Chris Dickson and team commence final training in run-up to the America's Cup trials 6/3/07

 Team BMW Oracle commenced its final two-boat race training session in Valencia yesterday in the lead up to the America’s Cup trials.

The team’s two 2007-generation race yachts USA 98 and USA 87 lined up together for the first time while Chris Dickson and the sailing team performed a series of tests and in-house races off Valencia.

The team sea-trialed USA 98 in New Zealand and ran a two-boat race training session in Valencia in January and February. The other boat USA 98 arrived on 23 February and underwent on-the-water technical checks last week. USA 87 also sailed last week for the first time following winter modifications.

Chris Dickson commented: “We now have two 2007-model America’s Cup Class yachts. All we learned from USA 87 in 2006 was incorporated into USA 98. The winter period also gave us the opportunity to upgrade USA 87, bringing 87 into the current model year. We now have the hardware in place to do the job.”

The team will continue the two-boat race training programme through March in preparation for the 2007 racing season which begins with Louis Vuitton Act 13 (fleet racing) on 3 April. The Louis Vuitton Cup starts on 16 April.