Alinghi and Oracle BMW teams will battle it out at Moet Cup

The professional sailing crews on board America’s Cup winner Alinghi, and leading US America’s Cup contender Oracle BMW Racing will battle it out for the Moet Cup on San Francisco Bay on 15-20 September.

Racing will take place every day with a start time of 1pm on a windward/leeward racecourse located between Treasure Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The two-part series will feature match racing on windward/leeward courses 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. 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 Moet Cup, the Pro/Driver Series, the America’s Cup veteran crews will spar in seven races, each worth one point. Oracle 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. The Cup will be awarded to the winner of the Pro/Driver Series.

Both teams are fielding all-star crews from the America’s Cup. Chris Dickson will skipper Oracle BMW Racing, with Gavin Brady on the helm. 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. Local sailor John Kostecki – Olympic medallist, 2002 Volvo Ocean Race winner and America’s Cup veteran – recently joined the Oracle BMW Racing afterguard.

Jochen Schuemann, Alinghi’s sport director, will be the skipper for the Moet Cup and Brad Butterworth will act as tactician. 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. Winning America’s Cup skipper Russell Coutts will not be sailing with the team but will join Alinghi in San Francisco later in the week.

Both teams will be fighting hard to establish themselves as front-runner for the next America’s Cup to be staged in Europe. Oracle BMW Racing, and its affiliated yacht club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, is the Challenger of Record, 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.