Wednesday, May 21, 2008


BMW ORACLE Racing competes in Extreme 40s.
[Source BMW ORACLE] Racing skipper Russell Coutts and helmsman James Spithill are going head-to-head this week in Extreme 40 catamarans in a nine-race, in-house battle as part of the team’s race training for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Today was the first day of the three-day series off Valencia’s Malvarossa beach. After some fickle spring weather the past few days in Valencia, the sunny spring day brought a steady 14 knots of afternoon sea breeze and plenty of action. Much of the afternoon, the catamarans were “flying a hull” (one of the two hulls out of the water), reaching speeds of 15 knots upwind and over 20 knots downwind.

In today’s racing, multihull expert-consultant Franck Cammas (FRA) was helming Coutts’ boat with team members Jonathan Macbeth (NZL) grinding and Alberto Barovier (ITA) on the bow. On the Spithill team, John Kostecki (USA) was calling tactics, Dirk de Ridder (NED) was grinding and Alan Smith (NZL) was on the bow. The crews will remain the same but they will swap boats throughout the three days of racing.

“The conditions were just perfect today,” Spithill said. “It doesn’t get any better than this. It was really good fun.” -