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One week after being launched, BMW ORACLE Racing’s new 90-foot $10-million trimaran yacht hoisted sail in Anacortes for the first time Monday and began its shakedown in 6-8 knots of breeze over four hours of testing on the Rosario Strait.

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(Photos: Gilles Martin-Raget/ BMW ORACLE Racing)

One week after being launched, BMW ORACLE Racing’s new 90-foot $10-million trimaran yacht hoisted sail in Anacortes for the first time Monday and began its shakedown in 6-8 knots of breeze over four hours of testing on the Rosario Strait.

“What a great feeling to get this amazing boat under sail power,” said team CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts. “This boat is incredibly challenging. We will take it conservatively in this testing session as we learn more about the boat and its potential.”
 
After leaving the dock at 11am, the team first hoisted the 5,000 square foot mainsail up the 158-foot carbon fiber mast towering above the trimaran. Following the mainsail tests, the team hoisted the staysail and completed some initial tacks. Along with 14 sailing team crew on board today were eight members of the design and build team who continued structural and systems reviews during sailing.

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BMW Oracle Racing, owned by Silicon Valley tycoon Larry Ellison, built the trimaran in anticipation of a one-on-one showdown against two-time defending America's Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland.

Whether this boat ever sails for the oldest trophy in international sports depends on how the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany rules this fall.

Golden Gate Yacht Club, which backs BMW Oracle Racing, and Societe Nautique de Geneve, the club that backs Alinghi, have been at odds since the end of the last America's Cup in July 2007.

The initial on-the-water testing session will continue in Anacortes until the middle of September.

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