Small stuff

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BMW Oracle racing flies new yacht to Valencia

An Antonov cargo plane landed Feb. 28 in Valencia, Spain, carrying unusual precious cargo — the new America’s Cup Class yacht of BMW Oracle Racing.

Thirteen hours and 5,500 miles after departing from Seattle, the 79-foot carbon fiber hull was delivered safely to Valencia, site of the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007.

By flying the boat, the team shaved almost three weeks off the traditional method of transporting the boat by truck and container ship. The plane was one of the largest ever to land at the Valencia airport.

The hull is the end result of 30,000 man hours from the 20-person team of boat-building experts, and an innovative technology transfer from the automotive industry incorporating engineering expertise from German premium car manufacturer BMW.

“Thanks to the early commitment from our partner BMW and team owner Larry Ellison, BMW Oracle Racing benefited from an intensive research and development program that has produced this finely built hull,” said team CEO and skipper Chris Dickson. “Now we are faced with the challenge of developing this boat to its full potential. We look forward to taking our new yacht through its paces.”

The team will now add the remaining components, including keel, hardware and mast before the new boat can touch water for the first time. The team will take the boat through a commissioning process where the engineers will test loads, and ensure it is structurally sound before starting a training and testing program with the boat’s trial horse and tuning partner, USA 76.

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Sail America announces another change

The Sail America board of directors has announced that Scott H. Evans left his position as executive director of the national sailing trade industry association.

Evans joined Sail America last August, assuming the post vacated by Scot West. Sail America’s executive board named Sail America national show manager Kevin Murphy as interim executive director while options are being explored for moving forward. Sail America’s operations from its Middletown, R.I., headquarters will continue as usual as board members and committee vice presidents work closely with staff members to keep all Strictly Sail show plans and Sail America programs running smoothly, according to the organization.