Thursday, November 5, 2009

BMW Oracle Dismasted

Astrid in Dubai has put together some recent pictures of BWW Oracle.

She also notes that the BMW Oracle Racing team has collected lots of data during their test run on the open sea yesterday (3 November 2009) when the BOR90 was dismasted.

It seems that BMW Oracle has been spending far too much time in the court room and taking its eye off the boat and the water.

Or is it playing legal games to delay as long as possible the battle in the water?

See the BMW Oracle Drama



Read the Full Story
Sailing Scuttlebutt
Sail World
BMW Oracle Racing Blog

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ernesto Bertarelli of Alinghi Talks to Showtime Dubai

Ernesto Bertarelli (Alinghi) was interviewed by Rob Mccaffrey at the Showtime Dubai studio during the 'Goals On Monday' football progam on 2 November 2009.

It is a general information talk with a few nice sailing shots and does not tough the court case issues at all, while a few hours later SNG appeals the Ras Al Khaimah venue decision at the NYC court in these words from the Alinghi site:

“The Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), is to appeal New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich’s decision of 30 October rejecting Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup. SNG has applied for an expedited appeal to avoid any delay to the February 2010 Deed of Gift Match.”

“The choice of Ras Al Khaimah was made based on the plain language of Justice Cahn’s (Kornreich’s predecessor) May 2008 Court Order that ruled the location of the 33rd America’s Cup Match to be in ‘Valencia or any other location selected by the SNG’.”

“The Emirati venue was selected by the Defender for several reasons: the suitability of the weather conditions for a February Deed of Gift Match; the infrastructure offered by the country and the experience the UAE brings in organising world class sporting events.”

Note to the Editor
“While the Deed of Gift stipulates that racing for the America’s Cup between 1 November and 1 May must take place in the Southern Hemisphere, Justice Cahn’s 12 May 2008 New York Supreme Court Order ‘that the location of the match be in Valencia or any other location selected by the SNG’ led the America’s Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève, to select Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.”

Watch the Interview


Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Alinghi boss, Ernesto Bertarelli.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New York Court America’s Cup Decision takes the Wind out of UAE Sails

The people of the UAE are waking up to learn that a New York court has rejected Alinghi’s proposal that Ras Al Khaimah be the venue for the sailing of the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010.

The airwaves and Internet today are being bombarded with headlines that RAK has been robbed and the America’s Cup competition is on the rack.

There has been a substantial monetary investment in the AC facilities at the Al Hamra harbour but the loss of face contributes greater disappointment as does the loss of an opportunity to host a big event and showcase the Emirates to the world. Arab hospitality has been lauded for centuries but this decision in a New York court kicks sand into the face of those preparing to welcome the world into the Emirati tent.

With all the allegations about the unsafe location of the Middle East, accentuated by RAK’s proximity to Iran, the UAE has lost the chance to pull off a successful event and help dispel these widespread misconceptions, particularly among Americans.

This court decision is a blow to the America’s Cup tradition which could have added a colourful Middle Eastern chapter to its illustrious story. Instead the America’s Cup continues to be marred by legal wrangling among billionaires and ego-driven sailors who have hijacked the competition and lost thousands of disillusioned spectators and a host of sponsors.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: “RAK has been robbed and the America’s Cup competition is on the rack.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alinghi’s First Outing on UAE Waters

Thanks to Astrid, we have this minute of aerial footage of Alinghi’s first outing on UAE waters.



Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BMW Oracle Undergoing Further Modifications in San Diego

Mystery Components
Some new mystery ‘components’ have been dispatched from Washington State to arrive in the BMW Oracle Racing testing base in San Diego.

While the material from which they have been made has been disclosed little detail about the parts and their function have been publicized.

It is promising to see the trimaran being readied for racing rather than to hear of the ongoing stories of legal battles in the court.

BMW Oracle Racing issued this press release about new modifications to its trimaran:

“BMW ORACLE Racing has completed work on a set of important new components at its Anacortes boat-building facility in Washington State - Core Builders. The new parts will be trucked this week to the team’s testing base in San Diego.”

“The carbon fiber components rolled out of Anacortes early Saturday morning and will soon be bound for San Diego. These latest structures will be used in future modifications to the BOR 90, the giant trimaran that the team is preparing for the 33rd America’s Cup. This next phase of development will be unveiled in San Diego in a few weeks.”

“The team’s boat construction managers were pleased to see the latest build project on its way to San Diego.”

“‘Our Anacortes crew have been a vital part of our last two America’s Cup campaigns,’ said Tim Smyth (NZL), who, along with Mark Turner (NZL), has been overseeing the boat-building project for the team.”

“‘For this campaign, and with this boat, we’ve been building on a scale that hasn’t been attempted in the modern America’s Cup,’ Smyth said. ‘For all of us, this has been a big test of our skills and ability, and the team here in Anacortes has more than responded to the challenge. I’m very proud of what’s being accomplished here.’”

“While boatbuilding activity has increased in San Diego with the latest BOR 90 modifications, the Core Builders facility in Anacortes remains the backbone of the team’s American construction operations. The team in Anacortes will continue to work on America’s Cup-related projects.”

“The BOR 90 has been undergoing modifications in the tent-boatshed at the San Diego base since its most recent round of sea trials concluded September 20th. The boat is scheduled to emerge after the latest modifications this week and will return to the water for further testing before the end of the month.”

“BMW ORACLE Racing is preparing to face Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010.”

See It On Video



Links
BMW Oracle Racing Ships Components from Anacortes, BMW Oracle Racing, 10 October 2009.

BMW Oracle Modified BOR90: Wingsail On Its Way, YouTube, 13 October 2009. Thanks to Astrid in Dubai for making this video available.

On Related Sites
See the Textile and Spice Souks of Dubai UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 14 October 2009.

New Hotel Development along Fujairah Corniche, Fujairah in Focus, 14 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Here is the dispatch of the mystery components. Photo courtesy of Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

BMW Oracle Objection to RAK More about Light Winds than Iranian Dangers

Chip Cummins in his Wall Street Journal article suggests that BMW Oracle’s plea to change to venue from RAK to Valencia may be more about light winds than dangers from the regatta’s proximity to Iran:

“The site of the race could be important for reasons unrelated to Iran, which is in tense talks with Western nations over its nuclear program. The Persian Gulf, with calm waters and light breezes, could serve as a kind of equalizer, neutralizing the power of the BMW Oracle trimaran.”

“Grant Simmer, Alinghi's design-team coordinator, says Ras al-Khaimah's light winds are ideal for the fast boats both Alinghi and BMW Oracle have designed. Too much wind could be dangerous, he says.”

“‘Frankly, that's rubbish,’ says Tom Ehman, a BMW Oracle spokesman, adding: ‘They have purposely designed a boat for very light wind and flat waters.’”

Alinghi Interest in UAE
“Alinghi's links to the emirate also factored into the team's interest in racing there, Mr. Simmer said. A Swiss technical institute that has helped Alinghi with boat design is building a campus in the emirate. Decision SA, one of Alinghi's boat builders, has a joint venture with a unit of RAK Ceramics, the emirate's biggest state-owned conglomerate.”

Concerning Dangerous Iran
“Ras al-Khaimah officials hope to meet with Mr. Ellison to change his mind. Mr. Ehman says there have been talks about meeting, but nothing has been set.”

“Chief executive of the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority and adviser to the emirate's crown prince and de facto ruler, Mr. Massaad says race boats won't get near Iranian waters, including islands Iran and the U.A.E. contest, less than 50 miles away. Despite tension over Iran's nuclear ambitions, shipping -- some of it U.S.-flagged -- hasn't been affected, he adds. Local officials note that neighboring Dubai hosts regional headquarters for Mr. Ellison's Oracle Corp.”

“Alinghi 5, a 90-foot catamaran, arrived in the emirate last week. ‘The only thing we are waiting for is Oracle to confirm’ it is coming, Mr. Massaad says.”

Read Entire Article
Chuck Cummins, Iran Looms as Obstacle for Sailors, WSJ, 9 October 2009.

Other Stories and Related Sites
Said of Obama: ‘He’s Not a Muslim. He’s a Good Man’, Experiencing the Emirates, 7 October 2009.

See Alinghi Settling into Base at Ras al Khaimah UAE, America’s Cup in the UAE, 7 October 2009.

Thanks to the Many who Serve in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 8 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: BMW Oracle sailing in high winds off the coast of California.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

See Alinghi Settling Into Base at Ras al Khaimah UAE

Thanks to Astrid in Dubai we have more footage of Alinghi being lifted out of the water and into its covered base at Al Hamra.

There are scenes in this clip of the craft being washed down after its trip from Genoa.

Some reports indicate that the yacht will undergo refinements but it could be taken for its first sail on UAE waters by the end of the week.

This final step in the catamaran’s transition from Genoa to Ras al Khaimah took some time but the footage has been set in fast motion for ease of viewing.

Welcome Alinghi!
Welcome to the Alinghi Team. After all the legal battles we have wondered whether we in the United Arab Emirates would ever see an America’s Cup yacht in our waters. Your coming gives hope to us and all those around the world who love yacht racing.

Come In! The Water’s Fine!
Hopefully the BMW Oracle Team will get a sense of the peaceful nature of RAK, the tranquility of this region and the warmth of welcome that awaits them in the United Arab Emirates. We look forward with great anticipation to welcoming the arrival of BMW Oracle to Ras al Khaimah and getting the training and racing underway.

Alinghi 5 Arrives at Al Hamra Base Pt 2



Subscribe to Astrid in Dubai's YouTube Videos

Other Stories and Related Sites
Back to the Future Art Museum in Dubai, Experiencing the Emirates, 6 October 2009.

Watch First Western Media Report from Ras al Khaimah, America’s Cup in the UAE, 7 October 2009.

Rental Property Update in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 5 October 2009.

Ricky Gervais Speaks of Being ‘Born Again’ to the Joy of Work, Stories for Speakers and Writers, 4 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Alinghi base at Al Hamra (Photo courtesy of Carlo Borlenghi of Alinghi).

Watch First Western Media Report from Ras al Khaimah

Valencia Sailing has posted a television report on its site with this preamble:

“To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of a major western media from Ras Al-Khaimah, the disputed venue of the 33rd America's Cup.”

“TV New Zealand's Martin Tasker reports on the stage of the construction works that, God willing, seem will be ready on time for the world's oldest sports trophy. Unfortunately, as Tasker jokingly concludes, we don't know yet whose God will prevail...”

Link to View
TV New Zealand Reports from Ras al Khaimah, Valencia Sailing, 6 October 2009.

Other Stories and Related Sites
Your Business is My Business and My Business is Your Business in the UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 6 October 2009.

Back to the Future Art Museum in Dubai, Experiencing the Emirates, 6 October 2009.

This Will Be One of the Highest Swimming Pools in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 6 October 2009.

Ricky Gervais Speaks of Being ‘Born Again’ to the Joy of Work, Stories for Speakers and Writers, 6 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

See More Photos and Video of Alinghi in UAE Waters

Alinghi in UAE Waters
Take a look at the photo gallery at the official Alinghi site.

Posted with this article is one of several pictures of Alinghi’s arrival and lifting into the UAE waters. (Credit and courtesy to George Johns, Alinghi)

At this site Grant Simmer, design team coordinator, expresses the excitement of the team and the many people in the UAE who are looking forward to this regatta in the Emirates:

"The boat came down from Saqr Port and we lifted it out of the water, washed it down and put it in the boat shed. It's the first time that Alinghi has been to the Al Hamra harbour so it's quite a moment! It's very exciting for us because we've done a lot of work to get things ready here and to have the yacht in the base is great. We have some work to do on the boat which we've been planning since we were in Genoa, so the boys will start now and we should be sailing mid-month. The weather has been great. One of the reasons why we came here is because of the weather. It's beautiful: steady light to moderate winds and good weather, so we are looking forward to sailing here."

Read the entire press release.

Alinghi Looks Huge!
We’re grateful to Astrid in Dubai who has been out with her video camera and taken this footage. Alinghi looks huge alongside the support boats!



Further
W Johnson, Alinghi V Set to Test Waters, The National, 5 October 2009.

Other Stories and Related Sites
Your Business is My Business and My Business is Your Business in the UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 6 October 2009.

This Will Be One of the Highest Swimming Pools in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 6 October 2009.

Luxury Pen to Commemorate Gandhi’s Birthday is Not Write, Stories for Speakers and Writers, 4 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Alinghi 5 suspended above UAE waters.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Americans Claim RAK Unsafe While Alinghi and Locals Highlight Peaceful Haven

Reprogramming the American Mind
BMW Oracle is asking the New York Court to reject the UAE venue for the America’s Cup in favour of Valencia saying the team has ‘grave safety concerns’ for its US-based crew.

The thought of sailing their American trimaran named ‘USA’ with an American flag on top of the 200-foot mast within 17 miles of Iran is anathema to the American mind.

Yet, as Alinghi has countered, international sports players like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are regular visitors to the Emirates and BMW Oracle spokesman, Russell Coutts has sailed annually in off the UAE coast for the last few years.

If BMW Oracle is reflecting the ‘warning lights’ that are blinking in the minds of most Americans, this is all the more reason for the race to be staged in these waters. To engage in a peaceful competition off the shore of an Islamic country and in waters near Iran may do wonders for reprogramming the American mind.

In the meantime, the local representatives of Ras al Khaimah are putting their publicity machine into overdrive.

Haven of Peace
In the long-standing foreword to the RAK Tourism site, Sheik Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi begins his greeting to readers and tourists in this way:

“Welcome to Ras Al Khaimah, a haven of peace where age-old traditions and modern life co-exist in harmony.

In the News section of the site the following statement is an effort to allay the danger threat of danger and extend a genuine welcome:

America’s Cup to highlight Ras Al Khaimah’s popularity as a safe destination
RAK Investment Authority, the government agency responsible for attracting economic development and promoting the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, issued a statement today addressing the concerns raised about security for the upcoming 33rd America’s Cup to be held in February 2010.

“The UAE and specifically Ras Al Khaimah is an extremely safe venue for the America’s Cup. The Emirate of Ras al Khaimah has peaceful and friendly relations with all of its neighbours. The venue and all the visitors to Ras Al Khaimah in the coming weeks and months will be received in a similar friendly, peaceful and security conscious way,” said Dr Khater Massaad, CEO of RAK Investment Authority and Special Advisor to Ras Al Khaimah’s Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

Massaad went on to say that: “It is quite reasonable to state that security for the America’s Cup would be significant no matter where the event is held and in Ras Al Khaimah this event will receive the same level of importance with full cooperation from the Navy, Coast Guards and the Police services to ensure the safety and well being of all visitors to the Emirate.”

Internationally, the UAE has a well regarded reputation as one of safest holiday destinations and for maintaining one of the lowest crime rates in the world. The country annually welcomes international events of all sorts: academic, diplomatic, sporting, business… and has never had any problems, particularly in terms of safety. We are familiar with hosting sports personalities – including Americans – who compete in events with worldwide acclaim.

Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE is a multicultural and forward looking country, there are, for example, 87 American companies which represent approximately 8% of the new companies that have commenced business in the emirate over the past few years. These figures grow in to the hundreds when you look at the UAE as a whole.

“More than 80% of the total numbers of new companies in Ras Al Khaimah are foreign-owned, further proving that the Emirate is a very safe and productive place to do business and to live. The local and federal governments have worked hard to transform the Emirates in to an investor’s haven, with security as a core element,” concluded Dr Khater Massaad

The Emirate has been working for the past two months installing infrastructure on Al Hamra Island, the base for both teams, and is reaching the final stages of delivery for Alinghi. However, Dr Massaad said, Ras Al Khaimah is still waiting for direction from BMW Oracle in regards to their requirements.

In addition, Ras Al Khaimah offers close to 3000 hotel rooms and is situated less than one hour north of Dubai, where there are in excess of 10,000 hotel rooms available to visitors and fans of the event.

Local and international experts and officials concur that Ras Al Khaimah is one of the safest destinations for the 33rd America’s Cup. “We hope BMW Oracle will reconsider their position and join us in Ras al Khaimah for what will be one of the greatest sporting spectacles in the history of yachting,” said Massaad.

Other Stories and Related Sites
Emirates Pilots Speak of Fatigue and Safety Issues but Airline Slams the Report, Experiencing the Emirates, 3 October 2009.

See Alinghi’s Arrival in UAE while BMW Oracle Wants Valencia Venue, America’s Cup in the UAE, 3 October 2009.

Rental Property Update in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 5 October 2009.

Luxury Pen to Commemorate Gandhi’s Birthday is Not Write, Stories for Speakers and Writers, 4 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Al Hamra Beach (Photo courtesy of RAK Tourism at above link)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

See Alinghi's Arrival in UAE while BMW Oracle Wants Valencia Venue

According to the official Alinghi site (2 October 2009):
“The Swiss Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup docked in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah on Wednesday morning after a 12 day, 4,400nm voyage aboard Rickmers Singapore, a cargo ship.”

“The 193m ship left Genoa, Italy, on 18 September with the giant catamaran, Alinghi 5, two masts, seven support vessels and approximately 20 containers on board. It travelled across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal and Gulf, across the Red and then Arabian Sea before docking in Saqr Port, Ras al Khaimah in the Arabian Gulf at 06:30 CET on Wednesday 30 September.”

"We are extremely happy that the shipment, including Alinghi 5, arrived safely in Ras al Khaimah,” said Grant Simmer, design team coordinator. “All the equipment that we used in Genoa was onboard so now we can set up our base and workshops and get going. We will be doing some modifications to the yacht over the coming days and the team members are arriving and getting settled so it’s going to be a busy few weeks, we hope to be sailing again as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate the support that we are getting from the local community and from the government of Ras al Khaimah,” he added.

Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO of RAK Investment Authority, added his pleasure at the team’s arrival: "We welcome the arrival of Alinghi to Ras al Khaimah for the preparation of the 33rd America's Cup event and we also look forward to welcoming BMW Oracle."

The Alinghi catamaran will travel to the America’s Cup Island of Al Hamra over the coming days along with its entourage and for the next four months the team will be focused on training for the Match for the America’s Cup which starts on 8 February 2010.

See the video of Alinghi’s arrival by ship.

Ongoing Storm in the Courts
But the ongoing row between the two sides now looks set to continue throwing the future of the America's Cup into further doubt.

BMW Votes for Valencia not RAK
Further to the formal letter, there are arguments about the boat’s measurements, Russell Coutt’s says his team want to sail in Valencia and the BMW Oracle boat is undergoing further development.

Read the interview (2 October 2009) between Coutts and Valencia Sailing. Check out the many comments which include great recognition of Coutts and his maritime experience but criticizes him for the behaviour that is tarnishing his reputation and that of the America’s Cup race.

Alinghi Settling In
Grateful thanks to Astrid in Dubai for taking a new video report. Astrid writes:
The first part of Alinghi's shipment; the containers, have arrived at Al Hamra America’s Cup base.

This also means that the island is not accessible anymore to the public, therefore this video is taken from the Yacht Club.



Other Stories and Related Sites
Keeping Cool in Fujairah, Fujairah in Focus, 3 October2009.

Five Reasons Why Dubai Should Bid and Win the Olympics in 2020, Experiencing the Emirates, 3 October 2009.

BMW Oracle Rejects UAE Venue Citing Consent and Safety Issues, America’s Cup in the UAE, 2 October 2009.

Dying to Work or is Work Killing You? Stories for Speakers and Writers, 2 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Alinghi 5 being lifted off the cargo ship on arrival in Ras al Khaimah (Photo courtesy of Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi)

Friday, October 2, 2009

BMW Oracle Rejects UAE Venue Citing Consent and Safety Issues

The America’s Cup Challenger, BMW Oracle has rejected the Ras al Khaimah venue because of safety issues due to the proximity of the UAE to Iran, with whom it has territorial disputes and because the defending team has chosen a venue without mutual consent.

Link to Full Story
Bernie Wilson, America’s Cup Challenger Opposes Venue Choice, Reuters, 2 October 2009.

Full Script of the letter.

On Related Sites
Try Out the Harbour Club Bar and Restaurant in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 1 October 2009.

Dining in Dubai, Experiencing the Emirates, 1 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: BMW Oracle’s giant trimaran.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dear Oracle, When Will You Be in RAK? Sincerely, Alinghi

Dear Oracle
The Société Nautique de Genève, in its role as trustee of the America’s Cup and event organising authority, is working with Ras al-Khaimah, UAE, on fitting out the area for the 33rd edition of the America's Cup and on developing the teams’ area on Al Hamra Island. The defending yacht club writes to Golden Gate YC to enquire about the arrival of BMW Oracle in order to prepare their team area in good time. Here is the letter. You can read between the lines.

Illegitimate!
Soon after the letter was dispatched Russell Coutts, the leader of the BMW Oracle Racing Team, was throwing doubt over the legitimacy of the UAE as the host venue.

More on the acrimony between Coutts and his former team can be found at this link.

Dear Alinghi
America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle Racing on Wednesday (30 September 2009) sent a measurement certificate for its monster trimaran to defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland, nearly four months earlier than a judge stipulated.

Alinghi has been demanding the document for almost two years as part of a bitter legal fight between the powerhouse sailing teams that will meet in a best-of-3 showdown in February on the Persian Gulf for the oldest trophy in international sports.

Check out the details and specifications at this link.

Alinghi on the Way to RAK
A photo has been obtained from this link (merci!) indicating that Alinghi has been put on a ship in Geneva and is bound for the UAE.

Meanwhile…
The legal deadlock continues but now the New York court system is being blamed for the America’s Cup being in the legal doldrums.

American’s are calling for the historic regatta to get back onto an even keel by having the race run in monohulls rather than multihulls.

On Related Sites
Try Out the Harbour Club Bar and Restaurant in Fujairah UAE, Fujairah in Focus, 1 October2009.

Dining in Dubai, Experiencing the Emirates, 1 October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: The most positive sign yet.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Readying Al Hamra Island for the America’s Cup in UAE 2010

Many thanks to ‘Astrid in Dubai’ for shooting more film to give a progress report (16 September 2009) on the America’s Cup venue at Ras al Khaimah.

When I asked Astrid the $64 million question about whether the venue will be ready for the regatta, she replied:

“I am sure they will be ready in time, they have started the work on the island suddenly [and] with lots of machines. And the Marina clubhouse is ready. Also the clubhouse of the golf course is up and running, plus the Al Hamra Fort hotel.”

When I asked Astrid how she became interested enough in the venue and the forthcoming event to take some video reports, this was her reply:

“My interest started with the surprise of having such a huge event in RAK in a development that we have passed by on many occasions when returning from a mountain biking trip in Wadi Bieh. We never thought that behind the Al Hamra Mall this whole development was ready. And then I found myself proud of having this sporting event coming to our Emirates.”

Earlier Footage
Look at the Progress on the America’s Cup Venue at RAK, America’s Cup in the UAE, 10 September 2009 and originally posted on 6 September 2009.

Take a Look at the America’s Cup Venue at RAK, America’s Cup in the UAE, 31 August 2009 and originally posted on 14 August 2009.

Latest Footage




Link
Astrid in Dubai, Al Hamra Island-America’s Cup 2010, YouTube, 16 September 2009.

Many thanks to Astrid for her video reporting.


Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: America’s Cup in the UAE.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RAK Crown Prince Gives Inside Story on Winning America’s Cup Venue

A wide-ranging interview by the Khaleej Times with the Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah reveals many details about the choice of RAK as the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup and insights as to what this means to the emirate and to the UAE.

First some description and then excerpts from the interview.

Benefits of the America’s Cup
Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, was quite specific about one thing.

That the America’s Cup will benefit not just Ras Al Khaimah but all of the UAE and the entire Arab World. Swiss-based Alinghi named RAK, as everyone calls the northern emirate, as hosts for the defence of the world’s oldest trophy. The three-race event against American yacht Oracle will be held off the coast of Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah from February 8, 2010.

Window on the World
Speaking fluidly and with precision at his Majlis that overlooks almost all of his city, Shaikh Saud was free, frank and forthright in a wide-ranging interview with Khaleej Times recently. The America’s Cup will be a window from which we can see the world and the world can see us, he said. “It’s a huge event for the whole country. It’s like a big party.”

Magic of Technology
America’s Cup is yachting’s most prestigious prize on the water. Alinghi will be using a catamaran while American challenger Oracle will be using a trimaran. Both boats are supposed to sail over three times the wind speed. The magic of technology kicks in here. How can a boat sail three times faster than the same wind it uses to propel? They are able to sail faster than the wind because these carbon fibre boats with huge sails create their own wind.

Excerpts from the interview with Shaikh Saud by Aruna Urs and Cherian Thomas.

Khaleej Times: What was the idea behind bringing the America’s Cup to Ras Al Khaimah?

Shaikh Saud: The UAE in general, for the past 37 years, has witnessed dramatic changes. I would say that it has leaped forward in all fields. Look at the number of tourists, volume of containers and the GDP growth. The Emirates has become the second largest economy in the Arab world.

And, of course, we here in Ras Al Khaimah have been trying to become a growth emirate with sustainable development. So we have started ambitious development plans, creating industrial parks and in the tourism sector, we have embarked on the development of Marjan Island, Al Hamra Village and Mina Al Arab. We have started drawing out a master plan for the whole emirate — residential areas, business areas, tourist areas and hotels.

Ras Al Khaimah has a rich history. Two hundred years ago, it was a sea faring nation with almost 20,000 sailors and 1,800 ships.

The Emirates enjoys peace, tranquility and security. It is a place where everyone feels respected and there is a dream for everyone here. As you see, the diversity of ethnicity, religions…it is of a wonderful co-existence. The Emirates has a unique location in the world. New York is 14 hours by flight. So too is Sydney. Tokyo is about 10 hours. Basically, you are in the middle of the world. And it is also at the centre of growth—close to Asia, next door to Africa. The collapse of Soviet Union, has allowed those central Asian republics to seek closer ties with rest of the world. Those countries are only about three hours of flight from here. The Emirates has become unique in this world—a business partner in boom times and an oasis of security and sanctuary in troubled times.

Of course, the America’s Cup is a unique sporting event. It is sought after by every sailing nation in the world. It will be a signature event on how the world will look at the whole Emirates, in general, and Ras Al Khaimah in particular, as a destination. Of course, the weather in February in Ras Al Khaimah will be fantastic, unlike in Northern Europe. So we welcome the decision to play host to the America’s Cup here. Both the teams are most welcome. We will make sure the event is successful. We value Alinghi’s decision to make us host. And, of course, we will be more than happy to do whatever we can to make sure that the event is successful.

KT: Did you know about Ras Al Khaimah’s selection as host in advance?

Shaikh Saud: Let me say I knew it earlier but it was still pleasant news. It is good for the UAE. I think the teams will be able to compete fairly and, in my opinion, the world will watch a top-class race.

KT: Teams will start coming in November/December and journalists from all over the sailing world will be descending on the UAE. How do you feel about that?

Shaikh Saud: Good, this will make us work faster.

KT: What is the expected expenditure by the Ras Al Khaimah government for this event?

Shaikh Saud: We are currently working on a budget.

KT: Next year’s race is billed as the fastest race in the history of the cup. These boats are cutting edge of physics on water. What are your thoughts on this?

Shaikh Saud: Let me tell you, these boats are the summit of physics. It is a reflection of geniuses of human brain and the competitive nature, especially how competition allows one to beat his own record.

KT: Are you a sailor, yourself?

Shaikh Saud: I wouldn’t be a sailor compared to the men in these teams. I am not in that league.

KT: What is the impact of America’s Cup in terms of employment creation?

Shaikh Saud: I am not really focussed on it. It is a great event for Ras Al Khaimah. It is a window from which we can see the world and the world can see us. It is a good moment as well in this economic climate that we move on. Hope with work is the cure.

KT: How many tourists are you estimating and what are the plans to accommodate them?

Shaikh Saud: We are hoping that the whole UAE will benefit from this. We are limited in the number of rooms we have but I am sure other emirates will benefit, which is fine. It is our country. We hope that the event will give investors the impetus to build more hotels. If we can host the America’s Cup, that means we can do lot more.

KT: The whole sailing world will be here in January/February and people world over will be watching it on TV. The race was beamed to over 150 countries from the previous event held in Spain in 2007.

Shaikh Saud: The good thing is that we are in a much better location to get a large TV audience. India, China, Pakistan, Europe, Africa, Australia are within a five to seven hour time zone. For those who love sailing, they will see cutting-edge racing.

Another good thing about the UAE is that we are well connected. If you are in South America, North America, Europe, Asia or anywhere, it is very easy to get to the Emirates. And it is very safe. The weather is going to be beautiful. February is truly the best time. I am really looking forward to a really successfully event.

It is a huge event for the whole country. It is a good moment. It is like a big party. It will be a really good start for 2010.

KT: How did you make this happen?

Shaikh Saud: We have good relations with Switzerland. We actually have a number of Swiss companies based here. I have high admiration for Switzerland. A land with no real mineral wealth, a land of multi-ethnicity and yet they forged together to create a successful country. So we are always keen to welcome Swiss ventures and teams. The whole package of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah was the main selling point for the race to be brought here — if you look at the weather, security and connectivity. It will be great for racing.

KT: What are your plans for managing this event? Are you planning to outsource it?

Shaikh Saud: We are going to work with different teams.

KT: Ras Al Khaimah has been clocking double-digit growth rates in recent years. What will be the contribution of America’s Cup to the economy?

Shaikh Saud: In 2009, a growth rate of 8-10 per cent is achievable. America’s Cup will be good for Ras Al Khaimah. It will good for the UAE and for the whole Gulf region. It will send a message about people in the Emirates and their friendliness. People will come and witness how this desert land has been transformed into factories, hotels and parks. They will witness the uniqueness of our land and people.

KT: You have a very beautiful view of the city from your palace.

Shaikh Saud: Unfortunately, you cannot see it as you should because of the haze today. In February, you will see the mountains. It is magical here. This is the unique thing about Ras Al Khaimah. Tell me one place where you have this mixture of geography – you have beach, you have sand dunes, you have plains, wadis and mountains — all in a very small area.

We are building roads to the mountains. Just imagine, it will be 40 degrees Celsius here (in the city) in summers and just a half hour drive away, it will be 20 degrees up there. This is Ras Al Khaimah. It will be as if you are going to Switzerland but just by driving for 30 minutes.

KT: It also snowed here last winter, didn’t it?

Shaikh Saud: Exactly, I know you were sweating in your office, but it was cold up in the mountains.

KT: The pace of Ras Al Khaimah seems to be very similar to Dubai...

Shaikh Saud: Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah are part of one country. So are the other five emirates. By the way, the whole world is one village. We are all brothers and sisters. And what we are trying to do here is to create new potential to allow people to do more. Yesterday is not their destiny, but tomorrow holds the hope for a better life. We are trying to see how we can improve the economic potential, how we can improve the well being of people who live here, and how we can become attractive to even more talent from all around the world.

KT: Any other exciting projects?

Shaikh Saud: I really believe, honestly, that the best message anyone can send is ‘to do it’ and not say what they will be doing.

Link
Aruna Urs & Cherian Thomas, The Battle of Al Hamra, Khaleej Times, 16 September 2009. (Article reproduced with thanks to Aruna Urs, Cherian Thomas and Khaleej Times).

Other Stories and Sites
All Aboard the New Metro! Enjoy the Views of Dubai! Experiencing the Emirates, 11 August 2009.

Abu Dhabi Has the Most Expensive Hotels in the World, Experiencing the Emirates, 16 September2009.

What Will Be the Legacy of the America’s Cup in the Emirates? America’s Cup in the UAE, 14 September 2009.

Get Into the Frame with Alan Nambiar and His Fujairah 100 Photo Project, Fujairah in Focus, 16 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What Will Be the Legacy of the America’s Cup in the Emirates?

Legacy
In Valencia, Spain they are still attributing the city’s resurgence to the hosting of the 32nd America’s Cup two years ago. So what will be the ongoing lift that Ras al Khaimah and the UAE might get from hosting the 33rd AC in February 2010?

Face Lift
A tourism web site says (14 September 2009) about Valencia:

“Valencia is a beautiful Mediterranean city which is often overlooked by tourists but that is fast becoming a popular holiday destination thanks to the money and energy that has been invested in the city over recent years. Much of the city’s face lift is thanks to the America’s Cup, the world’s most prestigious yacht race which was held in Valencia in 2007. You can still visit the America’s Cup port and installations in Valencia if you are a fan.”

The scale of the competition in 2007 was much greater and a longer regatta than will be the case in the UAE and Valencia, in contrast to RAK, had a significantly more substantial face that could be lifted.

Profile
The new lagoon and facilities will no doubt be an ongoing boon for RAK’s marine activities and the formerly unknown emirate will now have a profile that is associated with the historic race.

Sailors
Spokespeople have recently said that the holding of the America’s Cup in the UAE will give to the sport of sailing and its sailors in this young nation a tremendous boost.

On Related Sites
Do You Know the Words and Tune of the UAE National Anthem? Experiencing the Emirates, 13 September 2009.

Fujairah for Blue Skies, Beaches and Diving, Fujairah in Focus, 11 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: The America’s Cup Building ‘Veles e Vents’ (Sails and Winds) and accompanying park were the social focal point for the 2007 America’s Cup – the most famous and prestigious regatta and match race in the sport of sailing. Staged in Europe for the first time in over 150 years, Veles e Vents was the centerpiece in the reorganization of Valencia’s industrial port.

The building was completed within 11 months and successfully opened in time for the preliminary regattas (e.g., the Luis Vuitton Cup), staged in May and June 2006. Veles e Vents provided a central base for all America’s Cup teams and sponsors, as well as being a venue for the public to view the racing. (Photo courtesy of Twisted Sifter)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Swiss Advantage in the America’s Cup

Bernard Lunn makes a visit to Switzerland to examine many of the innovative industries which are putting the country on the map.

He looks at the advantages that Switzerland has as an entrepreneurial nation and some of the roadblocks it is facing.

Reflect on what Lunn and those who comment have to say about the advantage this land-locked country might have in the racing of the 33rd America’s Cup in the UAE.

Link
Bernard Lunn, Swiss Precision Meets Messy Innovation, Read Write Start, 11 September 2009.

Other Stories and Sites
New York Times Keeps Close Eye on UAE Debt and Jailing Those in Debt, ETE, 12 September 2009.

Fujairah for Blue Skies, Beaches and Diving, Fujairah in Focus, 11 September 2009.

Ted Kennedy’s Inspiring Last Letter to President Obama, SFS, 11 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: The Swiss Advantage.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Look at the Progress on the America’s Cup Venue at RAK



America’s Cup 2010: Al Hamra Island Construction Update, YouTube, 6 September.

I posted some video footage of Ras al Khaimah from Astrid in Dubai earlier at this link.

Astrid has been out at the Al Hamra Island location on several occasions to check out the venue preparation and progress.

She has uploaded this new video for us to see. Many thanks, Astrid.

On Related Sites
Ride the New Metro with Sheikh Mohammed, ETE, 8 September 2009.

Fujairah Night Souk Opens with a Whimper, Fujairah in Focus, 9 September 2009.

America’s Cup in the UAE News Roundup, America’s Cup in the UAE, 9 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

America’s Cup in the UAE Roundup

Some of the stories dominating the forthcoming America’s Cup race in Ras al Khaimah, February 2010:

Louis Vuitton Race to Fill Void
Louis Vuitton Launches New Racing Circuit, The Associated Press, 8 September 2009.
With the America's Cup destined to remain in the courtroom for the foreseeable future, a new event, the Louis Vuitton World Series, has been launched to fill the void left at the highest level of international yacht racing.

AC in Age of Citizen Journalism
Tim Jeffery Appointed as BMW Oracle Racing’s Director Communications, Yacht Sponsorship, 7 September 2009.
The 33rd America’s Cup will be the first AC regatta run in the new world order of social media and citizen journalism. How will this affect media rights?

Oracle Team in RAK
Oracle Team Visits Proposed America’s Cup Site in UAE, AFP, 6 September 2009.
Oracle team reps are at RAK for several days this week to case out the proposed venue. Commentators are wondering whether they are collecting more fuel for their legal battle or whether they will agree to the America’s Cup race in RAK.

Why Brad Likes RAK
Butterworth excited by RAK Date, The National, 6 September 2009.
Brad Butterworth is confident about the ‘perfect racing conditions’ in the UAE.

Why AC is Good for UAE
Alaric Gomes, ‘Watching Great Sailors will Motivate Youth’, Gulf News, 5 September 2009.
In an interview, a RAK spokesperson highlights several benefits for Emirati young people as the UAE hosts America’s Cup.

On Related Sites
Ride the New Metro in Dubai with Sheikh Mohammed, Experiencing the Emirates, 8 September 2009.

Night Souk in Fujairah, Fujairah in Focus, 8 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: BMW Oracle on the water.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Coming Second or Losing in the America's Cup

In a discussion with Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post and the chances of the Redskins, the question of how satisfied sports people are about coming runner up is debated:

One commentator makes this statement and tells this story:

“I promise you that to Nicklaus and Woods, finishing second IS losing.”

Or the classic quote attributed to a Royal Navy officer standing by Queen Victoria as they watched the first America's Cup race in 1851.

As the yacht America crossed the finish line to win the cup that would bear its name, the Queen supposedly asked who was second. “Your Majesty,” the officer is said to have replied, “There is no second.”

Link
Thomas Boswell, Ask Boswell: Nats, Orioles, Redskins and More, Washington Post, 3 September 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: ‘America’ the winner of the first America’s Cup, 1851.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

America’s Cup Further Tarnished by New Legal Wrangle

Whatever shine ‘the old mug’ possessed has almost evaporated with news that another legal challenge will see Alinghi and BMW Oracle doing further battle in the courts.

According to Associated Press (2 September 2009):

“America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle Racing has gone back to a New York court in an attempt to stop what it calls the unfair manipulation of the rules by defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland.”

“The San Francisco-based syndicate is asking the Supreme Court of the State of New York to keep the Swiss from issuing rules that would disqualify the American trimaran. It is also asking a judge to make public a secret agreement the Swiss signed with the International Sailing Federation.”

“It's the latest action in a bitter, convoluted legal spat that's lasted more than two years. The rivals are scheduled for a best-of-three showdown in massive multihulls in February in Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, for the oldest trophy in international sports.”

This 2010 competition in the UAE (if it ever gets to this venue) will be known more for the legal battles that preceded the regatta than for the historic nature of the Middle Eastern venue.

The constant wrangling tarnishes the tradition of the race and every court appearance results in a loss of spectators and sponsors.

The expensive legal cases with legal high flyers doing battle underscores that this has become a sport for rich men with big egos.

On Related Sites
1.6 Million Iftar Meals Served During Ramadan in UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 2 September 2009.

Fujairah Corniche Coming Alive during Ramadan, Fujairah in Focus, 1 September 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: This is what spectators want to see.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Take a Look at the America’s Cup Venue at RAK

The America’s Cup venue at Al Hamra, Ras al Khaimah, UAE, is to be purpose-built for the international competition.

Many are wondering whether it will be ready for hosting the historic regatta in February 2010.

Astrid van der Knaap took this 2 minute video of the existing facilities—the Al Hamra Marina and Club House, plus a view frames of the Persian Gulf.



Source
Astrid van der Knaap, America’s Cup 2010 in Ras al Khaimah, Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club, YouTube, 14 August 2009.

On Related Sites
A Hot Spot of Arabia in Barcelona, Experiencing the Emirates, 31 August 2009.

I Know I’m Back in Fujairah UAE at Ramadan When…, Fujairah in Focus, 30 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: Al Hamra Marina.

Friday, August 28, 2009

For UAE’s America’s Cup Venue Swing Past Camel Track Near Airport

A recent article on the America’s Cup venue in the UAE commences this way:

“No one will mistake this for Valencia.”

“To reach the site picked for the next America's Cup, swing past the camel racetrack near the airport. Then pass by South Asian groceries and dusty rows of villas under construction. Finally, turn toward a stretch of the Persian Gulf where the ruling sheiks are building an island shaped a bit like a plant inspired by Dr. Seuss.”

The Associate Press story looks at the new America’s Cup venue in the UAE, the reactions from the locals, issues of security, legal challenges, the views on the water and the lagoon that is still to be created.

Link
America’s Cup Host Seeks to Calm Jitters, 3 News, 28 August 2009.

On Related Sites
Sheikh Mohammed Continues Technological Advance with Twitpic, Experiencing the Emirates, 28 August 2009.

Ships to Fujairah Sometimes Have to Dodge Pirates, Fujairah in Focus, 28 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: Alinghi tuning up.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Harrison Ford Adds to the America’s Cup Drama

High Drama
There has been much drama since Alinghi announced Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates as the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup but now, actor Harrison Ford has been harnessed by BMW Oracle to bestow upon them the Indiana Jones spirit.

Thus Far
Alinghi announced the sailing venue on the historic ‘Pirate’s Coast’, a fitting venue for two modern day pirates wanting to stretch the other upon the RAK.

Larry Ellison went on the counter attack, questioning Alinghi’s lack of consultation and the safety of sailing within a few miles of Iran. Legal options were left on the table and then BMW Oracle hired a hotshot lawyer to ensure all is done according to the Deed of Gift.

News has also come out this week about the billionaire’s $84.5 million pay packet to keep him going through the year of 2009.

The drama has also been unfolding on the Italian stage of Genoa, where BMW has employed a spy boat to get intelligence on Alinghi’s catamaran. Unfortunately the driver of the boat was so intent on getting up close for the photographer that she failed to see a fisherman and almost filleted him and his boat.

BMW Oracle Razzamatazz
The special occasion was a time for signing posters, drinking champagne and introducing the sailors and support crew, however, primarily the trimaran took centre stage.

It was presented in grandiose terms—a 185 foot high mast as high as a 19-story building and with an area the size of two basketball courts.

The tri is capable of sailing at never-before attained speeds of 50 knots and the experience of being on board at full tilt, according to helmsman, James Spithall, is “an adrenalin rush.”

New Zealander, Russell Coutts said, “this boat was built to be pushed and that’s exactly what we are doing.”

Another spokesperson said that this campaign will be a testing one—“testing of the limits of technology, our ability as sailors, the designers and that of the builders.”

Harrison Ford in the Act
Why was the veteran actor, Harrison Ford, associated with the campaign launch of the challenger when he admitted to the crowd that he knew little or nothing about sailing or the America’s Cup (obviously this apology was unscripted)?

After expressing his admiration and regard for “one of the premier sailing teams in the world if not the premier sailing team in the world,” he said, “My regard for you is high.” Not entirely an unequivocal endorsement of the team’s ranking and chances.

The American flags were raised high and the water was sprayed on the trimaran in what appeared to be a celebratory baptism (by sprinkling rather than total immersion).

Ford said, “I’m here for a wild ride” referring to the invitation to go out on the trimaran after the speeches were over and the champagne was drained.

High Drama
While Ford’s star power has waned in recent years the BMW Oracle team wanted to attract something of the actor’s enjoyment of high action and invincibility.

Harrison Ford is also known to push the limits off the stage, as a pilot of planes and helicopters and one who has been in several accidents and rescue missions.

The Next Act in the Cup
How will the America’s Cup play out in this next act having imbibed some of the Harrison Ford spirit?

Will it be a case of Gunsmoke at RAK, Star Wars on the Persian Gulf, Indiana Jones washes up on the Iranian border and will BMW Oracle be the Fugitive?

With such a dramatic performance at San Diego one would think BMW Oracle is starting to think about sailing on the water rather than battling in the courts.

Links
BMW Oracle Racing Introduces US America’s Cup Team, Port of San Diego, 11 August 2009.

America’s Cup Fever Returns to San Diego, AP-The Log, 21 August 2009.

BMW Oracle Racing Ceremony Highlights, YouTube, 11 August 2009.

On Related Sites
Sheikh Mohammed Pardons 595 Prisoners on First Day of Ramadan, Experiencing the Emirates, 22 August 2009.

Fujairah Ruler Extends Ramadan Greetings, Fujairah in Focus, 23 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: Glimpses of the BMW Oracle bash in San Diego.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

America’s Cup Makes History Today

22 August
‘Today in History’ notes this anniversary:

“1851 - The Hundred Guinea Cup, a silver trophy, was presented by the Royal Yacht Squadron to the U.S. schooner America, the winner of an international race around the Isle of Wight.”

“The trophy was eventually turned over to the New York Yacht Club and is now known as the America’s Cup.”

More History in Middle East
The America’s Cup is soon to be adding another chapter to its grand history with the competition being fought out for the first time in the Middle East in February 2010.

Link
22 August, This Day in History.

On Related Sites
Ramadan 2009 Prayer Timings for UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 21 August 2009.

Fujairah in Focus, 21 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: The ‘Auld Mug’.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BMW Oracle Team Spying on Alinghi Catamaran in Italy

Spy Boat
The Italian News Agency ANSA, reports that a boat (pictured) has been commissioned by BMW Oracle to spy on the sea trials of Alinghi’s catamaran as it prepares for the America’s Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Their job is to gather intelligence that could inform the American team as it prepares their trimaran.

Too Close for Comfort
Zerogradinord also reports that the spy boat was involved this week in an accident with an Italian fisherman. In their quest to get their pictures and information the spy boat rammed the fisherman’s craft as he was 600 metres out from the Genoa coast in Italy.

The female driver of the spy boat kept her course despite horn signals and ran into the long, stout fishing line (boulter) while the fisherman had to swiftly get out of the way to avoid a major collision.

Another eventful chapter in the America’s Cup drama.

Links for the full story
BMW Oracle Spying RIB Nearly Hits Fisherman in Genoa, Valencia Sailing, 19 August 2009.
America’s Cup, Nuovi Guai Per Le Spie di BMW Oracle Racing, Zerogradinord, 19 August 2009.

On Related Sites
Paying and Cancelling Debts this Ramadan in the UAE, Experiencing the Emirates, 20 August 2009.

Photo Blogging Fujairah, Fujairah in Focus, 19 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask him for details about advertizing and links on his sites.

Image: BMW Oracle’s spy boat in Genoa.