The official word

News of John Kostecki’s departure from BMW Oracle has scorched around the America’s Cup hotline. During this season’s opening Acts in Valencia team CEO Chris Dickson was conspicuous through his absence, now it seems he’s back on the boat as skipper.

Speculation as to the mood within the camp is rife, but the next interesting issue will be whether ex-Oracle tactician Kostecki will end up in the team that many have odds on him joining, the Disney Volvo 70 campaign.

Meanwhile here’s the official word from BMW Oracle.

CEO Chris Dickson returns to the role of sailing team skipper. During Acts 4 and 5 in Valencia last month, Dickson had stayed ashore to focus on his CEO responsibilities. The New Zealander is back on board the race boat.

In other changes, John Kostecki relinquishes his roles as BMW ORACLE Racing Sailing Director and tactician. Kostecki remains part of the America’s Cup team but in a consulting capacity and he will no longer be based in Valencia. An amicable and mutually-agreed arrangement was reached. He will be a resource to the team for the balance of the campaign and likely will sail with the team from time-to-time. “John has made significant and valuable contributions to BMW ORACLE Racing over the past two years and we look forward to his continued contribution for the balance of the campaign,” Dickson said upon announcing the new arrangement. Kostecki is free to do other non-America’s Cup sailing.

The BMW ORACLE Racing team is at the halfway point of its campaign for the 2007 America’s Cup. “We are fortunate to have a team of many, many talented people not only on the sailing team but our design and shore teams are second to none,” Dickson said. “We are proud of the exceptional team we have assembled and the next two years will be extremely important in developing not only a fast boat but a winning team on all fronts. I am confident we are on track to achieve our goal.”

BMW ORACLE Racing continues its two-boat testing and training program in Valencia through the end of July. The team is preparing for Louis Vuitton Acts 6 and 7 in Malmo, Sweden starting 25th August.