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Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

 15 February 2000

Issue # 145

By Ike Stephenson

(C)update: Unveiling

Day 2 of the official America's Cup Match schedule saw the participating boats unviel themselves.  

This is the second public viewing for each boat. Prada is perhaps 6 to 8 inches narrower and the hulls shapes are generally similar.  With this in mind the boats do have some signifigant differences.  These are in the areas of: bow shape, winglet placement and rig configuration.

Team New Zealand has put a prominent knuckle along with a steep angle in their bow.  This allows NZL 60 to fool the rule and carry some extra length.  

The next difference involves the placement of the wings on the keel bulbs.  NZL 60 has winglets in the middle of the bulb.  Prada designer Doug Peterson is unimpressed: "Obviously they don't have the computational methods to figure it out correctly."  The mid bulb wings were largely a product of on the water testing.  If the wings are in the right place look for NZL 60 to sail better beating.

The final difference is in the rigs. NZL will sport a rig called the Millenium rig.  With diagonal's that run in a X pattern from spreader tip through the mast to the next spreader tip it is unique.  The X patter diaganols allow thinner rod rigging to be used.  

Another innovative feature of the Millenium rig is that there are only three full sized spreaders.  A top fourth spreader is much larger fore and aft than normal spreaders.  This is to enhance the performance of the headsail upwind.  

These boats are not one designs.  The differnces are not gueeses but each teams best scientific effort.  If the scientists produce similar speed boats, the sailors will rule the match.

Next on the Match schedule is three days off, with Race 1 Friday nite @ 1900 eastern time.

Discovery Route Update

From Cadiz Spain it's 3885  mile to the  finish for the course  the Island of San  Salvador. This is the same route that Columbus took on his way to the new world. 

The current record was set by Polpharma-Warta when her name  was Jet Services V and sailed at a length of 74 feet. The time is  12 days 12 hours 30 minutes and 17 seconds.

Polpharma-Warta need not break this record to qualify for the race, but  she must sail  to within 25% of the record time or 15 days 15 hours 37' 51. A  passage within the window will make Polpharma-Warta the first boat  to officially qualify for The Race. Here's the latest from the Discover Route.

In the first 48 hours Polpharma Warta  has covered 630 miles. This is an average of 13.12 knots.  It puts Polphamra approximately 10 miles ahead of record pace.  The average speed for the entire route is 14.66 knots, so faster sailing needs to be ahead for a record.

 The maxi cat is nearing the Canary Islands.  Current reports show better wind to the North.  This situation would seem to make staying on the more northerly Great Circle route the favored course option after the Canaries are passed

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The Mini Transat Fleet visits the Canary Islands

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