Summer of '99 in Photos
19 days remain until race 1 of the America's Cup Challenger elimination series. The scene has shifted from training bases scattered around the northern hemisphere, to Auckland New Zealand which is passing through spring.
All five American teams now have their boats in New Zealand. Aloha Racing's 2 boats arrived 11 September. There have not been any on the water sightings of either of their boats both of which were shipped to New Zealand. The Aloha team is working on finishing their 2nd hull. It could be two weeks before they sail, meaning they will have limited preparation time for round 1.
America True continues to develop the potential of their lone new boat. America True recently hosted a media day and over 100 were in attendance.
Last week saw the arrival of Young America's second boat in New Zealand. Young America expects to have both boats sailing by months end. Interestingly one of the design consultants on both of the boats was the legendary Olin Stephens.
America One has their first boat in New Zealand. This boat along with a trial horse covered the last 110 miles by barge. No reports of this team on the water.
Team Dennis Conner continues to tune up Stars and Stripes. The team reports positively on their new boat. Reports from their camp indicate that spring in New Zealand is unpredictable with temperatures from 35 to 70 and winds from calm to 35 knots plus.
Contrary to previous years when teams often spend year together training this years cup has a different feel. As an example America One crew members Morgan Larson and Kevin Hall will sail the Olympic trials in the 49er class. These trials don't end until the 24th of October which is the last day of round robin 1 of the trials.
Since most of the sailors involved are professional there is less training as a group on the actual Cup boats and more of a reliance that these pros are skilled enough to win without extensive training.
As the trials go on the points for a win will rise from 1 in round 1 to 4 in round 2 to 9 in round 3, and unlike most sporting events 6 teams rather than 4 will move to the semifinals. So, although racing will start in under a month, the early contests will be more interesting than consequential. Boats will be optimized and crews will develop as the trials go on. Sailing Daily will continue to provide coverage and analysis.