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AmericaOne New Zealand Chronicles:
COO Billingham Reports on Auckland Humour

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AUCKLAND, NZ - February 8, 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. Today's report comes from COO Bob Billingham, who just returned to Auckland after a busy trip "state-side:"

Daily Report, February 8, 1999

Well, we said we wanted to get used to operating in Auckland so we could smoothly transition when we mobilized in October for the beginning of the races. I can report that returning here after two weeks in San Francisco, "transitioning" back into life at Base #2 in the America's Cup Village was piece of cake. Got off the plane, Sarah O'Kane picked me up, back in the apartment by 7:30, quick shower and down to the base,- boom - 8:30 department head meeting, weather briefing, boat launch and off the dock by 10:00.

This place is humming along like a Swiss watch (Rolex, of course). In just two weeks, the difference is very noticable. Our sponsor pavillion ("The Opera House") is nearly completed. Rich Hackett has advanced our sailing crew training regime with some really inovative sports theory concepts. The sailors and shore crew have really smooth and cohesive working relationship.

The America's Cup hasn't lost its sense of humor either. Our friends at America True had their newly applied Golden Gate Bridge logo creatively amended last night. When the 'Truthes' arrived at their base this morning, they found a scale logo of Godzilla straddling the middle of their bridge, complete with bodies being hurled off and attacking airplanes. Some creative group had "entered" their compound and applied a set of carefully crafted logos under the cover of darkness. The Truthsters were as amused as anyone and took it like good sports and even suggested that who ever did it come back and do the other side of the hull tonight.

Sailing today was at the high end of the wind scale, 18-20 knots. We were sailing by ourselves today - practicing manuevers. We were able to complete three full windward-leeward laps as the wind slowly built into the afternoon. Our crew alertly noticed a small problem with the bolt rope track in the mast and we did not need any more encouragement to curtail the days activities.

It's now 8:00 pm and the repairs are complete and boys are heading home for dinner. It's nice to be back.

Bob Billingham,
Chief Operating Officer

AmericaOne is 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 Company, 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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E-mail: gvonesmarch@americaone.org
Phone: 415-474-3425
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