Sunday, 20 May 2007

Dickson off the Boat, Mohr steps up to the Wheel

Chris Dickson is off the boat today. Gavin Brady has taken over as skipper, with B boat helmsman Sten Mohr stepping up to the wheel. Larry Ellison is on board, to see his team racing for the last time... or to contribute to the beginning of a remarkable comeback for BMW Oracle Racing.

The last time Sten Mohr (pictured) steered USA 98 was in that disastrous race against China Team. If the American headstay foil hadn't blown up that day, the Americans wouldn't be in this predicament now. They'd have won the Round Robin and would have enjoyed the pick of their opponent in the Semi Finals.

But that's all water under the bridge. This is Mohr's big chance and it's going to be fascinating to see how he stands up to a James Spithill that's firing on all cylinders. The Danish match racing specialist joined the team last year as a test driver and sparring partner for Dickson. He used to sail with Victory Challenge.

A statement from BMW Oracle says: "The team has always built the sailing squad on the basis that there are two people for every position on the boat and it was felt necessary to bring some fresh blood in off the bench."

Chris Dickson said: "We brought our best package into the Semi Finals, but we have not achieved the results we were hoping for, so in my capacity as CEO I fully support any moves that will give us a choice to win." An interesting choice of words, "fully support" implying that Dickson was pushed rather than volunteered to step away.

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