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by Keith Taylor on 11 Oct 2000
PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas - (October 11, 2000) - Racing between two
75-foot International America's Cup Class (IACC) sloops will be one of the
highlights of international sailing competition at The Crystal Cup at
Atlantis. Announced this week, the Cup boat racing is a special attraction
during four days of sailing rivalry and shoreside festivities hosted by
Atlantis, Paradise Island, from Dec. 7 to 10.

The Crystal Cup at Atlantis will feature competition for ocean racing
one-designs and PHRF classes on short windward-leeward courses off Nassau.
The Notice of Race is now available on the web site at The series will kick off with a feeder
race across the Gulf Stream from Fort Lauderdale, if sufficient entries are

"The Crystal Cup will set new standards on and off the water for sail racing
competition," said Stuart Rogers-Brown, Vice President Strategic Alliances
at Atlantis. "The inclusion of the America's Cup boats is just one of many
ways we aim to make this regatta a memorable event for racers and

Originally designed and built in New Zealand as part of that country's
unsuccessful 1992 bid for the America's Cup, the two boats have been a
popular tourist attraction since they arrived in Nassau this August. The two
boats, NZL-10 and NZL-12, were brought to The Bahamas by a local company,
IAC Challenge (Nassau), Ltd.

Apart from modifications to seat guests, the boats remain in their race
configuration, complete with their regular 105-foot masts and rigs. They
have outboard engines for docking and maneuvering that retract into an
internal well when sailing. They typically sail with a skipper and crew of
three, and 25 paying passengers, in a program that includes a match race
with working sails in which guests man the coffee-grinder winches and help
sail the boats.

An added authentic feature of the IAC Challenge program is the America's Cup
tender Ranger, named after the famous and successful 1937 J-Class defender.
The tender was specially built for the New York Yacht Club's Young America
syndicate for use in Auckland, NZ, last winter. Ranger serves as a race
committee boat, and support boat for the two Cup racers.

Although they never raced for the America's Cup the two New Zealand boats -
one painted black and one white, and still retaining their original sponsor
graphics and warpaint- have been sailed by many of the top skippers and
crews on the America's Cup circuit. They were featured in New Zealand's
"Road to the America's Cup" regattas on Auckland Harbour, when they were
manned by invited international syndicates and raced before thousands of

"The boats may race with professional and amateur crews, or with guests,"
said Jason Hayman, Marketing Director for IAC Challenge. "A charter
opportunity still exists for experienced skippers and crews to campaign the
boats during the Crystal Cup. They can fleet race against PHRF-rated maxis
or match race."

During the Crystal Cup, racers and attendees can look forward to a
one-of-a-kind experience, including special Marina and hotel prices, at the
incomparable, 1,201-room luxury Royal Towers and the Coral and Beach Towers.
At Atlantis, participants will discover a mythical resort that has risen
from the sea, where 50,000 sea animals live in the largest marine habitat in
the world...second only to Mother Nature!

During their stay, they will explore The Dig, an underwater maze revealing
moments of Atlantean life from 11,000 years ago. In addition to the boat
racing competitions, they can test their skills as they challenge the Mayan
Temple's water slides or simply enjoy 11 swimming areas and miles of white
sand beach.

The perfect getaway destination, Atlantis features more 2,300 guest
accommodations, 38 restaurants, bars and lounges, a full-service spa, an
innovatively designed casino, luxury Crystal Court Shops and the Discovery
Channel Camp at Atlantis. And that's not all. Other recreational
opportunities include championship golf at the Ocean Club Golf Course and a
variety of activities at the Sport Center including tennis, basketball,
volleyball, a four-lane lap pool and an 18-hole putting course.

Competing boats will berth in the protected, world-class Marina at Atlantis,
offering direct access to Nassau Harbour. The Marina, the centerpiece of
Atlantis, features 63 megayacht slips. A 100-foot-wide channel, located to
the west of the northbound Nassau/Paradise Island Bridge allows for
unrestricted mast height. Controlling depth in the channel and the Marina is
a minimum of 12 feet at low tide. Within the harbour, the largest of the
slips are 160-foot finger piers with a 37-foot beam, plus several
lay-along-side berths with no beam restrictions. Berthing for boats with
more than 12 feet of draft is available nearby.

The Crystal Cup at Atlantis is managed by Octagon Marketing, Stamford, CT
organizers of The Swedish Match Grand Prix Sailing Tour, the Colorcraft Gold
Cup in Bermuda, and the Acura SORC at Miami Beach, FL.

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