BMW ORACLE Racing shows its teeth
BMW ORACLE Racing shows its teeth and evens the score at the UBS Trophy
20th June, 2004 - Newport R.I. - It was a challenging day at the UBS Trophy on Sunday as unstable wind conditions early in the day meant the tacticians were the most important men on the water, especially in the first race. BMW ORACLE figured out the shifts better, and sailed to a quick victory on a short race course.
In the second match, an ever increasing sea breeze built throughout the contest, and the teams battled in a strong wind, under a brilliant blue sky for this race, the downwind runs spectacular with the boats being pulled along at over 12-knots by their massive spinnakers. Again, BMW ORACLE sailed a strong race, and evened the series with its second win on the day.
Narragansett Bay was a spectacular venue on Sunday, and the waters were filled with hundreds of spectator craft enjoying America's Cup Class racing at Newport.
UBS TROPHY - Pro-Driver Series - Race Three of 12
BMW ORACLE RACING beats ALINGHI - Delta 1:46 ALINGHI LEADS THE PRO-DRIVER SERIES 2-1
This match was a real challenge for the crews, particularly for the tacticians, as massive wind shifts made for a constantly evolving battlefield. A building sea breeze was fighting to establish itself against a weak gradient wind, and the wind kept changing in pressure and direction.
It appeared as though the teams were fighting for the left side of the race course in the pre-start, as that was the direction the sea breeze would be expected to shift. Gavin Brady on BMW ORACLE Racing avoided a dial-up by crossing in front of Peter Holmberg's Alinghi, and leading him out to the right side of the start box. On the reach back to the line, Holmberg was able to grab the favoured left position, but it came at too big a cost. With both boats luffing head to wind, Brady was able to break off to the right first, and quickly build speed, while Alinghi floundered in the light conditions, eventually crossing the starting line a full 15 seconds after BMW ORACLE.
American tactician John Kostecki then made a gutsy decision on the first beat, taking his BMW ORACLE boat to the far left side, out to the port tack layline, which allowed Alinghi to split to the middle of the race course. At one point the boats were separated by nearly 700 metres, on a 1.2 nautical mile course. For several moments, it appeared as if Kostecki had made a fatal mistake, as Alinghi suddenly found pressure in the middle and stormed towards the mark. But a couple of minutes later, he looked like a genius, when the expected left shift came good, and the sea breeze built on his side of the race course, allowing BMW ORACLE to carry an 18-second lead around the top mark.
With a container ship barrelling through the bottom of the race course, and the race committee restricted from realigning the course by a lack of space, the course was shortened to just one lap, and BMW ORACLE stormed home to tally its first victory of the UBS Trophy.
UBS TROPHY - Pro-Driver Series - Race Four of 12
BMW ORACLE RACING beats ALINGHI - Delta 0:31
ALINGHI AND BMW ORACLE RACING ARE TIED IN THE PRO-DRIVER SERIES 2-2
This match was won at the start, when Gavin Brady of BMW ORACLE did a brilliant job to get the better of his counterpart Peter Holmberg on Alinghi. The boats engaged in the traditional dial-up, but Brady bailed out first, gybing around and following Alinghi out to the right side of the start box.
When the boats turned back for the start line, it was Holmberg on Alinghi who was behind and pushing, but Brady maintained enough room, and hit the starting line with speed as the gun fired, slightly to leeward, but tight to Alinghi, forcing Holmberg to tack for clear air.
Brady protected the left hand side of the first beat to windward, and slowly opened up a comfortable lead, rounding the windward mark 29-seconds to the good.
Although Alinghi made its best efforts to stay close, and closed at times on the runs, BMW ORACLE was never seriously threatened, and Brady was able to earn the win and even the Pro-Driver series.
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Quotes of the Day
John Kostecki, BMW ORACLE Racing, describing the first race: It was tricky conditions and obviously the wind became really light on the first beat, it was kind of a coin toss on which way to go, but fortunately the left paid out for us and we were ahead and then they shortened the course. So fortunately for us we didn't have to go around again. It was a good race for us and got us back on track…we were pretty confident that if the wind was going to fill in, it would fill in from the left and we got it right.
Jochen Schuemann, Team Alinghi, on using the spectator fleet in the pre-start: We obviously were trying to go around the big blue boat there, and just as we poked around we saw there were plenty of little white boats on the other side, and we had no space at all to go around. BMW ORACLE was waiting for us and I think the eyes of all the little boat drivers got pretty wide for minute there. But we found a lane, and got around, but lost a lot of time. We couldn't really act, but had to react, and I never would have thought the big blue boat could have been hiding so many little ones.
Lorenzo Mazza, Team Alinghi, on the wind increasing for the second race: By the time the race started it was quite clear the wind was building nicely and it would be a good second race.
Craig Monk, BMW ORACLE Racing, on how the new crew is working together: We're slowly building the team. We've had the team together in Auckland and we've been together I guess for about six months now. I think we still have a long way to go, it's a bit of a challenge, but every race we get stronger and I think today was probably was one of our better races, crew work wise.
Peter Harrison, GBR Challenge (guest) on the progress of his team towards becoming an official Challenger for the 32nd America's Cup: Since coming home from New Zealand and the finals we've been working, and I have the core of a design team. We have our base in Cowes, and the boatyard, and of course our assets from the previous Cup. On the Harrison side, we're still willing effectively to take the lead and put in a considerable amount of money…I mean today, you see the boats out there and you think, 'I want to be in it'. But this time a major, title sponsor is vital to us…I need backing…I'm hopeful, but I can't say anything positive at the moment.
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Schedule of Races for the UBS Trophy
June 19th, Saturday 1330 Two Pro-Driver races
June 20th, Sunday 1330 Two Pro-Driver races
June 21st, Monday 1330 Two Pro-Driver races
June 22nd, Tuesday 1330 Two Pro-Driver races
June 23rd, Wednesday NO RACING SCHEDULED
June 24th, Thursday 1330 One Pro-Driver race Two Owner-Driver races
June 25th, Friday 1330 One Pro-Driver race Two Owner-Driver races
June 26th, Saturday 1330 Two Pro-Driver races
The schedule of races is subject to change
UBS TROPHY PRESS OFFICE:
The UBS Trophy is a sailing regatta, to be held in Newport from June 19-26 2004, between Team Alinghi and the BMW ORACLE Racing Team. UBS is the main sponsor of the event. BMW is a co-sponsor whilst Nespresso, S.Pellegrino and Valencia 2007 are official suppliers.
Please refer to the official event website at www.ubstrophy.com, for more information.