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Bmw oracle racing wins 33rd america’s cup. the us-challenger defeats the defender 2 to 0., 14.02.2010 press release, munich/ valencia. the bmw oracle racing team has won the 33rd america’s cup, dethroning swiss holder alinghi. the challenger’s spectacular trimaran “usa 17”, with its futuristic 68-metre wing sail, defeated the catamaran “alinghi 5” in the waters off valencia on the second day to record the decisive second win. the best-of-three match ended 2-0 in favour of the us crew of owner larry ellison. this deed of gift series saw the holder and challenger go head-to-head in a straight duel., press contact..

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Munich/ Valencia. The BMW ORACLE Racing team has won the 33rd America’s Cup, dethroning Swiss holder Alinghi. The challenger’s spectacular trimaran “USA 17”, with its futuristic 68-metre wing sail, defeated the catamaran “Alinghi 5” in the waters off Valencia on the second day to record the decisive second win. The best-of-three match ended 2-0 in favour of the US crew of owner Larry Ellison. This Deed of Gift series saw the holder and challenger go head-to-head in a straight duel.

“Congratulations to Larry Ellison and his whole crew!” said Ian Robertson, BMW AG Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “The goal we have all been working towards for over two and a half years has now been achieved. This has been a fantastic performance by the whole team. As Technology Partner, we have also made a successful contribution to winning the world’s most prestigious sporting trophy. We have positioned BMW as a competent partner in competitive sailing and have firmly established the transfer of technology in the America’s Cup. On the construction side, BMW engineers have set new benchmarks for intelligent lightweight design. Added to which, among the relevant target group, BMW is the highest-profile brand in competitive sailing.”

With 159 years of history, the America’s Cup is the world’s oldest sporting competition and brings together the best professional sailors, yacht designers and boat builders of their generation in the pursuit of perfection. For the 33rd America’s Cup, the BMW ORACLE Racing designers and engineers were charged with one of the most exacting challenges in the long history of the event. The design rules were wide open, and experts from a wide variety of specialist areas, such as materials research, aerospace, composite materials, electronics, data analysis and numerous branches of engineering, have all played their part in the design and construction of the high-tech yacht.

BMW engineers, for example, contributed their knowledge and EfficientDynamics expertise in the area of intelligent lightweight design. The aim was to build a yacht that was as light and torsionally stiff as possible and could stand up to the rigours of the race. In multihull racing, it is particularly important to keep weight low, as the yacht which can raise a float out of the water the quickest has a major advantage. The transfer of knowledge from the BMW engineers was not a one-way street; the valuable expertise gained over the course of the project will all find its way back to the BMW Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ). BMW has been involved in the America’s Cup as a Technology Partner since 2002.

The future involvement of BMW in the America’s Cup will depend on the development and organisation of the competition going forward. As Robertson explains: “We will make a decision on our further involvement in the America’s Cup over the coming weeks. What is already certain is that BMW will continue to be represented actively in yacht racing. We will go on playing an active role in raising global interest in sailing in the future and continue to use projects such as the BMW Sailing Cup and regional events in the various markets as a platform for customer relations and to further strengthen the BMW brand values.”

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 24 production facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries. The BMW Group achieved a global sales volume of approximately 1.29 million automobiles and over 87,000 motorcycles for the 2009 financial year. Revenues for 2009 totalled euro 50.68 billion. At 31 December 2009, the company employed a global workforce of approximately 96,000 associates. The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years.

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The BMW Oracle Racing 90 trimaran is a lot of yacht

The BMW Oracle Racing 90 trimaran -- one of the largest, and possibly fastest, ever built -- hits the waters of Rosario Strait for initial sea trials. However, an ongoing court battle will determine if the boat is eligible to race in America's Cup.

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Ron Judd

ANACORTES — It’s not that easy to make the jaws of old salts drop around Puget Sound, where shipyards have been cranking out boats of every conceivable size and shape for more than a century. But a carbon-fiber behemoth stalking the waters of Rosario Strait this week is getting the job done.

One look at this trimaran — one of the largest, and possibly fastest, ever built — as she lifts her sails and leaps into the breeze off Orcas Island leaves no doubt: This boat wasn’t built to spend a lifetime plodding through seawater.

She was meant to fly.

Not literally, in a Spruce Goose sort of way. Although in early testing, even in light winds, the behemoth BMW Oracle Racing yacht — which, depending on a court decision, may or may not compete for the America’s Cup in 2010 — has lifted her side floats almost as far out of the water as Howard Hughes’ famous seaplane ever rose.

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This is all by design, on a boat that can squeeze 40 knots out of 20 knots of wind and might yet become the fastest racing yacht ever known.

Even to the untrained eye, the boat, officially known as BMW Oracle Racing 90, is an engineering marvel, one that went from blueprints to sails-up in less than nine months.

Her sleek, carbon-fiber main hull is 100 feet long, stem to stern, and 90 feet at the waterline. Her twin floats are 90 feet apart, side to side. If you dropped the boat through the open roof of Safeco Field, it would cover the entire infield.

When the boat is pushed from its dock by four bumper boats, it appears as if a piece of the shore has just calved off.

The boat’s three hulls are connected by sweeping, aerodynamic carbon-fiber beams that look perilously thin. They have a unique droop to them, making the craft, from the front or rear, look a bit like a Klingon Bird of Prey spaceship from an old Star Trek movie.

The carbon-fiber mast, the only crucial part not fabricated on site in Anacortes (it was built in Rhode Island) is more than 5 feet wide at its elliptical base, and 158 feet tall.

The sails are similarly off the charts: a 5,000-square-foot mainsail; a 3,500-square-foot headsail; and 7,000-square-foot gennaker.

The boat will be sailed by about 15 sailors, wearing protective helmets and high-tech garb that looks like it’s borrowed from NASA.

Those are about the only hard facts revealed by BMW Oracle Racing, which will complete initial sea trials here Saturday, then prep the big boat for shipping on a barge to San Diego a week later. There, testing will be ramped up, as syndicate officials await the decision in a court case which might render the boat essentially useless, in America’s Cup terms.

A bitter fight

The pursuit of sporting’s oldest international prize has devolved into a bitter legal fight between two billionaires: Oracle software icon Larry Ellison of the Bay Area and Ernesto Bertarelli, a biotech mogul who runs the Swiss racing syndicate, Alinghi, which currently holds the Cup.

Since successfully defending the Cup in Valencia, Spain, last year (Ellison’s team again did not make the finals), Alinghi, to put it simply, has been unable to reach agreement with all competing syndicates on a fair format for the next Cup races.

Ellison’s BMW Oracle group last year won a court decision that named it the “challenger of record” for the next Cup, meaning they would negotiate the next Cup’s protocol with Alinghi. When Ellison and Bertarelli could not agree, both sides began preparing for the next remedy under Cup rules: a match race between their respective boats with essentially no design rules, other than a 90-foot maximum waterline.

That is the lesson lingering from a 1988 America’s Cup challenge, in which Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes won a legal decision allowing it to race a multihull against a slower, plodding New Zealand challenger in a San Diego race now considered a low point in Cup history. Since then, it has been taken as a given that any Cup challenge without protocols agreed to by the defender and challenger of record would be conducted in multihulls.

That’s what sent BMW Oracle’s design team into trimaran warp speed on Puget Sound, where the team had built four previous conventional carbon-fiber monohulls with Janicki Industries in Sedro-Woolley, and where other useful composite-construction infrastructure exists because of the local aerospace industry.

But last month, Alinghi won an appeal of that court decision, and announced plans to stage a traditional Cup defense, in monohull boats with multiple challengers, in Valencia as soon as 2009. Ellison’s group is making a final appeal of that appeal, with a decision expected in February or March.

$10 million bet

If Ellison wins, the big trimaran could race for the America’s Cup in what by all accounts would be a spectacular best-of-three multihull match race with Alinghi in 2010.

If it loses?

The designers likely scurry to build a new monohull. And the trimaran becomes a big, fast, very cool, black-and-white elephant, with design and construction costs estimated to be as high as $10 million.

This boat is, in other words, not only a hedge on a bet, but something of a guilty pleasure, and the BMW Oracle sailing team, based for now in Anacortes, is treating it as such. Not even the world’s greatest sailing racers have ever seen anything like it.

“We’re not even at 50 percent yet and it’s already pretty impressive,” said helmsman James Spithill of Australia, the former driver of the Seattle-based OneWorld Challenge Cup team in 2002.

Spithill and famed helmsman Russell Coutts of New Zealand both were hired by Ellison after his most recent, unsuccessful Cup effort, and both are now in Anacortes.

Initial driving duties, however, have fallen largely to Frenchman Franck Cammas, hired as a consultant because of his expertise with mega multihulls, which heretofore have been built primarily for open-ocean racing, and reach speeds up to 44 knots.

The new boat has been sailed only in light to moderate winds, progressively increasing loads on its joints and surfaces. But even at about half speed, the boat is a marvel in the water, its speed deceptive because of its massive size.

When its center hull clears the water and the craft seemingly takes flight, riding on only the knife edge of a single float at about 20 knots, it’s a spectacular sight.

Needless to say, the boat, visible from miles away and accompanied by a half-dozen chase boats, creates a spectacle in the otherwise quiet waters in the waning days of summer around the San Juans. Seagulls steer cautiously wide of it. Snoozing salmon trollers are startled to attention and sent reaching for cameras.

And despite the thrill it gives the sailing team, there’s still a bit of tension in the air whenever the big boat lifts off the water. For each voyage, the boat’s tenders carry — in addition to telemetry equipment monitoring onboard sensors — a physician and scuba divers in case of emergencies.

Design coordinator Mike Drummond, mindful of the high-stakes poker game with Alinghi, skillfully dodged most questions about the big boat’s particulars this week. But asked what keeps him awake at night during testing, he didn’t hesitate.

“Pretty much everything.”

Ron Judd: 206-464-8280 or at [email protected] .

  • Design World

BMW ORACLE Racing Designs World’s Biggest Wing with Computational Field Dynamics

By Larry Boulden | ❇️

This February, in the picturesque Spanish port of Valencia, BMW ORACLE Racing’s skipper Russell Coutts will take the helm of one of the most technologically advanced – and hopefully fastest – boats ever built, in a bid to capture the 33rd America’s Cup. The most remarkable feature of the trimaran – named “USA” – is that it will be powered by an enormous wing, rather than a conventional sail.

As Mike Drummond, BMW Oracle’s Racing Design Director explains: “A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, it dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is 80% bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane.” It was analyzed using a process very similar to CFD, using CD-Adapco’s Star-CCM analysis tools.


In an interview conducted by CD-adapco, Oracle’s CFD Manager Mario Caponnetto explains how STAR-CCM+ was used to optimize the aerodynamic design of the wing, at the expense of traditional wind tunnel testing.

trimaran bmw oracle

Why this choice of a rigid wing on your trimaran, instead of a conventional sail?

[MC] Rigid wings are not really radically new in yacht racing. They have been used in high performance catamaran races and other racing boats for many years. By the way, a rigid wing first appeared in America’s Cup in 1987. What is radically new is its size: the wing, with its 57 meters above deck, is the largest wing ever, 80% larger than a 747 aircraft wing. No one in our team had designed anything like this before, and this scared us a little bit at the beginning. Starting from white paper and evaluating pros and cons, we decided to move forward and quickly in the project. This project came true thanks to the enthusiasm of our chief designer, Mike Drummond.

What are the benefits and the shortcomings (if any) of a rigid wing?

[MC] The main advantage of a rigid wing is shape control. In other words, depending on the angle and the velocity of the wind, there is an optimal sail geometry that in turn optimizes the aerodynamic pressure field. This makes it possible to extract a maximum propelling power from the wind – to maximize efficiency. On a conventional sail, material works, from the structural point of view, like a membrane and shape control is difficult. Some specific shapes are impossible to obtain and the final shape is a compromise. With rigid sails, shape is much easier to control without compromises. Furthermore, during navigation there is always a feedback between imposed shape and achieved shape, whereas with traditional sails it is already an issue to identify the sail shape during navigation.

What are the aerodynamic benefits of the rigid wing?

[MC] One of the main benefits is shape control, aiming to control lift forces and to reduce drag forces. To do so, the wing is made of a front rotating element and eight independently rotating flaps. This makes is possible to change the vertical aerodynamic load. Between every flap and the frontal element lies a slot that favors air flow between the two sides of the wing. This makes it possible to delay the stall and to dramatically increase the maximum lift. In practice, the wing is able-even with light wind-to lift the central hull of the trimaran out of the water and reduce its resistance, even though the wing lateral surface is less than half of a conventional sail. The wing horizontal sections are more aerodynamically shaped than a thin sail. A sail profile is efficient at a certain angle of attack, more or less when the flow is tangential to the frontal edge of the sail. At smaller or larger angles, a flow tends to separate from the sail, thus reducing its efficiency. The rigid wing, with its rounded front edge, is much more tolerant to variations in the angle of attack. Even at a small angle of attack, the wing will still create lift and push the boat, whereas the sail will beat like a flag and restrain the boat. This is a noticeable advantage during maneuvering, in particular when tacking, and is one of benefits that are most valued by our team’s sailors.

Could you share more details on the aerodynamics simulation aspects?

[MC] STAR-CCM+ is a finite-volume approach to CFD. (It allowed us to) exploit the “client-server” architecture of the CD-adapco software. We could use a remote supercomputing cluster facility located in Italy. While sitting in our offices in Valencia or San Diego, we could check in real time the progress of the simulations running on the cluster. This happened thanks to a lightweight client-or if you like the final user-based on a Java interface, and a C++ server-or if you like the supercomputing cluster.

Second, of course, usage of the supercomputing cluster leveraged the STAR-CCM+ capability to scale well, i.e., to exploit the capability to divide the processing tasks between several processors in parallel. This was necessary since computational meshes for aerodynamics can reach several million elements.

The third success factor was process automation. STAR-CCM+ includes a CFD simulation engine (the solver) but also all the preprocessing phase (including construction of the computational mesh) and post-processing. This means we could build one complete workflow, or pipeline, and implement it over and over again during our optimization studies.

So, CFD is a tool for the happy few?

[MC] Situations like America’s Cup (AC) or Formula 1 require a tremendous accuracy and detail since the engineering situation is pushed to the limit, and the optimization requirements for factors like aerodynamic drag can be orders of magnitude more sensitive than in mass production boats or cars. I think that AC will continue to be one of the best benchmarks for CFD tools that can, in industrial situations, be applied in standard design offices based on small clusters or even PCs. Nowadays, all CFD processes should be automated in industrial situations, whereas AC pushes the application of the code to its limits in terms of physics, computational mesh or hardware resources. This creates a feedback process between the STAR-CCM+ developer, CD-adapco, and CFD teams in America’s Cup or Formula 1, and the feedback has a (benefit) on other sectors.


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BMW Oracle Wins the America’s Cup

By The Associated Press

  • Feb. 14, 2010

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Still bundled against the cold in his white foul-weather gear, the software tycoon Larry Ellison hoisted the America’s Cup high in the air, then planted a kiss on it, the oldest trophy in international sports.

“Valencia — muchas gracias!” Ellison, a self-made billionaire, screamed after the ride of his life across the Mediterranean on one of the most remarkable boats ever built.

After sitting out the first race because of a weight limit, Ellison, 65, was onboard his trimaran Sunday as the high-tech BMW Oracle, with a gigantic wing for a sail, sped ahead of the two-time defending champion, Alinghi of Switzerland, to complete the two-race sweep.

“I am so proud of this team, I am so proud to be part of this team, and I am especially proud to bring the America’s Cup, once again, after a long absence, back to the United States of America,” said Ellison, the chief executive of Oracle Corporation.

Russell Coutts, the chief executive of BMW Oracle, popped the cork on a magnum of Champagne and sprayed Ellison, as well as the tactician John Kostecki and the skipper-helmsman Jimmy Spithill of Australia.

Blue and silver confetti blew across the stage and fireworks went off across Port America’s Cup, a festive ending to a tumultuous two-and-a-half-year period that dragged the 159-year-old event to one of its lowest points. Ellison and his rival Ernesto Bertarelli had been locked in court since July 2007, and for a while it seemed as if the result of this race was going to be contested off the water.

Alinghi raised a red protest flag on its giant catamaran late on the first leg of the triangle course during the second race, leaving observers wondering what it was about because there was no communication from the boats. The Swiss dropped the protest after the race, confirming Ellison’s win.

Bertarelli was not at the ceremony when the ornate America’s Cup was handed over by the Societe Nautique de Genève to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club. Bertarelli, a biotech tycoon, became the first European to win the America’s Cup in 2003 with a victory over Team New Zealand, and retained it against New Zealand in 2007 before the legal fight with Ellison.

“They had a strategy, they got a little help from the legal system in New York, and that always makes it difficult for us Europeans and gave them advantages,” Bertarelli said. “They were faster, good on them.”

The America’s Cup has been away from the United States for 15 years, the longest drought since the schooner America won the Cup by beating a fleet of British ships around the Isle of Wight in 1851. Dennis Conner lost it in 1995 to Team New Zealand and Coutts, now a four-time America’s Cup winner.

Ellison and Kostecki were the only Americans on BMW Oracle’s crew for the clincher. The massive trimaran was steered by Spithill, who, at 30, was sailing in his fourth America’s Cup.

Ellison’s fortune made the victory possible, but the true star was his monster black-and-white trimaran and its radical 223-foot wing sail, which powered the craft at three times the speed of the wind, sending its windward and middle hulls flying well above the water.

One of the lasting images of this America’s Cup will be that of Spithill, using technology seemingly straight out of “Star Wars,” calmly steering from his airborne helm.

The American trimaran took a 28-second lead rounding the first mark Sunday and powered toward the horizon while sailing across the wind on the second leg. The final margin for two of the fastest, most technologically advanced sailboats ever built was 5 minutes 25 seconds.

“It’s just such an awesome tool for racing,” Spithill said.

Ellison’s victory ended one of the most bitter chapters in the America’s Cup. He and Bertarelli fought over their interpretations of the 1887 Deed of Gift, which governs the America’s Cup.

Ellison’s syndicate eventually prevailed, forcing the rare head-to-head showdown.

This was only the second Deed of Gift match in modern times. The other was in 1988, when Conner steered his catamaran to a two-race sweep of New Zealand’s big monohull in San Diego.

BMW Oracle sail away with 33rd America's Cup

Editing by Iain Rogers

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BMW Oracle sails to lead at best-of-three America's Cup

VALENCIA, SPAIN -- Reprinted from yesterday's late editions

VALENCIA, SPAIN -- San Francisco may not be ready for the America's Cup but barring catastrophe, the Cup is going there. California billionaire Larry Ellison's big trimaran BMW Oracle manhandled Swiss Cupholder Alinghi's catamaran Friday to go up, 1-0, in the best-of-three match.

Another win Sunday and the Cup returns to America for the first time in 15 years. Ellison's sponsoring Golden Gate Yacht Club would become the third U.S. club to hold the prize, but Commodore Marcus Young says he's not sure little GGYC is up to hosting the world's greatest sailing event. "There's a lot of infrastructure missing."

Nothing was missing from BMW Oracle or its huge wing sail as the American boat routed Alinghi in the long-awaited matchup of towering toys of bickering billionaires. Alinghi owner/skipper Ernesto Bertarelli got his wakeup call 40 seconds into the prestart. As the yachts converged, Oracle skipper James Spithill caught him without right of way and forced him into a penalty.

Alinghi left the gate needing to do a 270-degree spin to wipe out the infraction, but other misfortunes came first. With the winter sun fading over the Albufera, where Valencia's famous paella rice is grown, BMW Oracle crossed the finish almost 10 minutes ahead of Alinghi, having romped on every point of sail. Then Bertarelli finished improperly and had to make a sweeping circle and recross the line, making the official margin a humiliating 15 1/2 minutes.

All this was in conditions thought to favor the Swiss -- light winds of 6 to 12 knots and relatively calm seas. Similar conditions are forecast for Sunday and Race 2.

This opening race was twice delayed by unfavorable wind and sea conditions on Monday and Wednesday and nearly didn't get off Friday as the wind shifted 150 degrees about noon. Race Director Harold Bennett waited for the afternoon southerly to settle and sent the yachts off on a chilly, sun-splashed sea at 2:30.

BMW Oracle, brainchild of three-time Kiwi Cup winner Russell Coutts, had issues when Spithill stalled the giant multihull at the starting line and Alinghi sprinted off to a lead of almost a half-mile before Spithill could get going.

But BMW Oracle charged upwind and past Alinghi, often sailing two to three knots faster and closer to the wind. From 666 meters behind at the start, Spithill went nearly a mile ahead at the first turning mark 20 miles upwind. The performance edge was even greater on the downwind run to the finish as BMW Oracle extended the lead to over two miles.

"I always thought if we were able to fly a hull we'd be faster upwind," said Spithill. "But I was genuinely surprised downwind."

Chalk that up to the remarkable, 230-foot-tall solid wing that propels the 90-foot-long, 90-foot-wide trimaran. It's a thing of beauty, twice the size of a 747 wing yet capable of meticulous adjustments to harness the breeze, with trimmer Dirk "Cheese" de Ridder of Holland monitoring a computer to stay spot-on.

"You can't draw conclusions from the first few minutes of a race," said Coutts, grinning. "But how about that wing?"

BMW Oracle seemed to glide effortlessly on one slender hull, tipped up with its windward pontoon high and the main hull wafting over the waves, rarely touching. Alinghi, by contrast, sometimes struggled to fly a hull in lighter winds.

Coutts and Ellison say they may be on the boat Sunday, when the course shifts from an upwind-downwind format to a 39-mile triangle and weight is less crucial. A win would bring the Cup back to America for the first time since Dennis Conner lost to Team New Zealand in 1995 -- with Coutts at the helm for the Kiwis. In three previous Cup attempts, he's never lost.

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Media ID-5475

The 33rd America's Cup

Surpassing even the acrimonious off-water courtroom drama of the 1988 America’s Cup, the 33rd America's Cup may have produced a once in a life time yacht race between Société Nautique de Genève and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, but the protracted battle off the water scuttled many of the challenging teams who had been ready and waiting for a traditional Challenger Selection Series in the AC90.

Because of the long delays from the legal action, and the fact that the 33rd America's Cup was a Deed of Gift match without a Challenger Selection Series, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was established and raced in January and February 2009 as a competition for other America's Cup racing syndicates. Ten syndicates took part in the regatta which used boats provided by Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle Racing.

This initial event was then expanded into the Louis Vuitton Trophy series of events which started in November 2009. These events were designed to be low-cost and keep syndicates active while waiting for the next America’s Cup, but when AC34 finally started, only three Challengers entered. The AC90 was now old news, AC33 had ushered in the era of the cats.

From 2007 to 2010, no legal stone was left unturned in the courtroom battle between the two super teams, with everything from the Challenger of Record, the date, the venue, the construction of the boats and the match rules all getting their time in the dock across 15 separate court cases. Once all was said and done, it was amazing that the boats were built at all in the short 10-month time frame given.

Société Nautique de Genève built Alinghi 5 , a 90-foot cat, with a bowsprit that made it 120 ft overall.

trimaran bmw oracle

The Golden Gate Yacht Club, built USA-17 , a giant wing-powered trimaran.

trimaran bmw oracle

Once on the water in Valencia Spain, AC33 finally became a boat race again and produced a spectacular, yet underwhelming 2 race series.

An aggressive pre-start by BMW Oracle Racing forced a foul by Alinghi, which had not taken advantage of the diagonal start line allowed for the port-entry boat. Both boats wound up head to the wind over the start line. Alinghi bore off while BMW Oracle Racing remained stalled and started c.650 m behind (1:27). BMW Oracle Racing were clearly able to sail higher and faster (average speed 20.2 kt vs. 19.4 kt), so they caught up with Alinghi within 15 minutes and thereafter extended their lead eventually winning by over 3,000 m. Upwind they were able to out-sail Alinghi even without a jib and their speed differential was greater downwind (23.5 kt vs. 20.7 kt average speed) than upwind. The final delta includes a penalty turn by Alinghi due to not keeping clear at the start. Without the penalty turn the delta was about 8½ minutes. Winds were 5 to 10 knots. Partial timings for the winner were 1h29 upwind, 1h03 downwind.

Alinghi received a penalty for being in the pre-start area before the designated time. There was very little pre-start maneuvering. BMW Oracle Racing started on starboard tack ahead of Alinghi on port tack. Alinghi sailed faster than during the previous race and benefited from a 20-degree wind shift, which put the Swiss boat in the lead at about the midpoint of the first leg. But after crossing ahead, Alinghi fell behind after tacking for the lay line. BMW Oracle Racing then proved to be much faster on the first reach, pulling about 2 kilometers ahead (26.8 kt vs. 25.2 kt average speed).The final delta includes the penalty turn by Alinghi. Without the penalty turn the delta would have been around 4 minutes. Winds were 7 to 8 knots. Partial timings for the winner were 0h59 to upwind mark, 0h29 to gybe mark, 0h39 to finish.

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Fastest cruising trimaran of all time

Nov 05, 2020

less than a min

Fastest cruising trimaran of all time

A trimaran is also known as a double-outrigger . This is a multihull boat that contains a main larger hull and two small outrigger hulls on the sides. Their design originated from the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia, where they are to this day used as the main fishing boats.

Nowadays, however, trimarans are designed as sailing yachts for racing and recreational purposes, which is why the fastest cruising trimaran is of great interest to the world. It is a fact that trimarans are faster than monohulls or catamarans. As such, their world record has managed to beat any other catamarans’ or monohull prior record.

The record for the fastest cruising trimaran is held by Thomas Coville . He used a trimaran called Sodebo Ultim to sail across the world on Christmas 2016 . HIs trip lasted for 49 days and 3 hours . Thomas Coville’s record beat his predecessor, Francis Joyon, who sailed across the world in a trimaran on the20th of January 2008 on a trip that lasted 57 days and 13 hours. Before them, it was Ellen MacArthur to hold this record after having sailed across the world in February 2005, in a trimaran for 71 days.

The fastest cruising trimaran to this day is the Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT . This vessel is both wind or mechanically powered and has completed a voyage around the world in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds. The Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT can reach an average speed of 26.85 knots or 30.71 MPH .

In addition, this boat has covered a distance of 26,412 nautical miles, or 48,915 km (30,394 mi). In 2020, the Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT managed to sail from Hong Kong to London in 32 days.

While the Maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT has been established as the fastest cruising trimaran of all time due to the journeys it has completed, there are however a few other boats that have managed to reach more speed. These boats however have not been able to withstand such speed and have capsized.

That is exactly what happened to Hydroptère . Hydroptère is an experimental hydrofoil trimaran. This vessel managed to reach 56.3 knots or 104.3 km/h (64.8 mph) near Fos-sur-Mer. However, it capsized a few minutes after.

Fastest cruising trimarans to have made history

There are many more trimarans that have made history due to their speed. Firstly, the giant trimaran by BMW Oracle Racing team represented the Golden Gate Yacht Club in 2010. This trimaran won the 33rd America’s Cup on Valentine’s day 2010 by sailing off the coast of Spain. It managed to beat the Alinghi catamaran by a large margin.

In addition, the Weta dinghies have started to make a good name for themselves. These are trimarans used for performance day sailing. They are fast, light, and very flexible. Also, these trimarans have been used for disabled sailing. The reason being that you do not need to move around the cockpit to maintain stability when on a Weta Dinghy.

You can compare trimarans with TheBoatDB and figure out for yourself whether they are a good fit for your marina. Do not forget that trimarans in general will require more space when parked. If you are a speed junkie, however, these vessels will definitely appeal to you.

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November 10, 2009

The Fixed-Wing Is In: America's Cup Sailors Plan to Use Rigid Carbon-Fiber Airfoil on U.S. Entry

The U.S. team for the America's Cup is replacing its boat's mast and cloth mainsail with a hard, fixed wing that is 80 percent larger than a Boeing 747 wing, not to mention difficult and dangerous to maneuver

By Lynn Fitzpatrick

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SAN DIEGO—After more than a year of practicing for the America's Cup, the U.S. team is replacing its boat's lofty 60-meter mast and 620-square-meter cloth mainsail with a hard, fixed wing that is 80 percent larger than a Boeing 747 wing and will tower 58 meters above their giant trimaran's deck. The team, known as the BMW ORACLE Racing Team, will start to practice with and evaluate the high-strength yet lightweight carbon-fiber wing on its 27-meter carbon-composite trimaran later this week.  The Americans have been testing new frontiers with the loads that their massive multihull endures while sailing . Crash helmets, personal floatation devices and other body armor have been de rigueur during BMW ORACLE Racing's practices—even while using a mast and a mainsail, which preceded the wing. During a practice session on November 3, the boat's huge mast snapped and toppled into the Pacific. Thankfully, no one was injured. Although the team's research and development unit has been conducting a forensic evaluation of the mast mishap, another unit has been finishing the assembly of the wing under the cover of a huge tent at the team's base in San Diego, in an attempt to keep the technology a secret from competitors. The America’s Cup is the oldest actively contested trophy in sport and dates back to a race held in 1851 in England in which the yacht America beat 15 boats representing the Royal Yacht Squadron.  Members of the winning America syndicate donated the Cup via a Deed of Gift to the New York Yacht Club on July 8, 1857, specifying that it be held in trust as a perpetual challenge trophy to promote friendly competition among nations. According to an Allianz Economic Report conducted in co-operation with Tom Cannon, dean of Buckingham University Business School, the America's Cup ranks just behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in terms of worldwide direct and indirect economic benefits that accrue to the winner and the event's host city. It is the largest inter-club sporting event in the world in terms of economic scale and impact. The only other time that a multihull and a wing have been used in the America's Cup was in 1988. Back then, the U.S. team defied tradition when they unveiled an 18-meter catamaran equipped with a wing to compete against New Zealand's 27-meter monohull. Burt Rutan , whose company Scaled Composites went on to win the Ansari X PRIZE for SpaceShipOne , and who worked with John Ronz, David Hubbard and Duncan MacLane on the 1988 wing, reflected on that achievement: "The wing-sail designs were more challenging (than aircraft wing applications) because they needed high lift in both directions and because we had a requirement to vary the wing twist to account for different wind gradients above the sea. An aircraft wing lifts in only one direction and does not have any twist control. On the wing-sail we twisted the third element and thus had to make it torsionally flexible." The scale of the 21st-century sailboat and wing is astronomical compared with the 1988 vintage. The 1988 wing height was slightly over 30 meters, and its area was approximately 165 square meters. The new wing's main element is a monolithic box with an aerodynamic nose along its leading edge. Hinges at different points along the main element's trailing edge can be adjusted to change the gap between the forward and the aft elements to adjust airflow depending on the wind velocity. The sections of the trailing element can be moved independently to induce camber (the asymmetry between the top and bottom curves of an airfoil), making it possible to flatten and even induce negative camber in the top section as well as camber in the opposite direction in the lower sections. According to BMW ORACLE Racing, "the primary advantage of the wing over a soft sail is that it is easier to control and does not distort. This makes it easier for the trimmers on board to maintain an optimum aerofoil shape in a wide range of conditions." Unlike conventional monohull and multihull sailboats , the BMW ORACLE team's trimaran sails upwind and downwind at apparent wind angles less than 30 degrees (Monohulls typically sail at between 30 and 40 degrees upwind.) On board the racing machine it always feels as if the wind is in the sailors' faces. The wing technology will improve the trimaran's apparent wind angle, and may enable the multihull to exceed  two to 2.5 times wind speed. The upcoming America's Cup challenge will be the first time ever that an onboard engine will be used to assist trimmers in controlling the massive foils by powering hydraulic controls for the wing and the forward sails. Mark Ott, co-founder and executive vice president of Seattle-based Harbor Wing Technologies, the first company to employ a wing that rotates 360 degrees and uses a multihull as a platform, commented, "BMW ORACLE'S boat represents the pinnacle of race boat design; however, the nature of this design limits the wing sail's range of motion due to the shroud and forestay wires used to support it. This design limitation causes these wing sails to be impractical for use by the average sailor. By not allowing the wing full 360-degree rotational capability in everyday sailing conditions, it is bound to it be held on a shroud wire by the wind and damaged, or worse, possibly causing the boat to capsize." All eyes will be watching to see how BMW will store the boat and the wing, because the latter is not nearly as easy to take down and stow as a cloth mainsail. The America's Cup showdown is set to take place in February 2010 in Valencia, Spain.

trimaran bmw oracle

Partner the man who developed the hulls for the trimaran BMW Oracle with one of the best race boat builders in the world, and with the addition of the most experienced trimaran spar builder, and the result is the Finn 53. Safety, speed, reliability and ease of maintenance were priority considerations and the Finn 53 is truly achieves them. This is a fast-cruising trimaran optimized for safety, speed and single-handed cruising. When plugged into handicap formulas the boat lists the same as a Formula 40.

Her construction comprises carbon, E-glass and M foam vacuum bagged layup.

The Finn 53 was launched in 2014 and her wave-piercing bows, trio of rudders and shapely curves remain the envy of many a multihull enthusiast.

McConaghy_Boats_n53TRI Interior 02


Length Waterline

Height of Mast (above WL)

Fresh Water Tanks

Naval Architect

Bañuls Design

Privacy Overview

trimaran bmw oracle

It all began in 1983

That was the year Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost set up VPLP, having met at the Southampton school of naval architecture.

Their first model was a fifty-foot foiler, designed by Vincent Lévy and named the Gérard Lambert after the hero of a song by Renaud. She arrived 11th in her first race, the La Baule–Dakar.

Nearly four decades later, VPLP Design employs about thirty staff in Paris, Nantes and Vannes.

The firm’s internationally renowned team, comprising naval architects, engineers and designers, works all over the world on projects to build sailing and motor vessels.

The business operates in three areas: racing, yachting (mass production and superyachts) and maritime.

Gérard Lambert, premier bateau dessiné par VPLP Design, en 1983 © Vincent Levy

1987 VPLP launches its first Lagoon catamarans, two 55’ and 14t sisterships built by Jean -François de Prémorel and Jeanneau Techniques Avancées . To date, more than 6 000 Lagoons have been built.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Lagoon / Beneteau

1997 First victory in the Jules Verne Trophy with Sport Elec. Built by the CDK yard for Olivier de Kersauson, this 23m trimaran had an eventful career, achieving notably the fastest solo circumnavigation of the time (2004) with Francis Joyon at the helm.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Christian Fevrier

2011 Launch of the Hemisphere , the largest sailing catamaran in the world. Fitted out with six vast and comfortable cabins for up to twelve passengers and manned by a crew of ten, this giant of the seas is 44.2 m long and carries 1,100 m² of sail on a reach.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Jeff Brown

2017 Aboard his Ultim Macif , designed by VPLP Design, François Gabart sets a new solo round the world record of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. Starting in 2011, VPLP’s collaboration with one of the greatest sailors of his generation continues to this very day with the SVR Lazartigue , his latest trimaran launched in July 2021.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Yvan Zedda

1990 First victory in the Route du Rhum with Florence Arthaud on Groupe Pierre 1er, a Formule 40 with one wing mast, three hulls, a maximum length of 18.28 m, three rudders and an unforgettable sunset finish to its name.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Thierry Martinez

2010 USA 17 , the 90’ trimaran of the American challenge BMW Oracle wins the 33rd America’s Cup. For VPLP, as the chief designer , this was the most fruitful and intense project the firm had thus far worked on. Much of the firm’s innovations in foils and rigid wingsails come from this experience.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Gilles Martin-Raget

2013 First victory in the Vendée Globe with François Gabart on the IMOCA Macif . Like many of its contemporaries, this sixty footer designed in collaboration with Guillaume Verdier would go on to have a wonderful career with two consecutive wins in the Route du Rhum.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Quentin Lucet/VPLP Design

2019 Inauguration of VPLP’s Maritime Division and commissioning of the Canopée , a 121-metre vessel with wingsails designed by VPLP Design to carry components of the Ariane rocket from mainland France to French Guiana. A major milestone in the development of the firm.

trimaran bmw oracle

© Realnum/VPLP Design – Zéphyr et Borée – Jifmar

A multidisciplinary team, a cross-functional organization

At VPLP Design we believe in the value of confronting different points of view. We are convinced that an effective design can only be achieved by putting together different skill sets.

The men and women at the firm, whether they be architects, engineers, designers or modellers, work cross-functionally on all the various projects managed by the Racing, Yachting and Maritime Divisions.

This valuable resource, when combined with our experience, enables us to innovate continuously in the world of sailing and motor boats.

At VPLP Design we subscribe more than ever to Enzo Ferrari’s famous maxim: “The team has replaced the lone genius.”

Marc Van Peteghem

Vincent lauriot prévost, simon watin, mathias maurios, quentin lucet, xavier guisnel, antoine lauriot dit prévost, xavier guilbaud, marc dognin, charlotte draeger, guillaume rey, david mensch, daniele capua, jeremy bertaud, nicolas baral, adrien letourneur, christophe trevisani, florian gauthrot, pierre renaud, paul kerdraon, katia merle, reinette muzinga mongolo, yann prummel, tanguy leterrier, stéphane derobert, thomas daïeff, vincent combaut, quentin de montzey, paul landesman, tvrtko pajalic, marie herouan, thomas abikhzir, alexis castellvi, théo le floch, joana chailloux, lila lenoël, quentin deslandes, patrick le quément.

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  1. USA-17 BMW Oracle, hydrofoil trimaran winner of the 33rd America's Cup

    trimaran bmw oracle

  2. BMW ORACLE Racing

    trimaran bmw oracle

  3. 08/08/2009

    trimaran bmw oracle

  4. The new BMW Oracle trimaran commissioned by Larry Ellyson and helmed

    trimaran bmw oracle

  5. BMW/Oracle's Trimaran monster the BOR 90. Winner of the 2010 America's

    trimaran bmw oracle

  6. BMW Oracle Racing flies in the breeze off San Diego

    trimaran bmw oracle


  1. Jahongir Latipov BMW Oracle oldi

  2. Alinghi and BMW Oracle arrive in Valencia for 33rd Americas Cup

  3. BMW/Oracle 90-foot multihull

  4. Images du bord

  5. BMW ORACLE Racing: Mission Accomplished

  6. USA 17 RC model 1m


  1. USA 17

    USA-17 (formerly known as BMW Oracle Racing 90 or BOR90) is a sloop rigged racing trimaran built by the American sailing team BMW Oracle Racing to challenge for the 2010 America's Cup. Designed by VPLP Yacht Design with consultation from Franck Cammas and his Groupama multi-hull sailing team, BOR90 is very light for her size being constructed almost entirely out of carbon fiber and epoxy resin ...

  2. BMW ORACLE Racing wins 33rd America's Cup. The US-Challenger defeats

    Munich/ Valencia. The BMW ORACLE Racing team has won the 33rd America's Cup, dethroning Swiss holder Alinghi. The challenger's spectacular trimaran "USA 17", with its futuristic 68-metre wing sail, defeated the catamaran "Alinghi 5" in the waters off Valencia on the second day to record the decisive second win. The best-of-three match ended 2-0 in favour of the US crew of owner ...

  3. The BMW Oracle Racing 90 trimaran is a lot of yacht

    The BMW Oracle Racing 90 trimaran -- one of the largest, and possibly fastest, ever built -- hits the waters of Rosario Strait for initial sea trials. However, an ongoing court battle will ...

  4. BMW ORACLE Racing Designs World's Biggest Wing with Computational Field

    In terms of size, it dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is 80% bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane.". It was analyzed using a process very similar to CFD, using CD-Adapco's Star-CCM analysis tools. BMW ORACLE Racing USA Trimaran. In an interview conducted by CD-adapco, Oracle's CFD Manager ...

  5. Oracle Team USA

    Team Oracle AC 72 boats. Oracle Team USA is an American yacht racing syndicate initially formed to compete for the 2003 America's Cup.They competed again in the 2007 event before winning the 33rd America's Cup regatta in 2010 - representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club.The team also won the 34th America's Cup in 2013.. The syndicate was initially named Oracle for the 2003 campaign and backed ...

  6. Genius or lunacy? BMW Oracle Racing team set to wing it for the 2010

    BMW Oracle Racing team set to wing it for the 2010 America's Cup. America's team BMW Oracle Racing (BOR) has taken full advantage of a "wide open" set of design rules for this year's America's Cup ...

  7. BMW Oracle Wins the America's Cup

    After sitting out the first race because of a weight limit, Ellison, 65, was onboard his trimaran Sunday as the high-tech BMW Oracle, with a gigantic wing for a sail, sped ahead of the two-time ...

  8. BMW ORACLE Racing Wins the 33rd America's Cup

    BMW ORACLE Racing Wins the 33rd America's Cup

  9. USA17 (BMW Oracle Racing 90)

    USA17 (BMW Oracle Racing 90) In 2007 Russell Coutts approached VPLP to design USA 17, the fastest racing sailing boat to contest the America's Cup. Little did the team know that the project would take three years of relentless modifications, improvements and developments to produce a trimaran featuring 35 m floats and a 68 m pivoting wing ...

  10. BMW Oracle sail away with 33rd America's Cup

    U.S. challengers BMW Oracle won the 33rd America's Cup on Sunday, beating Swiss holders Alinghi in the second race to claim the best-of-three series 2-0 in a triumph of superior design and technology.

  11. 1,441 Bmw Oracle Racing Photos & High Res Pictures

    The new BMW Oracle trimaran commissioned by Larry Ellyson and helmed and skippered by Russell Coutts touches the water and undergoes preliminary... New Skipper of BMW Oracle team New Zealander Russell Coutts attends a presser during his official presentation in Valencia 24 July 2007.

  12. BMW Oracle sails to lead at best-of-three America's Cup

    California billionaire Larry Ellison's big trimaran BMW Oracle manhandled Swiss Cupholder Alinghi's catamaran Friday to go up, 1-0, in the best-of-three match. The stunners. The cheers.

  13. The 33rd America's Cup

    BMW Oracle Racing Win the 33rd America's Cup. Race 1: An aggressive pre-start by BMW Oracle Racing forced a foul by Alinghi, which had not taken advantage of the diagonal start line allowed for the port-entry boat. Both boats wound up head to the wind over the start line. Alinghi bore off while BMW Oracle Racing remained stalled and started c ...

  14. 2010 America's Cup

    2010 America's Cup. /  39.467°N 0.3083°W  / 39.467; -0.3083. The 33rd America's Cup between Société Nautique de Genève defending with team Alinghi against Golden Gate Yacht Club, and their racing team BMW Oracle Racing was the subject of extensive court action and litigation, surpassing in acrimony even the controversial 1988 America ...

  15. Fastest cruising trimaran of all time

    There are many more trimarans that have made history due to their speed. Firstly, the giant trimaran by BMW Oracle Racing team represented the Golden Gate Yacht Club in 2010. This trimaran won the 33rd America's Cup on Valentine's day 2010 by sailing off the coast of Spain. It managed to beat the Alinghi catamaran by a large margin.

  16. On supporting science journalism

    The team, known as the BMW ORACLE Racing Team, will start to practice with and evaluate the high-strength yet lightweight carbon-fiber wing on its 27-meter carbon-composite trimaran later this week.

  17. High-speed, Singlehanded Trimarans Ready to Circle the Globe

    Sodebo Ultime is a 101ft trimaran, a recycled version of Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo, built in 2001. Launched in 2014, she uses Geronimo's cross beams, albeit strengthened, but with a new 101ft mainhull and new bows on her floats, while her foils were all recycled from the BMW Oracle's 2010 America's Cup winning trimaran, USA 17.

  18. BMW Oracle Racing

    America's Cup entwickelte das Team einen neuen Trimaran namens BMW Oracle Racing 90 (BOR90). Mit diesem gewann es am 14. Februar 2010 den Wettkampf gegen Alinghi bereits nach dem zweiten Rennen. Dem Cup gingen massive juristische Streitereien voran, welche vor amerikanischen Gerichten ausgetragen wurden.

  19. BMW Oracle BOR 90 sailing in Mexico, November 20 '09

    The BMW Oracle BOR 90 sailing in Mexico, November 20 '09

  20. Trimaran

    A trimaran (or double-outrigger) is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls ... Competing with a giant trimaran the BMW Oracle Racing team won the 2010 America's Cup for the Golden Gate Yacht Club on February 14, 2010, off Valencia, Spain.

  21. Finn 53

    Partner the man who developed the hulls for the trimaran BMW Oracle with one of the best race boat builders in the world, and with the addition of the most experienced trimaran spar builder, and the result is the Finn 53. Safety, speed, reliability and ease of maintenance were priority considerations and the Finn 53 is truly achieves them.

  22. About Us

    2010 USA 17, the 90' trimaran of the American challenge BMW Oracle wins the 33rd America's Cup. For VPLP, as the chief designer, this was the most fruitful and intense project the firm had thus far worked on. Much of the firm's innovations in foils and rigid wingsails come from this experience.

  23. VPLP design

    BMW Oracle Racing 'BOR 90, sailed as USA 17' the American challenger, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, won the 33rd America's Cup Match in Valencia, sweeping past the Swiss defender, Alinghi, to a 2-0 victory. Race one, a windward - leeward course with 20-mile (32 km) legs, saw BMW Oracle Racing's trimaran winning by 15.28 minutes.