Hopes Torn In Two as Spinnakers Shred In Heavy Winds

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, November 17, 1999 – AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, sailed the most eventful race of Round Robin 2 against Stars & Stripes (USA 55). Both boats suffered causalities throughout the match, Stars & Stripes having broken their boom vang and AmericaOne tearing one genoa and one spinnaker. The eventual outcome was a win by Stars & Stripes by 2m 46s.

Coming out of the pre-start, with AmericaOne holding a slight advantage, both teams hit the starting line dead even, AmericaOne to leeward and slightly ahead on starboard. Stars & Stripes tacked away into clean air as AmericaOne managed to gain a 3-4 boatlengths lead to the first weather mark. AmericaOne held the lead until two-thirds up the third weather leg. USA 49 and USA 55 engaged in a close tacking duel until a slight tear in AmericaOne’s jib, near the second spreader, gave Stars & Stripes a window to advance. AmericaOne was losing ground and opted to made a quick jib change. At the last weather mark, both boats bore away and set their spinnakers. A large puff of wind blewout USA 49’s spinnaker setting the team into full motion, at nearly the same moment Stars & Stripes broke their boom vang. While AmericaOne switched to a new spinnaker, the previously tattered spinnaker flew from the mast like a pennant.

AmericaOne continued to gain on Stars & Stripes, as the two teams matched one another gybe for gybe. As USA 49 approached the finish line, nearly even with USA 55, the umpires tagged AmericaOne with a penalty as USA 49 passed closely behind Stars & Stripes transom. Stars & Stripes went on to win the race while AmericaOne went above the finish line and took a penalty turn.

“Today was certainly the most exciting race of this round. We didn’t win but it was great to be pushed so hard,” explains AmericaOne Skipper, Paul Cayard. “It’s not easy to give up four points but we feel in the long run we are better for the experience .”

RR2/Race 9 Starting Line-Up: Greg Prussia of Oroville, CA, bow; Curtis Blewett of Los Angeles, CA, mid bow; Bill Bates of San Diego, CA mast/sewer; Josh Belsky of Hood River, OR, pit; Jim Nicholas of San Diego, CA, grinder; Phil Trinter of Lorain, OH, grinder; Mike Howard of Malibu, CA, 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; Morgan Larson of Capitola, 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 was Mr. John McCormick.

Final Scores To Date:

Prada /38 points**

America True /30 points

Stars & Stripes /28.5 points

AmericaOne /24 points*

Young America / 24 points

Nippon Challenge /21.5 points*

Le Defi Francais /14 points*

Spanish Challenge /13 points*

Abracadabra 2000 /12 points*

Young Australia /9 points*

FAST2000 /8 points

* Were not able to complete Race 6 due to insufficient wind

**Prada had a BYE today

Other Delta Results:

America True over Fast 2000/ FAST 2000 WITHDREW FROM RACE

Young Australia over Young America /YOUNG AMERICA WITHDREW FROM RACE

Nippon over Spanish Challenge / SPANISH WITHDREW FROM RACE

Le Defi Francais over Abracadabra 2000 / ABRACADABRA WITHDREW FROM RACE

Round Robin 2

AmericaOne’s schedule for the remainder of Round Robin 2 is as follows: