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IT'S OFFICIAL - KIWIS WIN KENWOOD CUP 2000

by Susan McKeag on 9 Aug 2000
USA's Esmeralda takes Molokai Race for five-in-a-row
Smile is top-scoring individual yacht

It's official - New Zealand are the winners of the Kenwood Cup 2000. The
International Jury completed their deliberations this morning by awarding
the Australian team yacht Smile 1hr 45min 17sec time credit for the time
she spent searching for the broken-masted Cha-Ching (Sydney 41, Scooter
Simmons, USA) which has put out a call requesting assistance. The credit
lifted Smile from her on-the-water 17th overall (12th in the Kenwood Cup
team yachts) to 4th equal, but the result of the Cup was already sealed by
time credit of 2hr 38min 59secgiven to Big Apple III (Farr 45, Hideo
Matsuda and Dean Barker, NZL) for her part in the same search. (Big Apple,
a larger boat than Smile, was ahead of Smile on the water when the alarm
was raised, and thus lost more time in turning back and delaying.)

Results were then further delayed when Smile asked the Jury to re-open the
case, and asked for even more credit, while Fruit Machine entered a request
that the Molokai Race be re-scored taking into account the effects of the
wind-driven surface currents sometimes known as fetch. The Jury adjusted
Smile's time credit by adding a further 11 minutes, which lifted her to
second equal in the Kenwood Cup team standings, but dismissed Fruit
Machine's request that the race be re-scored. As Race Director Ken Morrison
pointed out, there is no hydrographic data on the currents around the
Hawaiian islands: they are entirely wind-driven, vary from day to day and
are both unpredictable and unverifiable.

Perhaps unfortunately, the interest surrounding both the outcome of the Cup
and the deliberations of the Jury have somewhat overshadowed the real story
of the Molokai race itself - the quite devastating performance of Ken Read
and his team aboard Makoto Uematsu's Farr 50 Esmeralda, racing for the USA
Red team. For the fifth time in a row Read brought the sleek green yacht
home with her handicap time more than saved against the rest of the fleet.
This is a particularly creditable performance considering that Esmeralda
(like the larger Bumblebee of John Kahlbetzer, with Iain Murray as skipper)
sails the course in lonely state, with nothing to race against but the
clock and the instruments. To keep the boat and the crew at flat-out pitch
for 148 miles with no others close by is no mean feat. Esmeralda crossed
the Diamond Head finish line an hour behind Bumblebee and with just the
masthead and tip of the spinnaker of the next boat in the race -
Australia's Yendys - showing on the horizon astern.

Yendys led home New Zealand's flying pair Sea Hawk (Farr 47, Naohiko Sera/
Roy Davies) and Air NZ High 5 ( Farr 47, Mick Cookson), the two only four
minutes apart. High 5 had led the Hawk at the upwind turning mark at the
end of the tough 75-mile thrash to Maui, but the near-sister had slid past
on the long down-wind trip home. High 5's finish was something to see.
The boat is beautifully prepared, in every detail. With the sun high, the
Pacific at its white-capped blue best and the Trades a steady 18-20 knots
(Mick Cookson reported up to 28 knots across the deck during the night on
the way to Maui) High 5 turned down and picked up each overtaking crest,
great creaming wings of foam sluicing out from under her forefoot as almost
the front third of the boat lifted clear of the water, every bubble and
hiss reflected in the perfect dark blue gloss of her immaculate topsides.
Just as she crossed the line, a stronger than usual gust swept down off
Diamond Head. The yacht heeled, the spinnaker strained, High 5 bore away
and took off like a planing dinghy on two wide wings of spray: 14, 15, 16,
17 and finally hitting 18 knots as she outran the chasing camera boat. If
ever there was an image to encapsulate the perfect sailing to be found at
this Hawaiian Offshore Series, this is surely it - check out the pictures
on www.kenwoodcup.com.

Top individual scorer of the 2000 Hawaiian International Offshore Series is
Chris Whiston's Smile, one of the pair of all-conquering race-optimised
Beneteau 40.7 cruiser/racers which have dominated the past season of
Australian offshore racing. Smile beat Esmeralda and Sea Hawk to the
honour, thanks in part to the influence and decisions of the event's
International Jury. Smile's redress granted in the final race lifted her
from the 17th position in which she finished to equal-second, while
Esmeralda had to overcome the burden of an 18th overall in Race 1. In that
race, Esmeralda was OCS, had to do a re-start and then begin the long haul
up through the fleet. Then there was a problem with laying mark four, as a
result of which the Jury eventually decreed that the race should be scored
on the basis of a finish at mark 3, rather than take the final on-the-water
result. At Mark 3, Esmeralda was still working her way up the rankings.

Results - Race 10 (Molokai Race) Class A 1 Esmeralda (Farr 50, Makoto
Uematsu, USA), Big Apple III (Farr 45, Hideo Matsuda, NZL) on redress being
granted position does not affect scores of other yachts, 2 Sea Hawk (Farr
47, Naohiko Sera, NZL), 3 Air NZ High 5 ( Farr 47, Mick Cookson, NZL), 4
Yendys (Farr 49, Geoffrey Ross, AUS), 5 Bumblebee 5 (Sydney 62, John
Kahlbetzer, AUS), 6 Andiamo (Davidson 55, Andrew Taylor, NZL). Class B 1
Karasu (Judel/Vrolijk 43, Yasuo Nanamori, JPN), 2 Maupiti (Farr 39, Hiroshi
Yamagishi, JPN), 3 G'Net (Farr ILC 40, Shizue Kanbe, JPN), 4 Liberte
Expres (Beneteau First 47.7, Yasumasa Kawamura, JPN), 5 Tower (Lidgard 45,
Daisuke Kimura, JPN) Cha-Ching (Sydney 41, Scooter Simmons, USA) DNF,
Glama! (Sydney 41, Seth Radow, USA) DNS. Class C 1 Samba Pa Ti (Farr 40
OD, John Kilroy Jr, USA), 2 Orion (Farr 40 OD, Philippe Kahn, USA),
Foundation (Farr 40 OD, Masato Fujumaki, JPN) DNF, Zamboni (Farr 40 OD,
Doug Taylor, USA) DNS. Class D 1 Fruit Machine (Beneteau 40.7, Neil
Whiston, AUS), Smile (Beneteau 40.7, Simon Whiston, AUS) on redress being
granted position does not affect scores of other yachts, 2 Matador
(Aerodyne 38, Jason Khoury, USA), 3 Matador (Aerodyne 38, Jason Khoury,
USA), 3 Mojo Rising (Beneteau 40.7, Clayton Craigie, AUS/HKG), Bondi Tram (
Frers 41, John & Margaret Haig/Chris Austin-Harmes, USA) DNF. Class E
(J/105s) 1 Juxtapose (J105, Tom Thayer & Dick Watts, USA), 2 Charade (J105,
Thomas Coates, USA), 3 Irrational Again (J105, Jaren Leet, USA), 4 Puff
(J105, Chris Brown, GBR), 5 Jose Cuervo (J105, Sam Hock, USA), 6 Tiburon
(J105, Steve Stroub, USA).

KENWOOD CUP FINAL STANDINGS: 1 New Zealand 535 points, 2 Australia 521, 3
USA Red 434, 4 Japan 277, 5 USA White 210, 6 USA Blue 115.

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