AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
IACC Yachts Continue to Provide Thrills Down Under
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AUCKLAND, NZ - January 29, 1999 - Stay tuned to the AmericaOne website as we post reports from the team as they begin an intensive two-month training program in New Zealand.
Daily Report, January 29, 1999
Clouds' (AmericaOne weatherman) weather forecast today called for 14-18 kts in the morning but then rising to marginal sailing conditions in the afternoon, so we were very eager to get out on the race course. We left the dock at 9:45am and planned to meet America True once again for a race at 11:30am.
In 16-18 kts we did a practice start. Match racing these big boats in close to twenty knots is exciting stuff. The winches were groaning as we continued to spin the boats around like they were any other match racing boat. The next start was the real thing - the beginning of a two-lap race. We started at opposite ends of the line and raced upwind in around 20 kts of wind.
Halfway through the race AmericaTrue was forced to retire because of gear damage. We continued sailing alone for about ten minutes before we too suffered gear failure. After several qualified minds were thrown at the task of keeping us sailing, it became apparent that this was something that we couldn't fix on the water.
We hooked up the tow and headed for home around 2pm. Today served as a valuable reminder to us that this edition of the America's Cup is going to have plenty of breakdowns and other unforseeable events. The team that has prepared for a lot of the scenarios and knows how to keep the boat sailing in the race after a setback like we (and our racing partner) had today, is going to win races that otherwise may have been taken from them. Today forced us to think even harder about what we can do to prepare for situations like we had today.
On the subject of gear failure, everyone at AmericaOne was saddened today by the news of the death of Spanish sailor Martin Wizner. Wizner, a very experienced yachtsman and crew member of The Spanish Challenge was fatally wounded when a genoa halyard turning block exploded and hit him on the head. The boat was sailing in 12 knots of wind. Our thoughts go out to his family and all the other members of The Spanish Challenge.
It is looking like it will be too windy to sail tomorrow. If that is the case everyone will be very closely inspecting their areas on the boats, double checking that no piece of gear is close to failure. And looking for anything could stop us sailing in the future. We will also put two teams together to do some match racing on the 35ft MRX boats.
Morgan Trubovich, Team Member
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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