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America's Cup Update

Auckland City Council

A replica of the schooner 'America' which began the America's Cup saga by winning the Royal Yacht Squadron's original race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, will visit Auckland during the America Cup and be berthed at the Cup Village. It will also join the spectator fleet watching the Cup on the Hauraki Gulf. Another 'visitor' will be the 45 metre Mari Cha 3, which is the current holder of the trans-Atlantic sailing record. The boat was built in New Zealand and this will be her first visit back here since being launched in 1997.

Six charter boats operators will now be based at the Cup Village following an agreement between all the parties involved.

The Swiss challenger, Swiss FAST 2000 has almost completed building their yacht and will be air-lifting it to Auckland from Switzerland on a giant Russian Antonov air freighter, stopping in Charlotte, North Carolina on the way to pick up a mast. The Swiss are expected to start training with the new boat by mid September.

The America's Cup 2000 official programme will be published at the end of September. The programme will be printed in full colour and is expected to be a collectors item.

Motutapu Island is being set up as a viewing 'stage' for the Cup races and will include an specially designed clearspan marquee, with viewing balconies to the north and west. A range of meals will be made available for up to 200 patrons throughout the days of racing. Bookings are essential, with travel to and from the island via ferry or helicopter. Income from bookings will be used by the Motutapu Island Restoration Trust for restoration of the ecological, historical and cultural values of the Island. Contact Corporate venues for further information, tel 376 6466.

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