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Louis Vuitton Cup Finals Report 01/26/00
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CLOSE RACING IN DAY ONE OF THE LOUIS VUITTON CUP FINALS

For Immediate Release

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, January 26, 2000 - AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, drew first blood when it won the start of Match 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals but lost to the Prada Challenge (ITA 45) by 24 seconds after a long hard-fought battle. With yesterday’s racing cancelled due to high winds and steep seas, the series began with sunny skies and shifty winds ranging from 9 – 12 knots. Racing was fierce as it marked day one of a best of nine series, the winner going on to race against Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup.

Race 1 began with an aggressive start. Francesco de Angelis, at the helm of Luna Rossa, was penalized when its bow struck the stern of AmericaOne. Prada took the left side of the starting line and benefited from a windshift putting them in a comfortable lead at the first mark rounding.  The two teams showed near equal speed throughout the remaining legs. By the third leg, Luna Rossa had enough distance to complete their penalty turn, leaving no passing lanes for AmericaOne. On the final downwind leg, USA 61 initiated a gybing duel closing in on ITA 45. With each crossing USA 61 gained dramatically showing good speed and crew work as they closed within a half a boatlength of the Italians. As the boats approached the finish line, USA 61 threatened ITA 45 but was unable to overtake its competition.

“I think today’s race proved that the racing will be very close in the finals,” said AmericaOne Skipper Paul Cayard.  “Not winning certainly keeps the competitive fire burning inside us. We are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Finals

During the Finals the challengers will race one race a day in a best-of-nine series. The first team to win five races will win the Louis Vuitton Cup. Racing is scheduled to begin at 1:15 PM local time on a full-length America’s Cup course, three laps totaling 18.55-nautical miles windward-leeward format.

Finals/Race 1 Starting Line-Up: Greg Prussia of Oroville, CA, bow; Curtis Blewett of Los Angeles, CA, mid-bow; Bill Bates of San Diego, CA, mast/sewer; Josh Belsky of Hood River, OR, pit; Jim Nicholas of San Diego, CA, grinder; Phil Trinter of Lorain, OH, grinder; Matt Welling of Bay Shore, NY, grinder; David McClintock of Portsmouth, RI, upwind trim; Carter Perrin of Houston, TX, downwind trim; Paul Cayard of Kentfield, CA, helmsman; John Kostecki of Fairfax, CA, tactician; Gavin Brady of Annapolis, MD, strategist; Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, MD, mainsheet; Morgan Larson of Capitola, CA, traveler; Sean Clarkson of Middletown, RI, main assist and Lexi Gahagan of Wilmington, DE, navigator. The 17th crew person was Fritz Jewett of San Francisco, CA.

Prada Challenge/ 1 point

AmericaOne / 0 points

About the Challenge 

AmericaOne is one of the leading challengers for America's Cup 2000. The team is currently competing in Auckland, New Zealand for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to challenge New Zealand for the America's Cup in February 2000. AmericaOne has built two boats based on four years of technology development and innovation. The top level technology partners are Hewlett-Packard Company, Telcordia Technologies, SAIC, Ford Motor Company/Visteon and United Technologies Corp. AmericaOne represents San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club. To learn more about the team visit: www.americaone.org.

For further information on AmericaOne, please contact:

 Gina von Esmarch E-mail: gvonesmarch@americaone.org / Phone: + 64 9 359 9246  x. 112/Fax: + 64 9 359 9262

  Jennifer McHugh E-mail: jmchugh@americaone.org/Phone: + 64 9 359 9246 x. 111/Fax: + 64 9 359 9262

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About AmericaOne
AmericaOne is one of the leading challengers for America's Cup 2000. The team is currently competing in Auckland, New Zealand for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to challenge New Zealand for the America's Cup in February 2000. AmericaOne has built two boats based on four years of technology development and innovation. The top level technology partners are Hewlett-Packard Company, Telcordia Technologies/SAIC, Ford Motor Company/Visteon and United Technologies Corp. AmericaOne represents San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club. To learn more about the team visit: www.americaone.org.

 

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