USA, BMW-Oracle Racing's giant 90-foot trimaran has taken the first race in the 33rd Americas Cup by a margin of more than 15 minutes. After a pre-start tussle where Alinghi V picked up a penalty turn for not allowing enough room for USA while on port tack, the trimaran crossed the line more than a minute behind. She made up this deficit and was leading by more than 3 minutes at the weather mark of this upwind-downwind race.
BMW-Oracle Racing's trimaran USA catches up with Alinghi V on the windward leg. Picture © Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle Racing, used with permission.
She held onto this lead in the downwind run, reaching speeds of up to 25 knots in the gentle breeze. The wing-sail clearly came into its own during this race, allowing James Spithill to sail USA consistently higher and keep the hull and windward float in the air. This allowed him to keep the apparent wind well forward as he played the puffs all through the race, steering the mega-trimaran like a dinghy sailor.
James Spithill helms BMW-Oracle Racing's trimaran USA on the downwind leg. Picture © Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle Racing, used with permission.
Check out the BMW Oracle Racing blog for more details.