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AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
A Tough Day for AmericaOne

Daily Report - January 29, 2000-

Auckland, NZ

Today was a tough day for AmericaOne on the Hauraki Gulf. We had quite a few breakages and injured crew as a result of the strong breeze and big waves. All in all, we are ready to race tomorrow and to continue the battle with Prada.

As is our usual race day procedure, we started the day by tuning up USA 61 against USA 49. This was going well until we broke USA 61's main halyard. With an hour and a half to go before the start, we were comfortable putting up a new halyard. But when bowman, Greg Prussia, was coming down the mast after the repair he injured himself. Fortunately, we got Greg off of USA 61, into a rubber boat and directly to the hospital. The latest report is that he is badly bruised and should be able to race in 48-72 hours. Ralf Steitz was called to action to replace Greg and did an excellent job.

With the boat repaired, Greg on his way to the hospital and Ralfie in position, we quickly pulled together and focused on winning the race....The wind continued to build to 20-24 knots as the warning signal sounded. We got off to a nice start, underneath Prada going to the favored left hand side of the racecourse. It was nice to see that we had a little speed advantage over Prada's team in the strong breeze. We managed to beat them to the windward mark by three boatlengths as the breeze continued to build. On the first run we converged halfway down the leg and we were in a crossing situation with Prada on starboard and AmericaOne on port. AmericaOne crossed until we dug into a wave and slowed down; Prada surfed a wave and prevented us from crossing. At that point it meant putting in a quick gybe in the 28 knots of wind. As we gybed our spinnaker hit Prada and the umpires signaled a penalty on AmericaOne. We continued down the run and rounded the bottom mark four boatlengths behind...still in the race!

We raced the second windward leg in 25-29 knots of wind and the waves started to build in height. The second run we gained on Prada until the final gybe into the bottom mark. We were hit by a huge gust and the bow of the boat was buried into a wave....something had to go and this time it was the spinnaker. But, as the spinnaker broke in two, the wave came over the foredeck and washed our genoa over the side. The crew did a great job of getting another genoa up and a torn spinnaker down as we rounded the last bottom mark. As we proceeded up the last windward leg, the wind built to 29-30 knots and we heard some strange noises coming from our mast. We determined that there was some damage to the mast and that we needed to keep it unloaded, which basically meant the race was over for us. We dropped our sails and withdrew from the race.

Despite the damage to our equipment and crew, we were very encouraged with our boatspeed in these conditions and we learned a lot about racing successfully in these tough conditions. Prada sailed a nice race and we congratulate them, but we will be out tomorrow in full force fighting to win four more races.

John Kostecki
AmericaOne Tacitician

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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