Monday, January 17, 2011

Live today:

ORACLE Racing’s new website is live. Heavy on pictures and easy on the eyes, the new site is clutter free and simple to navigate.

The new site brings all channels – news, blog, galleries and team bios – under one roof and will be developed as we go forward.

The new site is very much a living site, and will continue to evolve. All future blogs will be posted at the new site, The latest blog is from skipper James Spithill, who marvels at the ease with which they sailed the prototype AC45 on its maiden voyage.

Please visit the new site at:

ORACLE Racing sailors to serve as ‘crash test dummies’

ORACLE Racing team members celebrated a milestone today when the prototype AC45 catamaran hit the water for the first time in Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.

Team members featured prominently in the design, construction and outfitting of the 45-footer, slated for use in the coming America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) events.

The boat was designed by ORACLE Racing’s design team on behalf of the America’s Cup community. The prototype was built at Core Builders Composites, the team’s in-house building team headed up by Tim Smyth and Mark Turner. Sailors such as Dirk de Ridder, Matthew Mason, Joe Newton and Joe Spooner were on hand this week to assist in the final fitting out.

“The AC45 is new, it’s modern, it’s exciting,” said Iain Murray, Regatta Director of America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM). “It’s quite different to what we would understand as a catamaran that we’ve seen in the Olympics with the Tornado or the eXtreme 40. The hull looks like a little Alinghi 5 hull with a wing that’s come off BMW ORACLE Racing, all in scale from last time.”

Full story at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Honey named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year

Trophée Jules Verne winner Stan Honey (right) was named US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Honey has been working with ORACLE Racing and the America’s Cup Event Authority since last summer, helping develop new a new yacht tracking system for the 34th America’s Cup.

Honey, previously nominated for the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award in 2006 as the Volvo Ocean Race winning navigator aboard ABN Amro One, was cited as “one of the most outstanding offshore sailors known world-wide” by a member of the award’s selection panel that recognized him as the 2010 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

Honey becomes the second American in the history of the award to receive the honor for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe. Cam Lewis won the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award in 1993 for winning the Jules Verne prize aboard Commodore Explorer with a record time of 79 days, six hours, 15 minutes and 56 seconds – a record which had been surpassed five subsequent times before the trimaran Groupama 3, with Honey as navigator, set the latest benchmark.

In 48 days, seven hours and 45 minutes, Groupama 3 made the fastest non-stop circumnavigation under sail in history and claimed the Trophée Jules Verne while eclipsing a record – by more than two days and eight hours – that had stood for five years. Another member of the selection panel noted that Groupama 3 would not have broken the record without Honey correctly calling the weather window when they had to re-start after the first attempt was thwarted (a break down in the South Atlantic forced them to retire to fix the boat). “He did an extraordinary job getting the boat around the planet. This was the crowning achievement for a hell of a career,” said the panel member.

After sailing around the world, some might have expected Honey to spend some time on dry land, but in mid-June he was taking aim at another record, this time in the Newport Bermuda Race as navigator aboard Speedboat. “I've been navigator on Speedboat since she was built, so I carried on,” said Honey. “You get hooked on spending time at sea.” After leading the 183-boat fleet for most of the 635 nautical-mile race, Speedboat was the first boat to cross the line after racing for 59 hours.

“I am honored to receive the US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award,” said Honey upon hearing the news. “It is humbling to read through the list of previous winners. As an American, it was an unexpected opportunity and honor to be asked to sail with the legendary all-French Groupama offshore multihull crew. Groupama 3’s success in the Jules Verne is a tribute to Franck Cammas’ leadership and the seamanship of the entire crew. I would also like to thank Rolex and US SAILING for all they do to support sailing.”

After graduating from Yale University with a degree in Engineering and Applied Science, and from Stanford University with a Masters in Science Electrical Engineering, Honey, in 1998, co-founded Sportvision Inc. which evolved into the leading developer of live-tracking enhancements for sports TV broadcasts. Honey led the development of the yellow first-down line for televised football; the NASCAR racecar tracking and highlighting system; and the baseball K-Zone system, which highlights the pitch location and strike zone in televised baseball. He holds eight patents in navigational system design, 21 patents for TV special effects, is a member of the board of directors of KVH (a manufacturer of satellite communications and navigation sensors), and currently works for the America's Cup Event Authority on TV technology for the America's Cup. Honey is married to Sally Lindsay Honey, herself a two-time Yachtswoman of the Year (1972, ’73).

Monday, January 3, 2011

We've moved!

The turn of the calendar to 2011 also sees the team change its title to ORACLE Racing, reflecting the end of a long and mutually beneficial association with BMW. With the new team name comes a change in the blog address to The team’s official web site remains for the time being, until the new site is launched later this month.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Picture show

2010 was a year of great success for BMW ORACLE Racing. In the same year the team celebrated a decade of racing it notched victories in the 33rd America’s Cup, the 1851 Cup race around the Isle of Wight and the RC44 Season Championship. There were also honors for many, including James Spithill’s selection as Australian Male Sailor of the Year and entry to the America's Cup Hall of Fame for Mike Drummond and Murray Jones. We hope you enjoy our selection of the best images of the year.

The America’s Cup Class retired this year, but a race around the Isle of Wight resulted in one of the best upwind shots of the upwind machines.

Winning the America’s Cup meant a visit to the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. While it was the team’s first trip to Washington, D.C., the Cup returned for the first time since 1987.

USA shows fine form, higher and faster than Alinghi 5 in Race 1 of the 33rd America’s Cup Match.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill flashes the double “shaka” as he skydives some 13,000 feet above Dubai.

USA has the need for speed during training off Valencia prior to the 33rd Match.

Jimmy, the Cup and all the gang enjoyed a late June day in Times Square in New York City.

The Mediterranean off La Maddalena lived up to its “azur” billing.

The RC 44 BMW ORACLE Racing carves a trough in windy conditions off Copenhagen.

Team sailors were ablaze at the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami two weeks ago, racing upwind off South Beach on USA-17 and USA-19.

It was a cold night in late December, 2009, when USA was unloaded in Valencia.

With the red carpet rolled out, team members parade in to join the America’s Cup in San Francisco’s City Hall for a reception one week after winning the 33rd America’s Cup.

Team members wait to view the daily rushes in 3D format from the Valencia TV Trials for the 34th America’s Cup in July.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Congrats to Fresh, Matty

Congratulations go out to team members Ian “Fresh” Burns (above) and Matthew Mason (bottom), as well as America’s Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray, for completing a safe passage and winning line honors in a challenging Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race.

The three were crew aboard the 30-meter super-maxi Wild Oats XI, which led the fleet across the finish line on Tuesday night but was made to wait until Wednesday afternoon to accept the JH Illingworth Trophy for first to finish. That’s because the race committee protested Wild Oats and a second yacht, Ran, for allegedly failing to properly report their imminent passage of Bass Strait. Wild Oats skipper Mark Richards was confident that the crew had complied with the race rules, and the jury dismissed the two protests on Wednesday afternoon, some 20 hours after the yacht had finished the race.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

BMW retires from the America’s Cup

At the end of the year BMW will bring to a close its longstanding partnership with ORACLE Racing and thereby end its involvement in the America’s Cup. This is by mutual agreement of both partners.

Both parties set ambitious goals and achieved the ultimate objective: winning the America’s Cup.

BMW has partnered BMW ORACLE racing since 2002. Technology and skills have transferred freely between the automaker and sailing team, most notably in the fields of structural engineering and high-modulus composite construction.

The result was celebrated in the February when the yacht USA 17, the fastest yacht in the history of the America’s Cup, won the 33rd Match with a resounding 2:0 victory off Valencia, Spain.

Please visit the BMW ORACLE Racing Web site for more information.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A sensational party to celebrate the end of an era

The team celebrated Christmas and bid farewell to the Base with a very special dinner party at number 8, Muelle de la Aduana.

After a warm welcome by two red-wigged masked angel-like dressed ladies, we enjoyed catching up with one another in a very familiar environment, that of the hospitality area of the base, which has been home for many of us for the last few years.

We all felt at ease until we were told to wear a blindfold, to relax and to FEEL.

We were guided through the Door of the Dreams or the Door of the Memories to take our seat, and an amazing journey began. Each one of us became the absolute protagonist of an adventure through new spaces opened up by our imagination and guided by our senses.

In the absence of sight, we were bombarded with a kaleidoscope of images, surprising tastes, delicate aromas, suggestive music, startling sounds, and were topped off with warm touches.

(From left) Kate (soon to be Mrs. Khan), Rebeca, Chad, Eduardo, Jos, Asim and Dolores

It felt like time stopped and we were free to stop worrying and thinking, while fairies (or angels) took care of everything else, pampered us, spoiled us!

Some of us completely relaxed, some felt slightly uncomfortable in a space and time where the only familiar element was Cathy’s contagious laugh and Carlos’ funny expressions of surprise.

It was a truly unique and surprising experience and an unforgettable way to say good bye to the base, where for seven years the team has worked hard and shared joy, disappointment, happiness, stress and ultimately success.

(From left) Simeon, Francis, Manolo, Niccoló, John, Cathy, Nacho and Berit

“It was the one dinner I will never forget. I felt like I died and I woke up in heaven,” said Manolo Ruiz de Elvira. “What a fantastic way to keep the good memories of a stage in our life. I feel a bit sad, but just a bit, because the end of a stage represents the beginning of a new one.”

“It was a complete surprise. I am very happy to be here tonight. During my stay in Valencia the team became like a family. The greatest thing was to win the Cup and hold the trophy with Cathy as well as sharing the success with each team member, because it is everybody who makes this team a special one,” said Simeon.

What happened once we entered the Door of the Dreams and the Door of the Memories at Muelle de la Aduana, Base 8, we leave to the imagination of the reader!

A heartfelt thank you to Maria, Lisa, Laurent and Pablo for organizing a special, unforgettable night.

Happy holidays and hasta pronto!
--Irene Corosu

(From left) Sofia, Vicky, Lucy and Sara await their dreams and memories

(From left) Maria, Benedetta, Niccoló and Lisa

Thursday, December 16, 2010

James Spithill at the World Yacht Racing Forum

Watch BMW ORACLE Racing skipper James Spithill present the Opening Keynote Address at the World Yacht Racing Forum on Tuesday.

Teammembers help further cause of youth sailing foundation

During the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami last week, BMW ORACLE Racing CEO Russell Coutts, skipper James Spithill and crewmembers Dirk de Ridder and Ross Halcrow were part of an illustrious crowd that helped launch the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation benefiting youth sailors in South Florida.

The occasion attracted some of yachting's most high-profile players, legends and renowned personalities. The BMW ORACLE Racing sailors joined 1992 America’s Cup champions Bill Koch and Buddy Melges of America3, and Olympic medalists Anna Tunnicliffe and Kevin Burnham as well as renowned one-design sailor Morgan Reeser.

(Picture courtesy John Payne Photography)

The evening was filled with unforgettable highlights. Koch, Melges and Coutts made short presentations that were educational, encouraging and most importantly, inspirational to many of the on looking youth sailors, their parents and some of Fort Lauderdale's high society.

Guests were hypnotized by Melges as he campaigned the mission of the Foundation. "This is something you should support. Think of all the places they'll go. Think of all the friends they will make. Think of all the opportunities they will have. Those are the things that last. These qualities are what make the sport of sailing unique and bring a lifetime of reward. This Foundation is where it all starts."

"The future of our sport is greatly dependent on how well youth and junior sailing is supported around the world," said Coutts. "Contributing to a Foundation such as this is a big step in making dreams come true, which can mean so much. I know that first hand. When we explore new developments at the America's Cup level it is about strengthening the sport, discovering new concepts that will take us to the next level of competitive sailing. This Foundation offers you a way to directly impact an extremely talented and skilled youngster's future. They too, are the next generation in sailing."

Coutts furthered Melges' initial thoughts and commented about how initiatives like the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation are very necessary and play an integral part in the future of the sport. Assisted by Spithill, Coutts entertained junior sailors with a quiz that in turn rewarded them well. Official BOR caps signed by Coutts and Spithill were given and two lucky kids were promised rides on an America's Cup boat.

The night ended on a high-dollar-note. Koch initiated a donation matching contest that resulted in the Foundation's first substantial contributions in excess of $300,000.

Afterwards, more than 35 junior sailors gathered and personally spoke with the special guests, acquiring autographs, sharing sailing stories and especially, thanking those who generously contributed to the Foundation.

(Picture courtesy John Payne Photography)