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Congressional Cup: Three Victories On The Water -- But A Half Point Penalty For AmericaOne

Long Beach, CA, March 11, 1999-- It is the granddaddy of all modern match racing events -- the place where it all started. Top America's Cup crews and match racers going head-to-head in purpose-built matched Catalina 37s supplied by the host club. Long Beach Yacht Club has a 35-year tradition of outstanding hospitality and excellent racing. With three former winners, three America's Cup skippers, the current U.S. male and female Rolex Award winners and competitors from six countries, this is perhaps the strongest field ever. Paul Cayard reports on the latest sailing action from Belmont Harbor:

Daily Report, March 11, 1999

Day three of the Congressional Cup got off to a slow start as the Race Committee postponed for three hours to wait out a front that passed over Long Beach this morning. Three flights were held for all competitors and AmericaOne won all three of it's races on the water to stay in second place at 8 wins 2 losses, tied with Marcus Wieser of Germany and one point behind regatta leader Peter Holmberg at 9 and 1.

Our first race of the day was against Francesco de Angelis of Italy, skipper of Prada America's Cup Challenge. After a pre-start incident which penalized AmericaOne. We were ahead at the first mark and stretched our lead to 45 seconds before taking our penalty turn just before finishing first.

Our next race was against Dave Perry whom we shut out at the start and led all the way around. Same was the case with Neville Whittey.

After finishing the last race of the day, the jury initiated a hearing against us for the damage caused in our pre-start incident with de Angelis. This is rather unusual as normally if there is anything serious the competitors put up a protest flag. Neither de Angelis or AmericaOne put up any flag. Still the jury conducted the hearing and decided to take half a point away from our score. This has a big effect on the results because it now takes away the chance for us to win the regatta on a tie and in effect we have to win one more race than our opponents. Many of my fellow competitors came to me afterwards and expressed their surprise at this action.

We have to look forward now and try to win the rest of our races and hope that Holmberg losses two. Still Weiser, Pillot, and de Angelis are a threat with eight races to go.

Paul Cayard

For more about the Congressional Cup, go to the Long Beach YC web site. For more about AmericaOne at Congressional Cup, visit our Grand Prix Sailing News page.


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