U.S. flies to opening win in America’s Cup

  • Fri Feb 12th, 2010 8:54am
  • Sports

By BERNIE WILSON AP Sports Writer

VALENCIA, Spain — The monster trimaran USA has delivered a huge victory for challenger BMW Oracle Racing against two-time defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland in the dramatic first race of their bitter America’s Cup showdown.

Owned by Silicon Valley maverick Larry Ellison and steered by Australian Jimmy Spithill, the black-and-white USA literally flew over the Mediterranean Sea along the Spanish coast, powered by a radical, 223-foot wing sail that’s bigger than the wing on the world’s biggest passenger airliner.

USA recovered from a blunder at the start to beat the equally immense catamaran Alinghi 5 by 10 minutes, 5 seconds after a 40-mile windward-leeward race.

BMW Oracle Racing is one win away from bringing the America’s Cup back to the United States for the first time since Dennis Conner lost it to Team New Zealand in 1995.