98 is In The Building Jan 8, 10:39
This was the successful culmination of months of tri-continent planning and finely-tuned execution by, among others, our ops jefe Laurent "Leroy" Esquier (FRA), logisitics/basing manager Grant "Guthrie" Davidson (NZL), yacht construction manager Mark Turner (NZL) and his intrepid gang in Anacortes, shore team manager Tim Hacket (NZL), and our marketing/pr team.
An excerpt from the communique Jane "Vale" Eagleson (USA), our PR maven, is sending today to team members, families and sponsor/partners about our latest campaign milepost....
USA 98 slipped into our temporary base in Auckland, New Zealand this morning under the cover of darkness after the long journey by road and sea from Anacortes, WA, USA. Scott Sandford, our New Zealand Logistics Manager, accompanied the boat for the final leg of its journey overnight from Tauranga, New Zealand to Auckland. Shrink-wrapped and strapped onto the flatbed truck, the boat arrived to the Viaduct at about 4:30 am. Boat construction manager Mark Turner and shore team manager Tim Hacket were at the base to unload the new yacht from the truck into the boat shed. Shortly after 5am, the boat was safely unloaded before the sun was even up.
Later in the morning, it was like the first day back to school after summer break. Team members arrived to work after their Christmas holidays excited and refreshed for the New Year. The arrival of the new boat had the guys pumped and the base was humming as the boat-building team, shore team and those sailing team here all pitched in to start prepping for next week’s sailing. Most of the sailing team arrives in New Zealand in the next week.
USA 98 will be launched for the first time next week and then the sailing team will conduct sea trials before race training begins. USA 71, which sailed in Auckland last month, will serve as the trial horse for the new race yacht. The team will focus on crew preparation for the 2007 Cup season with an intensive sailing program over the next 5 weeks.
So that's the latest -- the first (design), second (construction) and third (shipping to NZL) phases of 98's mission are accomplished, and so far so good. On with the fitting out, testing, and training.
This, too, is the first confirmation of 98 as our second sail number. Once, however, Luna Rossa announced a few weeks back that they had 94, it would have become obvious to most that the two remaining unclaimed numbers -- 98 and 100 -- belonged to BMWOR and Alinghi respectively. Now the world knows for sure, not that it's a big deal. But to those of you who thought our second boat was 94 or 96, better luck next time. ;)
Is 98 auspicious? Time will tell. But in the meantime, it can only be a good sign that number 98 is the atomic number for the element californium. And there is some elegance to the sequence 76-87-98.
Mileposts | by TFE