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America One: Reliability Bites
America One skipper Paul Cayard summed up the breakdown that cost America One a semi final point: "A tough day for USA 61 today. A victory seemed near when the jib halyard broke on the last windward leg, letting the genoa fall into the Hauraki Gulf and taking the headfoil with it." Along with the headfoil went a point that America One was looking to gain. At the time they were ahead of America True.
Once again an IACC yacht's inability to stay in one piece has cost a team a race. This is America One's 2nd boat USA 61 so one would assume this has the latest and most reliable gear.
This race made America One, one of 4 boats tied at 1 win and 1 loss. Below this group is Le Defi France at 0-2, with Team Dennis Conner top of the table at 2-0.
Team Dennis Conner tactician Tom Whidden says that drawing on experiences from the 1987 Cup in Fremantle Stars and Stripes uses stout equipment. He admits they may not be the lightest, but also says they don't worry about breakdowns.
With no apparent stand out in the semi finals, such breakdowns could be a determining factor.
For complete results and standings see (C)update
December '99 Weather in Muskegon
Muskegon closed out 1999 in warm fashion. Temperatures in Muskegon were 3.66° above normal. The month began on a 16 day hot streak. For every day from the 1st to the 16th temperatures were above normal.
From 17 December to the last days of the month and year temps leveled out. On 14 of these days mercury was below norm, with 6 above norm days.
The high temperature of the month was 55° on Thursday the 2nd. Lowest reading was 18° on Tuesday the 21st.
Average wind speed was 10.3 knots. This continues a trend which has seen the average wind speed move from 7.9 knots in September up to December's 10.3.
Precipitation was 2.36 inches, with 8.5 inches of snow. By the New Year most of this snow had melted.
These warm and dry conditions are not a positive sign for lake levels.
This is the second warmer than normal month for Muskegon. January has continued this trend with temperatures well above norm the first two days of the month.