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 21 April 2000

Issue # 186

By Ike Stephenson

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Kingfisher's ultimate delivery

For everyone who has done between or to race delivery trips this story is for you.  It's also for everyone who has put a boat in the water stepped the rig, tuned the mast by eyeball intuition and then raced 20 minutes later.

Ellen Macarthur's Vendee Globe effort is doing the opposite of this. Kingfisher was built in New Zealand.  Rather than shipping the boat it is being sailed to England.  This is perhaps the ultimate shakedown voyage.

Like most deliveries this one has had some rough time and currently some idyllic times.  Ellen reports on a recent nite: "At about 2am I perched up on the boom, tucked my knees under my chin, as the freshness of the breeze blew through my hair - I felt like there was no-where in the world I would rather be than here... I wished with my heart of hearts that everyone was able to feel the moment with me."

Currently south of the Equator Ellen will soon perform a solo version of the ceremony for sailors crossing the equator for the first time.  

Kingfishers goal is to be in England in time to sail this summers Europe 1 Newman trans atlanitc race which starts 4 June.

Sailor Profile:  Russ Silvestri

Silvestri the winner of the recent Finn class Olympic trials is a veteran sailor. Age 38 Silvestri has tried 3 times before to gain an Olympic berth and been beaten at the trials.

In 1984 he led going into the last race.  In the last race he used match racing style tactics and won on the water.  However a notorious and nasty protest stripped him of his Olympic berth.

In 1988 he again sailed the trials and fell short.

After a mostly shore side interlude as an investment banker he got back full time into sailing.  He was on the backup crew for America One.  

He went to the 2000 trials with the advantage of sailing on his home waters of San Francisco Bay.  He dominated the first half of the regatta and was able to finish strong enough to win.

Although Silvestri won the trials he still does not have an Olympic berth.  Silvestri must travel to England and compete in the class world championships.  He must finish well enough to turn his trials win into an Olympic berth.

For a guy who has come so close before, its doubtful he will fail to seal his Olympic quest.

 

 

 

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Russ Silvestri at the 1999 Pan Am Games

 

 

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