AmericaOne Long Beach Chronicles:
Major Milestone - Icka Cayard Christens AmericaOne
LONG BEACH, CA - July 18, 1999 - Training has started in Long Beach and will continue until the end of August. For daily reports on activities ashore and afloat, visit this site daily for news, commentary and photographs.
Daily Report, July 18, 1999
The christening of USA 49 as AmericaOne yesterday was a big milestone for our challenging team. After three and a half years of dreams, vision and hard work, we launched our first new America's Cup class boat in front of a worldwide audience. Preparations for the event were the focal point of the team's efforts for the last week and I was very proud of how it went.
The christening was staged inside a 600-foot dry dock at Southwest Marine in San Pedro, California. This unusual setting made the event spectacular. A gigantic American flag was hung from a stevedores' crane on the end of the dock adjacent to the dry dock. The fully-skirted boat, complete with sponsors signage, formed the perfect back drop for the podium. The ceremony included representatives of:
St. Francis Yacht Club - Commodore Monroe Wingate
Founders Club Chairman - Larry Finch
Corporate Partners - Dr. Robert Beyster, Chairman of SAIC
Presentation of Colors - US Marine Corps Color Guard
National Anthem - John Hoffman (member of the StFYC)
Louis Vuitton - Bruno Trouble
AmericaOne Chairman of the Board - George "Fritz" Jewett
AmericaOne Skipper - Paul Cayard
Blessing - Deacon Russell Holm
Finally, the boat was christened by Icka Cayard, representing all the spouses who give up so much to support those on the team. The 50-minute ceremony was emceed by AmericaOne COO Bob Billingham and cybercast to the world live on our site, www.americaone.org, through the help of our corporate partners Ford, Hewlett-Packard and Telcordia Technologies/SAIC. With concerns for secrecy being reasonably respected, the cybercast fulfilled AmericaOne's desire to include the public in a way never achieved before in sailing.
The graphics of the boat were also displayed on a 1/3 scale model. Green shards on a stealth gray foundation give the boat and aggressive yet contemporary look. The name of the boat, AmericaOne, is displayed on the mast rather than the hull. The logo is placed in the cockpit and the home port of San Francisco on the transom. The team members were outfitted in their new Line 7 clothes also featuring the stealth gray and green.
The boat was staged across the dry dock's width, and after the customary smacking of the champagne bottle, she was dropped into the water of the Pacific Ocean where she will be run though her paces for the next seven weeks. She will then be shipped to Auckland to compete in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the challenger elimination series for the America's Cup.
Every major event on the schedule is a chance to see how the team performs under pressure and I am very pleased with how AmericaOne came together for this milestone. There were many long days leading up to the christening, yet the team kept their wits and sense of humor through it all. I know there have heightened respect for each other today. Many of the people on the team have been with me in a past America's Cup or the Whitbread so it is a great advantage and pleasure for me to have them back.
Monday and Tuesday we have a few more details to wrap up on the new boat. Then we will begin a series of tests to optimize her performance. I am really looking forward to lining up USA 49 with oneAustralia and seeing what we have. That is always one of the most exciting moments in an America's Cup campaign.
Many thanks to all who made July 17, 1999 a day we will never forget!
Please check our "new look" on the AmericaOne website in addition to viewing christening photos and clips from the cybercast.
About The Challenge
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 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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For additional information on AmericaOne, contact:
Gina von Esmarch
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