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 22 May 2000

Issue # 200

By Ike Stephenson

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Star Worlds

After failing to get a 6th and final race in on Friday the 112 boat fleet sailed race 6 on Saturday.  Venue for the World Championship was Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis Maryland.

Despite their worst placing of the event Americans Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljerdahl clinched victory by 15 points.  Their race 6 finish of 28th was discarded.  In 2nd was the Canadian team of Macdonald and Bjorn who were no great shakes in race 6 finishing 19th.  3rd was the Irish team of Mansfield and O'brien finishing 9th in race 6.

Ireland along with New Zealand, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bermuda, Norway, Greece and Argentina had teams finish well enough to qualify for an Olympic spot.

With a win at the Worlds Mark Reynolds will enter the Sydney games as the Star class favorite.

 

Team NZL shakeup

If Team New Zealand is to again win the America's Cup they will do it without a number of prominent and talented sailors.

Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth have quit Team New Zealand.  They have accepted multi million dollar offers from Ernesto Bertarelli a Euro businessman.  They will head his challenge under the Swiss flag.  

Along with the above sailors, trimmers Warrick Fluery and Simon Daubney and bowman  will also go along.  This is the group of sailors that as Team Magic was so successful on the world match racing circuit.

This announcement ends a great deal of speculation.  For sometime it had been expected that New Zealand would lose talented sailors.  That the talent would include two thirds of the teams leadership is a surprise.  

The new team leaders are Tom Schnackenberg and Dean Barker. 

Speaking from England former Team New Zealand boss Sir Peter Blake said: "If they had said they would go where there was the most money right from the outset, no one would have minded."

Since the move was so surprising many New Zealanders mind greatly.

Perhaps this move is just another way of reminding us that sailing at certain levels is a business.  And in business money and opportunity play greater roles than loyalty- no matter what is publicly stated.

Playstation

Update:  Playstation has crossed the finish line at the Lizard.  Official time 7 days 13 hours 38 minutes and 6 seconds almost a full day behind the record.  Look to SD on Tuesday for a full analysis of Playstation's passage time.

The 105 foot catamaran should hit the finish line at the Lizard this afternoon.  Projected passage time is 175-180 hours (7 d 7 h to 7 days 12 hours).  This will be well over the record time of 6 days 13 hours.  It will, however be enough to qualify for The Race.  The standard for qualification was 8 days 4 hours.

Playstation's projected time should be equivalent to the time that Jet Services V posted in 1988.  2 years later she set the existing record.

About not getting the record Steve Fossett said: "This is another reminder that the record set by Jet Services V a decade ago is one of the hardest records to break."

Worrell  1000

The final leg of the Worrell 1000 was both frustrating and nerve racking.  Frustrating due to lite shifty winds.  Nerve racking due to the fact that at one point the team of Smythe and Struble almost lost their lead to the zephyrous conditions.

In the end they bailed themselves out with boat speed and won by nearly half an hour.  Their total elapsed time was 77 hours and 30 minutes the second fastest ever.

For Smyth this is his 6th Worrell 1000 title and his 4th in a row.

This edition of the race was perhaps the most successful ever on and off the water giving the event solid forward momentum.

 

 

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