AmericaOne San Pedro Chronicles:
Tender Drivers Speak Out
San Pedro, CA.- August 25, 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.
About The Challenge
Daily Report, August 25, 1999
As the Tender Drivers we would like to fill our AmericaOne fans in on some of the other operations that go on behind the scenes, such as tender driving. We have four tender boats that make up our fleet. The ones that we drive are hard-bottomed inflatables.
AmericaOne's largest inflatable is a 40-foot, aluminum-hulled boat with light gray tubes. It has twined Volvo 43's, dual prop drives that are super and turbo charged. This master of a machine has the horsepower of 230 in each engine and a max speed of 43 Mph.
We also drive AmericaOne's two 30-foot, green tenders, with fiberglass bottoms. They are Italian made and were used in the 1992 Il Moro Campaign. Under the hood, they have twin Volvo 41's, dual prop drive and are turbo charged. They each kick out 200 horsepower for a ride of 40 Mph. The engines for all three of the inflatables are brand new and supplied/installed by Helmut's Marine in San Rafael, California. The purpose of the three inflatables is to tow out the sailboats each day. The sailboats do not have engines so the inflatables act as the engine and take the sailboats where they need to go. The inflatabales are also used to move sails, people and act as the "police" boats to keep spectators at a safe distance. The boats also shields the sailboats from spying helicopters, planes, and other boats.
The fourth tender, called The New Zealand Challenge, is a 60-foot aluminum powerboat. It is used to carry the sails, observe the sailing, shuttle around sponsors, guests, and used for days when we have to tow a long distance. This is the first time this tender has been used by a foreign syndicate. New Zealand syndicates originally used it in the past America's Cups.
All the boats are labeled with the sponsors logos and they carry the syndicate flag and St. Francis Yacht Club burgee. Tender driving gives you the best view of the action because you are up close to the sailboats. There is a lot of trust and nerve is placed on the tenders when you are barreling at 20 knots, in choppy seas, right up along side one of the sail boats to drop something or someone off. You just hope that you do not drench to many of the sailors when coming along side!
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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Gina von Esmarch
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