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Americas Cup - Stars & Stripes Bulkhead Separates

STARS & STRIPES SUFFERS SERIOUS DAMAGE - FAST2000 RETIRES

by Selwyn Manning

Stars & Stripes, Dennis Conner's boat suffered serious structural damage to the aft bulkhead. The after deck separated from the hull. Stars & Stripes had to retire before Sunday's race against Prada's Luna Rossa ITA48.

The aft bulkhead holds the running backstay attachment points. It simply ripped out of the boat. The damage catapulted Dennis Conner's dentist high into the air. He was on the yacht as the 17th man.

The crew saved the rig, but their chances of advancing to the Louis Vuitton
Cup semifinals now appear in jeopardy. The damage is a serious blow to Team Dennis Conner. Its loss today was the third in a row for the Americans and Conner's crew finds itself in danger of slipping out of the top six.

The Dennis Conner team will ask the Americas Cup judiciary for a 48 hour delay to fix the damage.

Other Races:
Italy's Prada team
sailed alone without opponent Stars & Stripes to complete the course and notched up another nine points to lead the challenger's table.

The Swiss team FAST2000, whose boat be hAPpy (SUI 59) dismasted two days ago during racing, has officially withdrawn from the Louis Vuitton Cup. The team doesn't have a spare mast and is unable to repair theirs due to the excessive damage. The Spanish team offered to lend a spare mast to the Swiss but the America's Cup Protocol (one of the fundamental documents on which this competition is based) forbids the transfer of design technology between syndicates; therefore the Spanish offer is not valid. FAST 2000 (skipper Marc Pajot, helmsman Jochen Schumann) is the first ever Swiss challenger in the America's Cup history.

AmericaOne and America True, the two yacht clubs from San Francisco, had an interesting match today. Paul Cayard, skipper on AmericaOne, was overtaken by his opponent having overstood the second windward mark by more than 200 metres. The Race Committee had changed the course axis 15 degrees to the left and the afterguard on AmericaOne mistook the new position of the buoy. John Cutler, helmsman on America True, rounded 15 seconds ahead. At the following mark, Cayard was in trouble again as the spinnaker was dropped in the water and had to cut off the boat and left behind.

Young America won against Abracadabra 2000.

The Spanish beat Young Australia 2000.

The French had to complete their race alone as the Swiss were not racing.

The top two yachts in the Americas Cup challenger series, Prada and America One race head to head in Monday's match races on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

RACING RESULTS OF SUNDAY - RACE 4 of Round Robin 3
1st Match America True wins against AmericaOne (20 seconds)
2nd Match Young America wins against Abracadabra 2000 (2 minutes 10 seconds)
3rd Match Le Defi wins against FAST2000 (FAST2000not racing)
4th Match Spanish Challenge wins against Young Australia 2000 (42 seconds)
5th Match Prada Challenge wins against Team Dennis Conner (Team Dennis Conner retires)
NOT RACING Nippon Challenge

RESULTS AFTER DAY FOUR OF ROUND ROBIN 3 (9 points per win)
73 pts - ITA 48 (Luna Rossa)
63 pts - USA 49 (AmericaOne)
56,5 pts - JPN 52 (Idaten)*
56 pts - USA 51 (America True)
45,5 pts - USA 55 (Stars & Stripes)
44 pts - ESP 47 (Bravo Espana)
42 pts - USA 58 (Young America)
32 pts - FRA 46 (6eme Sens)
25 pts - USA 50 (Abracadabra 2000)
9 pts - AUS 31 (Young Australia 2000)
8 pts - SUI 59 (be hAPpy)
*Idaten was not racing today.

THE RACE COURSE
Windward-leeward format, 18.5 nautical miles; six legs, three upwind and three downwind; the first and the last legs are 3.25 miles long, the others 3.00 miles.

THE WEATHER SUNDAY
S-SW, 12-15 knots; clouds will be associated with puffs to the right. The South wind continues as a high pressure moves across the Tasman Sea. Cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. SW 0.5 metres.

THE RACING MONDAY - RACE 5 of Round Robin 3
1st Match Nippon Challenge vs Spanish Challenge
2nd Match FAST2000 vs Young Australia 2000
3rd Match Young America vs Team Dennis Conner
4th Match AmericaOne vs Prada Challenge
5th Match Abracadabra 2000 vs America True
NOT RACING Le Defi

THE WEATHER MONDAY
SW winds, 10 knots. Mostly cloudy with a few showers.

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