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AmericaOne Gains Competitive Edge for America's Cup XXX With NIWA Buoy Data

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 6, 1999 - AmericaOne concluded an extremely valuable season collecting meteorological data today from the National Institute of Water & Atmosphere (NIWA) buoy positioned in the Hauraki Gulf, the venue for the next America’s Cup. NIWA is New Zealand’s premier environmental research institute providing meteorological services for various private and public subscribers. The NIWA buoy takes wind readings at three different elevations making the data significantly more sophisticated than anything else available on the race course.

In early December, 1997 NIWA deployed a sophisticated meteorological buoy on the Hauraki Gulf for the purpose of selling the information to America’s Cup teams. During the first season, America One was one of a few teams who subscribed for the data. By June 1998, NIWA informed all America’s Cup teams that their buoy would only be deployed for a second season if they had sufficient funding from subscribers, however, response from teams for this information was unexpectedly low. AmericaOne was the only subscriber.

"We sent a letter to all competitors in July of 1998 stating the plain and simple financial facts surrounding the buoy," said Gavin Fisher, manager of NIWA Auckland. "AmericaOne was the only team that seemed to see the value in our product at that time. Now everyone wants it. Had AmericaOne not stepped-up and funded the entire operation to deploy the buoy for the 1998-1999 season, as well as the 1999-2000 season we never would have captured this data - in fact, the buoy would have been redeployed elsewhere."

Recently there has been a lot of interest in the buoy data. AmericaOne ’s early recognition of the importance of this critical on- the-water information led them to invest in excess of $100,000 USD in this project. This contract makes the data exclusive to AmericaOne. However, AmericaOne and NIWA continue to be interested in finding partners to share fair, pro-rata costs.

"The NIWA buoy provides our team with the precise information from the America’s Cup race course that we need," commented Bruce Nelson, principal designer for AmericaOne. "We were astounded when NIWA informed us that we were the only team interested in maintaining the buoy, but recognizing the scientific value it represented we decided to invest our resources maintaining the buoy to gain a competitive advantage for our team. It was not an easy hit to absorb financially at the time, and we had to make other modifications in our program budget, but we are pleased with the results."

About The Challenge

AmericaOne is dedicated to recapturing the America’s Cup by applying U.S. technology in aerodynamics, computer equipment, hydrodynamics, naval architecture, sail design and structural engineering to America's Cup sailboat design. Operating since June 1, 1996, AmericaOne is the challenger on behalf of San Francisco’s St. Francis Yacht Club. Official and Supporting technology partners include Hewlett-Packard Company, Telcordia Technologies/SAIC, Ford Motor Company/Visteon and United Technologies Corp. In June, the AmericaOne team will begin its California-based training program. To learn more about AmericaOne visit: http://www.ac2000.org or contact Gina von Esmarch at 415-474-3425.

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Select here for more 1999 Training Chronicles

For additional information on AmericaOne, contact:

Gina von Esmarch
E-mail: gvonesmarch@americaone.org
Phone: 415-474-3425
Fax: 415-474-3571


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