Tuesday, October 19, 1999
Abracadabra 2000Associated Press
beats Conner, Aussies
AUCKLAND, N.Z. -- It was a faultless day for Abracadabra 2000 in Hauraki Gulf.
In perfect sunshine and shifty, streaky, 5-10 knot winds, Hawaii's entry in the America's Cup challenger series won two races against powerful rivals -- Stars & Stripes, with legendary Dennis Connor, and Young Australia 2000.
After several minutes of straight- line sailing in its morning duel with Stars & Stripes, Abracadabra 2000 snuck out to a two boat-length lead. After that it was cover, cover, cover. In such shifty conditions, Abracadabra 2000 skipper John Kolius and tactician Chris Larson camped on Stars and Stripes like hikers in Yellowstone, eventually finishing almost 4 minutes ahead.
In the afternoon against Young Australia 2000 it was a drag race to the left side of the course, with Abracadabra 2000 benefiting from being slightly higher and always into the breeze first.
Continually tacking to cover the Australians and force them to the lay-line ensured a lead of 1 minute, 5 seconds at the top mark. Abracadabra 2000 took the gun at the finish, with a margin of just under two minutes, for its third victory in the early stages of the series to determine a challenger for Cup holder New Zealand.