Conner decked out anew for '95

November 27, 1994|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Dennis Conner, the only man to have won and lost the America's Cup, has a new boat with which he hopes to defend the sailing trophy in May 1995.

Christened Stars and Stripes on Nov. 19 in San Diego, Team Dennis Conner's new International America's Cup Class boat is registered as USA-34, the 34th of the new class built since 1991.

"This boat is the result of a continuous design program since our America's Cup campaign in 1992," said Conner. "We have had a large team working more than full-time to bring her to us."

Conner, who lost the cup to Australia off Newport, R.I., in 1983 and won it back in Australia in 1987, was beaten out for the 1992 defender's role by Kansan Bill Koch's America3 syndicate.

This time around, Koch has turned his boats over to an all-women sailing team, and Conner is the only potential defender with a new boat in the water.

Pact '95, a third syndicate vying for the defender's role, expects its IACC boat to be launched next month. America3 might not build a new boat, although each syndicate is allowed to build two.

The main designer of Stars and Stripes is David Pedrick, who is in his seventh cup campaign. Team Dennis Conner also made extensive use of structural engineers, aerodynamicists, fluid dynamics experts, computer analysts and towing tank and wind tunnel engineers.

Wind tunnel work included use of the facilities of the David Taylor Model Basin, a U.S. Navy facility.

Conner's new boat has a midnight blue hull with an open scoop transom and a classic spoon bow similar to Stars and Stripes 1992. The cockpit is open from mast to stern. Fully outfitted, the boat is estimated to have cost $2.5 million.

Conner will test the vessel against Stars and Stripes 1992 until defender trials begin Jan. 12.

Boat winterizing

BOAT/U.S., a national organization of recreational boaters, has produced through its marine insurance arm a booklet to help boaters winterize their crafts.

The booklet covers in-the-water and onshore storage and includes tips for preventing ice or snow damage to fiberglass and woodwork as well as procedures to help prevent theft of personal property.

A free copy of Winterizing Notebook is available by calling (800) 274-4877 or writing BOAT/U.S., Department G, 880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, Va. 22304.

Christmas parade

The Eastport Yacht Club's Lights Parade will be held Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at Annapolis Harbor and the mouth of the Severn River. The deadline for entries is Thursday. For more information, call (410) 263-0415.

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