Oracle’s testing boat arrives
The first America's Cup class catamaran has arrived in Bermuda.
The wing sail, foiling AC45 owned by Oracle Team USA, defender of the “Auld Mug”, arrived on a container ship this week.
“The AC45 training and testing boat for Oracle Team USA arrived at Dockyard yesterday [Tuesday],” Peter Rusch, the Oracle Team USA spokesman, said.
“It is being stored in its shipping containers on the forecourt at Dockyard until April 20 when the base boat shed is scheduled to be completed. Then the team will begin assembling the boat to be ready for sailing at the beginning of the month.”
The journey of Oracle's AC45 from San Francisco to Bermuda was interrupted after US marshals arrested the vessel last month in response to a maritime lien filed by sailor Joe Spooner, whose contract with the US America's Cup racing syndicate was terminated in January.
The New Zealand sailor is seeking unpaid wages and damages for alleged wrongful termination of his contract. According to American Maritime law, a vessel can be held until a bond is posted if a sailor is owed wages for work already performed.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California, judge Joseph C Spero granted Oracle's request to have their boat released after a hearing last month.
Meanwhile, Oracle's new base at Dockyard continues to take shape.
“All of the contractors involved in the construction project for Oracle Team USA at Dockyard are working at full pace to have the base facilities ready so the team can be sailing at the beginning of May,” Rusch said.
Tom Slingsby, the Oracle tactician and sailing team manager, added: “We're really looking forward to the move to Bermuda. We're going to be arriving no later than April 10.
“We'll start working with the shore guys to complete building the base a couple of days later. Our aim is to be sailing on the Great Sound at the beginning of May.”