Racing Resumes in New Zealand
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ It was not smooth sailing Wednesday for the America’s Cup challenger series.
America True and Nippon asked for delays because of gear failures, Young America turned up late, and the Swiss and French teams didn’t show at all.
Officials voided the result of a race which would have completed Italy’s Prada team’s sweep of round-robin 1 of the regatta to decide who will face Team New Zealand for sailing’s prized trophy next year.
Prada easily beat Hawaii’s Abracadabra 2000, Italian skipper Francesco de Angelis’ 10th win in 10 starts. But Abracadabra successfully protested, complaining it had not had enough time to prepare for the race after its morning race was postponed because of strong wind conditions.
For the same reason, officials also voided the result of the afternoon race between Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes and Young Australia.
The two races are scheduled to be rerun Thursday.
In the morning races, Stars and Stripes easily defeated Young America, which missed the start after returning to port because of a gear failure and started the race a full leg behind.
Prada, the Spanish team and Japan’s Nippon all received wins after the teams they were supposed to race _ the French and the Swiss _ forfeited by staying in port to work on their boats.
America One’s final two races Tuesday were postponed until Thursday while the team repairs damage from a collision with Stars and Stripes Saturday.
America True and Nippon met in another morning race, and even that was delayed after gear failures on both boats. Nippon skipper Peter Gilmour beat Dawn Riley’s America True in pre-start maneuvers, leaving the Americans stalled as the gun fired. Gilmour took the wind advantage and finished the first upwind leg 10 boat lengths in front.