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19 August 2001, 03:32 pm
First Day Of Racing Today
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America's Cup Jubilee
Cowes, Isle of Wight

Today marks the first day of racing in the America’s Cup Jubilee. Over 200 boats, dating back to a replica of America – the yacht that started it all – will grace the Solent for the next week, with legend racing alongside legend.
This Jubilee regatta brings together a spectacular collection of the egos and icons that have created the America's Cup legend.

Gathered together on an unprecedented assemblage of racing craft, the first day of the Jubilee promises to be history making. Phillips Race Day - the first race of the America's Cup Jubilee - 10:40 The on-water portion of the America's Cup Jubilee begins at 10:40 with the first start of Phillips Race day.

Opening the Jubilee, with a start off the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line, is the J Class and 23-metre Class. There will be three race areas in action throughout the day. Starts on the Royal Yacht Squadron line include the J Class and 23-metre Class, followed by the Modern IMS and IRC Class divisions, and the Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition Classes. The Prada 12-Metre Class Championships will begin the day with a practice race, starting at 10:40, in the Eastern Solent. Race 1 of the schedule will take place as soon as possible afterwards.

The third race area will be off Bembridge/Seaview. This is where the modern America's Cup Class boats will be racing. Their day also begins with a 10:40 start. Phillips Prizegiving with Ellen MacArthur - 18:45 It is only appropriate that perhaps Britain's best known sailor, Ellen MacArthur, will be on hand for the Phillips Prizegiving ceremony marking the first day of the America's Cup Jubilee. Ellen MacArthur, second place finisher in the Vendee Globe, will preside over the Phillips Prizegiving, celebrating the first day's achievements, in the Jubilee Village at 18:45. Limited tickets are available.

Louis Vuitton Bollard Ceremony - 19:00 A commemorative mooring bollard, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first race for the America's Cup, will be unveiled in a special ceremony below the Royal Yacht Squadron battlements on Sunday, 19 August, at 19:00

Created by Paris-based American artist Gregory Ryan, the tall slim contemporary artwork is planted into the pavement of the gun emplacements fronting the Royal Yacht Squadron. It was presented by Louis Vuitton.

Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton and the LVMH Fashion Group, will join Commodores Charles Dana III of the New York Yacht Club, Commodore Peter Taylor of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Commodore Peter Nicholson of the Royal Yacht Squadron as they finish setting the unique artwork in place. The slim bronze sculpture represents a mooring bollard, a symbol of security and permanence for sailing vessels.

It's flat top features three-dimensional waves scaled to represent the exact sea state on the Squadron starting line when the first race for the Cup started 150 years ago. Embossed around the rim of the bollard at the top, a line of text shows the date, wind strength and direction and tide for the 10:00 a.m. start of the race.

Bold lettering on the side of the bollard reads: "A gift from Louis Vuitton to the Royal Yacht Squadron on the occasion of the America's Cup Jubilee - 1851-2001 - August 2001." Outside the Royal Yacht Squadron battlement at 19:00. Free access.

Today's Weather - The Solent A mixture of sunny intervals and blustery showers are expected. The showers will be heavy and thundery at times, but will gradually become isolated and light overnight. Wind: Cyclonic force 2 to 4 soon settling West to Southwest force 4 to 5, perhaps reaching force 6 at times east of the Bill of Portland through the afternoon. During the evening the wind will veer West and decrease force 3 to 4 overnight. Long term outlook: Monday, light showers becoming brighter late in the day. Tuesday, warmer and drier with long sunny periods. Wednesday, mostly sunny and warm.
Peter Rusch/News Editor
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