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BMW ORACLE Racing Team’s revolutionary wing sail powered trimaran USA-17, designed by VPLP [read our article], convincingly won Race 2 off Valencia today to win the 33rd America’s Cup match outright. The American team, founded ten years ago by software mogul Larry Ellison, achieved its ultimate goal when they powered across the finish line of Race 2 with a margin of 5 minutes and 26 seconds to defeat the Swiss Defender’s Alinghi 2-0.
BMW ORACLE Racing become the first American team to win the America’s Cup since 1992 when America3 defeated Il Moro de Venezia off San Diego.
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club become the 28th American Defender of the America’s Cup.
Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing, has now won the America’s Cup four times, twice with his native New Zealand, once at the helm of the Swiss Alinghi team and now masterminding the success of Ellison’s American team.
In the evening twilight the giant black and white trimaran USA-17 speared across the finish line off Valencia, a long way ahead of the Swiss team who first won the America’s Cup in New Zealand in 2000 and then successfully defended it against Emirates Team New Zealand in July 2007.
After a delay of over six hours waiting for the SE’ly wind to settle, Race 2 of the best of three series was contested in around 6-9 knots of breeze.
The showdown immediately unfolded in dramatic fashion when Alinghi were penalised for misdjudging their entry to start box, the second successive penalty during the Pre-Start sequence.
USA-17 lead off the start line by 24 seconds but the Swiss team hooked into extra wind pressure on the right side of the course and a favourable 20 degrees shift in wind direction.
They profited progressively and at one stage were some 600 metres ahead of the BMW ORACLE Racing Team’s trimaran.
Unlike Friday’s race 1 whitewash, when USA-17 sailed steadily away from Alinghi 5, the windward leg was nailbiting right until the American trimaran was able to round the first mark with a small lead.
On the approach to the windward mark of the 39 miles triangle shaped course, USA-17 came back when they were able to squeeze inside the line of Alinghi, to turn 28 seconds ahead. Surging to 30 knots at times on the first of two 13 miles reaches, the powerful trimaran with its 223ft high solid wing sail rig was able to gain 2 minutes and 16 seconds by the second turning mark, the gybe, going on to win by 5 minutes and 26 seconds.
Photo Credit : Jose Jordán / AFP / 33rd America’s Cup