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AmericaOne Quokka Chronicles:

AmericaOne to Use 61
by Sean McNeill, Quokka Sports

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Friday, December 31, 1999 -

Auckland, NZ

Paul Cayard said Thursday that he knew which boat he would be sailing in the semifinals, but he refused to tell the throng of media hanging on his words. Today, AmericaOne announced the expected: It will sail its second boat, USA-61, in the semifinals, which begin Sunday.

The other two-boat teams, Nippon and Prada, both announced their steeds, JPN-44 and ITA-45 (both teams' first boat) duringThursday's pre-round press conference.

Cayard, in a bit of gamesmanship, refused to say which boat he'd enter. But with today's commencement of the no-change period (48 hours before the first gun), the cat was let out of the bag.

"It's safe to say it's official," said team spokesperson Gina von Esmarch.

The new boat, dubbed AmericaOne.2 at its November launching by skipper Cayard, is the second of two boats to be built by Westerly Marine, Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif.

It was designed by two-time Cup winner and AmericaOne principal designer, Bruce Nelson, and his 45-member design team including representatives from Ford, Hewlett-Packard, SAIC and United Technologies.

The boat's sail number, USA-61, has historical implications for Cayard. That was the same number of the 12-Metre USA, which Cayard sailed aboard as tactician for Tom Blackaller during the 1986-87 Cup series off Fremantle, Western Australia. USA qualified for the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals before bowing out. Cayard doesn't expect a repeat performance this year.

"I am bullish on our chances ... as bullish as I would ever care to be," said Cayard. "We have a new, fresh weapon to bring out for this all important round and the team is sailing better than ever."

Cayard's master plan always has called for USA-61 to be launched by the end of November, testing in December and ready for racing in January.

"We have spent a lot of time preparing for the conditions on the Hauraki Gulf. We pushed forward with 61 by making an appendage change during the [third] round, which we wouldn't have been able to do if she had been entered into competition. We started testing that change, while the rest of the fleet raced their last race," said Cayard.

AmericaOne faces France's Le Défi Bouygues Telecom-Transiciel in its first race of the semifinals on Sunday. The team posted a 2-1 record sailing USA-49 against France in the round robins.

AmericaOne, Le Défi BTT and the other members of the super six challengers still alive on syndicate row remained shoreside today due to a howling northeaster and rain squalls. All are expected to be practising tomorrow, New Year's Day, weather permitting.


 

For full story go to: www.americascup.org

  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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