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Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition Extra

November 18, 2002
© Franck Socha/louis Vuitton

Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition, Nov. 18, 2002

Grand Prix Sailor is a 13-year-old racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine (www.sailingworld.com). This AMERICA’S CUP EDITION is a weekly summary of Cup action, brought to you this week byGill, Harken, and Stardust Charters.

Bob Fisher’s report from Auckland.

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Chainsaw in Paradise
It is just as well that one of the Prada syndicate’s official suppliers is the power tool manufacturer, Makita, since the chainsaw was again in action in the large compound at the far end of Halsey Street, from where, on Sunday morning, a rejected bow of a Luna Rossa was being freighted away for disposal.

The Prada syndicate withdrew Luna Rossa (ITA-74) from the quarter-finals round of the America’s Cup with Alinghi. Having suffered three defeats in a row, the owner of the syndicate, Patrizio Bertelli, informed the Challenger of Record Management of the Yacht Club Punta Ala’s intention and indicated that Alinghi should be given the extra point to complete their victory and progress directly to the semi-final.

That move came to enable Prada to perform major modifications to Luna Rossa (ITA-74) before the repechage with whoever OneWorld chooses to race against. As the highest-placed boat in the rounds robin, OneWorld has the right to decide whether to take on Victory or Stars & Stripes.

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That match is due to start eight days from the time Prada retired from her match with Alinghi. It will be hard enough for Prada to complete the retro-fitting of a new bow section that was built at Hakes’ boatyard in Wellington, and the extra day will allow some testing time with Prada’s other Luna Rossa (ITA-80) to determine which one should be used.

With Prada seen to be in considerable disarray as a result of its continued last-minute boatbuilding, it could just be that OneWorld might just be ready to deliver the coup de grace to the 2000 winners of the Louis Vuitton Cup by choosing them as their opponents for the repechage. On the other hand, OneWorld would be putting itself at a greater risk of losing by doing so, and this will be a do-or-die match.-Bob Fisher

OneWorld Gets First Pick
As a result of its better race record, OneWorld will get first pick of the team they’ll face in the quarterfinal repechage, Victory or Stars & Stripes.

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Oracle’s Red Flag
We reported in today’s earlier Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition : “One last question from this series remains; why, exactly, did Oracle fly a protest flag at the beginning of each race with OneWorld?” Tom Ehman of Oracle e-mailed us a correction and Gary Wright of OneWorld added confirmation.

Tom Ehman, Oracle: “Oracle BMW Racing flew a red flag soon after the start of Race 1 only. And that was for a minor technical matter which we assume the technical director sorted out with OneWorld after the race as we saw no repeat of the infraction in subsequent races.”

Gary Wright, OneWorld: “I saw only one flag too Tom…As you state in Race 1. Not sure though if we understand the perceived technical infraction. There were none that we were aware of, and none that we were made aware of.”

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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 http://www.sailingworld.com
Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger ([email protected]), Dave
Reed ([email protected]), Stuart Streuli
([email protected]), John Burnham ([email protected])

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