Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter Training in Dubai for Victory Challenge.

(5 December 2006) Victory Challenge announced today that the Swedish America’s Cup challenge is situating its winter training in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.”We have been given a unique opportunity to site our training there in January. Due to the sailing conditions in Dubai being equal to those in Valencia during April and May, we are counting on considerably more high-quality training days on the water”, says Magnus Holmberg. It is not only a unique opportunity; it is also a great challenge to transport the team, boats, containers and other equipment from Valencia to Dubai.Örn (SWE 63) and Orm (SWE 73), which weigh 24 tons each must, for reasons of time, be transported by air between Spain and the United Arab Emirates.This will take place in less than ten days, using two Antonovs – enormous Russian transport planes. For a while now, Victory Challenge has had a smaller team in place in Dubai in order to prepare this logistically complicated operation. in asociation with the boat transport this will be reinforced with parts of the sailing team, boat builders and sailmakers, in order to prepare for winter training. A temporary base with a sail loft, necessary workshops and offices, is being established at Jumeirah Beach.The historic weather data is plain. In Valencia in the winter, an America’s Cup team can expect five training days on the water – whilst in Dubai conditions are equivalent to those in Valencia during the spring and early summer.”The two-boat sailing we have had during the autumn in Valencia has been very effective and we have achieved our goals. But, according to plan, the focus has been on boat development and less on racing and crew work,” says Magnus Holmberg.A lot of sail development and rigging testing, etc., has been carried out to prepare for SWE 96, the new boat which is now being completed at the shipyard in Lindholmen Science Park in Göteborg.”The first period of time after launching an America’s Cup boat is about structural tests and optimization. It takes some time before you can start to sail full out. Therefore, it is impossible to say no when we have a chance to add so many days of pure sailing training," says Magnus Holmberg.Not quite four months remain until the 32nd America’s Cup races resume with the last pre-regatta, the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 13.And with it approaches the challengers series, the Louis Vuitton Cup, when the eleven challengers will compete to see who will be the Challenger that will meet the Defender, Alinghi, in the America’s Cup Final.The Louis Vuitton Cup begins on April 16, and after a round robin, where all the teams meets each other twice, and seven teams are excused from continued competition. In the 32nd America’s Cup, there are no quarter-finals (as there were in Auckland). Only four teams continue to the next round, the semi-finals.”Our goal is to take one of the four semi-final places. With winter training in Dubai, we believe that our chances of achieving that goal will increase,” says Magnus Holmberg.Victory Challenge’s main partners for the 32nd America’s Cup are Tele2, Red Bull and MTG. Metro, Viasat and Bet24 are media partners. Sail Racing, LIROS Yacht Ropes, Sebago and OM Pimespo Ibercarretillas are official suppliers. Team suppliers are Sebago, Fitness First in Valencia and Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm.

Bert Willborg/Victory Challenge

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