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Pinta Tops Class, Leads Team to Second Place Behind Winner USA

COWES, England (August 13, 1997) — Pinta, skippered by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, topped the ILC 40 class scoring, leading the German team to second place in the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup.

The United States team won — its first victory since 1969 — after an improbable finish that left the predicted winner, Italy, in third place. Pre-regatta co-favorite New Zealand was in second place going into the 610-mile Fastnet Race, but faded to sixth.

Pinta fought a see-saw battle with Italy's Brava Q8, then Australia's G'Net, but prevailed in the end to finish first in class in the final and deciding race.

Just five miles from the finish, the leaders of the fleet ran out of wind. The back markers of the ILC 40 class, including the American boat, sailed up to, then around, the helpless leaders.

Four of the ILCs crossed the line almost abreast, but what truly mattered was that the U.S. boat, MK Cafe, had gone from sixth to second, and Brava Q8 from first to sixth. It was just about the only circumstance that could give the United States back the series lead — and so improbable that Don Genitempo, U.S. team manager, had to be told three times before he would believe it.

Fastnet Results: ILC 40:

  1. Pinta, GER (Willi Illbruck/Karol Jablonski/John Kostecki)
  2. MK Cafe, USA (Marius Kwasnicki/John Kolius)
  3. Easy Oars, GBR (Tony Buckingham/Andy Beadsworth)
  4. Mean Machine, NZL (Peter de Ridder/Tom Dodson)
  5. G'Net, AUS (John Calvert-Jones and Robin Crawford/Colin Beashel)
  6. Brava Q8, ITA (Pasquale Landolfi/Enrico Chieffi)
  7. Fram XIV, SCN (HM King Harald V of Norway/Jens Christensen)

Final Team Standings:

1. USA             146.50
2. Germany         166.00
3. Italy           169.50
4. Australia       172.13
5. Great Britain   180.00
6. New Zealand     182.13
7. Scandinavia     276.50

Official Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Home Page

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Fastnet Report:

Italy Takes Over as Fastnet and Series Leader

COWES, England (August 11, 1997) — Undaunted by the odds against back-to-back, come-from-behind wins over the USA, the Italians have taken over the lead of the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup. In what's shaping up to be a repeat of the 1995 contest, the ILC 40 Brava Q8 — which had AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard aboard in '95 — again is leading the charge for Italy.

Brava overtook Germany's Pinta to assume head of the class, and her sister-ships lie second and third in class. But Pinta, skippered by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, was just 200 yards astern at the last satellite pass.

Every place in the 610-mile Fastnet Race carries four points, which caused the big swing in the overall standings. The United States team has been pushed back to second, followed by Australia, Great Britain and Germany. The New Zealanders, at race start the strongest candidate for overtaking the Americans, have been hit the hardest and are currently lying sixth.

However, the race is far from over. The lead boat, the USA's Flash Gordon 2, was not expected to round Fastnet Rock until 1700 (local time) today. The Americans are just five points back, so any combination of two place changes could make the difference. Nor have any of the others given up the fight.

Team Standings (class standing: IMS, ILC 40, Mumm 36) based on mid-race Fastnet places:

1. Italy           (2-1-3)   153.50
2. USA             (1-6-6)   158.50
3. Australia       (4-4-2)   172.13
4. Great Britain   (3-5-1)   176.00
5. Germany         (5-2-7)   182.00
6. New Zealand     (7-7-4)   194.13
7. Scandinavia     (6-3-5)   252.50

Official Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Home Page

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Race 8:

USA Team to Beat Going into Fastnet Race — Again

COWES, England (August 7, 1997) — It's dèja vu for series leader Team USA. Two years ago, the Americans led the scoring and appeared to have a lock on the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, the unofficial world champtionship of sailing, going into the Fastnet Race. But the Americans faltered and the Italians scored a remarkable come-from-behind victory. The Yanks are not anxious for a repeat.

But this time it's Team New Zealand, winner of the other AC, that hopes to pull one out of the hat. The second-place Kiwis lie 15.63 points back.

The defending champion Italians have not rolled over, however. They won two of today's three short-offshore contests to move into fourth place behind the fading Germans.

Germany's Pinta, skippered by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, had to settle for fifth today, though managing a bittersweet one place ahead of New Zealand's Mean Machine.

The light air today meant the sailors were at the mercy of The Solent's notorious tides and currents. Some fared better than others.

The 610-mile Fastnet Race begins on Saturday off Cowes, Isle of Wight, and will finish at Plymouth, on England's southwest coast.

Results:

Race 8, ILC 40:
  1. Brava Q8, ITA
  2. Fram XIV, SCN
  3. MK Cafe, USA
  4. Easy Oars, GBR
  5. Pinta, GER
  6. Mean Machine, NZL
  7. G'Net, AUS

Team Standings after seven races:

1. USA             106.50
2. New Zealand     122.13
3. Germany         126.00
4. Italy           129.50
5. Australia       132.13
6. Great Britain   140.00
7. Scandinavia     196.50

Official Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Home Page

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Races 6-7:

Pinta Returns to Spotlight

COWES, England (August 5, 1997) — Germany's Pinta, skippered by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, returned to the winner's circle today, taking Race 7 and leading the German team to the best aggregate score of the day to win the Champagne Mumm Trophy. This leapfrogged the Germans from fourth to second overall behind series-leading USA in the biennial Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup. New Zealand is a slim .38 point behind in third place.

There were two 12-mile, seven-leg, windward/leeward races today on Christchurch Bay, closing the inshore phase of the nine-race competition. Conditions were mostly 12-16 knots, with gusts in first race close to 20 knots. The sea was slight, but big shifts and wind streaks with uneven pressure caused a major reversal in Race 6, the first race today.

Snapshots and highlights, courtesy of race press officer Malcolm McKeag include:

Wednesday is a lay day. Racing resumes on Thursday with the short offshore. The 610-mile Fastnet Race starts on Saturday.

Results:

Race 6, ILC 40:
  1. Brava Q8, ITA
  2. Fram XIV, SCN
  3. G'Net, AUS
  4. Mean Machine, NZL
  5. Easy Oars, GBR
  6. MK Cafe, USA
  7. Pinta, GER

Race 7, ILC 40:

  1. Pinta, GER
  2. Brava Q8, ITA
  3. G'Net, AUS
  4. Fram XIV, SCN
  5. Mean Machine, NZL
  6. MK Cafe, USA
  7. Easy Oars, GBR
Team Standings after seven races:
1. USA              90.00
2. Germany         105.25
3. New Zealand     105.63
4. Australia       115.63
5. Great Britain   117.50
5. Italy           117.50
7. Scandinavia     174.00

Official Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Home Page

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Races 4-5:

That Mean Machine Continues as Pinta's Nemesis

COWES, England (August 4, 1997) — Continuing the pattern developed at the ILC 40 Worlds last month, New Zealand's Mean Machine remains the nemesis of Germany's Pinta, skippered by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki.

The Kiwis won races 5 and 6 in Christchurch Bay today, Pinta having to settle for second place in both windward/leeward events of the nine-race Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup. This combination — plus Kiwi the Big Boat, Numbers, posting a first and second — dropped Germany another rung to fourth place overall, as New Zealand took over third and moved within .63 point of the second-place Brits.

The Americans, with another solid day, retained the top spot, but cannot not afford complacency with the hard-charging Kiwis coming up from behind. New Zealand collected 21.75 points today against the American's 22.50 under the International Sailing Federation's low-point system, where the winner gets one point, second two points, and so on.

The strong wind and big seas took its toll today. In the first race, Britain's Bradamante had a downwind wipe-out, which took the Mumm 36 from first to last. Gear breakage on Norway's Fram forced the ILC 40 to retire with rig damage.

New Zealand's Georgia Express doggedly finished the second race under trysail an entire lap behind everyone else. The Mumm 36 suffered a detached main halyard halfway up the first beat of the second race and the mainsail came down. Bowman Dick Meacham climbed to the hounds with a boat hook, but still could not recover the halyard. The crew rigged the trysail with a forehalyard and the yacht completed the course, saving 1.25 points.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, with two inshore races in Christchurch Bay.

Results:

Race 4, ILC 40:
  1. Mean Machine, NZL
  2. Pinta, GER
  3. MK Cafe, USA
  4. G'Net, AUS
  5. Easy Oars, GBR
  6. Brava Q8, ITA
  7. Fram XIV, SCN

Race 5, ILC 40:

  1. Mean Machine, NZL
  2. Pinta, GER
  3. Brava Q8, ITA
  4. Easy Oars, GBR
  5. G'Net, AUS
  6. MK Cafe, USA
  7. Fram XIV, SCN
Team Standings after five races (protests pending):
1. USA             56.25
2. Great Britain   75.00
3. New Zealand     75.63
4. Germany         82.75
5. Italy           87.50
6. Australia       89.38
7. Scandinavia    137.75

Official Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Home Page

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Race 3:

USA Takes Series Lead

COWES, England (August 2, 1997) — A strong performance by all three Amercian boats — second, first and second — in the middle-distance offshore race carried the USA team into the lead of the nine-race Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup. This pushed previous leader Germany back to third as Great Britain moved into the second-place slot.

The steady breeze overnight developed holes and soft spots in the final hours of the Channel Race, resulting in a reversal of fortune for several competitors. The German boat Pinta, skippered by AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, was the star of the ILC 40 class in the first two races, but dropped to last in the third race. Mean Machine, the New Zealand ILC 40, held the lead for the middle part of the race, then in the final forty miles fell from first to sixth.

Race 3, ILC 40:

  1. MK Cafe, USA
  2. G'Net, AUS
  3. Easy Oars, GBR
  4. Fram XIV, SCN
  5. Brava Q8, ITA
  6. Mean Machine, NZL
  7. Pinta, GER
Team Standings after three races:
1. USA             33.75
2. Great Britain   45.00
3. Germany         51.50
4. New Zealand     54.38
5. Italy           60.00
6. Australia       61.88
7. Scandinavia     86.50

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Races 1-2:

Pinta Takes Germany to Early Lead in Biennial Classic

COWES, England (July 31, 1997) — The ILC 40 Pinta, with AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki as skipper and calling tactics, has taken Germany to an early lead in the fierce competition for the biennial Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, the unofficial world championship of sailing.

Pinta, one of three boats sailing for the German team and coming off a narrow defeat at the ILC 40 Worlds, won its first two races on the Solent today. The white and green 40-footer, owned by Willi Illbruck and skippered by Karol Jablonski, was fast enough that it finished ahead of the last-place Big Boat.

Australia's G'Net, finished second in both races, while world champion Mean Machine, under charter to America's Cup defender Team New Zealand, had to settle for third- and fourth-place finishes.

Friday is the start of the 30-hour middle-distance race to the English Channel. Sunday is a lay day. Racing resumes on Monday with two windward/leeward inshore races in Christchurch Bay. Tuesday is the same. Thursday is the short, eight-hour offshore race, and Saturday, August 9, is the start of the notorious Fastnet Race. The 610-mile race takes the competitors to Ireland's Fastnet Rock, with the finish at Plymouth, England, sometime on the following Wednesday.

AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard and his Team EF Whitbread crew are scheduled to sail in the Fastnet Race as part of their pre-race training. On August 5, they will sail from their base in Gothenberg, Sweden, the 900 miles to Cowes and right up to the starting line for the Fastnet Race. Without stopping or going ashore, they will compete in the race, then sail through the finish line and right back to Gothenberg — a 2,400-mile practice session.

The Admiral's Cup, staged every two years, is a team competition in which each country entered is represented by three boats, one in each of the three designated classes, which this year are the IMS Big Boat (roughly 50 feet in length), ILC 40 and Mumm 36 classes. Seven countries/regions are represented: Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, New Zealand, Scandinavia and the United States. Italy, led by Brava Q8 — which had Cayard aboard as tactician — won in 1995 and is the defending champion.

Results:

Race 1, ILC 40:
  1. Pinta, GER (Willi Illbruck/Karol Jablonski)
  2. G'Net, AUS (John Calvert-Jones and Robin Crawford/Colin Beashel)
  3. Mean Machine, NZL (Peter de Ridder/Tom Dodson)
  4. MK Cafe, USA (Marius Kwasnicki/John Kolius)
  5. Brava Q8, ITA (Pasquale Landolfi/Enrico Chieffi)
  6. Fram XIV, SCN (HM King Harald V of Norway/Jens Christensen)
  7. Easy Oars, GBR (Tony Buckingham/Andy Beadsworth)

Race 2, ILC 40:

  1. Pinta, GER
  2. G'Net, AUS
  3. MK Cafe, USA
  4. Mean Machine, NZL
  5. Easy Oars, GBR
  6. Brava Q8, ITA
  7. Fram XIV, SCN

Official Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Home Page


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