BMW Oracle's 5,000 square foot mainsail is hoisted for the first time as the team being testing

One week after being launched, BMW Oracle Racing’s new 90-foot multihull hoisted its sails for the first time yesterday and began its shakedown in 6-8 knots of breeze over four hours of testing on the Rosario Strait.

“What a great feeling to get this amazing boat under sail power,” said team CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts. “This boat is incredibly challenging. We will take it conservatively in this testing session as we learn more about the boat and its potential.”

After leaving the dock at 1100, the team first hoisted the 5,000 square foot (500 meters square) mainsail up the 158-foot (48-meter) carbon fiber mast. Following the mainsail tests, the team hoisted the staysail and completed some initial tacks. Along with 14 sailing team crew on board , there were eight members of the design and build team who continued structural and systems reviews during the sail.

Led by Mark Turner and Tim Smyth, the BMW Oracle Racing construction team built the carbon composite boat over a nine month period. The new yacht is a key element of the team’s preparation for the next America’s Cup, representing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) – on which a ruling is expected from the New York State Court of Appeals in the next six months.

The initial on-the-water testing session will continue in Anacortes until the middle of September.