AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
Final Race of Round Robin 3
About The Challenge
Daily Report - Sunday, December 12, 1999 -
AmericaOne's final race of Round Robin 3 against Stars and Stripes started in very difficult conditions. Heavy rain for the tow out and 18-25 knots of wind had us thinking that today was going to be another windy one. Half an hour before the start the rain stopped and the wind dropped dramatically. Then it looked like a bright day with light winds. But over came the next cell of rain, strong winds and a 40 degree wind shift. It was clear to us that this was going to be a very strange day. There is a saying that "if you don't like the weather in Auckland, just wait a minute" and today was a perfect example of that statement.
After a half hour delay the Race Committee did a nice job of laying a course quickly and getting the sequence going. Race 1 had America True pitted against Young America. They had an even start, but America True was forced to the best side and went on to win the race. In our start, we had the unfavorable port entry, but did a really nice job of negating their advantage. With a minute to go we were in a strong position, pushing them back to the line. With 20 seconds to the start it looked like they were going to be over the line early. In order to make sure of that we would have to luff them, risking a collision, so we took the safer option and tacked away. With no room for error, we were surprised to see them start without being over. This gave the advantage to them. We closed in on them on the first beat, but it was a good day to be in front and they were able to sail the shifts while were forced to split from their tight covering tacks.
We were sailing faster than them, but each windshift gave back to them what we had gained with speed. There weren't any passing lanes, but we kept trying to catch up and get by. On the final run we initiated a gybing duel, and began reeling them in. Every gybe brought us gains, and it looked like we might actually beat them to the finish line. Unfortunately the leg wasn't long enough for us. They managed to hold on to beat us across the line by 35 seconds.
Our two boat testing program begins in a couple of days. Everyone is looking forward to optimizing USA 61 to be even faster than USA 49. AmericaOne is in a strong position and we are all committed to getting the results that we deserve.
Thanks for all the support.
AmericaOne Sailing Team
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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Gina von Esmarch
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