Team Origin will race BMW Oracle Racing for a new trophy at Cowes Week

Britain’s America’s Cup team, Team Origin, is to race US team BMW Oracle Racing during Cowes Week (31 July – 7 August) for a new trophy – the 1851 Cup.

Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal of Team Origin, has invited America’s Cup holders BMW Oracle Racing to Cowes this summer to compete in a match race tournament that will involve a race clockwise around the Island over the historic original course that saw the birth of the competition in 1851.

In that summer, fourteen British yachts raced a visiting US yacht called ‘America’, clockwise around the Isle of Wight. The American yacht won. Her owners were awarded a silver ewer, which became, and continues to be to this day, one of the world’s leading sports trophies – the America’s Cup.

Named for the year of the original race, The 1851 Cup is a new invitational match race regatta which will become a perpetual event competed for by America’s Cup teams invited by Team Origin and the Royal Thames Yacht Club. This year the British and American teams will use their own ACC Version 4 boats, GBR-75 and USA-76. Both are currently being prepared for shipping from Valencia, Spain to the UK.

The 1851 Cup will bring together some of the world’s greatest sailors at the world’s largest sailing regatta and re-ignite and build interest in match racing in large yachts in British waters again.  The newly crowned Defender, led by four times America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, and crewed by many of the winning team that sailed the radical wing-sailed trimaran against Alinghi in February, will be tested at Cowes against a world class British team led by three times Olympic Gold Medallist, and Team Origin Skipper, Ben Ainslie.

“This will be an incredible event which I am sure will capture the imagination of sports fans across the UK,” commented Ainslie. “We relish the idea of taking on the Defenders in our home waters. The complex tides and winds of the Solent are always challenging even to a team that has raced here a thousand times before. But the opportunity to show our home crowds what we are up to and what we are about is fantastic. We have a busy season in 2010 but The 1851 Cup will surely be the jewel in the crown for us.”

Ashore, public and guests will have the chance to mingle with the two teams at The 1851 Cup Village on Cowes Parade and get close to the two America’s Cup race boats used in the competition. The boats will be moored in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron and will be in full view for all to see.

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