Third day cancelled in a row

Too little wind this time, but Team NZ win all important RIB race

Monday November 25th 2002, Author: Louis Vuitton Media Centre, Location: Australasia
Early this morning a wind speed of 10-15 knots over the course area raised hopes that the Quarter Final Repechage may at last get under way. But by midday there were ominous signs as the breeze started to die away.

With a typical wind speed of between 4-6 knots, the breeze was below limits for racing to start and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio signaled a postponement shortly after 13:00. The remainder of the day was spent waiting in vain for the breeze to build and racing for the day was eventually abandoned at 15:44.

While the four competing teams waited for conditions to improve, on shore syndicate legal teams were analysing the latest development in the OneWorld affair.

Team Dennis Conner and the Prada Challenge made a joint submission to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel last night. In it they requested that the case of OneWorld’s breach of the Protocol, for which OneWorld received a one point penalty earlier last month, be revisited.

The day wasn’t completely without excitement afloat as an impromptu tender race met with an instant fleet of nine boats, ranging from syndicate chase RIBs to a couple of Umpire Boats. The race took place on a simple out and return course.

Seconds after the starting gun was fired, it was the Team New Zealand weather boat, skippered by local expert Mike Quilter, that established a clear lead with one of the umpire boats in second place.

One the return leg, the low black zoomer from Victory Challenge managed to accelerate past the umpire boat to take second place, but was unable to challenge the runaway victory scored by Quilter. A protest from the Swedes shortly after the finish was black flagged by the umpires.

This means the best-of-seven repechage matches between OneWorld and Stars & Stripes and between Prada and Victory Challenge will start tomorrow – weather permitting.

The first warning gun in the Quarter Final Repechage is scheduled for 13:05 daily.

Meanwhile, on page two the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Yacht Club Punta Ala, the Defender and the Challenger of Record, have got their Aribitration Panel sorted for the 2003 Cup Match. In a bit of a Big Brother house style, the four selected by the two teams then vote in their own choice for the fifth and final member. Telephone votes from the public, however, are not accepted...

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