Young Australia crew finds one sailing solution

ON THE OUTDOORS

November 05, 1999|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Young Australia, the crew with the youngest skipper and the oldest boat in the Louis Vuitton Cup, might be more of a force soon in the challengers' elimination series for the America's Cup.

The Australian team from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has made a deal to acquire oneAustralia from AmericaOne, Paul Cayard's challenge team from San Francisco.

OneAustralia (AUS-31) was the only boat to beat Team New Zealand in the America's Cup trials off San Diego in 1995 and was generally accepted as that year's second-fastest boat among challenge and defense teams.

"We have submitted an offer to charter the boat, and it has been accepted," said Rob Brown, coach and project manager for Young Australia. "Now, we are waiting to hear from the America's Cup arbitration panel, confirming that the boat meets the challenger requirements."

OneAustralia was not reconfigured while being used as a trial horse by AmericaOne and is expected to meet the requirements of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup.

"It was going back where it came from," said Gina von Esmarch, marketing director for AmericaOne, adding the group's charter of oneAustralia was due to expire. "If this works out, it will improve the competition and that will be good for everybody."

AmericaOne has a new boat being built and expects delivery in Auckland, New Zealand, before the start of the third round robin.

Young Australia and skipper James Spithill won only one race in the first round robin. The team has a bye when the second round begins today.

If oneAustralia meets the measurement requirements for the International America's Cup Class, it is possible the Australians will sail it against France on Sunday.

"We will decide on Friday which boat we'll sail," Brown said.

France's Le Defi, meanwhile, has completed alterations to its IACC boat and was sailing Hauraki Gulf off Auckland yesterday.

The modifications to Le Defi (2-8) reportedly include an extended transom and long, thin wings on a new keel bulb. The changes are expected to give the boat greater speed and slightly less maneuverability.

Rockfish program

On Monday, Fisheries Service director Eric Schwaab will present the new multimedia presentation, "The Status of Maryland's Striped Bass," at a meeting of the Pasadena Sportfishing Group.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the program will be the most comprehensive ever offered on striped bass (rockfish).

The meeting will begin at 7: 30 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission is free and membership in the Pasadena group is not required.

The meeting will be held at the Orchard Beach Volunteer Fire Hall on Solley Road in Pasadena. For more information, call the club's hotline at 410-HEY-FISH.

Fishing report

Salt water

Upper Chesapeake: Shallow-water trolling for rockfish is kicking up in the lower Patapsco and Chester rivers and off their mouths, and casting to structure also is producing rock up to 34 inches, although most are in the 18- to 24-inch range. Chumming, too, is productive, with Belvedere Shoal, Swan Point and Love Point good locations. Sea trout are schooling under breaking rockfish scattered in the mainstrem from Tolchester to the Bay Bridge. Largemouth bass are oriented to structures in the Gunpowder-Middle River area, Susquehanna Flats, and the Elk and Sassafras rivers. Good action for catfish in the Elk and North East rivers.

Middle Chesapeake: Trolling edges of the main channel in 40 to 60 feet of water is producing rockfish to 38 inches, while trollers working 20- to 35-foot depths in the tributaries are catching stripers in the 24- to 32-inch range. Chummers at the Gas Docks, Hill and Diamonds continue to catch plenty of fish, but many of the catches are under the 18-inch minimum for rock. Sea trout have been moving to 30- to 40-foot depths in the mainstem and tributaries, where they are orienting to sharp edges. Some bluefish are still moving through the area.

Lower Chesapeake: From Buoy 72A south to the Middle Grounds, chummers still are doing well on rockfish, and trollers have been getting a mixed bag of rock, blues and sea trout.

Ocean City: The big blues aren't in the surf yet, but small blues abound and the choppers should begin moving through soon. Rockfish, however, have moved in nicely, with the U.S. 50 bridge, the inlet and jetties, surf and Great Gull, Little Gull and Fenwick shoals all good choices. Sea trout to 8 pounds have been at the bridge, the inlet piers and jetties, although most are from 16 to 26 inches. Tautog, too, are a good bet at the sea wall from Second to Sixth streets and at the jetties.

Fresh water

Upper Potomac River: In the North Branch area, trout action is good on terrestrials and attracter patterns, with crayfish, muddlers or Clousers working well for larger trout in deeper pools. In the lower areas, smallmouth bass in the 2- to 5-pound range are hitting minnows, crankbaits and tube lures fished around structures.

Prettyboy Reservoir: White perch hitting nightcrawlers and small spinners in 22 feet of water. Black bass near points and ledges.

Liberty Reservoir: Shoreline anglers have been catching walleye, crappie, striped bass, black bass and white perch. Best bite for walleye has been in tributaries in low-light hours, while crappie action has been best at Nicodemus Bridge.

Gunpowder: Water temperature 55 degrees. Concentrations of midges, as caddis and blue-winged olives decrease.

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