The BMW Oracle Team goes on testing their new trimaran in California. At sea since August 25th, 2008, the BOR 90 is now berthed in her new base, after having sailed in Anacortes (North East of the USA). Symbolically, the team has settled down where Dennis Conner and his team Stars & Stripes were based when the America’s Cup was ran in San Diego from 1987 to 1995. Until end of November, the american syndicate will do serial runs in order to master the “beast” designed by the French architects VPLP. Entirely built in carbon, the 90 feet trimaran is impressive. She has been named DoGzilla, in reference to the Deed of Gift that rules the America’s Cup since 1887. The BOR 90 could fight against Alinghi if the legal battle turns out to be on the american side.
Begining of September 2008, in Anacortes, between Seattle and Vancouver, the BOR 90 did a whole week of sea trials. Light winds and calm seas enabled a first round of tests with ideal conditions for a new boat. To tame her, Franck Cammas, the skipper of Groupama 3, chose Russel Coutts, the three-times winner of the America’s Cup. In the USA since August 21st, the French skipper was somewhat impressed.”This trimaran is unique, extreme, with a huge potential. We progressively domesticate her.” he said on his website. One must admit that the specifications of this giant boat are amazing. As large than long with a 27,5 meters length, the highest point of her mast reaches 50 meters high while the main sail surface is of 500 sqm and the gennaker 700 sqm. The potential speed is so high that the sailors are all wearing helmets.
Beware of the boat
Since in San Diego, seatrials are following one another and speeds are increasing. Thus, mid-October, the BOR 90 reached 30 knots speed with only 20 knots of wind. Helped by Franck Cammas, the skipper James Spithill insists on the safety. He said “We continue pushing things a little bit harder and harder every day and we’re taking it gently and carefully. When you are flying both hulls you are a long way up from the water, so safety is very important. We will gradually increase the sailing range as we build up more experience with the BOR 90.”
Nevertheless, the american team keep on increasing the sail surface of their trimaran, maybe to make her more and more impressive to the Swiss team. Actually a proposal of the Golden Gate Yacht Club is on the desk of Alinghi. The BMW Oracle Team announced their wish to organize the next America’s Cup with more fair rules than the ones currently discussed. In case of a “Yes”, DoGzilla would quietly stay in the US. If the answer is “No” the Court of New York could decide to free the big cat.
Photo Credit: Gilles Martin-Raget