AUCKLAND, NZ - January 12, 1999 - Stay tuned to the AmericaOne website as we post daily reports from the team as they begin an intensive two-month training program in New Zealand. Straight from the top, here are Paul Cayard's thoughts on yesterday's first day on the water:
AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
Tuning Up Begins Against FAST 2000 from Switzerland
Daily Report #1:
Today was my first day in Auckland having flown in from London at 05:45 this morning. Bob Billingham, our COO picked me up at the airport and took me to our team housing. There we changed clothes and met the crew at the gym for our morning workout. At 07:30 we finished, grabbed a quick shower and breakfast and got down to our base at the America's Cup Village at 08:30.
On the schedule to day was racing against FAST 2000, the Swiss Challenge skippered by Marc Pajot. The forecast for the day was 15-20 knots from the Northeast. Our boat is oneAustralia, the boat that finished second in the 1995 Challenger Series. Our shore team, headed by Brad Fitzgerald, has done a great job getting her repainted and refitted, ready for two months of training on the Hauraki Gulf. We left the dock on schedule at 10:00 for an 11:00 start. Not knowing exactly what to expect from an opponent is always one of the more exciting moments in sailing. The format for the day was to do three or four short races, start-windward 2 miles, downwind 2 miles, round the leeward mark and stop.
We won a couple of starts by a big margin and stopped those races right away and restarted. Once we got a good start off we found out quickly that oneAustralia was much quicker than our Swiss opponent upwind. This made the windward legs a bit uninteresting. We evened things up at the windward mark and found the boats to be very evenly matched downwind.
All in all we had eight starts and four races. It was great to get out on the water eight months before the first challenger races and more importantly at the exact time of the year that the semi finals and finals will take place in 2000. It is a tricky venue with current and shifty winds so the time here this season will be very valuable..
We have a great team of 30 people assembled here, crew, sail makers, cooks, machinists, carbonologists, tender drivers, and it was a real pleasure for me to arrive here and see the whole thing up and running. They have been operating here since November and sailing since last Monday the 4th.
The Cup is getting closer and we are continuing to do what we have to do to keep up with the leading teams. The only teams here are Team New Zealand, Prada, AmericaOne, FAST 2000 and AmericaTrue. It won't be a surprise to see these teams at the top of the heap later this year.
That's all for today!
AmericaOneis dedicated to recapturing the America’s Cup by applying U.S. technology in computer equipment, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, sail design, naval architecture and structural engineering to America's Cup sailboat design. Technology partners include Hewlett-Packard, Bellcore/SAIC and Ford Motor Company/Visteon. The AmericaOne team is comprised of 43 professionals, including 30 members of the design team actively working on the research and design of its sailboats. Operating since June 1, 1996, AmericaOne is the challenger on behalf of San Francisco’s St. Francis Yacht Club.
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