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UBS Trophy

BMW ORACLE streaks ahead to win the UBS Trophy over Team Alinghi in Newport

dimanche 27 juin 2004Redaction SSS [Source RP]

A heavy fog enveloped Newport for the second consecutive day on Saturday morning, but by noon, the fog had lifted, although there was very little wind. The Race Committee postponed racing until 14:00, when a light, five to seven knot Southerly filled in over East Passage.

Previously, a Jury decision on Friday night had set the stage for a spectacular Saturday of racing at the UBS Trophy - Saturday would see one race in each of the Pro-Driver and Owner-Driver series, with the winner in each match, winning the overall series title.

The Pro-Drivers were underway first, and BMW ORACLE helmsman Gavin Brady and his team were again dominant in the pre-start, setting the table for a strong race. Team Alinghi never really threatened after the start in this race, and BMW ORACLE won its seventh match of the Pro series, to earn the UBS Trophy.

When the Owner-Drivers took the helm, the wind was up to 10 to 12 knots, although fog was hovering and receding throughout the contest.

Alinghi started the race strongly, but BMW ORACLE held a powerful advantage on the right side of the race course, and Larry Ellison went on to win the Owner-Driver series in the UBS Trophy.

Returning dockside, a triumphant BMW ORACLE Racing team, led by helmsman Gavin Brady, and skipper and CEO Chris Dickson, was presented with the UBS Trophy by Huw Jenkins, the Managing Director of UBS Investment Banking.

Mr. Jenkins then presented Larry Ellison with a silver plate, for the winner of the Owner-Driver series.

UBS TROPHY - Pro-Driver Series - Race 11 of 11

- BMW ORACLE RACING beats Alinghi - Delta 1:04

The BMW ORACLE Racing team sailed a brilliant pre-start, gaining control early and maintaining it throughout the race. Alinghi helmsman Peter Holmberg had the port tack entry at the start, and avoided the traditional dial-up by immediately turning upwind, and sailing to windward of the starting line.

But BMW ORACLE helm Gavin Brady matched him, tacking quickly and setting up to leeward. Brady was able to hold his controlling position for most of the pre-start, and at one point, Alinghi appeared as though it might be in danger of being shut out at the start.

But Holmberg eventually managed to break free, and run down below the start line, starting at the pin end, albeit with poor boatspeed. BMW ORACLE tacked away moments before the starting gun, starting mid-line, before tacking back to stay in touch with Alinghi.

Although the boats left the start line fairly evenly, BMW ORACLE then received a nice puff of wind on the right that Alinghi didn’t catch, and that immediately translated into a two boat length advantage. BMW ORACLE protected its starboard tack advantage aggressively pushing Alinghi towards the Fort Adam shoreline at every opportunity. Thus the boats reached the port tack layline very early, and Holmberg was forced to follow Brady into the mark, rounding 17-seconds behind.

In the light conditions, BMW ORACLE protected its lead diligently, and Alinghi couldn’t find any passing opportunities. Brady went on to win his seventh race of the series, handing BMW ORACLE the Pro-Driver series and the UBS Trophy.

UBS TROPHY - Owner-Driver Series - Race Four

- ALINGHI beats BMW ORACLE RACING - Delta 0:29

Ernesto Bertarelli was strong in the pre-start of this race, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Larry Ellison.

BMW ORACLE mimicked Alinghi from the first start of the day, avoiding a dial-up by immediately heading up above the start line, and in the stronger breeze, Ellison was able to cross ahead of Bertarelli and lead him out to the right side, away from the Committee Boat end of the line. The boats sailed deep into the spectator fleet, and Ellison led back towards the line, but both boats were extremely early.

BMW ORACLE, with Alinghi close behind, pushing, attempted a double tack at one point to lose speed and kill time, but they were still looking very early. At that point Ellison decided to gybe around, but turned the boat very quickly and BMW ORACLE stalled out in the manoeuvre. Alinghi was able to bear off for speed and hit the line at the start gun with good pace, while BMW ORACLE was a moment late and still sailing slowly.

Bertarelli was set up to leeward and a couple of lengths ahead on a long starboard tack towards Fort Adams. Ellison, sailing for speed, stayed close, and when Alinghi finally tacked, Bertarelli couldn’t clear the starboard tack BMW ORACLE boat. Alinghi was forced to quickly tack again to keep clear, and Ellison rolled on into the lead. BMW ORACLE led around the first top mark, and extended on the first run. Bertarelli tried gamely to put pressure on Ellison, but couldn’t threaten, and Ellison completed the sweep for BMW ORACLE, who win both divisions of the UBS Trophy.

- Chris Dickson, BMW ORACLE Racing, on having each series come down to the last race : The important race is always the last race... we went out today very clear that everything we’d done earlier in the week didn’t matter. It was a clean slate and two good teams and two good boats and we had to do everything again. I’m very, very pleased and proud of our team that they did it again and we had a good day. There were times when both races could have gone either way and Alinghi is a strong and successful team. To beat Alinghi we have to be at our best, and we we’re at our best today.

- Ernesto Bertarelli, Team Alinghi, on the reception in Newport for the UBS Trophy : It was a very successful thing to do, to come to Newport and race America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup yachts in a place where people understand what the game is all about. More than the number of the people was the quality of the people. We could clearly see that they understood what was going on and that’s very, very rewarding... This is exactly what we both wanted after the last America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup  ; not to wait, Larry in California and me in Switzerland, waiting for the next America’s Cup. We wanted to enjoy the investment of having two fantastic teams with beautiful boats and go at each other again. So I think it was a very successful week.

- Larry Ellison, BMW ORACLE Racing, on the competitive instinct taking over : The crew has a lot of pride, both teams have a lot of pride and we want to win every time we go out there, no matter who is driving. If you measure the aggression by the damage to the boats, I’d say the Owner-Driver series maybe had a little more adrenalin than it should have had. Both Ernesto and I want to win as much as everyone else.

- Peter Holmberg, Team Alinghi, relating the lessons learned by Alinghi this week : A reminder, a nice one, of the value and importance of the time training. I think you saw BMW ORACLE come in here with their campaign fully up and running for probably close to a year and it’s a good reminder for us, nice that it happened this far out, that the other teams are strong and powerful and they’ve made gains.

Info Bernard Schopfer

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