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(C)update: 'Tween Rounds News
There have been both on and off the water developments between rounds 2 and 3 of the America' Cup challenger trials. Round 3 racing begins Thursday 2 December.
Off the water the challengers met to fiddle with the rules. Still at issue is the postponement rule. This has now been changed so that as long as a yacht initiates a call for postponement before the 5 minute gun it will be given. This takes away the problem of a boat asking for delay at 5' 02" and the race committee not having a chance to answer.
The challengers have also directed the committee to avoid racing in light and variable winds. It was not released what standard for wind strength and consistency of direction will be used.
Another change relating to wind is how the committee measures the strength. Now the wind strength will be measured as a 5 minute average rather than a 5 second reading. The software used will be modified to reflect this change.
Also off the water Team Dennis Conner's venture onto the Internet for fundraising paid off handsomely. The winning bid for a trip to Auckland and a chance to sail on Stars and Stripes as the 17th man was $ 98,000.
This money may be spent fast as Stars and Stripes damaged a mast training over the weekend. However, the team has 3 masts and does not expect to be overly hampered by this.
Young America continues to recover from round 2. They plan to make public their investigation of USA 53's troubles and also their insurers report. They have ruled out the following causes: design, structural engineering and crew error. This seems to put the cause on either construction or materials utilized.
USA 53 has had a 2.5 meter section cut out, and a stronger section fabricated. Young America expects to have USA 53 back sailing by 16 December. They will sail a modified USA 58 in round 3.
Aloha Racing has been two boat testing with it's pair of Abracadabra's. New on one of their boats is a bow sprit. This bowsprit is really more of an extended working platform for the bowman than like what is seen on modern 'sport boats'. The fact that USA 50 has a blunt destroyer type bow means that the forestay ends at the boats stem and leaves the bowman and spinnaker pole no working room. It is expected that Abracadabra will sail the destroyer bowed USA 50 in round 3.
America One continues to tune their new boat USA 61 and trial it against the successful USA 49. America One is pleased with the speed and reliability of their 2nd boat.
For round 3 the pairings will be redrawn. The draw will occur on 1 December. This is also the day that the two boat teams will decide which boat to race. With round 3 racing scheduled from 2 to 14 December some teams will look at the long range weather forecast before deciding.
Match Racing Rankings
The ISAF has released the latest ranking for match racing sailors. Sailors from 7 countries hold places in the Top 10.
The new number one ranked match racer is Sten Mohr of Denmark. Other Danes in the Top 10 are: Jesper Bank in 4th, Jes Graham Hensen in 5th, and Morten Henriksen in 7th.
Peter Gilmour who is currently sailing in the America's Cup fell from 1st to 2nd. The sailor with the biggest gain the top 10 was Great Britain's Andy Beardsworth who moved up 7 places from 17th to 10th.
The top ranked American is Young America skipper Ed Baird in 37th. Soling Sailor Jeff Madrigal ranks 81st.