BMW Oracle Racing ORMA60 training in Lorient, France, April 2008
BMW ORACLE Racing today completed a successful two-week training session here off France’s Brittany coast, on board the 60-foot multihull Groupama 2.
'It’s been great for all of us to get onto a bigger boat which has accelerated the learning curve for everyone,' said BMW ORACLE Racing helmsman James Spithill (AUS).
Groupama 2’s skipper, Franck Cammas (FRA), trained the entire two weeks with the U.S. America’s Cup Challenger, sharing the in-depth experience of his team’s big multihull sailing.
'The Groupama guys have many years of experience in these boats, so it’s been a huge opportunity to have this time with Franck and his team,' said Spithill. 'We’ve had a range of conditions from big waves and wind to light air. It was good to see the boat perform in different conditions.'
Once the team had a few days to shake down on the 60-foot trimaran, they had several days of racing training against another 60-foot ORMA class trimaran, Banque Populaire. The BMW ORACLE crew put the 60-footer through the paces with a series of practice starts and short races daily. The team also rotated among the 10 race crew positions on board the 60-foot trimaran to give 15 crew members a chance to experience the big multihull racing.
'We learned more than we expected to,' said tactician John Kostecki. 'It’s been a successful session for us but we still have more to do to be ready for racing later this year.'