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A Good Day to Win the Start and Sail the Lifts

AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
We had a toe to toe battle

Daily Report - Thursday, November 18, 1999 -

Auckland, NZ

Today we had big waves and pouring down rain as the two 30' tenders sped out to the NIWA buoy to calibrate their wind instruments. Roger "Clouds" Badham is able to monitor wind data from these sources, as well as readings from Tiri Island and the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland. One boat proceeded to the weather mark and the other to the layline on the side of the course we thought was initially favored. "I'm seeing good pressure on the left, but the shifts aren't lasting very long," reported Carter Perrin, Clouds' point man on pre-race weather, from the port side of the course. "Up at the weather mark we've had the breeze fairly steady at 350, we're following the committee boat as it moves left now, Clouds," reported Kevin Hall from the top of the course. For the half hour preceding the race, the three are in communication about pressure, angle, and cloud behavior, and which side of the course they like and why. Today the upshot was that there were indeed left shifts, but the breeze showed possibilities of swinging a little right, and the best pressure seemed to be down the middle of the track - partly due to the gap between Tiri and the mainland. Today was a good day to win the start and sail the lifts, which is exactly what AmericaOne did! We led Young Australia back to the starting line (at the committee boat) and stayed ahead with the number six blade sheeted flat. A bearaway set around the weather mark and the big green spinnaker popped full, our sets are getting really crisp. Young Australia followed by eight to ten boatlengths but struggled to fill their spinnaker. Our lead grew considerably when the young, and perhaps still a little inexperienced, Australians dropped their spinnaker in the water at the leeward mark. The next set was a gybe set, a rather scary maneuver in today's windy conditions because of the enormous loads on the mainsail and the difficulties of fully battened mains. As the main came across, the spinnaker went up and popped another great set. The wind died a little on the second run so on the third beat, AmericaOne stretched its lead with a genoa, another snappy gybe set, and a smooth run into the finish. The team's handling of the boat today, from the pre-start right through to taking the main down after the race, was very solid. We'll be going into tomorrow's important race against Young America feeling confident about our abilities in the strong breeze.

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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