Grand Prix Sailor-America’s Cup Edition

Swedes, OneWorld, Oracle-BMW Racing . . . The Strong Survive

Issue 3, Oct. 7, 2002

Grand Prix Sailor is a 13-year-old racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine (http:// This AMERICA’S CUP EDITION is a weekly summary of Cup action, brought to you this week by C&C;, Harken, and Platinum Charters.

It is the relative failure of the strife torn Prada, following syndicate head Patrizio Bertelli’s sacking of Design Chief Doug Peterson that brings the 2002/3 Louis Vuitton Cup into its true perspective. Luna Rossa’s victory in 2000 is nothing more than a mere memory.


The Italians’ sole victory has been against the French Le Defi Areva–a team without a win so far–and they have suffered at the hands of Oracle-BMW Racing, Stars & Stripes, and Alinghi, all of whom have beaten Luna Rossa quite comfortably. Bertelli is staring straight down the barrel of a Christmas at home and $85 million in the bin.

His discomfort is compounded by the unhappiness of Gavin Brady who has been chosen to steer the tune-up boat and has not seen action on the racecourse. Rumors of Brady’s break with the syndicate were countered by Alessandra Ghezzi, the Prada spokeswoman, who said, “Gavin Brady is reviewing some aspects of his contract with us.” Presumably, these were the termination clauses.–Bob Fisher
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Team Dennis Conner now has a 2-3 record in the First Round Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup after losing three races in a row. Today, (Tuesday in NZ) Stars & Stripes will race against the French challenger Le Defi, after losing a shifty, light air race to OneWorld on Monday. “Ken and the crew did a great job at the start,” said Peter Isler. “OneWorld wanted the left but we chased them out. After that, it was a lottery with the breeze. OneWorld got some more pressure on the first beat and protected their lead after that. We rode one puff right up to them on the first leeward turning mark but they were able to pull away again.”

“The way that the race played out was unusual in that the wind kept swinging and never really died,” said OneWorld tactician Charlie McKee, who spent the day up the rig looking for breeze. “It swung so far, but the race committee kept moving the marks and we kept having sort of beats and runs. It never turned into a drifter, but you never knew what would happen next.” The winds on Course Romeo fluctuated so much that Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio was forced to change every mark of the course after the opening beat.

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One of the more exciting matches scheduled for Day 5, the race between the only two undefeated teams, Victory Challenge and Oracle, was cancelled for lack of wind. Because the Romeo race circle was able to get races off, the match will be pushed back to the end of Round Robin 1, as will the other race scheduled for the Juliet course, a match between Prada Challenge and Mascalzone Latino.

“It’s a good feeling, but at the same time, there’s no reason to read too much into it,” said Victory Challenge’s Magnus Holmberg, talking about Victory Challenge’s string of wins. “We’ve won three out of 16 matches in the round robin. There’s lots more to do, we must take it one day at a time.”

Team New Zealand is making room at their base in Auckland by retiring NZL-60, the first non-American defender of the America’s Cup. “It is a pretty special yacht,” said Team New Zealand’s Tom Schnackenberg. “You can even see elements of its pedigree in the current fleet,” said Schnackenberg. “The bow shape for example has, in some cases, been quite faithfully reproduced.”


Team NZs newest boat, NZL-82, is expected to make the journey from Cookson Boatbuilders to the Team New Zealand base later this week.

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Team Alinghi was given a $10,000 slap on the wrist by the International Jury following an incident in Race 3, when Alinghi didn’t turn the boat microphones as required by the AC protocol. The Jury found that the microphones were off for six minutes preceding the start of Race 3, a race against Mascalzone Latino. The members of Team Alinghi maintained that the microphones were turned on as required.

With so many teams completing a different amount of races, the leaderboard is a little jumbled. After OneWorld (four races) and Alinghi (five races), in first and second, respectively, with 4 points each, Oracle BMW Racing and Victory Challenge are tied with 3 points on 3-0 records.

Team Dennis Conner stands alone in fifth with 2 points on a 2-3 record. GBR Challenge and Prada are tied for sixth, each with 1 point on 1-4 records. Mascalzone Latino and France’s le Defi AREVA are at the bottom of the board, each winless in four matches.–Sean McNeill on

Weather Forecast for 08 October, 2002
High pressure (1031 mb) positioned over central New Zealand and moving very slowly east, giving a cool light south easterly gradient wind flow.
Winds for the Hauraki Gulf: SE 10 knots with sea breezes forming. Initially light NE followed by SW breezes later.

Race Day 6, RR 1, Oct.8
Le Defi vs. Stars & Stripes
Oracle vs. OneWorld
Oern vs. Luna Rossa
Team GBR vs. Mascalzone Latino

Grand Prix Sailor and Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition are weekly newsletters compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you’d like to subscribe, see
Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger (, Dave Reed (, Stuart Streuli (, John Burnham (