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AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
Our Pride Is Strong

Daily Report - February 8, 2000-

Auckland, NZ

Last night we attended the Louis Vuitton Awards Ceremony and dinner. As always, Bruno Troublé and Christine Bélanger and their team put on a fantastic event at another unique location. Bused in to a private resort on an island in the Manakau Harbor, we dined on gourmet food and fine wine. After dinner there was a superb fireworks display. Everything was great until they showed the beautifully edited videos of the LV Finals racing. Every member of our team sat there with a lump in their throat watching the highlights of the nine incredible races. We were reminded of how awesome our boat looked and how well our crew sailed and most of all, how close we had come to being the winners. There was just no way to enjoy it. The pride is strong but is bitterly diluted by the disappointment.

Well, there's nothing like a healthy dose of reality to begin the day. This morning we all showed up for work and, for a second, it felt like the normal situation, but the cruel reality that we were no longer racing settled over the compound. Everyone is handling it well and making the best of it. Coz cranked up the stereo and soon the yard was humming along as the crew began to break down the boats and get things ready for storage. Ralfie got everyone laughing with his jokes. Life could be worse. I disseminated our demobilization schedule at the morning manager's meeting. Approximately half of our 80 staff will be going home at the end of this week. Another 23 or so will be gone the week after. A core group of 17 will be left to staff the office and complete the pack up, load the yachts, masts, keels, rubber boats and containers.

We will operate the office here at the base in Auckland throughout the America's Cup. We have ongoing sponsor hospitality obligations and will be operating our spectator boat for each of the America's Cup races. We have a large number of Kiwi vendors and we intend to make sure all the invoices are scrutinized and promptly paid. We will leave New Zealand with our vendors happy they did business with us looking forward to working with us in the future. We have ongoing fiduciary responsibilities as we have operated a New Zealand corporation in addition to our United States entity and we must leave a complete set of organized records on file here in New Zealand. The New Zealand office will close on March 4. We intend to reopen the San Francisco office in late March. I am making the arrangements now for a location. We will end up in San Francisco with a core group of eight people.

AmericaOne has received strong encouragement from our sponsors to continue operating. We will see where the Cup will end up and immediately construct a plan of attack to do what we now know we are most capable of doing - bringing it back to San Francisco. Too bad we'll have to wait until 2003.

Bob Billingham
AmericaOne COO

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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