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13 February 2003, 10:26 am
Prada's Sailors Take The Helm To Claim Victory in Both Divisions
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Millennium Cup
Auckland

Reflecting the interest of America's Cup crews in the international rendezvous, afterguard members from Italy's Prada Syndicate, were at the helms of both winners.
Prada Tactician Torben Grael steered the 112-foot Brazilian sloop Ipanema to victory in Division I.

Prada alternate helmsman Gavin Brady had the wheel on the Dutch 80-foot sloop Innovision which topped Division II.

The fleet had anchored overnight at Kawau Island for two major social events, an owners and sponsors banquet under marquees at Mansion House and a crew party under a gigantic big top at nearby Pah Farm. The long narrow confines of Bon Accord Harbor was jammed with anchored boats. After dusk the deck lights, spreader lights and other lighting features on the superyachts gave the appearance of a small city. The normally quiet anchorage emptied quickly this morning as the fleet prepared to race again.

It's said that gentlemen never sail to windward, and the men and women of the Millennium Cup regatta proved it today with a fast spinnaker reach and run, sailed under grey, threatening skies. Yesterday, they had raced to Kawau under spinnakers before a brisk southerly breeze.

Launched only three weeks ago from Auckland's McMullen and Wing shipyard, the sophisticated cruiser Ipanema, built in high strength Alustar aluminium and designed by German Frers Sr, featured a veritable who's who of Brazilian yachting. Brazilian owner Antonio Dias Leite was joined by Frers, Lars Grael and Rodney Keenan Minister of Sport for Brazil.

Innovision, also designed by Frers is a two-year-old 80-foot Nautor Swan, with a carbonfibre rig, owned and sailed by Dutchman Hans Eekhol. Sailing with the smaller and lower rating boats in handicap Division II, she scored triple bullets, winning starts and winning on elapsed and corrected time as she finished each day with the leading boats in Division I.

The fastest boat in Division I was Kiwi Neville Crichton's water-ballasted maxi-racer Alfa Romeo which each day quickly left her bigger and more fully-appointed cruiser sisters in her wake. Although she was the corrected time winner yesterday, a blown spinnaker cost her precious minutes today and with it any chance of first place today or overall. She placed second overall in the division.
Keith Taylor/ISAF Secretariat
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