Americas Cup sailing syndicate announce their core sailing team and 2008 programme 20/3/08

BMW Oracle Racing today announced its core sailing team for the 33rd America’s Cup. The team also confirmed the start of a comprehensive 2008 training and racing program that includes both monohulls and multihulls.

Joining skipper Russell Coutts are American John Kostecki and Australian James Spithill. Among the crew roster are nine sailors returning from BMW ORACLE Racing, 11 from Luna Rossa’s 2007 Italian challenge, and Jonathan Macbeth joins from Emirates Team New Zealand.

Spithill will share helming duties with Coutts, and Kostecki has been named tactician. Among the crew are Hamish Pepper, strategist, and Carl Williams, grinder – the 2006 Star World champions representing New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics Star class.

The team’s on-the-water training program began last week in Valencia with sailing in two Extreme 40 catamarans. This summer the team will compete in the Extreme 40 European tour. Team members will also be competing in the TP 52 Med Cup Series, a European grand prix sailing tour in monohulls.

BMW Oracle Racing Team for the 33rd America’s Cup:

Alberto Barovier, Italy, foredeck
Russell Coutts, New Zealand, skipper
Simone de Mari, Italy, pit
Dirk de Ridder, The Netherlands, mainsail trimmer
Noel Drennan, Ireland; mainsail trimmer
Larry Ellison, USA, afterguard
Shannon Falcone, United Kingdom, mast
Daniel Fong, New Zealand, trimmer
Ross Halcrow, New Zealand, trimmer
Jared Henderson, New Zealand, pit
John Kostecki, USA, tactician
Michele Ivaldi, Italy, navigator
Jonathan Macbeth, New Zealand, grinder
Brian MacInnes, Canada, grinder
Gilberto Nobili, Italy, grinder
Joe Newton, Australia, trimmer
Hamish Pepper, New Zealand, strategist
Matteo Plazzi, Italy, navigator
Max Sirena, Italy, foredeck
Alan Smith, New Zealand, foredeck
James Spithill, Australia, helmsman
Joe Spooner, New Zealand, grinder
Andrew Taylor, New Zealand, grinder
Simeon Tienpont, The Netherlands, grinder
Brad Webb, New Zealand, foredeck
Carl Williams, New Zealand, grinder
Julien di Biase, Switzerland, sailing team coordinator.

Sailing team biographies are online at