History: BMW Oracle
- BMW Oracle Racing is an American sailboat racing syndicate, initially formed to compete in the 2003 America’s Cup under the name Oracle. The syndicate is backed primarily by Larry Ellison, who made his billions from Oracle’s database software. The team name was revised in August 2004 to Oracle BMW Racing a reflection of the German company’s initial role within the team and subsequently revised again to BMW Oracle Racing to reflect increased involvement from BMW.
The team was created by purchasing the assets of Paul Cayard’s AmericaOne syndicate which was the losing finalist against Luna Rossa in the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup. The syndicate got off to a rocky start with changes in the skipper position, going through Cayard, Chris Dickson and Peter Holmberg. Also, the St. Francis Yacht Club was unwilling to give Ellison the free hand he wanted in running the challenge for the 2003 America’s Cup, so Ellison took his money down the road to the Golden Gate Yacht Club. This is a well funded syndicate. It made it to the finals of the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup, losing to Alinghi 5-1.
BMW Oracle Racing was the Challenger-of-Record for the Louis Vuitton Cup 2007 which proceeded the 2007 America’s Cup which was held in Valencia, Spain.
On May 20th, 2007 BMW Oracle Racing, fell to Luna Rosa Challenge for the fifth, and final time in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Finals. They lost their series five races, to one.
In July 2007, BMW Oracle Racing filed a challenge with the Société Nautique de Genève for the America’s cup. To date July 26, 2007 that challenge has not be accepted, and the Golden Gate Yacht has filed suit because of it. BMW Oracle Racing and Larry Ellison have hired Russell Coutts to be the CEO of the 33rd America’s Cup campaign.
With the launching of their newest boat in January 2007, BMW Oracle Racing owns 4 IACC boats. USA 71 and USA 76 were built for the 2003 America’s Cup while USA 87 and USA 98 are built for the 2007 America’s Cup.
USA 87: On March 26th, 2006, BMW Oracle Racing christened their new hull “USA 87”. There are many differences to the hull that has created speculation in the yachting world. The hull is 2 feet shorter than the older boat “USA 76” and features a bow sprit. While this boat was initially believed to have a tandem keel, it is now accepted that the boat uses a conventional single strut keel.
USA 98: USA 98 was delivered in January 2007 to BMW Oracle Racing’s base in New Zealand and was evaluated against USA 71 until transfer to Valencia for the Louis Vuitton Cup 2007 campaign.