AUCKLAND, New Zealand, January 8, 2000 — AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, and auction host Lycos, Inc., one the most visited Web destinations in the world, announced the winners of its online auction for a 17th crew position onboard USA 61 for an upcoming race in the Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Finals. Deneen and John Demourkas from Santa Barbara, CA, arrived last night to join the AmericaOne Team in New Zealand, although neither had ever bid for an online auction prior to the AmericaOne- Lycos offering.
John Demourkas will ride as 17th crew onboard USA 61. An honor unique to America’s Cup sailing that allows a guest to ride on an International America’s Cup Class (IACC) boat in an actual race.
The Demourkas’ prize package includes airfare courtesy of Air New Zealand, four days/three nights accommodation compliments of The Sheraton Hotel Auckland, dinner with the AmericaOne Team at the syndicate headquarters, and a wardrobe of authentic AmericaOne Team gear. Avid sailors and AmericaOne fans, Deneen Demourkas surprised her husband, who has never been to New Zealand, with the auction-winning trip for his birthday. “We had begun making plans to go to New Zealand,” she said. “But the time got away from us. It’s unbelievable that John will sail in a race!” Deneen Demourkas joined bidders from around the world over an 11-day period of online bidding at Lycos.com. “On the night of John’s birthday we had some friends over and one of them insisted that I bid again,” she said. That was the winning bid for a special birthday present.
Deneen Demourkas will view her husband racing with the team aboard AmericaOne’s VIP spectator boat. The couple plans to travel in New Zealand after the stint at AmericaOne, before going home to sail their new Farr 40. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Deneen Demourkas. “Our hope is that AmericaOne wins the finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup and ultimately brings the Cup home to the St. Francis [Yacht Club].”
“We’re really excited by the enthusiasm and interest generated by the Lycos auction,” said AmericaOne Marketing Director Gina von Esmarch. “The entire team is looking forward to hosting the Demourkases in Auckland and having John onboard USA 61 during the Semi-Finals.”
Founded in 1995, Lycos, Inc. is a leading Web media company and owner of the Lycos Network, one of the most visited hubs on the Internet reaching one out of every two Web users. The Lycos Network is a unified set of Web sites that attracts a diverse audience by offering a variety of services, including leading Web navigation resources, homepage building and other Web community services and a comprehensive shopping center. The Lycos Network is composed of premium sites: Lycos.com, Tripod, WhoWhere, Angelfire, MailCity, HotBot, HotWired, Wired News, Webmonkey, Sonique, Quote.com and Gamesville.com. Lycos.com (http://www.lycos.com), “Your Personal Internet Guide,” is dedicated to helping each individual user locate, retrieve and manage information tailored to his or her personal interests. Headquartered near Boston in Waltham, Mass., Lycos, Inc. is a global Internet leader with a major presence throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America