Monday, August 2, 2010

BMW ORACLE Racing squares off against Team Origin in 1851 Cup

Photos by Gilles Martin-Raget/ BMW ORACLE Racing

COWES, England (Aug. 2, 2010) – Two of sailing’s youngest, most talented skippers –
Jimmy Spithill and Ben Ainslie – square off this week in The 1851 Cup, a one-off match racing regatta between America’s Cup winner BMW ORACLE Racing and

While the two teams race each other on the Solent, the public will have an opportunity to view the America’s Cup. The trophy will be on display daily beginning at 10:00 am until early evening.

Australian Jimmy Spithill, aged 30 last February, became the youngest skipper to win
the “Auld Mug” when he led BMW ORACLE Racing to victory in the 33rd America’s Cup

Now 31, Spithill also has won the Melges 24 World Championship and Match Racing
World Championship, both in 2005. In honor of the success, he was selected the
Australian Yachtsman of the Year (2005-06).

Team Origin’s Ben Ainslie, 33, is a triple Olympic gold medalist and has been named
ISAF World Sailor of the Year an equal number of times.

Both helmsmen are highly skilled and diverse. Spithill won the America’s Cup aboard
the 90-foot trimaran USA, which featured a towering wing mast 223 feet (68m) tall, and his world championships have come in fleet and match racing disciplines.

The two helmsmen were once teammates in the OneWorld America’s Cup Challenge
from 2003, but haven’t raced each other much over the past few years.

Although the 1851 Cup is more of an international friendly than test match, it features two teams that could cross each other’s paths frequently over the coming years.

“We’re pretty similar,” said Spithill. “He wants to win as much as I do, which is saying something. We’re both very intense about our work. I certainly have huge respect for him.”

BMW ORACLE Racing has lent one of its two V5 America’s Cup Class sloops, USA 87,
to TEAMORIGIN for the competition.

Joining Spithill aboard USA 98 are teammates Rodney Daniel (runners), Dirk de Ridder
(mainsheet), Shannon Falcone (mast), Ross Halcrow (upwind trimmer), Murray Jones
(traveler), John Kostecki (tactician), Jono MacBeth (grinder), Brian MacInnes (grinder), Matt Mason (pit), Ian Moore (navigator), Joe Newton (downwind trimmer), Gillo Nobili(grinder), Joe Spooner (grinder), Simeon Tienpont (grinder), Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen(bow) and Brad Webb (mid-bow).

Racing begins tomorrow afternoon with three races planned on the Solent. The first
warning signal isn’t expected before 3:30 pm BST. The highlight of the regatta is
Thursday’s race around the Isle of Wight, retracing the famous 53-nautical-mile course of 1851 that created the legend that is the America’s Cup. -

More team news at

Event website :