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) 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)