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ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami opens with testing conditions

December 7th, 2010

 Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts have their RC 44 BMW ORACLE Racing placed third in Group B after the first day of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.

Miami, FL Wednesday, December 08, 2010-Sailing in northwesterly winds blowing over 20 knots that faded later in the afternoon, Ellison and Coutts have a 4-2 record as they attempt to seal the 2010 RC 44 Season Championship. The crew began the event with a 2-point lead in the season standings.

“You always hope for more, but overall our record is a fair reflection of how we sailed,” said bowman Ryan Godfrey. “I thought we sailed well, even though we had a bad spinnaker takedown at the leeward mark in one race.”

Godfrey was referring to the race against Artemis Racing where BMW ORACLE sailed over the spinnaker during the takedown. That mishap tipped the race to Artemis.

BMW ORACLE Racing also had a close match against Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, which BMW ORACLE Racing lost due to a penalty for grazing a windward mark. Ellison led his yacht across the finish line 1 second ahead of the Italian yacht, but the penalty gave Mascalzone the win.

BMW ORACLE Racing is in Group Bravo in the preliminary match racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami, the same grouping as RC 44 World Champion James Spithill and the yacht 17.

Spithill and his crew aboard 17 also posted a 4-2 record today and are tied for third with BMW ORACLE Racing, behind group leader Artemis Racing and second-placed Mascalzone Latino. 17, however, lost the head-to-head match with BMW ORACLE Racing.

“Today was windy more than wavy,” said Bryce Ruthenberg, boat captain of 17. “It was pretty shifty in the end and that made it difficult for the guys. The boat made it through the day unscathed.”

The round robin continues tomorrow with one flight scheduled before the top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals of the match racing event.

BMW ORACLE Racing set to contest first RC 44 regatta in American waters

December 6th, 2010

 Members of the BMW ORACLE Racing team, winners of the 33rd America’s Cup, are set to tackle the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami this week on the Atlantic Ocean off Miami Beach

 MIAMI, Monday, December 06, 2010 The yacht BMW ORACLE Racing leads the RC 44 2010 Championship Tour heading into this week’s final event. The crew, led by team founder Larry Ellison and CEO Russell Coutts, holds a 2-point lead in the overall standings and also leads the match racing and fleet racing subdivisions.

BMW ORACLE Racing placed second overall at the RC 44 World Championship in October, and Ellison returns to the helm this week after having missed the previous two RC 44 regattas, a welcomed event among the crew.

“The only two events we’ve won this year were with Larry driving. He’s a good helmsman,” said mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder of The Netherlands.Looking forward to the racing, de Ridder added: “Our setups are the same as the World Championship. If we remain consistent and avoid any major problems we’ll be fine.”

James Spithill guides the yacht 17 into action. The skipper and his crew are fresh off winning the RC 44 World Championship in October and are tied for third overall in the season standings, 4 points behind BMW ORACLE Racing.

“We made a couple of changes to some sails for this event,” said Spithill of Australia. “It’s looking like it could be a windy event so we’ve re-cut some sails. But we have to focus on our boathandling. The level here is so high if you make one mistake it stuffs you up.”

Spithill will be joined by class newcomer Doug Douglass for the fleet racing portion of the regatta, which requires helmsmen to be classified as amateurs by ISAF, the international governing body for sailing. Douglass is a veteran competitor of the Farr 40 and Melges 32 one-design classes.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami is the first event in U.S. waters for the class founded four years ago. The action among the 14 entrants begins tomorrow with the match racing portion of the regatta. The fleet racing begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday.