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 18 February 2000

Issue # 147

By Ike Stephenson

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 Today's Sailing News 

Focus: Auckland New Zealand


On the eve of the 30th America's Cup
the Open 60 Kingfisher launches in Auckland

30th America's Cup: Race 1

Tonite @ 1900 eastern Race 1 of the 30th America's Cup will began to answer the variety of questions brought up by the match.  We will start to find out which design approach is faster, whether Prada's months of competition give and edge and whether Team New Zealand has any surprises.

Team New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts is as uncertain as most, "Personally, I think that both the teams are very even. At this stage I'm not sure whether there are any favourites."  Opposing skipper Francesco De Angelis shares the uncertainty, "All we do at this stage is just guessing."

The forecast for the race contains nice sailing conditions.  High pressure from the Tasman Sea should help produce stable conditions.  Wind wise 10-15 knots from the southerly quadrant is expected by race time.

The past day in Auckland has seen temperatures in the 60's with SSW winds ranging from 3 to 19 knots.

Pre match speculation has given Prada an edge in lighter winds with Team New Zealand supposedly a faster heavy air boat.  If the moderate in the middle conditions prevail, it should be a good speed test.  We will see if one of the teams has the most crucial edge- boat speed.

Race 1 should help us begin gathering data to answer the many questions.  Look to (C)update Daily @ www.torresen.com/cd.htm for coverage of Race 1.

Kingfisher Swims

While the America's Cup teams are nearing the end of their competition, Vendee Globe sailors are still 9 months away from their start date.  One of the new boats for the Vendee Globe launched in Auckland .  

The Open 60 was designed by Merf Owen and built at Marten Yachts.  23 year old Ellen Macarthur will sail Kingfisher in the Vendee Globe.  At the launching she said simply:, "This boat is my dream come true."  

Soon after the launch Kingfisher went sailing.  Once ready to take to sea Kingfisher will sail back to England.  If this voyage is completed Kingfisher will sail in this summers Europe 1 solo transatlantic race.

 

 

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