On Sunday, March 5, three boats sailed a no-jibe course in 16-18 knots winds. With whitecaps on the bay, two boats completed the no-jibe course, one boat capsized. When the wind began gusting to 22, the RC canceled the rest of the day. Racing was unofficial, with no scoring, as there were less than four boats. Sailors were happy to get in at least one race as they wanted to practice for the upcoming Interclub Dinghy National Championships on April 14-15. It should be noted that the race committee was well prepared for the day with three crash boats at the ready in addition to the RC Committee boat.
New Zealand has won the America's Cup in a clean sweep (5-0) against the Italian challenger. In doing so, New Zealand has become the first challenger outside of the United States to have won and defended the America's Cup. Leading 4-0, Russell Coutts, the helmsman on New Zealand's NZL-60, decided not to race in the fifth and what turned out to be, last race of the series. On the morning of the race, he took Dean Barker, his understudy, aside and asked him to take his place at the helm. Coutts was taking a huge risk and putting Barker under tremendous pressure. Coutts' record of 5-0 against Team Dennis Connor in 1995, combined with another clean sweep against the Italians, could give Coutts 10 wins in two consecutive America's Cups. The decision came down to preserving a record vs. developing a tough, competitive helmsman for 2003. Coutts chose to give Barker the opportunity of a lifetime. It has been said that one of the characteristics of a great leader is knowing when to step aside. In handing over the reins to Barker at a critical point in Cup history, Coutts has demonstrated, once again, why New Zealand keeps winning.
Many sailors may enjoy a new book by Michael Lewis, The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story. Purportedly about venture capitalists and technology entrepreneurs, the book is really about Jim Clark, who was the founder of Netscape. In his drive to continually discover the next new thing, Clark takes his third company, Healtheon, public in order to raise money to buy a new sailboat. Hyperion is not any ordinary yacht, but the world's largest single-mast vessel, which can be sailed via computer from the owner's desk in San Francisco. Whether or not sailors will consider a skipper-less and crew-less boat an advancement, the book offers readers some very funny and perceptive vignettes between the Hyperion's captain and the computer wizards who try to sail the boat using computer code. Something on the boat must work, because Hyperion was sighted in the Hauraki Gulf watching Team New Zealand pulverize the Italians.