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This month on Mainsail

This month on MainSail, Shirley Robertson takes the viewer inside the world of the America's Cup.
This month on MainSail, Shirley Robertson takes the viewer inside the world of the America's Cup.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • This month, the America's Cup -- the oldest sporting trophy in the world
  • Interviews with America's Dennis Connor and New Zealand's Russell Coutts
  • An exclusive one-to-one with U.S. billionaire Larry Ellison of BMW Oracle Racing
  • Presenter Shirley Robertson sails on BMW Oracle Racing team's multihull yacht

(CNN) -- The America's Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in the world, first held in 1851, forty-five years before the incarnation of the modern Olympic Games.

The "Auld Mug" as it is known in the sport of sailing has attracted some of the world's most powerful men to create teams and invest millions to try and get their hands on the trophy.

This month on MainSail, Shirley Robertson takes the viewer inside the world of the America's Cup, looking back to when it all started and meeting some of the major names associated with the Cup. This includes the two most successful skippers ever to compete, America's Dennis Connor and New Zealand's Russell Coutts.

She also has an exclusive one to one with U.S. billionaire Larry Ellison, the man in charge of the American team, BMW Oracle Racing, who is plotting and planning how to bring the Cup back to the U.S., the nation that won every edition of the Cup from 1851 to 1983.

The next America's Cup final is scheduled to be held in 2010, with Ellison and his team taking on the Defenders of the Cup, European team Alinghi. But this Cup has been a battle in the New York courts and all teams who want to compete have been locked out of the game until the head-to-head between the U.S. and Europe has been settled -- a compelling story even before the first match between the two teams has been held.

When the first match takes place, it will be in the two fastest, most extreme boats ever to have competed in the America's Cup. Having already sailed the European Alinghi entry, Shirley Robertson becomes the first person in the world to have sailed both boats, as she joins the BMW Oracle Racing team in San Diego on board their spectacular multihull, and heads out for a Pacific Ocean training session.