CupInfo: 2010 America's Cup Defense
Defender and Challenger


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33rd Defense of the America's Cup

February 8, 10, and 12, 2010
Read More About Dates and
See TV/Internet Schedule

Warning Gun at 10:00am CET,
4:00am ET (US), 1:00am PT

Valencia, Spain.

Société Nautique de Genève /
Golden Gate YC /
BMW Oracle Racing

Team Site

Team Site | Blog
      Photo credits  

The Match will consist of two or three races as necessary.  In mid-December 2009 there was discussion that the Challenger and Defender could agree to extend the match to a best-of-5 or best-of-7 series.  Such agreement was dead again by late January, and a best-of-3 match is expected.

Race Courses:

Per the America's Cup 1887 Deed of Gift:
All such races shall be on ocean courses, free from headlands, as follows: the first race, twenty nautical miles to windward and return; the second race an equilateral triangular race of thirty-nine nautical miles, the first side of which shall be a beat to windward; the third race (if necessary) twenty nautical miles to windward and return.

Defender: Challenger:

Alinghi launched their 90' catamaran on July 8, a scaled-up and refined version of a 41' design previously raced. 
Click image for more. 
Photo: ©2008 Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi

BMW Oracle began testing this 90' trimaran on the US west coast in fall 2008, re-launching a modified boat in July 2009.
Click image for more.
Photo:©2008 Gilles Martin-Raget


Yacht Club:

Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)
Geneva, Switzerland

Represented by:

Defending Yacht:
Name: AL-5 (or Alinghi 5)
Length: 90 feet (waterline) 
Beam: estimated 90 feet
Mast Height: estimated 180 feet

Alinghi launch a 90-foot waterline catamaran on July 8, 2009.  Reports indicate a bowsprit that extends the length of the boat to 120 feet overall, and a mast 180 feet tall.  During initial testing carried a conventional mast and sails, though some observers thought for a long time that the final configuration would involve a wing mast.

Under the Deed of Gift, the defender does not need to name their defending yacht until the start of the first race.  Once named, they must defend in all races with that same yacht.  Alinghi is not believed to be preparing a second yacht.

Yacht Club:

Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC)
San Francisco, CA  USA

Represented by:
BMW Oracle Racing

Challenging Yacht:
Name: USA
Length: 90 feet (waterline)
Beam: 90 feet
Mast Height: 223-ft tall wing sail, plus trained with multiple masts 158 feet to 180 feet.

BMW Oracle Racing first launched in September 2008.  See photos from the first sail and the first flight.

They did not officially state until August 10, 2009, that this yacht will be their challenging vessel.  In 2009 the boat underwent significant modifications including new amas (outer hulls).  Rumors that a potential second new yacht was underway, possibly intended to be the actual challenger, were only that, but whispers about an exotic wing sail rig turned out to be true. The 190-ft. tall hard wing was mounted and tested in fall 2009.

Previous Team Experience:

2007 America's Cup Defender
Defeated Emirates Team New Zealand 4-2

2003 America's Cup Challenger
Defeated Team New Zealand 4-0

Alinghi was formed following the 2000 America's Cup based on hiring several key members of then-Defender Team New Zealand, including Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth.

Previous Team Experience:

BMW Oracle Racing:
2007 America's Cup:
Challenger Candidate
(eliminated in Semi-finals)

2003 America's Cup:
Challenger Candidate (as Oracle BMW)
(eliminated in Louis Vuitton Cup Final)

In 2000 Oracle Racing acquired the crew, yachts, and other assets of AmericaOne, who was a 2000 LVC finalist, losing to Italy's Prada 5-4.

Team CEO: Ernesto Bertarelli

Photo: ©2009 Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi

Ernesto Bertarelli is ranked as the 53rd richest man in the world by Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $8.2 billion US, including family holdings.

Born in 1965, Bertarelli is a graduate of Babson College (1989) and Harvard Business School (1992).  He managed his family pharmaceutical business, Serono SA, serving as Chief Executive Officer from 1996 to 2007 when the company was sold to Merck SA.

Team Owner: Lawrence J. Ellison

Photo:©2008 Gilles Martin-Raget

Larry Ellison is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's 4th richest man at $22.5 billion US.

Born in 1944, Ellison attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before founding Oracle Software Corporation in 1977, where he is currently Chief Executive Officer.
Read More Bio Details and at Oracle Team Site


Photo: ©2009 Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi

Brad Butterworth

America's Cup victories
2007 (Skipper, Alinghi)
2003 (Tactician, Alinghi)
2000 (Tactician, Team New Zealand)
1995 (Tactician, Team New Zealand)

Other America's Cup Experience:
1992 New Zealand Challenge, Tactician
1987 New Zealand, Tactician

Team CEO:

Photo:©2008 Gilles Martin-Raget

Russell Coutts

America's Cup victories:
2003 (Skipper, Alinghi)
2000 (Skipper, Team New Zealand)
1995 (Skipper, Team New Zealand)

Other America's Cup Experience:
1992 Team New Zealand, Skipper
Other Achievements:
1984 Olympic Gold Medal, Finn Class

Detailed Bio on Team Web Site

Brad Butterworth and Russell Coutts are the official team sailing leaders.  In the upcoming America's Cup match the yachts will be helmed by multi-hull experts, and some top sailing team members, including Coutts himself, might not even be on board.

At the Helm:


Photo: ©2009 Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi

Loïck Peyron

Peyron and Ernesto Bertarelli will steer the Defender's yacht.

Peyron's previous experience is multi-hull racing, especially offshore and round-the-world.

Detailed Bio on Team Web Site


Photo:©2009 Gilles Martin-Raget

James Spithill

Spithill was named as Skipper by Russell Coutts, and will steer the Challenger's yacht.

America's Cup Experience:
2007 Luna Rossa, Helmsman
2003 One World Challenge, Helmsman
2000 Young Australia, Skipper

Detailed Bio on Team Web Site


Photo Credits:

Alinghi: Photo:©2009 Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi

BMW Oracle: Photo:©2008 Gilles Martin-Raget

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