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Stars & Stripes Defeats France’s Le Défi

PRESS RELEASE October 12, 2002


AUCKLAND, NZ, OCTOBER 12, 2002-Team Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes won her Louis Vuitton Cup match race against the French challenger Le Défi today after the French boat suffered sail damage and came close to dismasting in squally conditions on the Hauraki Gulf.

The westerly squall which disabled Le Défi exceeded the wind limits when it gusted over 23 knots for five minutes and forced abandonment of the pair’s first meeting. The French boat was granted a standard 45-minute postponement but forfeited the match when its crew was unable make repairs in time.

Team Dennis Conner finished the first round robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup with four wins and four losses. Racing in the second round robin starts on Tuesday, October 22.

Stars & Stripes, skippered by Ken Read, Newport, RI, and representing the New York Yacht Club, is one of three American teams in a fleet of nine international contenders racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup to decide a challenger for the America’s Cup.

The French boat worked out to a small lead on the first windward leg of their meeting with Stars & Stripes today and led around the weather mark 31 seconds ahead. However the New York boat sailed a better downwind leg and outmaneuvered the French to round the second mark 23 seconds in front.

The forestay on the French boat broke as squally winds gusted over 23 knots. The resultant strain on the jib ripped the jib halyard drum off the deck, leaving the mast unsupported until the French crew was able to effect a jury rig.

In racing on the Hauraki Gulf today, Seattle WA’s OneWorld beat Oracle BMW’s USA-76 from San Francisco, CA; Britain’s GBR beat Italy’s Mascalzone Latino, and in her other race USA-76 beat Sweden ’s Orn. The final race, between the Italian challengers Luna Rossa and Mascalzone Latino, was postponed and will be sailed at the beginning of the next round.

The current points for the to-be-completed Round Robin 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup are: OneWorld Challenge, 7-0*; Alinghi Challenge, 7-1; Oracle BMW Racing 5-3; Team Dennis Conner, 4-4; GBR Challenge 4-4; Prada Challenge, 3-4; Victory Challenge 3-5; Mascalzone Latino Challenge, 1-6; Le Défi Areva, 0-8. (Notes: 1*, OneWorld was penalized one point for a Protocol breach. 2. Incomplete races result in different totals)

The crew of Stars & Stripes today was: Vince Brun, Wally Henry, Peter Isler, and Bill Trenkle, from San Diego, CA; Chuck Brown, Jerry Kirby, Rob Myles, Ken Read and Tony Rey, from Newport, RI; Rock Ferrigno, Fairfield, CT; Chris Kam, Stonington, CT; Tom Whidden, Essex, CT; Terry Hutchinson, Annapolis, MD; Mike Toppa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Dave Calverley, Tampa, FL and Larry Mialik, Madison, WI. The 17th man was David Elwell, NYYC Challenge representative.

Team Dennis Conner and the New York Yacht Club have partnered to put forth the finest team of American designers, sailors, boat builders and shoreside support to win America’s Cup XXXI and return the America’s Cup to the United States. The America’s Cup began on October 1, with the four-month challenger elimination series known as the Louis Vuitton Cup. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will challenge Team New Zealand for the right to defend the America’s Cup in a best of nine series starting on February 15, 2003.

Team Dennis Conner's platinum sponsor, Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA) delivers the software that manages eBusiness. As the world’s third largest enterprise software company, CA provides industry-leading integrated solutions through strategic partnerships and powerful brands such as Unicenter®, BrightStor™, eTrust™, CleverPath™, Advantage™, Jasmine® and AllFusion™. With mission-critical software in security and storage, CA provides reliable, quality technology. For more information, visit

Gold sponsors of the Team Dennis Conner America's Cup challenge include Citizen Watch Company (, proud maker of the new Eco-Drive Sailhawk, the official Stars & Stripes team watch, the ACE Group of Companies (, a premier global insurance and reinsurance organization and Airgas, Inc. (, the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding, safety and related products. With an integrated network of nearly 800 locations nationwide--including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers--Airgas' national scale and strong local presence offer customers a competitive advantage

Team Dennis Conner’s Silver sponsors are Nautica (, the team’s official apparel sponsor and a leading global fashion and lifestyle company with products ranging from men's, women's and children's sportswear, denim and accessories to a complete home collection and Manugistics (, a leading software company that provides comprehensive solutions which enable companies to share inventory, pricing and planning information with customers and suppliers over the Internet.

Team Dennis Conner’s Suppliers are 3M, Air New Zealand, Airgas, Airtech, APL Limited, Arc Second, Bathysphere Digital Media Services, Columbus Line, Digi International, Dupont, Earth Tech, Itronix, Lewmar Marine, McLube, Media Bin, Munters, Nautica Eyewear, New England Ropes, Newport Adhesives & Composites, OmniSonics Medical, Pacer Technologies, Parker, Plastimo, Protector, Remy Amerique, Saucony, WiTango and Xygent.


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