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14 January 2002, 11:22 am
News From The Syndicates
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Americas Cup Snippets

Oracle Racing are making sure the team's waste and rubbish don't go into Auckland's rapidly filling landfills with their new recycling programme.
With more than 100 team members based in Auckland consuming each week 576 1.5-litre bottles of water, 100 two-litre bottles of orange juice and 70 two-litre bottles of milk, recycling has become a priority.

`The recycling programme costs the team a little extra money and takes each crew member a few extra seconds to sort their items into the appropriately marked bins before discarding, but this is a very small sacrifice given the overall benefits to the environment,' Oracle Racing chief operating officer Bill Erkelens said.

All the team's paper, glass bottles, plastic and aluminium or tin cans are recycled and transformed into usable resources.

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It seems the old saying "Love thy neighbour" doesn't apply in Syndicate Row.

Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts has already been rapped over the knuckles by his old team and neighbours, Team New Zealand, for allegedly spying. The problem arose when Coutts' father-in-law and some American friends visited the Alinghi compound. The group were out snapping shots for the family album when Team New Zealand were towing out one of their boats.

It is against the rules for syndicates to photograph one another's boats, so what started out as an innocent photo-shoot turned into a fiasco.

Within minutes, Coutts' right-hand man, Brad Butterworth, received the first of several phone calls from Team New Zealand demanding that the photographers be taken to Team New Zealand's premises so the photos could be confiscated.

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Farther down Halsey St, it seems another dispute is brewing.

Oracle Racing, Larry Ellison's syndicate, has taken over the old AmericaOne premises next to Prada and have modernised the ground floor by installing mirror windows just metres away from Prada's launching area.

Are they being used to conceal surveillance cameras? That is the question Prada would like to have answered.

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GBR Challenge returned to their two-boat testing programme this week after GBR 52 was relaunched following modifications.

The details of the modifications are being kept secret, but the GBR team will have an opportunity to see how effective they are when they line up against the known performance of their second trial horse, GBR 44.

GBR Challenge's sailmaking team are also having a busy time completing a raft of new sails from moulded blanks supplied by North Sails in Nevada.

Most of the syndicate's new sails will be finished in their own sail loft at the Halsey St base.

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GBR Challenge are also helping to teach the younger generation about America's Cup sailing.

The team host the BBC educational TV programme Blue Peter on Mondays and Tuesdays.

After cameras that have been fixed all over the boats record the action, the programme is broadcast to young people throughout Britain and the United States.

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Dennis Conner's new boat, USA 66, was christened with a bottle of champagne by Rose Dana, wife of New York Yacht Club commodore Charles Dana, and headed straight from its unveiling to a series of trials in Long Beach, California.

It will travel across the United States on a trailer hitched to the back of a truck.

The first team members to be listed on the Stars and Stripes website are Conner, Chuck Brown (mainsheet), Peter Isler (afterguard), Ken Read (helmsman), Andrew Scott (grinder) and Bill Trenkle (headsail trim).

Julie Ash, New Zealand Herald/ISAF Secretariat
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