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5 June 2005, 11:55 am
Örn Launched In Valencia
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America's Cup 2007

The Swedish America's Cup yacht Örn (SWE-63) was launched today in Darsena harbour in Valencia.

'It's really good to have her in the water now and it'll feel even better to sail her', says helmsman and sailing manager Magnus HOLMBERG.

It's just after four on Saturday afternoon. HOLMBERG and the sailing team are at the neighbouring base of Spain's Desafio Español to borrow their ramp for the launch:

'The entire team has done a fantastic job. Örn has been made ready in a really short time. And being able to take her out sailing again is an incredible feeling. This is what I've been dreaming of for two and a half years, since the last America's Cup', HOLMBERG says.

The rebuilding of Örn to comply with the new class regulations that apply for the 32nd America's Cup was started 20 April this year in the shipyard of Lindholmen in Gothenburg. Transport to Bilbao, Spain, started exactly one month later from Lysekil, north of Gothenburg. From there, Örn was transferred to a truck for further transport starting 27 May to the America's Cup harbour in Valencia. She arrived here last Monday.

Since then, the sailing team and boat builders have been putting in long days in order to get Örn ready for yesterday's launch. The mast has been erected, fin and bulb are fitted, as is the rudder, the winch system has been gone over and all the sheets have been replaced.

The mainsail has been given the sponsor logotypes for Tele2, Modern Times Group and Viasat. Thor's hammer, part of the Victory Challenge logotype, has been placed on the hull at the bow. Otherwise, Örn is just the same as in Auckland - completely black.

Örn's naming ceremony took place in Gothenburg on 27 October 2001 and she sailed for the first time in Auckland on 10 December the same year. Örn sailed all Victory Challenge's matches in round robin series 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger competition in the America's Cup in Auckland 2002/2003.

Örn was designed by German Frers Jr., who is also Victory Challenge's designer for the 32nd America's Cup. Örn is the boat Victory Challenge will be sailing when the contest starts with the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 4 on 16 June. The Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series and the 32nd America's Cup final are being held in Valencia 2007. But everyone must take part in the Acts starting soon in Valencia with the next round starting 25 August and lasting to 4 September in Malmö. The third for the year will take place in Trapani on Sicily from September 29.

This time there is a total of 11 challengers. The defender of the most prestigious sailing trophy in the world is Alinghi from Switzerland.

Bert Willborg
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