BMW Oracle Racing, the sole US challenger for the America's Cup, is entering the final preparations for the construction of its first yacht
BMW Oracle Racing, the sole US challenger for the America’s Cup is entering the final preparations for the construction of its first yacht. The first of the team’s two news yachts for the 32nd America’s Cup will, according to Tom Ehman the team’s External Relations Officer who was in London yesterday, be built at a purpose-built site in Anacortes, Seattle, a region which provides a blend of maritime and aerospace resources.
The structures team is headed by local sailor and designer Paul Bieker and three BMW engineers – Thomas Hahn, Christophe Erbelding and Ingo Raasch – will be included in the team. BMW Oracle’s Mark Turner, Tim Smyth and Mark Somerville are managing the boat construction and the moulds and tooling for the yachts are being manufactured at Janicki Industries.
Chatting about the decision to use Janicki for the tooling Turner said: “Last campaign we built the tooling at Janicki and the hulls in California. This time we consolidated our operations by building the hull in nearby Anacortes. This is a far more efficient approach.”
The construction site for the carbonfibre composite race boats is located in Anacortes at a 20,000sq ft purpose-built facility. Due to the competitive nature of the America’s Cup, the boat-building remains a highly secure process. The non-descript facility in Anacortes has been customized to offer aerospace level technologies and quality levels.
The construction follows an intensive research and development programme to develop what the team hopes is a fast design. “Quality construction is the key to bringing our design concepts to life,” BMW ORACLE Racing Design Coordinator Ian Burns said. “Through a precise custom boat-building process, we can ensure the right materials and methods are applied to the build. With hi-tech composite materials, precision of construction is critical to ensure that engineering specifications are met.
“The technology involved in composite boat-building is becoming a science in itself. The build team has spent the last few months very well, taking this science to the next level by combining the talent of some of the best people in the America’s Cup game with the aerospace technology available in the Seattle area. The design team has been highly impressed by what we’ve seen in Anacortes.”