San Diego, CA, November 10, 2009 — BMW ORACLE Racing, the American Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup, today installed an almost 190-foot airplane-like hard wing sail and completed the first short test sail of the team’s latest technology on San Diego Bay.
A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, the wing on the BOR 90 dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is nearly 80 percent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane (102 ft / 31 m).
« This is just an amazing moment, » said James Spithill (AUS), helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing. « As sailors, we’re just very excited to try this out. We can’t thank the guys on the build and shore teams enough as they’ve put in a massive effort to get this ready for us. »
« This was a colossal undertaking, » said Tim Smyth (NZL), who, along with Mark Turner (NZL), oversaw the wing construction team in Anacortes and in San Diego.
« Building a wing of this size was something new for all of us, and we’re proud our guys were able to rise to the challenge. »
The wing was attached to the BOR 90 trimaran for the first time today. The wing sail was first unveiled on Sunday evening, when the assembly tent on site at the team base in San Diego was opened up for the first time. After a day of load testing, it was installed on the boat platform early this morning.
The initial testing sessions will consist of gently working up the loads on the boat and wing as the sailors become familiar with the new system.
Full-scale testing of the cutting-edge rig will continue over the coming weeks as BMW ORACLE Racing prepares to face Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup Match.