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Dickson Concerned With Oracle Status

October 25, 2002

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ Newly appointed helmsman Chris Dickson is prepared to remove his boss, billionaire Larry Ellison, from the team’s yacht if that’s what it takes to get Oracle’s faltering America’s Cup campaign on track.

Dickson told the New Zealand Herald on Saturday he would take any steps necessary to revive the fortunes of the team from San Francisco, a winner in six of 10 races in the series.

Ellison reacted Thursday by removing helmsman and skipper Peter Holmberg from Oracle’s race yacht and installing Dickson. Dickson had been removed from the sailing team to a shore-based advisory role after friction with teammates.

His reappointment Thursday to a comprehensive role as head of the sailing team and of boat development gave him responsibility for picking each day’s crew.

Dickson’s appointment prompted the resignation of headsail trimmer Stu Argo, a 16-year America’s Cup veteran.

Dickson said he was ``keeping my head down and tail up, trying to avoid losing any more points.

``I’m just doing the best I can for the boss,″ he said.

But he also said he would review Ellison’s role aboard the Oracle race yacht if that proved necessary. Ellison sails aboard the boat each day in an unspecified tactical role.

Dickson said Holmberg, the world match racing champion, might yet return to an on-board role.

``Peter Holmberg is an asset I intend to use,″ Dickson said. ``I suspect there will be times when we think Peter should be at the wheel.

``There could be times when I elect not to be on the boat. There may be times when I ask Larry to step off the boat.″

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