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Stars & Stripes Loses To Wight Lightning

PRESS RELEASE October 23, 2002


AUCKLAND, NZ, OCTOBER 23, 2002-Britain’s America’s Cup challenger Wight Lightning prevailed today in a see-saw battle with Team Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes during Louis Vuitton Cup racing that hinged on an umpires’ penalty call.

Stars & Stripes, carrying the colors of the New York Yacht Club, powered away from the British boat in a five knot southerly breeze on the first leg, only to have her rival catch up and pass before the end of the first spinnaker run as the wind increased to ten knots.

On the next two legs, the situation was reversed as Wight Lightning, representing the Royal Ocean Racing Club, held off her rival on the windward leg, before the American boat overtook before the end of the spinnaker run.

As the two boats approached the leeward mark, Stars & Stripes maneuvered inside Wight Lightning and into what her crew considered to be the three-boat length circle. The on-water umpires did not agree and penalized Stars & Stripes. The judges flew a red flag, signaling Stars & Stripes to take the penalty immediately. Stars & Stripes immediately completed a penalty turn but despite a continuing attack, was unable to regain the lost ground. Wight Lightning won by 46 seconds.

The first race between the two boats today was abandoned in dying breezes when Stars & Stripes was leading Wight Lightning by over half a mile.

“Today we sailed a total of ten legs, and we sailed our best leg and our toughest leg of the regatta,” said skipper Ken Read, Newport, RI. “The first leg of race we completed was our best to date and the run that followed, when the British carried the breeze down to us and passed, was our toughest.”

The points after Race 1 of Round Robin 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup are: OneWorld Challenge, 8-0*; Alinghi Challenge, 8-1; Oracle BMW Racing 5-4; GBR Challenge 5-4; Prada Challenge, 5-4; Team Dennis Conner, 4-5; Victory Challenge 3-5; Mascalzone Latino Challenge, 1-8; Le Défi Areva, 0-9. (Notes: 1*, OneWorld will penalized one point at the end of this round for a Protocol breach. 2. Byes 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 Don Kramer, Vice Chairman, Ace Limited.

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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