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Team Dennis Conner Sails A Smart, Close Race


AUCKLAND, NZ, OCTOBER 24, 2002- Team Dennis Conner's navy blue sloop, Stars & Stripes, skippered by Ken Read of Newport RI, sailed a smart, close race today against Italy's Prada Challenge but could not pass the recently modified yacht named Luna Rossa on the Hauraki Gulf during the second race of Round Robin 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

The all-American team, representing the New York Yacht Club, sailed an aggressive race today in steady northerly conditions ranging between 10-14 knots, but ran out of race course and finished the match 41 seconds behind the Italian team.

"Prada wanted the left at the start and we were content to start on the right-hand side of the line, but we also thought the left would be good so we didn't give them much room," said Tom Whidden, a member of Team Dennis Conner's afterguard. "They (Prada) won the first cross and protected the left from there. Our boat speed was about even and I think both boats have improved since the 1st Round," he said.

The two boats started the race on split tacks - Stars & Stripes on port at the committee boat end of the line and Prada Challenge on starboard at the pin end, with Stars & Stripes leading by two seconds. The first beat to weather produced very close racing with the lead being exchanged several times. Prada managed to inch out after a left-hand wind shift and Stars & Stripes rounded the first mark on the heels of the Italian boat. Stars & Stripes made great gains on the first downwind run and came within 11 seconds of Luna Rossa at the first leeward mark rounding. But Read and his very experienced afterguard could not close the gap on Prada and the Italians kept a tight cover on Stars & Stripes all day.

Team Dennis Conner will race against Sweden's Victory Challenge tomorrow. Currently Team Dennis Conner and Victory Challenge are tied with four wins each.

The points after Race 2 of Round Robin 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup are: Alinghi Challenge, 9-1; OneWorld Challenge, 8-1*; Oracle BMW Racing 6-4; GBR Challenge 5-4; Prada Challenge, 6-4; Team Dennis Conner, 4-6; Victory Challenge 4-5; 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 and Andrew Scott, Annapolis, MD; Mike Toppa, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and Dave Calverley, Tampa, FL. The 17th man was Murray "Murph" McDonnell support team for Team Dennis Conner.

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®, BrightStorT, eTrustT, CleverPathT, AdvantageT, Jasmine® and AllFusionT. 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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