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Photos: Oracle gets ready to race

The Golden Gate Yacht Club is home to the BMW Oracle Racing Team, which will compete in next year's America's Cup.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor on
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1 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Golden Gate Yacht Club

The Golden Gate Yacht Club, situated on the harbor in San Francisco Bay, is home base to the only U.S. competitor registered for next year's America's Cup, the preeminent race in sailing. The team is the BMW Oracle Racing Team, a joint effort by the two companies that's led by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, a sailing buff.

Word is that the St. Francis Yacht Club, which is next door to the GGYC on the harbor, was to be the original headquarters for the team. But Ellison didn't like the terms proposed by the St. Francis, a comparatively elite club. The GGYC, of which Ellison is also a member, was ultimately more catering to the tech chief.

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View of San Francisco

A view of San Francisco and the harbor from the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home to the BMW Oracle Racing Team entered in 2007's America's Cup. Oracle Chief Larry Ellison is part of the racing team and will likely skipper the boat for at least a portion of the race, according to club members. Ellison belongs to the GGYC, which costs $1,000 to join and $90 a month for dues.

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Piece of boat

A piece of the BMW Oracle Racing Team's boat, carved out from its last iteration, was shown off by its maker, BMW. The outer materials are tightly woven carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb inside, forming a stiff, strong mat for the sail boat. Materials like this went into the 27-ton boat that the team will race this year and next.

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Material from sail

A piece of material that makes up the sail of BMW Oracle's boat for the America's Cup. It's a combination of woven carbon fiber and Mylar for strength and flexibility.

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5 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Christoph Erbelding

Christoph Erbelding, senior structural design engineer for the BMW Oracle Racing Team, demonstrates the technology and materials that comprise the boat the team will race in next year's America's Cup. Erbelding works in the Seattle headquarters of the racing team, where the first boat was built and the second boat is now being built. He is one of several engineers who work on computer simulations for optimizing the boat's lightness and strength.

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