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16 October 2002, 10:55 am
No Rest In Auckland
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America's Cup

Time out, we think not. There is little rest for the teams in the break between Round Robin 1 and 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
When the racing stops, Auckland seems to go quiet, at least it does in the media centre. But while spectators draw breath between the two Round Robins, it's business as usual for the teams in the Viaduct basin.

No racing doesn't mean no work, far from it. Whether they're carrying out modifications to their boats in their yards, or continuing their testing programmes afloat, time is still of crucial importance. Using it wisely is another important aspect of running a successful campaign. But not everyone operates the same system.

During the break Alinghi's plan is to sail every day with both their boats for the whole week, so long as the weather allows.

"When we can't sail due to the weather, the maintenance team will work on the boats so there is still plenty going on at the base," said Bernard Schopfer.

"As far as the sailing team are concerned, we were lucky with the draw and the way things worked out which saw us completing our races in Round Robin 1 on Sunday, so Monday was a day off for us,"he continued.

Other teams were less lucky with the closing stages of the round. The French team broke their forestay and damaged some other areas of their boat on the last day of racing, which means that they will be busy with repairs and modifications this week. Once complete, the team will need to sail the boat to conduct some testing as well, so for French, time is very tight.

At Prada Challenge modifications and maintenance to both of their boats means that the sailing team will not be out on the water for the first few days either. Here, the sailing team has been split into two with each taking three days off, while the shore team continues as normal.

It's business as usual for the Brits too, at least it is for their shore team who have from Tuesday to Thursday evening to work on the boat before the sailing team come back from their two days off to go back out onto the Gulf once again.

For Oracle and One World, a single day off for everyone was their way of making sure everyone had a break. Victory Challenge are also planning a day off for their crew at some stage during the week, but having decided to use their second boat SWE-73 for the next Round Robin, they've been keen to spend as much time as possible testing her alongside SW-63. Sailing both boats for most of the week is most likely to occupy the Swedes.

Having so little time off is nothing new for these teams, especially those who have been based in Auckland for some time.

Until late August, a six day week was the norm where Sunday was the most usual day off. Since then, all teams operate a seven day a week operation where the weather is more likely to dictate when people have spare time on their hands.

"Planning around the weather is perhaps the most difficult thing," said Schopfer of Alinghi. "But sometimes it does mean that our sailing team at least get to take some days out. They have got used to having their days off in bad weather too!"

Round Robin 2 commences on 22 October through to 1 November 2002.
Matthew Sheahan – Louis Vuitton Cup Website/ISAF Secretariat
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