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Moët Cup • San Francisco

Exciting race format for America’s Cup teams Alinghi and Oracle BMW Racing

lundi 21 juillet 2003Christophe Guigueno

The inaugural MOËT CUP, September 15-20, will feature short course match racing in an innovative format that will push the America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup race crews on board ALINGHI and ORACLE BMW Racing and will bring the power and beauty of the technologically advanced boats to the viewing public along the San Francisco Bay shoreline.

ALINGHI, the America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup winner, and ORACLE BMW Racing, Louis Vuitton Cup Finalist, will compete against each other for the first time since the races concluded in New Zealand. The MOËT CUP event is the first in a new era of America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup racing as the teams prepare for the next America’s Cup in Europe. The details of the racing format for the MOËT CUP were announced today during a press conference at the Société de Nautique de Genève.

The two-part MOËT CUP series features a daily match race with America’s Cup team heads Larry Ellison of ORACLE BMW Racing, and Ernesto Bertarelli of America’s Cup defending champion, ALINGHI, at the helm. Both men are accomplished sailors. Ellison raced with his team in the early stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup and Bertarelli was navigator on board ALINGHI throughout the America’s Cup season in Auckland, New Zealand. This series will be known as the Owner/Driver Series and will consist of five races each worth one point.

In a second match race series of the MOËT CUP, the Pro/Driver Series, the America’s Cup veteran crews will spar in seven races, each worth one point. Chris Dickson will skipper ORACLE BMW Racing, with Gavin Brady on the helm. Russell Coutts will skipper for ALINGHI with Jochen Schuemann, ALINGHI’s sport director, as tactician.

The racing will be staged within viewing distance of Pier 39 and the Marina District with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop to the magnificent America’s Cup Class boats. The windward/leeward race course will be located between Treasure Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The magnificent silver MOËT CUP trophy will be awarded to the overall winner.

Both teams are fielding all-star crews from the America’s Cup. Among those in the ORACLE BMW Racing squad are 2003 Louis Vuitton Finalist veterans David Brooke, Eric Doyle, Robbie Naismith, Matt Welling and Bob Wylie.

"For ORACLE BMW Racing, the MOËT CUP gives the sailing team a competitive event where we can start building the race crew for the next America’s Cup," says helmsman Gavin Brady. "We are bringing in some new talent along with some of the key crew from the last event. To compete against ALINGHI, the winners of the last America’s Cup, is a great place to start building a team to challenge for the next America’s Cup. We think the format will provide us with some very competitive racing as well as give our supporters in San Francisco a great taste of what the America’s Cup is all about."

In addition to Coutts, Bertarelli and Schuemann, the ALINGHI team will feature many of the crew that were on board for the America’s Cup victory earlier this year including Josh Belsky, Curtis Blewett and Francesco Rapetti.

"This event starts the new era of competition for the next America’s Cup," says Schuemann, ALINGHI’s sports director. "The guys are ready to get back on the race course. We enjoyed some close racing against ORACLE BMW in Auckland and look forward to more of the same in San Francisco."

Both teams will be fighting hard to establish themselves as front-runner for the next America’s Cup to be staged in Europe at a venue and date still to be determined. ORACLE BMW Racing, and its affiliated yacht club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, is the Challenger of Record Record #sailingrecord , the first team to announce a campaign to try to win the America’s Cup from ALINGHI, representing Société de Nautique de Genève of Switzerland.

ALINGHI and ORACLE BMW Racing are working together to improve the 152-year-old competition. The MOËT CUP is a first step toward making the event more accessible to the general public and sailing fans worldwide. For the teams, this highly anticipated competition provides a training platform and the opportunity to try out new crew in an authentic racing environment.

As with the racing in New Zealand, international umpires will make instantaneous calls from patrol boats on the race course to ensure a fair playing field. ORACLE BMW Racing will sail USA 76, and ALINGHI will race SUI 64, the same state-of-the-art boats sailed in New Zealand earlier this year.

Moët & Chandon is the official sponsor of the MOËT CUP. Event partners include Oracle Corporation, BMW, Hewlett-Packard, TAG Heuer and Henri Lloyd. The Golden Gate Yacht Club in partnership with the Treasure Island Sailing Center will run the MOËT CUP on-the-water Race Committee.

Information about the MOËT CUP and race results and updates during the event can be found by visiting the Golden Gate Yacht Club web site at http://www.ggyc.com.



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