TWM AMERICA'S CUP CHALLENGE 2003

NOTICE:  Background information re TWM and America's Cup:
1. Americas Cup 2000
2. Waitangi Tribunal Claim for the Atmosphere

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Racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup gets underway
"Excitement is at an all-time high and the nine challengers are ready to race, but the
weather will determine if the teams even make it out of the Viaduct Harbour today."
NZ Herald - Tuesday 1st October, 2002

TWM was ready to get back in the game after a 3 year wait and, by the second day of racing, had set its stamp on the Louis Vuitton series. By 25 November, 14 race days had been abandoned. The same number of cancellations in half the time, as this news report near the end of the ACC series in late February 2000 confirms:
"Since October, 14 of 69 race days have been lost to unsuitable weather conditions."
Light Winds Postpone Race 4, 27 FEB 00 // News // America's Cup by Larry Edwards, Quokka Sports

By the end of the LV regatta,-22 of the scheduled race days had been lost to bad weather. Over that period (see 'Highlights' below), consistent success indicated that the experience gained from ACC 2000 had not been lost.


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GO TO: 
1.  America's Cup 2003 race results
2. TWM wins America's Cup (unofficial)
 
LOUIS VUITTON HIGHLIGHTS 2002
sightseeing
reading
sleeping
 
Syndicates Play Hard for High Stakes:
mainly card games, fishing, reading and sunbathing. Sometimes, there was a yacht race.
 
Exerpts from various race reports:

ROUND ROBIN SERIES
High winds force cancellation of Cup racing
02.10.2002
Organisers have cancelled today's racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup regatta due to high winds.
High winds cause more delay in challenger races
03.10.2002
Racing in the Louis Vuitton challenger series for the America's Cup has been called off for the second day in a row due to high winds on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. Today's races, already delayed after high winds caused the cancellation of day two of the first round robin series yesterday, are now scheduled to be raced tomorrow.
Teams pray for friendly breeze
03.10.2002
The much-awaited clash between heavyweights Alinghi and OneWorld will be the feature of today's racing in the Louis Vuitton Challenger series - wind gods permitting.
Racing delayed on day 4
06.10.2002
Two races postponed on Day 5
07.10.2002
A postponement for the day on Juliet course meant only two of four matches were completed for Flight Five of Round Robin One in the Louis Vuitton Cup this afternoon. The two delayed matches will be sailed at the end of Round Robin One. 
Stars and Stripes match with Le Defi abandoned
08. 10.2002
No wind forces cancellation of OneWorld v Oracle BMW Racing
Racing under threat once more
09.10.2002
Once again the Louis Vuitton Cup fleet find themselves drifting about the Hauraki Gulf waiting for the breeze, with all four starts postponed on Wednesday.Two races on Monday and another three on Tuesday were cancelled due to lack of breeze and similar conditions are expected for Wednesday.
Heavy Squalls Force Cancellation of Racing
13.10.2002
Squalls of up to 45 knots on the Hauraki Gulf forced the three pairs of yachts scheduled to race today off the course and back to their compounds. The Louis Vuitton series is already in catch-up mode with three racing days lost to either too much or too little wind. There are five matches left to complete in Round Robin One
Little chance of racing today
14.10.2002  Weather forecast
Day's racing abandoned 
22.10.2002 
Racing in the America's Cup challenger series was abandoned today because of strong winds. Initially the day had been scheduled as the start of the second round robin among the nine teams contesting the Louis Vuitton Cup, but it was set aside to finish one race left from the first round robin.
Racing Blown Away
26.10.2002
Squalls streak along the Hauraki Gulf and racing is delayed again... The weather has not been kind to the Race Committee or the sailors in the Louis Vuitton Cup this spring, and racing was abandoned on Saturday for the seventh time in 19 race days.
Race officer prays weather will co-operate 
26.10.2002 
Peter Reggio is taking a philosophical view of the wretched Auckland weather which led to the cancellation of yesterday's Louis Vuitton Cup racing. Reggio, principal race officer for the challenger's series, said simply: "There is nothing we can do. I'm lucky these days if the forecast in the morning is right in the afternoon. 
America's Cup challenge racing abandoned for third day in a row
27.10.2002
High winds on the Hauraki Gulf have forced racing in the America's Cup challenger yachting series to be abandoned today, for the third day in a row. Organisers have only been able to hold two sets of races since the start on Tuesday of the second round of the series between nine teams competing for the right to challenge Team New Zealand for the America's Cup in February. Seven more sets of races need to be held to complete the current round and counting reserve days, eight days are available to hold them.
Double-whammy on Tuesday
28.10.2002
Racing has been cancelled due to heavy winds on the Hauraki Gulf for the fourth consecutive day in round robin two on Monday. Monday marked the eighth lost day of racing in 20 scheduled days, and the sixth due to strong winds.
Winds ravage race schedule
28.10.2002
America's Cup teams will race twice tomorrow as organisers of the challenger series struggle to keep to their sailing schedule on Auckland's wind-battered Hauraki Gulf. Louis Vuitton Cup organisers last night cancelled today's racing because of predicted 30 knot winds, the fourth day in a row racing has been called off.
Updated Schedule for RR2
29.10.2002
Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio has issued an updated schedule for the remainder of the round. After four consecutive race days lost to inclement weather, RR2 is expected to resume on Tuesday with two flights of racing scheduled.
Frustrating day as light winds derail racing schedule   [See 17 December for more of the same.]
30.10.2002
In a day of wildly fluctuating wind direction, frayed nerves, protests and abandoned races... Squalls caused a two-hour postponement on both race courses before action resumed on the shorter, 12.5 mile Course B shortly after midday. No sooner had racing begun than the wind died and massive shifts gave fits to tacticians, sailors and race officers alike. All Flight Six matches were postponed without starting. The fickle winds cruelly ripped victory away from the Chris Dickson-skippered Oracle USA-76 as they ran out of time to complete the last leg of their race within a few hundred metres of the finish line. In another display of slow-motion yacht racing, OneWorld and Stars & Stripes also ran out of time on the last leg of their race, much to the relief of many...
Alinghi v Prada.
01.11.2002 
Match postponed due to winds outside the limit. Conditions permitting, this match will be sailed on Sunday 3 November.
Flight 5 make up matches
02.11.2002
Announcement: "This is day 26 of RR series. It should have been finished a week ago."
Key quarter-final positions determined today: Alinghi in first position and Victory Challenge in fifth position.
Next Races 
03.11.2002 
Oracle v Le Defi. Race postponed due to light winds 
Alinghi v Prada. Alinghi will not start, Prada win by default 
Conditions on the Hauraki Gulf some of the most difficult to predict anywhere in the world.
05.11.2002
During the Round Robin series, cupviews.com reported the line-up of each day’s matches, a weather brief and scheduled start-time. However, with the spring weather in Auckland very difficult to predict, few races started on time and postponements were the norm, including three consecutive scheduled days with absolutely no racing.
In order to get the racing completed before the Quarter-Final, which begins on 12 November, most of the Round Robin 2 matches were sailed back to back on the shorter 12.5 mile course. QUARTER-FINALS
First day of Quarter-Finals postponed due to weather
12.11.2002
Advances in technology aids weather forecasting on the Hauraki Gulf. The Gulf is possibly the most calibrated piece of water in terms of weather forecasting anywhere in the world. Kiwis have worked hard to develop the best technology and methodologies in the world to analyze weather patterns, yet the weather guys still get it wrong.
Weather decides to play ball
13.11.2002
The Auckland weather has finally come to the party with blue skies, sunshine, and winds within the limits setting the stage for day one of quarterfinal action out on the Hauraki Gulf. Racing was postponed on Tuesday due to blustery conditions, giving the crews another day of preparation before the brutal best-of-seven series. 
Racing abandoned in high winds
17.11.2002
Racing in the America's Cup challenger series was abandoned early this afternoon because of strong winds on the Hauraki Gulf. 
Never-ending trend continues 
18.11.2002
The trend of this Louis Vuitton Cup seems set to continue, with the quarterfinals becoming another never-ending series, as high winds out on the Hauraki Gulf look likely to postpone racing for another day. 
A Recalcitrant Breeze
23.11.2002
Why the fickle wind failed us....? The answer was in the clouds. The breeze not behaving as it should do is becoming a regular habit on the first day of each round of the Louis Vuitton Cup. 
Light-wind delays start
23.11.2002
The Louis Vuitton quarterfinal repechages have been delayed due to a lack of wind on the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland. Light winds of just three knotts have caused the delay to the start of day one of the deciding races between One World and Stars and Stripes, and Victory Challenge and Prada. The winners from the best of seven series go on to meet each other in the semifinals, while for the losers, it's the end to their America's Cup challenge.
Not enough wind, then way too much
24.11.2002
For the second day in a row, racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup quarterfinal repechage was postponed today. While yesterday the Race Committee and the teams waited in vain for the breeze to build, today it was too much wind and a choppy sea that forced the delay. 
Repechage quartet still idle
25.11.2002 
Louis Vuitton Cup racing has been abandoned for the third day in a row, thanks to fickle conditions out on the Hauraki Gulf. Saturday's racing was delayed because of not enough wind, Sunday's racing was delayed due to extremely stormy and gusty wind out on the race course, and now Monday's racing has been abandoned, with the wind refusing to rise above the seven-knot wind limit before the 4pm deadline.
QF Repechage - Race Day One
26.11.2002
Try, try again. More light winds forecast for Tuesday after no racing Monday... Frustration levels are running high after three consecutive days lost to weather.
Racing gets under way
28.11.2002
COMMENT: Race weather for remainder of QF Repechage was uneventful. TWM abstained from further disruption and was preoccupied with the New South Wales bushfires until the beginning of the Semi-Finals. SEMI FINALS | RACE DAY 1
Too much wind blows racing off Hauraki Gulf
9.12.2002
Maintaining a pattern established from Round Robin Two, the first day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-final was cancelled today because of the weather.

SEMI FINALS | RACE DAY 4
Racing abandoned again
14.12.2002
Tantalisingly close, but eventually the Semi Finals were blown off once again. While today’s cancellation is the 17th day... that has been lost to the weather, the forecast for tomorrow looks more promising...

SEMI FINALS | RACE DAY 4
Semi-Finals Race Day 4 abandoned for 3rd day
Sunday, 15.12.2002
COMMENT: Race day 18 cancelled. Another 3 day cancellation and it's only mid-December! The Semifinals Repechage and the Finals in January 2003 have still to be run before the LV series is completed. Compare with the 2000 AmCup when 15 out of a total 72 race days were lost.

SEMI FINALS | RACE DAY 4 Results
Alinghi cruise into finals
16.12.2002
Russell Coutts' Swiss syndicate Alinghi advanced to the final of the Louis Vuitton challenger series this morning beating Oracle BMW Racing 4-0 in the best-of-seven series.
OneWorld go 3-1 against Prada.
COMMENT: Congratulations Alinghi. A class act.

SEMI FINALS | RACE DAY 5
OneWorld against Prada
17.12.2002
See race report.
COMMENT: Arrivederci Prada.
Today's events demonstrate that Indigenous weather modification is superior to forecasting technologies or any other hardware innovation that syndicates can dream up. Comments by TVNZ's Peter Montgomery: "I can't remember anything as bizarre as this." and, "a crazy topsy-turvy roller coaster."
This should have been the 19th cancellation. Under normal circumstances, it is very unlikely racing would have started. The race had been postponed for five and a half hours since 10.30am and just at the 4pm deadline it began. Prada had already lost the series before it crossed the startline.

SEMI FINAL REPECHAGE
OneWorld against Oracle
20 - 23.12.2002
Oracle goes through to the Finals.
COMMENT: TWM withdrew from this round as a Xmas gesture of "goodwill to all". Weather conditions were good and none of the races were disrupted. Open season resumes in the New Year.

FINALS | RACE DAY 1
High winds cancel racing
11.01.2003  Saturday
Racing has been abandoned for the day in the opening Louis Vuitton Cup finals clash between Alinghi and Oracle due to high winds. On Saturday morning winds in the Hauraki Gulf were gusting at 30 knots. Racing has been put back until Sunday.
COMMENT: Start of New Year's racing blown away. Another start day of another round fizzles out. Organizers may again be feeling, albeit reluctantly, that "it's a hard road to finding the perfect race day." This is cancellation #19, or # 20 - lost count.

FINALS | RACE DAY 6
19.01.2003
Alinghi Victorious, 5-1
In a scenario similar to earlier races, Alinghi overcame Oracle BMW Racing’s early lead and won the Louis Vuitton Cup.

END OF LOUIS VUITTON REGATTA
UPDATE: Correction -- Apparently,-22 out of 67days were lost.
COMMENT: 1 day out of 3 lost. Gets better during ACC series.
 
 
AMERICA'S CUP 2003
Alinghi wins
Team NZ loses
again... and again...
 
TWM says: "It's the wind stupid..."
 
Exerpts from race reports:
RACE DAY 1
15.02.2003 Saturday
Disaster for Team New Zealand -- Alinghi 1-0
Team New Zealand exited the Viaduct Harbour for race one of the America's Cup on Saturday morning with brimming confidence. But those aspirations and self-belief were short-lived as NZL82 effectively fell apart as it sailed up the first leg, forcing the crew to retire from the race just 16 minutes after crossing the start line. Race two will be sailed on Sunday.

RACE DAY 2
16.02.2003 Sunday
Alinghi Wins Again -- Alinghi 2-0
A very hard loss for Team New Zealand, with Alinghi stealing the race in the final minutes... Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts got the better of his young protégé, Kiwi skipper Dean Barker on Sunday in a thrilling race to go up 2 – 0 in the America’s Cup Match. Coutts made an incredible pass on the final run, breaking hearts across New Zealand as Alinghi slipped by just a few hundred metres from the finish.

RACE DAY 3
18.02.2003 Tuesday
Alinghi have one hand on Cup -- Alinghi 3-0
Alinghi Challenge are two wins away from winning the Auld Mug after completing a 23-second win over Team New Zealand in race three of the 31st America's Cup match.
 
RACE DAY 4
 Billion $$$ Campaign Stalled for 8 days.  TWM wins AmCup!
20.02.2003  Thursday
Postponed
Race Officer Harold Bennett called it a day as fickle winds swept the Hauraki Gulf... Race Four is now scheduled to start on Saturday.
22.02.2003  Saturday
Postponed
Light winds. Re-scheduled to start Sunday.
23.02.2003  Sunday
Postponed
Light winds. Re-scheduled to start Monday.
24.02.2003 Monday
Postponed
At 1000 hours local time, racing for today was cancelled due to light air and no sign of a steady sea breeze.
Today, a total of five cancellations was logged in the ACC series. So far, Alinghi has won three races and Team NZ has ...?
This feat is unique in ACC history. Three years ago TWM set out to obtain five ACC cancellations before the challenger and defender could win the equivalent number of races. In 2000 it missed out by one race. Today, TWM showed that with patience, uncompromising focus and performance - anything is possible.
25.02.2003 Tuesday
Postponed
Racing in the fourth race of the America's Cup has been cancelled for the fifth time. Principal race officer Harold Bennett said with 40 knots predicted to hit the race course in the Hauraki Gulf today, sending the boats out to race was not an option.
26.02.2003  Wednesday
Postponed - The race that never was?
Race four will remain unsailed again on Wednesday after both teams agreed to a lay day. With the stormy weather forecast to remain in the Auckland area for the rest of the week, racing may not resume until the weekend. Thursday 27 February will be a race day, weather permitting 
27.02.2003  Thursday
Postponed - Choppy seas
There will be no America's Cup racing on Thursday - the eighth straight day weather conditions have forced a postponement. Bennett says the forecast from Friday looks much better for racing and he will try to get the agreement of the teams on Thursday to consider a start on Friday, which would normally have been a lay day.
 
28.02.2003  Friday
 This is a make or break race.  Team NZ breaks.  One more to go.
Disaster! -- Alinghi 4-0
Team New Zealand loses mast.
COMMENT: The price for ignoring the "wind gods" can be high.

RACE DAY 5
01.03.03  Saturday
Postponed - Weather prolongs agony
Plans for America's Cup celebrations and commiserations have been put on hold on Saturday after race five was abandoned due to a lack of wind.
COMMENT: If anyone took the wind out of Russell Coutts' birthday celebration today, it was NOT Team NZ.
02.03.03  Sunday
Alinghi sails another brilliant race to claim the America's Cup...
Another consummate performance from beginning to end saw Alinghi sweep to a 5-0 victory in America’s Cup XXXI. Exactly three years ago Dean Barker helmed Team New Zealand over the finish line to take the winners gun in race five.
COMMENT:  A well-deserved win. TWM salutes Alinghi - each has displayed professional excellence transcending limits that circumscribe the inept, ignorant, intolerant and mediocre. Witness the ignominious demise of the BlackHeart and Loyal media campaigns.
 
END OF AMERICA'S CUP REGATTA
Bon voyage Alinghi. An impeccable challenge!

COMMENT: A total of 31 days lost, or 1 day out of 2, since racing began in October 2002. Double the number lost in 2000. An interesting synchronicity is that this is also the 31st America’s Cup. In addition, during this ACC regatta there were almost twice as many cancellations as there were race days!
All ACC and LV regattas have provided unique opportunities for TWM to develop and refine its methodology. The final result in terms of accumulated experience and knowledge has exceeded expectation. For the record, during these regattas TWM gained a minimum of 9 'wins' compared with 5 by Team NZ. A fantastic result considering the enormous difference in corporate | government resources and support available to each.
Another interesting feature is that Prada and Team NZ, who both declined TWM assistance in 2000, were eliminated in this series. Coincidence?

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UPDATES: 
Spectator fleet dwindled as City of Sails lost its puff
NZ Herald  Wednesday April 23, 2003
Auckland's reputation for being able to turn out the world's biggest spectator fleet for top yachting events has been dented. Official figures show the America's Cup regatta this summer attracted 25 per cent fewer spectator craft than the 1999-2000 event...Possible turn offs were the overall length of the regattas, long periods between competition phases, the early departure of most overseas teams, lack of racing in the post-Christmas period and unrealistic parameters for sailing... Race one, held on a Saturday but in choppy waters, was watched by 3500 craft... But after Team New Zealand lost the opener the fleet halved for race two on the following day. By race four, after racing had been delayed 10 days due to unfavourable conditions, only 360 boats set out... A paltry 430 boats ventured out for the final race compared with 1250 for the last regatta finale...
Heads will roll at Team NZ - Dalton
NZ Herald 07.05.2003
Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton expects there will be changes to the sailing crew if the syndicate challenges for the next America's Cup. Dalton says there are members of the sailing team who will not be there should a challenge go ahead in Europe... He also said the directors, Peter Menzies, Ralph Norris, Kevin Roberts and John Risley, would need to consider their futures. The report of the disastrous defence, released on Monday, stopped short of blaming any individual for the 5-0 loss to Alinghi...

Volvo blow can be overcome

ONE News Jul 18, 2003
The Mayor of Auckland City says the loss of the Volvo round the world yacht race stopover is a blow... The Volvo race stopped at Auckland every five years since its inception in 1977 and generated economic activity for the city worth around $16 million. The race stopover will instead be held at Melbourne.
COMMENT:  It's been a bad year for Auckland.
America’s Cup Economic Impact Report 2003
Ministry of Tourism’s website www.tourism.govt.nz  11 December, 2003
...an economic impact study released today by America’s Cup Minister Trevor Mallard and Tourism Minister Mark Burton. 
“Team New Zealand’s historic achievement in bringing the America’s Cup Regatta to New Zealand had a significant spin-off that has benefited the whole country," Trevor Mallard said. Based on the latest economic modelling, both the 2000 event and the 2003 event each generated around half a billion dollars of extra economic activity into the New Zealand economy, with the 2003 event sustaining a slightly larger impact overall than the 2000 event (which generated an extra $495 million).

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