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It's Official - Prada Unbeaten In Round Robin One

Prada Wins Round Robin One
The Louis Vuitton Cup First Round Robin finished with a whimper today, after
equipment damage prevented a much anticipated match-up. AmericaOne and Young
America were scheduled to sail in the afternoon to determine the top U.S.
challenger behind Prada. But AmericaOne couldn't raise its mainsail in the
afternoon and started the race under jib alone. Cayard and his team
eventually retired.

All racing is now complete barring protests. The Italian Prada Challenge
sailed to an unblemished ten win record in the first round. It will be the
team to beat when racing resumes with Round Robin Two on 6 November 1999.


Young Australia (AUS-29) had a one second lead over the AmericaOne (USA-49)
at the start. Both boats were on opposite tacks. Just after the start
Spithill was in the lead and maybe could have crossed ahead. But Paul Cayard
on AmericaOne had the favoured side of the course and went around the top
mark first leading by fifty-three seconds. Young Australia 2000 did
relatively well. They worked hard to stay in touch but never had a chance to
control the match. AmericaOne finished with a man up the mast fixing a
batten popping out of a pocket.


In the pre start Abracadabra (USA-54) was in control of Luna Rossa (ITA 45)
with only 30 seconds to go to the start. Then the Italians showed their
winning form of Round Robin One. Within seconds they managed to turn the
tide. From an unfavoured position they found overdrive, pointed higher and
positioned themselves ahead and to windward of Kolius. On the start line the
Italians forced Kolius to tack away. Delta, nine seconds. Especially when
going upwind, Prada showed better speed, tactics and pointing ability. At
the first top mark Prada was leading. Delta 01:10. Prada went on to win the
race and remains unbeaten for Round Robin One.

Once again, Young Australia (AUS-29) skipper James Spithill earned respect
for his start against Stars & Stripes (USA-55). Spithill held his own,
nipping a windward position thirty seconds from the start. As Ken Read
brought the American boat up, Spithill tacked away, and both boats crossed
the line at the gun, the Americans sailing out to the left, the Aussies to
the right. They had several good approaches on the early part of the leg,
Read tacking into a lee-bow position several times before he was finally
able to cross in front. Stars & Stripes built its lead on every leg, finally
finishing 1:00 ahead of Young Australia.

This match was eagerly anticipated, as both Young America (USA-58) and
AmericaOne (USA-49) have shown they have the speed to be around in February.
But the match fizzled when AmericaOne couldn't fix a mast problem incurred
during the morning. AmericaOne started under jib only, with a man up the
mast, and Young America sailed away. AmericaOne fought on, sailing one full
windward and leeward leg without a mainsail, before retiring at the bottom
mark. Young America finished the course alone to collect a valuable point.

© Scoop Media

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