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Young America Substitute Yacht Approved

NEWSFLASH - Young America Given Approval To Sail Substitute Yacht:

by Selwyn Manning

Americas Cup officials have given approval to the New York Yacht Club backed Young America team to race its substitute boat USA 58.

USA 58 will replace the stricken yacht Young America USA 53 which suffered terrible structural damage while racing on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf yesterday.

On Tuesday, the Young America boat USA-53 suffered severe damage when the hull broke open and the deak pealed upward, splitting the yacht USA 53 almost in two.

Under the rules governing the Challenger Series, Young America may apply to substitute boats if there is grave damage.

"We expect ... to be sailing the second boat by Friday," said Jane Eagleson, spokesperson for the Young America camp.

"Under the rules, we have to forfeit the first race in the new boat. We accept that, and look forward to sailing on Friday.

"We have a lot of work ahead, we've been using the new boat for testing, but we weren't expecting to race it so soon, so there's a lot to do to get ready," Eagleson said today.

Young America's next match is against the Swiss yacht; be hAPpy. If Young America is barred from sailing its back up craft, the Swiss can win that race by sailing the course alone.

The damaged USA 53 will however be repaired in preparation of Round Robin 3.

Repair plans are being drawn up and are due to be sent over by the yacht's designers, led by New Zealander, Bruce Farr.

It appears that the damage, while very grave, is localized to the deck and the hull shell and that none of the important interior structures has been damaged.

Eagleson: "We hope to fix it up so that we can carry on with our two boat testing programme prior to the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup."

Young America has gained a one day reprieve from the weather. Racing is cancelled on Wednesday due to high winds and waves on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

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