AUCKLAND, New Zealand, January 9, 2000 – AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based St. Francis Yacht Club’s America’s Cup 2000 challenger, won its fourth match of the series against Stars & Stripes (USA 55) by 2m 43s. Today’s match was a tiebreaker for the two California teams vying for 1st place in the Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Finals, AmericaOne emerged the victor.
Racing was delayed for just over an hour today, as the Race Committee waited for the breeze to build to 7 knots over the Hauraki Gulf. The start began in flat seas with an aggressive dial-up by Ken Read at the helm of Stars & Stripes. For almost two minutes the boats luffed before Paul Cayard, at the helm of AmericaOne, took advantage of USA 61’s superior acceleration to safely cross Stars & Stripes bow on starboard tack. The AmericaOne Team was then able to lead USA 55 back and pick the favored committee boat end of the startline. As the boats raced up the first leg, USA 61 showed better boat speed and height, rounding the first leeward mark with a 1m 14s lead. Ahead for the remaining legs of the race, AmericaOne continued to stretch their lead and USA 61 handed Team Dennis Conner their first loss of the series.
“Today’s win puts AmericaOne in a good position as we reach the half-way point of the Semi-Finals,” remarked AmericaOne Skipper Paul Cayard. “The afterguard made some decisions early on which paid off. I think USA 61 stretched her legs and showed some good upwind speed.”
During the Semi-Finals six challengers from four nations will race each other two times. The scoreboard from the previous rounds has been cleared, the winner receiving one point per race. Only two of the six teams will remain after the next ten races. Racing is scheduled to begin at 1:15 PM local time on a full-length America’s Cup course, three laps totaling 18.55-nautical miles windward-leeward format.
Semi-Finals/Race 5 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; Matt Welling of Bay Shore, NY, grinder; David McClintock of Portsmouth, RI, upwind trim; Carter Perrin of Houston, TX, downwind trim; Paul Cayard of Kentfield, CA, helmsman; John Kostecki of Fairfax, CA, tactician; Gavin Brady of Annapolis, MD, strategist; Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, MD, mainsheet; Morgan Larson of Capitola, CA, traveler, Sean Clarkson of Jack Martin of Boca Gizamoe, FL.
Final Scores To Date:
AmericaOne / 4 points
Prada Challenge/3 points
Stars & Stripes / 3 points
Nippon Challenge / 2 points
America True / 1 point
Le Defi Francais / 0.5 point
Prada Challenge beat Nippon Challenge – Delta: 01:33
Le Defi Francais beat America True – Delta 00:36
AmericaOne ‘s schedule for the remainder of the Semi-Finals is as follows: