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 24 February 2000

Issue # 150

By Ike Stephenson

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(C)update

Although the boats didn't race and Team New Zealand never set all plain  sail race 3 generated controversy.  The controversy centers on the impartiality of the race committee.

The race committee is provided by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which is linked to Team New Zealand.  The thought is that via this affiliation Team New Zealand could receive beneficial treatment.

Vince Cooke who ran the race committee for the Challenger series said as much.  He believes that race officer Bennett is essentially Coutts' boy.  Bennett vehemently denies this.

The teams have an agreement that there must be 7.5 knots of wind to race.  There was this much wind speed.  As a reason for not starting the race Bennett gives the instability of the directions of the wind.  

Prada wished to race, sailing for a long time under main and jib.  Additionally their weather team though the conditions were traceable.

New Zealand differed with their weatherman Bob Rice saying the race course would have been subject to 180 shifts in wind direction.

In the end there is little Prada can do.  Wisely they kept quiet and did not put forth the strong languaged accusations of Vince Cooke.  It may not be the best situation, but it's the only one Prada has if they want to win the Cup.

 

Discovery Route

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. 

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. 

Coverage and knowledge of the maxi cat's voyage has been hampered due to a failed sat com system.

The last relayed report had Polpharam over 2/3rds of the way down the course.  The ETA for their finish on this east to west Trans Atlantic route was late on the 25th or early on the 26th.  This would be within the qualification window.

In addition to to sat com, the ships navigator was injured in a nasty fall.

Sailing Daily will cover the finish of this running of the Discover Route.

 

 

 

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