Team Origin announces its first major purchase. But what else might it mean? Matthew Sheahan reports
Today is a reserve day and with no need to catch up, Monday has the distinct feeling of the day after the night before. The calm after the storm.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees the battle between the Kiwis and the Spanish resume. With such a dramatic end to BMW Oracle’s future in this Cup at least when so many were betting the other way, no one dares to predict what might happen tomorrow. Especially given the forecast for stronger breezes of around 12-14 possibly 16 knots, conditions that the Spanish and their boat clearly enjoy.
In the meantime, the big news for Brits is that Sir Keith Mills’ Team Origin has started its shopping spree and has bought Alinghi’s SUI-75, the sistership to the Cup winning SUI-64.
In a press release from Team Origin, team director Mike Sanderson said, “This is a really important step for Team Origin, buying our first training boat of the calibre of SUI 75 means we are tapping into one of the fastest training boats around. We are also able to get hold of it without delay meaning that we can push forward our planning and be on the water here in Valencia as early as July 2007. We are continuing our progress in buying a second top quality training boat and other necessary assets to progress team preparations.”
All very well, but surely there’s another reason for buying this particular boat – structure.
Measuring speed and gauging performance from afar is reasonably straightforward. If there’s one things there’s always plenty of in America’s Cup racing, it’s data. What you can’t get to see easily is how the boat hangs together inside.
With so much emphasis on gaining an edge through design and build, it’s difficult to think of a better boat to choose than the sistership to the boat that blew the competition away last time around.
But perhaps there’s an even more serious reason for buying this boat – the role of Challenger of Record. Has Mills already discussed and agreed the possibility of taking on the official role should the Swiss be successful in defending the Cup?
Nice buy or poisoned chalice?
Take a look at the record for the last two teams that took on this role. BMW Oracle for 2007 and Luna Rossa in 2002.
SEMI FINAL SCORE SO FAR
Emirates Team New Zealand v Desafio Espanol: 4 – 2
BMW Oracle Racing v Luna Rossa: 1 – 5Match Complete
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