AUCKLAND, New Zealand, October 22, 1999 – AmericaOne , the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, raced against Prada Challenge (ITA 45), in Race 7 of the Louis Vuitton Cup and gave spectators an exciting show. It was everything that an America’s Cup race should be: A suspenseful and very close contest between the leaders of the Challengers. In a race plagued with spinnaker problems for both syndicates, the Italians emerged the eventual winner by 17 seconds.

After a close start, AmericaOne took on Prada’s Luna Rossa all the way to the first windward mark, to round just 19 seconds behind the Italians. A failure of the spinnaker sheet’s shackle forced the Italians to drop their sail and slowly replace it. It was all the time that AmericaOne needed to take over control of the course. Minutes later Prada fumbled and lost the spinnaker guy, again caused by shackle failure. They dropped their sail with less than 30 meters to the mark. AmericaOne rounded and extended the lead by three boatlengths and then continued to increase the lead to the second windward mark rounding.

With winds gusting to 20 knots, the final downwind leg found both teams engaged in a quick-jibe duel and AmericaOne controlling the pace. With just seconds to go to the finish AmericaOne ‘s spinnaker exploded. “We think it nicked the jumper on the jibe,” said skipper Paul Cayard. After quickly cutting away the sail, the AmericaOne Team promptly set a new spinnaker but was unable to re-gain the lead.

“We were pretty happy to be in such a tight boat race with Prada. We know that they’ve put in a lot of time training during the last three years,” said Cayard. “All in all I’m pleased to have been so competitive and we congratulate them. They deserved to win and I’m content with the accounting for the time being.”

Race 7 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 Rye, NY, pit; Phil Trinter of Lorain, OH, grinder; Jim Nicholas of San Diego, CA, grinder; Matt Welling of Bay Shore, NY, grinder; David McClintock of Portsmouth, RI, upwind trim; Russ Silvestri of San Francisco, CA downwind trim; Gavin Brady of Annapolis, MD, runner; Paul Cayard of Kentfield, CA, helmsman; John Kostecki of Fairfax, CA, tactician; Bruce Nelson of San Diego, CA, traveler; Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, MD, mainsheet; Sean Clarkson of Middletown, RI, main assist, and Lexi Gahagan of Wilmington, DE, navigator. The 17th crew person for Race 7 was Terrel Silvers of Iowa Park, Texas, AmericaOne Design Challenge Winner.

Final Scores To Date:

AmericaOne /5 points

Prada /7 points

Young America /6 points

Abracadabra 2000 /3 points

America True /3 point

Nippon Challenge /3 points

Spanish Challenge /3 points

Stars & Stripes /3 points

Le Defi Francais /1 point

Young Australia /1 point

FAST2000 /0 points

Round Robin 1

During Round Robin 1 each of the 11 Challengers from seven nations will race each other one time – the winner receiving one point per race. AmericaOne s schedule for the remainder of Round Robin 1 is as follows: