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AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:

Daily Report - Thursday, November 11, 1999 -

Nippon Race Re-Cap

Auckland, NZ

Who wouldíve guessed before the start, when the water on the Hauraki Gulf reflected the bright sunshine in an emerald green that could have been mistaken for some tropical paradise, that within half a beat the rain would be coming down hard enough to flatten out the water and reduce visibility to a few hundred feet. USA 49 started to windward of Nippon and sailed above them to the first shift, when tactician John Kostecki called for a tack and Nippon continued on starboard. When the boats came back together USA 49 tacked ahead and as the wind continued to shift left the boats were on layline. When the head of the genoa ripped apart the bow team was forced to do an outside change, as they couldn't afford to tack. Hoisting a new genoa outside the old one is difficult, but then taking down the damaged genoa didnít take long. Unfortunately, it was enough for Nippon to slip by to windward. Both boats did a gybe set and fetched the leeward mark. Nippon tacked around the mark and 49 continued for a few lengths and tacked. The course was still skewed as the wind continued to shift left, and this time USA 49 took a couple lengths from Nippon in the gybe set as Nippon had difficulty filling the spinnaker. Slowly but surely, with a square of the pole in the puffs and a pump of the big main on the waves USA 49 caught Nippon and was able to sag to leeward. The two dueling AC boats were not laying the mark because the committee had shifted the course for the breeze, so Nippon had to gybe to port and try to cross or risk being pinned past the layline. Perhaps they would've crossed with an absolutely flawless gybe, but alas as Paul Cayard and his crew were already seeing the whites of their eyes, Peter Gilmore and his team collapsed their spinnaker, didn't cross USA 49, and were penalized. USA 49 gybed to leeward into what was likely to be a passing overlap, now also up a penalty and feeling comfortable about winning the race when tragedy struck Nippon as their running backstay, well, ran, out of the self-tailor. The mast beganit snapped about half way up. Fortunately nobody was hurt, and all the guys on our boat were very disappointed because it was a good close race that we had just gained the upper hand in, and itís always a bit of a let down to not get to finish them off. Tomorrow is our bye, so we will be up to work out at the gym, then down to the compound to review video and Virtual Spectator, discuss crew work and match racing, and to continue preparing USA 61 for the showdown in the Louis Vuitton.

Kevin Hall
AmericaOne Sailing Coach

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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