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Louis Vuitton Cup Finals Report 01/29/00
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PUNISHING CONDITIONS AND EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS FORCE AMERICAONE TO WITHDRAW FROM RACE 3

For Immediate Release

Spectacular Racing Evaporates

                                                                       

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, January 29, 2000 - AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, lost its race today against Prada Challenge (ITA 45) when they were forced to withdraw from the race due to potential mast failure. After yesterday’s race was cancelled due to light winds, today’s wind conditions were at high-end limits with a nearly two meter swell running. 

Race 3 got off to an even start as Paul Cayard, at the helm of USA 61, and Franceso de Angelis, at the helm of ITA 45, crossed the line on starboard tack.  On the first beat, AmericaOne showed slightly better boatspeed and gained a two boatlength lead. Approaching the first mark USA 61 forced the Italians to tack away and rounded the mark three boatlengths ahead. On the first downwind leg, Luna Rossa closed the gap and converged on AmericaOne. USA 61 on port, gybed to block ITA 45 on starboard, and was flagged with a penalty when it failed to keep clear while gybing. The boats continued around the racecourse struggling in the high winds and steep seas. USA 61 continued to show good speed and on the second downwind leg, USA 61 closed the distance on the Italians. As AmericaOne approached the second leeward mark, the team on USA 61 gybed, forcing the bow of the boat through a huge wave washing the jib into the Hauraki Gulf, the extreme pressure from the spinnaker forced it to burst in two. AmericaOne rounded the second leeward mark and on the final upwind leg was forced to drop its sails when the high-winds caused damage to the mast. In an attempt to save its assets, Paul Cayard and the AmericaOne Team chose to withdraw from the race. 

“We had a very difficult day today, even before the racing started. Despite the difficulties we are pleased with what we saw in our boat,” said AmericaOne Skipper Paul Cayard. “Tonight we will replace this rig with USA 49’s rig and be back on the racecourse for Race 4 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 3 Starting Line-Up: Curtis Blewett of Los Angeles, CA, bow; Ralf Steitz of Port Washington, NY, 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 Andrea Pucci of Italy.

Final Scores To Date:

Prada Challenge/ 2 points
AmericaOne / 1 point

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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