11. MULTIHULL BATTLE

Shortly after successfully defending the Cup, SNG announced it had accepted a challenge from a newly formed yacht club, the Spanish CNEV, and released a Protocol for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Many in the America’s Cup community balked at the terms in the Protocol and BMW ORACLE Racing, with Larry Ellison leading the charge, challenged the validity of the new Spanish club. The courts agreed and GGYC became the challenger of record. When GGYC and SNG were unable to mutually consent on a new Protocol, the 33rd America’s Cup became a ‘Deed of Gift’ Match, as in 1988.

There were numerous court challenges, initiated by both sides. In the end, both teams having learned the lesson of 1988, built enormous multihulls. Then, just months before the race, BMW ORACLE Racing replaced its soft sail rig with a towering wing sail – the largest wing ever built.

When the boats finally lined up to race off Valencia in February 2010, the BMW ORACLE Racing trimaran with its powerful wing sail proved to be superior. Skipper James Spithill, just 30 years old, won with a record of 2-0. Once again, the America’s Cup would be defended by an American Team in the 34th edition.