America's Cup - race four live update

James Boyd reports live from the Hauraki Gulf

Thursday February 20th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
Welcome to day four of the America's Cup. We're posting live updates and comments here during the race allowing readers of The Daily Sail to get the information faster than anywhere else on the web. Just refresh (F5) your browser regularly to keep track of the last minute by minute coverage.

Significant changes in the Team New Zealand afterguard today for race four of the America's Cup with Hamish Pepper being replaced by Frenchman Bertrand Pace. In the crewlist he is just described as 'afterguard' but Pace has constantly been helmsman of the tune up boat for Team New Zealand and it has been suggested that he may be on the wheel in the pre-start instead of Barker today. We shall see...

It is obviously thought that a bit of Latin verve is needed to pepper up the afterguard on NZL-82. Pace has been involved with the America's Cup since he sailed on Marc Pajot's French Kiss in Freo, starting as a bowman but moving rapidly towards the blunt end of the boat becoming navigator. He has been involved with four America's Cup challenges, including the underfunded French Le Defi in 2000.

At present in Viaduct Basin is the wind is right down and it is reasonably overcast. (10am horns are going off to a deafening degree as the boats leave the Viaduct Basin).

Forecast for 13:00 Thursday: General Synopsis – Low-pressure 200 miles south east of South Island moving ENE, with associated front clearing the Auckland early in the morning. High-pressure (1024 mb) in the western Tasman Sea is moving east to give fine weather and lighter winds for the weekend. Winds: West to WSW 12 – 18 knots

Scattered clouds and occasional showers. Air temperatures 19-22 C with slight to moderate seas.

Tom Schnackenberg commented earlier on the change to Pace: "it is just a rotation from the bench. He's very very experienced. He's been sailing in the team solidly on the opposite boat mainly, but we'd had races where Cameron [Appleton] sailed the boat and he was tactician. And Bertrand and Dean are very comfortable working together."

Live update (times NZ local GMT+13hrs)

12:40 Southwestly wind. Supposed to go up to 10-15 knots to veer west. At present the water is flat . Both boats are tooling around under mainsail around. The start is due for 1:15. Wind is presently 6 knots. A delay is expected. Yawn... Peter Montgomery is talking about a 2.30 start. The wind is fluctating greatly at the moment.

1:50 Breeze is building, but is still very shifty

2:15 Slight sense of things hotting up. Both NZL52 and SUI64 have headsails up and are carrying out timing runs to the line. No umpires on board yet, suggesting that a possible start it still someway off. Confusingly both teams had both boats out this morning with identical sail numbers...

2:20 Incredible number of boat out on the water. Everything from ocean liners like The World to a steam ship and many many smaller craft. The race committee have just set the bottom mark.

2:40 Umpire is now on board Alinghi. Pin has been set. 3.00 start likely...

2:46 TIming sequence under way. Both boats tooling about without headsails.

2:49 Frustration all round. Another postponement... Possible no race situation today.

3:10 Harold Bennett informs both teams that he felt the conditions wouldn't improve in time to get a race in and sought their opinion. Team New Zealand immediately agree, while Alinghi don't answer, saying it needs to consult with its weather team. (Under Condition 13 of the Notice of Race for the America's Cup, no warning signal shall be made after 15:30 without the agreement of both teams.

3.20 Harold Bennett asks both teams for permission to wait past the 15:30 time limit. Team New Zealand navigator Mike Drummond said Team New Zealand feel it would be best to wait another day. Alinghi tactician Brad Butterworth was laughing when he tells Bennett Alinghi is, 'bitterly disappointed.'

3:30 Racing cancelled for the day. There is something of a controversial call - there is without question enough breeze, but it is too shifty. A wasted day for the 500 spectator craft out to watch the event.

Tomorrow (Friday) is scheduled as an 'off' day. Race Four is now scheduled to start at 13:15 on Saturday.

Crews for today:

Team New Zealand Alinghi
Bowman Jeremy Lomas Foredeck Dean Phipps
Mid Bowman Matt Mitchell Foredeck Curtis Blewett
Mastman Nick Heron Mastman Francesco Rapetti
Pitman Jared Henderson Pitman Josh Belsky
Runner/Pit Barry McKay * Grinder Kai Bjorn
Grinder Jono Macbeth Grinder Will McCarthy
Grinder Rob Waddell Genoa Trimmer Simon Daubney
Grinder Chris Ward Trimmer Richard Bouzaid
Trimmer James Dagg Grinder Dominik Neidhart
Trimmer Grant Loretz Mainsail Traveller Murray Jones *
Mainsheet Trimmer Tony Rae * Mainsail Trimmer Warwick Fleury
Afterguard Adam Beashel * Grinder Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyzen *
Afterguard Peter Evans Strategist Jochen Schuemann
Afterguard Bertrand Pacé Navigator Ernesto Bertarelli
Navigator Mike Drummond Tactician Brad Butterworth *
Skipper Dean Barker Helmsman/Skipper Russell Coutts
17 th Person 17 th man -

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