TAKING THE AMERICAS CUP FROM NEW ZEALAND WONT BE EASY SAYS LONGTIME AC DESIGNER
David Pedrick who has been designing Americas Cup boats since he worked with the famed Olin Stephens almost 30 years ago, was in New Zealand recently and said he believes the current group of challengers represents the strongest ever challenge for the Americas Cup. But he also believes that Team New Zealand is likely to mount the strongest defense the Cup has ever seen.
"The difficulties facing the challengers are formidable," says Pedrick. "Last time, Team New Zealand was so far ahead of the rest of the world that the rest had a lot of work to do, just catching up to where New Zealand had started." Looking at today, Pedrick says "Only Team New Zealand and the Nippon Challenge have maintained the continuity of a business and sailing organization. Every other group has either started from scratch, used pieces of a prior effort or gone through significant hiatus. Most challengers did not start any design work until late 1996 or mid 1997. New Zealand had gained a critical year or more of productive learning over any of the challengers."
Pedrick, who is chief designer for Peter Holmbergs Team Caribbean Challenge, believes that in the year 2000unless there is a significant design breakthroughthe balance is tilted in favor of New Zealand, but points out that thereafter, when more is known about campaigning in New Zealand, the Kiwis will find the defense far, far more difficult.
On a different Americas Cup story, Defense 2000, an independent report on the Americas Cup published in New Zealand, reported that Maori Benjamin Nathan, originally sentenced to two years and ten months in jail for his frenzied attack on the Americas Cup with a sledge hammer is out of the slammer. The report is that he still despises the Cup and everything it stands for.
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