och Peter Pilups vann ju Bohusracet 2009, var bästa svenskar i Watski Skagerrak TwoStar (de enda som fullföljde) och han provade också på OneStar.

    Presentationen finns här (OBS 25 MB pdf).

    Efter en kort paus och lite mingel, så var det dags för del två. Då fokuserade vi specifikt på Bohusracet. Pär Bäck som är tävlingsledare berättade lite om racets bakgrund och eventuella nyheter i år. Blir det +120 båtar så måste man hitta en bra plats att ligga på i Uddevalla. Man förhandlar också med Smögen om att lägga målgången där. Det kan bli bra, då många har önskat lite mer sociala aktiviteter efter målgång.

    Jag skojade med Pär och menade att han lät som Knut Frostad när det skulle förhandlas med olika städer och sponsorer. Och utan Pärs entusiasm så hade inte racet varit så poppis.

    Sedan hade vi Andreas Carlsson på scen. Han ställde ju upp i en Express och berättade lite om sina erfarenheter. De hade satt i ett rev i storen, men sedan var det mesta standard. Lite säkerhetsutrustning, och sedan var det bara att köra. Till i år klurar de på något smart sätt att sätta fast rorkulten under korta stunder för att t.ex. trimma focken. Och så skall de försöka sova lite mer.

    Sedan körde vi en genomgång av banan, där Peter Dahlsten (vinnare 2009), Hans Helgesson (vinnare 2008), Pär Bäck och jag bjöd på bra (och mindre bra) tips. Hela guiden kommer att läggas upp under helgen.

    Tack alla som kom!

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