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AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
AmericaOne Cheering Section

Daily Report - January 14, 2000-

Auckland, NZ

With AmericaOne qualified for the Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, our sailing team is taking a few days off. Today, with all of our races completed from the last round, those of us at the base experienced a different sort of day. What many of you may not know is how the land-based team participates and supports the sailing team out on the water. Our race day schedule for the Semi-Finals went something like this…

"The Boat is leaving. The Boat is leaving." It's 10:00 AM. We all rush outside to wave good-bye to the boat as it leaves the dock. Shirley Bonbright, AmericaOne Founder and #1 cheer leader, sounds her airhorn for good luck. AmericaOne friends and families line up waving AmericaOne green pom-poms and blowing horns. Everyone is clapping and cheering the team on and wishing them good luck as the boat leaves the dock for another day of racing on the Hauraki Gulf. As USA 49 follows USA 61 off the dock, another round of cheers, clapping, and airhorns sound.

Our send-off pep rallies are infectious. The spectators at the America's Cup Village across the harbor cheer on our heroes in response to our cheers. Other teams have copied Shirley's idea and are now sending their teams off with air horns as well. Each day on the compound, the green clothing appears, bright shirts, green feather boas and banners made by the team kids to wish our team luck. Some of the more superstitious people wear charms, bracelets, or "lucky" clothing to bring our team luck. I overheard one of the sailor's mothers suggest they dye their hair green!

After the send-off, We return to our day's work. At 1:00 we check into the Crew Auditorium, where we've set up a TV to find out if the starts are on time. The energy mounts as the race start nears. We return to our desks to do a little more work. Just before the start, the boat builders, sailmakers, design team, and office staff are seated around the TV with Virtual Spectator running in the background.

After the start we filter out of the auditorium and go back to work. Occasionally going back to check the status of the race. The word spreads throughout the base when the race gets exciting and everyone races back to the auditorium to see the race. Bob comes in to yell at us to go back to work but inevitably he ends up sitting down and watching with us. Go AmericaOne!!!! We all sit in silence for a little longer while the adrenaline eases out of our systems.At the end of the race everyone returns to their work.

The boat returns. Our supporters, who were on the spectator boat sound a huge welcome cry, which is our indication that our team has returned. Everyone else runs out to welcome back our heroes. We know if you were here, you'd be cheering them on as well. Wish you were here.

Ingrid Sommer
AmericaOne Accounting & HR Manager

About The Challenge

AmericaOne is one of the leading challengers for America's Cup 2000. The team is currently competing in Auckland, New Zealand for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to challenge New Zealand for the America's Cup in February 2000. AmericaOne has built two boats based on 4 years of technology development and innovation. The top level technology partners are Hewlett-Packard Company, Telcordia Technologies/SAIC, Ford Motor Company/Visteon and United Technologies Corp. AmericaOne represents San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club. To learn more about AmericaOne visit: www.americaone.org.

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Select here for the Louis Vuitton Cup Chronicles
Select here for more New Zealand Preparation Chronicles
Select here for Long Beach Training Chronicles
Select here for Jan-Feb. 1999 New Zealand Training Chronicles


  For additional information on AmericaOne, contact:

Gina von Esmarch
E-mail: gvonesmarch@americaone.org
Phone: 415-474-3425
Fax: 415-474-3571



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