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19 March 2008, 06:41 pm
BMW ORACLE Names Core Sailing Team
The all-star BMW afterguard of, from left to right, Russell COUTTS, John KOSTECKI and James SPITHILL

33rd America's Cup

BMW ORACLE Racing has announced its core sailing team for the 33rd America's Cup.
The team also confirmed the start of a comprehensive 2008 training and racing programme that includes both monohulls and multihulls.

Joining skipper Russell COUTTS (NZL) in the accomplished afterguard are American John KOSTECKI and Australian James SPITHILL. Among the crew roster are nine sailors returning from BMW ORACLE Racing and 11 from Luna Rossa's 2007 Italian challenge.

"We have assembled a fantastic team who are not only experienced and talented but who have winning attitudes and are great fun to race with," said CEO and Skipper COUTTS. "I have sailed with most of these guys on different projects over the years, and am really pleased to have had the opportunity to bring them together into one America's Cup team. We are looking forward to getting out and doing some racing."

SPITHILL will share helming duties with COUTTS, and KOSTECKI has been named tactician. In addition to SPITHILL, there are ten other recruits from the 2007 Luna Rossa challenge. Jonathan MACBETH joins from 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup winner Emirates Team New Zealand. Among the crew are Hamish PEPPER, strategist, and Carl WILLIAMS, grinder, the 2006 Star World Champions who will represent New Zealand in the 2008 Olympic Games in the Star class.

The team's on-the-water training program began last week in Valencia with sailing in two Extreme 40 catamarans. This summer the team will compete in the Extreme 40 European tour. Team members will also be competing in the TP 52 Med Cup Series, a European grand prix sailing tour in monohulls. Additional details about the 2008 programme will be announced soon.

The BMW ORACLE Racing core sailing team for the 33rd America's Cup includes (in alphabetical order name, country and position):

Alberto BAROVIER (ITA), foredeck
Russell COUTTS (NZL), skipper
Simone DE MARI (ITA), pit
Dirk DE RIDDER (NED), mainsail trimmer
Noel DRENNAN (IRL), mainsail trimmer
Larry ELLISON (USA), afterguard
Shannon FALCONE (GBR), mast
Daniel FONG (NZL), trimmer
Ross HALCROW (NZL), trimmer
Jared HENDERSON (NZL), pit
John KOSTECKI (USA), tactician
Michele IVALDI (ITA), navigator
Jonathan MACBETH (NZL), grinder
Brian MACINNES (CAN), grinder
Gilberto NOBILI (ITA), grinder
Joe NEWTON (AUS), trimmer
Hamish PEPPER (NZL), strategist
Matteo PLAZZI (ITA), navigator
Max SIRENA (ITA), foredeck
Alan SMITH (NZL), foredeck
James SPITHILL (AUS), helmsman
Joe SPOONER (NZL), grinder
Andrew TAYLOR (NZL), grinder
Simeon TIENPONT (NED), grinder
Brad WEBB (NZL), foredeck
Carl WILLIAMS (NZL), grinder
Julien DI BIASE (SUI), sailing team coordinator
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