Other Racing

Team USA - BMW Oracle draws First Blood & Takes Race 1!!

2/14/10 in Other Racing   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

Challengers USA BMW Oracle Racing need just ONE more race win to bring the America's Cup home where it belongs!!

Surprising all who expected no pre-race *fighting* for position on the starting line, Jim Spithill & crew came out with cannons blazing and forced a penalty out of Alinghi 5 within 1 minute of entering the pre-start area! 

While waiting for conditions to improve and race officials to give the final go ahead, Team Alinghi proceeded to sail around the area showing off some of what their gigantic catamaran could do, while the USA team watched somewhat quietly.  However, when the horn went off signaling time to enter the pre-start area, the USA BMW Oracle crew showed the guts & gumption for which Helmsman, Jim Spithill is is well known.  He took full advantage of starboard tack right-of-way to which port entering Alinghi must avoid contact or forcing a change of direction.  Coming way closer to the USA yacht than anyone hoped to see, Alinghi finally bore off, but not before a penalty flag was waved by the American yacht and answered shortly thereafter by the referees as a valid penalty.  The ensuing penalty forced the Alinghi 5 team to do a 270 degree penalty turn sometime before crossing the finish line.  Shifting wind forced both yachts past the starting line with approximately 30 seconds to get back to recross the starting line to begin the race.  Shifting winds and a mistake by our daring Helmsman caused their huge behemoth to stall flat dead in the water.  Meanwhile, Alinghi 5 quickly recovered and was able to cross the starting line with the horn to start.  The USA yacht sat there, while I personally wanted to attach a large weight to the Alinghi yacht as Spithill & crew fought to get the trimaran moving and back across the starting line to turn and actually START the race.  Approximately 1 minute was lost while crew members struggled to get the huge trimaran moving and back across the starting line.

Down the upwind leg flew Alinghi 5 gaining almost a 600 meter head start as the USA yacht finally started to pick up speed and begin the chase to hopefully catch Alinghi 5.  They talked about the swan (Alinghi) and the hawk (USA), I think we were more like an Eagle, powerful and strong.  Off went our boys chasing the swiftly advancing Swiss.  The USA crew performed quickly and efficiently, sailing on one hull and flying the other two, they set out to catch and pass Alinghi before the top mark of the 20 mile upwind leg.  It was absolutely awesome to watch these HUGE behemoths literally flying towards the top mark with what appeared to be little ants scurrying around each surface.  The size of these yachts is almost unbelievable until you actually are able to SEE them.  By approximately half way up the 20 mile upwind leg, USA BWM Oracle caught and passed the Swiss catamaran and never looked back.  By the time our Eagle rounded the top mark, they were over 1000m ahead of the Swan and the distance just kept increasing.  The USA crossed the finish line sailing beautifully, truly a historic sight to see, about 4500m ahead of the Swiss catamaran. 

Following the Swiss yacht for most of the race was the referee boat flashing it's blue beacon light above the tarp cover letting the crew know they still had their penalty turn to do.  Coming up quickly on the finish line, Alinghi seemed all of a sudden to remember they needed to do their required penalty turn, by this time, doing their turn took them across the finish line forcing them to have to recross back across the finish line, turn and recross the finish line.  Needless to say, the USA BWM Oracle crew was ecstatic with their win.  And I was silently screaming (to not wake up the whole house) with the joy of their victory!

News feed13.02.2010
"Race 1 figures : BOR av.speed UW 20,2 | DW 23,5 - Alinghi av. speed (with time taken & distance for penalty) UW 19,4 | DW 20,7"


Saturday was a day of *rest* from racing as the crews went through debriefing, and over strategies & improvements that could be made before Race 2, which is scheduled to be Sunday, February 14, 2010.  Estimated start time as of this writing will be 12:00pm CET, local Valencia, Spain time. (6am EST, 3am PST, 2am AKST)  Contrary to what was reported in my other article, the crews have changed their minds again... something quite prevalent in this 33rd America's Cup... and have gone back to the 3 race agenda.  And contrary to earlier report, this race, which was to be the 3rd race if necessary, has changed to become Race 2.  What this means is that Race 2 will be a triangle race of 39 miles.  The change to this 13 mile reaching legs of the triangle course, the prospect of lighter breezes, and the change of correcting mistakes may give Alinghi hope, however, I think our Eagle is equal to the challenge. 

In addressing the media after Race 1, USA Skipper Russell Coutts (NZL) as well as Ernesto Bertarelli (Swiss) warned that this America's Cup competition is far from over.  If the USA team can win back the America's Cup it will be for the 1st time since Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes team lost 5-0 to New Zealand's famous Black Magic in San Diego in 1995 in America's Cup 29.  (I happened to be in San Diego visiting my folks at this time, and got to see Stars & Stripes, the women's team, Black Magic, and some of the early racing for the Louis Vitton Cup)  America's Cup 30, held in New Zealand made history being the 1st time the USA was unable to win the Cup back and it stayed with the Kiwis for a 2nd year.  Cup 31 brought a huge change in crews and many of the Kiwis changed sides to sail for the Swiss, including Russell Coutts.  This was the 1st America's Cup where the USA was NOT sailing as the Challenger in the finals.  That honor was won after close races with Italy and Prada, the Italian team sailed in the finals against Alinghi and lost making Alinghi the 1st European syndicate to win the Cup.  Cup 32 was held in Valencia, Spain, the venue chosen by the Swiss.  Again, the Americans were unable to rally and the Cup stayed a 2nd year with the Swiss.  Hopefully as Cup 33 continues, our boys will bring it home!

Race 1 saw a huge number of visitors on the www.americascup.com website.  356,604 unique visitors or computers logged onto the website during Friday, 90,000 visitors more than Monday the 8th.  In terms of countries the USA accounted for 123,225, Italy second highest with 92,811, Switzerland with 80,889, and France with 65,981.

My guess is those numbers will increase for Race 2 and yours truly will be watching with barely contained excitement to see if Team USA BMW Oracle can take Race 2, or whether it will force a 3rd Race.  If you have not yet taken a few moments to check out this racing action, please consider taking some time and checking this out as this is truly a historical event and you may never see the likes of yachts like these again.

Goooooooooooo USA!!!

 

 

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2/19/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

This Cup was shrouded in court battles and the decision to race came quite quickly, so there wasn't much time to get things organized with the Media, BUT... you would think as important a Racing event as it is, they could find time in the wee hours when nothing is on but awful paid programming (or nothing) they could have found time to put in 2 days of racing, eh?  America has pretty much forgotten how to cheer as a country it seems;  I find that sad.  Especially when you look at other countries of the world who really get behind their teams.

2/17/10   |   das3cr   |   288 respect

seal_warrior1 wrote:
Thanks Rod, that's a wonderful compliment!    With the absolutely awesome job the America's Cup site provided, I felt like I was there!  I'm sure I got to see things even the spectator boats missed except those also watching the site.  It was a race like we will probably never see again.  I believe the site has videos, so if anyone missed the live action, take a gander over and see some of these awesome sights!  Valencia did an awesome job helping the media in attendance.  I still think it is terribly sad that our country was unable to find it worthy of coverage!  I have yet to see anything on the news.   Such a cavalier attitude for something as awesome as these historical races. 

Keep an eye out for my articles about Cup history and the yachts involved in this 33rd America's Cup.  Again,  Way To Go Team USA BMW ORACLE for bringing the America's Cup HOME!! 

In years past they covered it. I don't understand why they wouldn't slip it in between Daytona and the Olympics.

I mena, the Cup !!  It's better than a gold medal any day of the week !

2/15/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

das3cr wrote:
Fantastic writing Seal! !!   Top notch reporting!  I felt like I was right there with you the whole way !

Thanks Rod, that's a wonderful compliment!    With the absolutely awesome job the America's Cup site provided, I felt like I was there!  I'm sure I got to see things even the spectator boats missed except those also watching the site.  It was a race like we will probably never see again.  I believe the site has videos, so if anyone missed the live action, take a gander over and see some of these awesome sights!  Valencia did an awesome job helping the media in attendance.  I still think it is terribly sad that our country was unable to find it worthy of coverage!  I have yet to see anything on the news.   Such a cavalier attitude for something as awesome as these historical races. 

Keep an eye out for my articles about Cup history and the yachts involved in this 33rd America's Cup.  Again,  Way To Go Team USA BMW ORACLE for bringing the America's Cup HOME!! 

2/15/10   |   das3cr   |   288 respect

Fantastic writing Seal! !!   Top notch reporting!  I felt like I was right there with you the whole way !

2/14/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

(Edited by seal_warrior1)

WE WON RACE 2!!  THE BOYS ARE BRINGING HOME THE CUP BACK WHERE IT BELONGS!  In another great race, Team USA BMW Oracle performed like the champion sailers they are and made history again.   This is the 1st time that a Challenger via The Deed of Gift has actually WON the Cup race!  Presentation of  The Cup will be shown live on the www.americascup.com website.  I will be back with more details of the race later!   CONGRATS BOYS!!  I knew you could do it!!  The Eagle prevails!  The USA has not won the America's Cup since 1992, when America3 defeated Il Moro 4-1 in San Diego!  Larry Ellison, sailed aboard USA today, his first America's Cup race proving to be a winning one with a 5 minute and 26 second victory over Alinghi!

I have to say I am greatly disappointed in the News Media of our great country of the USA!  I have seen not 1 mention of the Cup or our history making Team USA BMW Oracle.  Imagine where we would be, if the whole USA were behind the Cup Teams as they are in every other competing company!!

2/14/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

Well gang, the toothpicks have quit working  and there is no start time yet for Race 2, however, it has been reported that the race committee is clearing the possible start area, asking spectator & media boats to move.  Sooooooo..... I'm going to sign off here & lay down & hope we get a race.  Look for updates later.  Hope you get to see some of this awesome racing! 

2/14/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

(Edited by seal_warrior1)

Live Ticker:

12:07:  Wind is very unstable during the transition phase perhaps because there is a little more heating on land than Friday. Breeze now is 5 knots at the gybe mark from 300 degrees, but there is much more conflict closer to the shore where the race committee are seeing 180 degree shifts and very, very little wind. And at the windward mark there is about 4 knots at 355 degrees.

12:26:  Both of the crews, Alinghi 5 and USA, are pretty much chilling out waiting for the breeze, they are around 4 miles from the committee boat.

12:45:  So the course is being moved with mark 1 now at 39.31.7610 N / 00.06.112 E and mark 2 39.21.2380 N / 00.03.1140 W.

Looks like we're going to have a race!  Goooooo USA!!!

The course has been moved 3 miles or so to the west, so the start line is about 5.3 miles offshore.   We are still waiting for a start time.  Thank God for toothpicks *lol* 

13:48:  Breeze seemed to die away but is improving and appears to be stabilizing at about 6 knots at the committee boat.  I hope they start this race before the toothpicks quit working.. 

2/14/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

Live Ticker:

11:50:  AP flag is up and so postponement is signalled. Breeze at ww1 is 325° blowing 3 knots and at mark 2, 280° 4-5 knots. So, very much as was expected by race officer Harold Bennett as he set out this morning.

2/14/10   |   seal_warrior1   |   2230 respect

Live Ticker:

11:32

There are over 200,000 people on line watching the live streaming on www.americascup.com stay tuned