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Cortland's Oracle Team USA Case Study

The Challenge
When the Oracle Team USA sailing team decided to move their revolutionary 2010 America’s Cup winning trimaran to a landlocked lake outside Oracle’s corporate complex, they knew it would require a difficult skycrane lift. At 120 feet long by 90 feet wide, the boat would provide numerous challenges during the lift. A 3-point lift was determined to be the best method to keep the boat stable and secure while in flight, and allow it to be carefully lowered into its new permanent display location in between tall office buildings.

The Solution
Cortland was called for their expertise in challenging lifts, and for their relationship with Oracle Team USA. To safely execute, engineered high performance synthetic slings would be needed. Cortland recommended, and delivered, three (3) 20mm Plasma® Lifting Slings with soft eyes on each end, approx. 50m in length each. They were used to execute a 3-point lift and helicopter transfer of the boat from the wetlands outside of Foster City to its new home outside of Oracle headquarters.

The Project
Team USA is a two-time America’s Cup winning professional sailing team that has revolutionized the sport with their high-speed boat designs. The boat lifted - using Cortland’s 3-point Plasma® sling solution -was their 2010 winning entry called USA-17. It had been stored in a San Francisco Bay warehouse since its successful return from Valencia, Spain, where the regatta took place. At the time of the event, USA-17 was the first of a new generation of giant racing multihull sailboats created by Oracle Team USA in association with BMW for the America’s Cup. The enormous trimaran design truly pushed the limits of both man and technology to previously unseen levels. USA-17 easily defeated the Société Nautique de Genève’s yacht, Alinghi 5, in to win the 33rd America’s Cup challenge of Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

Understanding the historic importance of the USA-17 design, it was decided that the boat would be moved to a new permanent outdoor display for all to see. This meant the boat needed to be relocated from a San Francisco warehouse to its new display location in a lake on the Oracle corporate headquarters campus in  Redwood Shores, CA.

To achieve this unique relocation of the 120 foot wide by 90 foot long trimaran, a helicopter skycrane lift was required to lift and transport the boat to the landlocked lake. The boat was then crane lifted onto a new set of piers that had been previously installed in the pool. 

Cortland custom engineered three (3) lifting slings to execute a 3-point lift used during the helicopter portion of the move. The lift and relocation of USA -17 went as planned and this significant piece of sailing history is now in position on the Oracle campus as a symbol of technological triumph.

PDF Document, 130 KB
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