Thursday, October 7, 2010

BMW ORACLE Racing set to tackle RC 44 Worlds

BMW ORACLE Racing, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup, returns to racing action next week at the RC 44 World Championship Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.

The team has two crews entered in the first world championship for the one-design class. BMW ORACLE Racing is led by team CEO Russell Coutts while team skipper Jimmy Spithill leads a second crew aboard the grey-hulled 17.

Coutts and Spithill will skipper the light-displacement 44-footers during the match racing portion of the regatta. They’ll be joined by Jose Calero of Lanzarote and Anders Myralf of Denmark, respectively, during the fleet racing portion, which requires amateur helmsmen.

After four of six scheduled regattas, BMW ORACLE Racing leads the RC 44 2010 series overall with 6 points. Spithill and the 17 crew are placed fifth with 11 points. In between are three other crews tied with 7 points.

“I’ve never sailed the RC 44 before, but it looks like a nice fleet of boats that needs a bit of teamwork to get them around the course,” said Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen, bowman for Spithill aboard 17.

Van Nieuwenhuyzen is a new member of BMW ORACLE Racing, having joined for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013. With two America’s Cup wins to his credit, van Nieuwenhuyzen brings considerable experience to the bow team.

The class intends to conduct racing off the seawall of the Puerto Calero Marina. The regatta opens with three days of match racing, scheduled Oct. 11-13, and closes with three days of fleet racing, Oct. 14-16.

“It’s my first time in Lanzarote, but it looks like nice open waters and hopefully there’ll be a good breeze,” said van Nieuwenhuyzen.

17 and BMW ORACLE Racing tune up for the RC 44 Valencia Cup in July.