Team Dennis Conner loses rig

Another dismasting strikes America's Cup Class fleet

Thursday February 28th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States
Another dismasting has taken place in the America's Cup Class. This time it is Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes campaign with the New York Yacht Club who were striken last Saturday, 23 February while training about one mile outside of Los Angeles harbour.

Team Dennis Conner would not confirm to madfor sailing which of their boats had suffered the dismasting, but it is believed to be USA 50 or 54 and not their new boat, on which they only began training this week. The dismasting took place in 10-12 knots of wind and flat seas.

"One of the masts broke and it is being fixed," commented Team Dennis Conner's Media Relations Manager, Veronica Brown. "Fortunately no one was hurt and the boat wasn't damaged." Training has continued as normal she added. Brown was tight-lipped about the cause of the dismasting, but one observer commented that the mast had "folded about half way up".

Now all three of the US challengers for the America's Cup have experienced a dismasting, along with defenders Team New Zealand. One explanation of the dismasting is the America's Cup protocol that does not allow teams hard design and engineering data when they buy a boat off another syndicate. This certainly could have been the case with the Team Dennis Conner training boats - both formerly belonging to the Abracadabra 2000 syndicate.

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