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America's Cup Glossary

America's Cup 2000: The organization created by Team New Zealand to conduct the America's Cup 2000 Regatta on behalf of defender Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Afterguard: A group of crew members who determine the course of action aboard a racing yacht. On an America's Cup yacht, this group typically consists of the helmsman, tactician, navigator and strategist. See Brain Trust.

AmericaOne: American syndicate hosted by St. Francis Yacht Cub in San Francisco.

America's Cup: The Victorian-era pitcher that is now the trophy for the world's most prestigious sailboat race of the same name. The event began with the historic 1851 race around England's Isle of Wight, which was won by the New York Yacht Club's schooner America.

Australia II: The first non-American boat to win the America's Cup. Skippered by Australian John Bertrand from Royal Perth Yacht Club, she took the honors in 1983.

Backstay: A mast support that runs from the top of the mast to the stern of the yacht; it may be adjustable in order to bend the mast backward or to increase tension on the forestay. See Running Backstay.

Ballast: Weight in the bottom of the hull of a boat, to add stability (righting moment).

Batten: In America's Cup yachts, thin strips of composite material inserted into pockets in the sails to maintain proper sail shape and to support the curved leech, or rear edge, of the sails, particularly the mainsail.

Beam: A boat's greatest width.

Bilge: The lowest part of a boat's hull.

Black Magic: The nickname given the black Team New Zealand yacht, representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, that won the America's Cup in 1995.

Blake, Sir Peter: Team New Zealand syndicate head. He led TNZ to victory in the 1995 America's Cup and was subsequently knighted for services to yachting and New Zealand. Sir Peter has also won the Whitbread Round The World Race and the Trophee Jules Verne, for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

Block: An assemblage of one or more sheaves (pulley) housed in a plastic or metal case that changes the direction of travel of a line (rope), and may be attached to a yacht's deck, spar or other stationary object.

Bond, Alan: The blustery Australian who made four America's Cup challenges before he broke the New York Yacht Club's 132-year stranglehold on the trophy. In 1983 Bond's yacht Australia II defeated Dennis Conner's Liberty to win the "Auld Mug" for the Royal Perth Yacht Club in Western Australia. Bond's defense candidate in 1987, Australia IV, failed to overcome Kevin Parry's Kookaburra III for the defense spot against American Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes.

Boom: Spar to which a sail's lower edge or foot is attached. The boom is attached to the mast at the gooseneck.

Bow: The front of the boat.

Bowman: Crew member in charge of sail changes and keeping a lookout on the bow at the start.

Bowsprit: A spar that extends from the bow.

Bulb: The torpedo-shaped lead weight on the bottom of the keel or bottom of the hull, that provides the primary the ballast for America's Cup yachts.

Cayard, Paul: Skipper of AmericaOne. In 1995, he was helmsman of the defender Young America, which lost to New Zealand in the America's Cup match; in 1992, he was skipper of Italy's Il Moro di Venezia, which lost to America3 in the America's Cup match. He also was skipper of the winning yacht, EF Language, in the 1997-98 Whitbread Round The World Race.

Clew: The lower corner of a mainsail or jib and either lower corner of a spinnaker.

Cockpit: A recessed area in the deck in which the crew work.

Compass: An instrument that uses the earth's magnetic field to point to the direction of the magnetic North Pole; used by navigators to determine the direction a yacht is heading and to set a course.

Conditions of Match: A formal document that, combined with the Notice of Race, states the specific rules and conditions the America's Cup match.

Conner, Dennis: Syndicate head and skipper of the challenge syndicate Team Dennis Conner. He is an unprecedented four-time America's Cup winner -- 1974, 1980, 1987, 1988 -- and embarked on his eighth America's Cup campaign. He also holds the dubious distinction of having lost the Cup twice -- in 1983 to Australia and in 1995 to New Zealand.

Cookson Boats: Builder of Team New Zealand's two entries.

Covering: The tactical maneuver by one yacht of staying between a competitor and the wind or the next mark.

Crew: The group of people who assist the skipper in sailing a yacht. An America's Cup crew is comprised of 16 people, typically consisting of a skipper/helmsman, tactician, navigator, strategist, mainsheet trimmer, port and starboard trimmers, mastman, pitman, bowman, foredeck, sewerman and four winch grinders. A 17th person, commonly called the "17th man," is allowed aboard the yacht as an observer but may not assist in sailing the yacht.

Course: Two courses have been established for the Louis Vuitton Cup. Although both courses are windward/leeward in orientation, they measure different lengths. Course A is the America's Cup course, a six-leg windward/leeward measuring 18.5 nautical miles. Course B is a shorter version of the same course, its four legs measure 12.5 nautical miles.

Russell Coutts: Skipper for Team New Zealand. Helmsman during the 1995 New Zealand America's Cup victory.

de Angelis, Francesco: Skipper for the Italian syndicate Prada Challenge.

Deed of Gift: The original document on which all America's Cup competitions are based.

Drag: The negative or retarding force acting on a body such as a yacht moving through a fluid parallel and opposite to the direction of motion.

Elapsed Time: The actual sailing time it takes a yacht to complete the racecourse. Timing begins when the race starts.

Fall off: A maneuver in which a yacht turns away from the wind.

Finish Time: The New Zealand time that a yacht finishes the race.

Foot: The bottom edge of a sail.

Foredeck: The area of a yacht's deck that is in front of the mast; also a crew position aboard a racing yacht.

Foreguy: A line that runs from a block on the foredeck to the outboard end of the spinnaker pole that is used to restrict the pole's natural upward motion.

Foresail: Any sail used between the mast and the forestay.

Forestay: A mast support that runs from the top of the mast, or near the top of the mast, to the bow; it can be tightened to bend the mast forward, or to increase tension on the backstay.

Garrard, Robert: The royal jeweller who crafted the 132-ounce silver-plated trophy originally known as the 100 Guinea Cup and which is now known as the America's Cup.

Gennaker: A large sail that is a cross between a genoa and a spinnaker.

Genoa: A large foresail that overlaps the shroud base and is used for sailing upwind; also called a genny.

Grinder: Crew member who turns, or grinds, the handles that power the winches used to hoist and trim the sails.

Halyard: A line used to hoist and hold up a sail.

Hauraki Gulf: The semi-protected bay northeast of Auckland, New Zealand, where the races for the 1999-2000 Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup 2000 take place.

Header: A wind shift that causes the boat to head away from the next mark.

Headsail Trimmers: Positioned on the port (left) and starbord (right) sides of the boat, they control the jib and spinnaker sheets and winches.

Helmsman: The crew member who steers the yacht; usually also the skipper; also called the driver.

Herreshoff, Nathanael Greene: Known as "The Wizard of Bristol," he was born near Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1848 of Prussian descent. The fifth child of nine, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied as a mechanical engineer. He later joined his visually impaired brother in the manufacture of yachts and went on to design six successful America's Cup defenders: Vigilant (1893), Defender (1895), Columbia (1899 and 1901), Reliance (1903) and Resolute (1920).

Hook, to: Hooking occurs when the trailing boat establishes a leeward overlap from clear astern. Once established, the windward boat must keep clear of the leeward boat, which may bring head of the boat closer to the luff in an attempt to gain a tactical advantage.

IACC: (International America's Cup Class) Boats designed to specific measurements to qualify for competition in the America's Cup races.

ISAF: International Sailing Federation, the world governing body of sailboat racing.

Isle of Wight: Island off the south coast of England where the first race was held for the 100 Guinea Cup, which later became known as the America's Cup.

Jib: A smaller version of a genoa that doesn't overlap the shroud base and is used for sailing upwind in heavy winds.

Jibe: Turning the yacht so that the stern of the yacht crosses through the eye of the wind, thereby changing the side of the yacht on which the sails are carried (opposite of tacking).

Jury-rig: To erect a makeshift rig in an emergency situation using available gear; usually involves a broken mast.

Keel: A ballasted appendage projecting below the boat that keeps it from capsizing, and also supplies the hydrodynamic lateral force that enables the boat to sail upwind.

Knot: One nautical mile per hour.

Lay: To sail a course that will clear an object or racecourse marker buoy such as the windward and leeward marks. When a yacht is doing so, it is said to be laying the mark. Also see "Layline."

Lee Bow: A lee bow maneuver is when two yachts on opposite tacks are on a collision course and the yacht on port tack, which must give way to the yacht on starboard tack, tacks just below the bow of the other yacht, hoping to direct disturbed air toward the other yacht's sails. Also called a "slam dunk."

Leeward: Used as an adjective to mean away from the wind. A leeward yacht is one that has another yacht between it and the wind (opposite of windward).

Louis Vuitton Challenger Series: Louis Vuitton, the Paris-based luxury goods giant sponsors the Challenger Elimination Series for America's Cup 2000, the series of races held during the year prior to the Match. Racing starts with four round robins between the three Challenger teams with points escalating through the rounds. The top-scoring team to emerge from the round robins wins the right to face Team New Zealand in a best-of-nine (first to win five) series.

Luff: The forward edge of a mainsail or jib and the windward edge of a spinnaker.

Luff, to: Bubbling or flapping of a sail when it is not trimmed enough or is being backwinded by another sail or when the course sailed is too close to the wind.

Mainsheet Trimmer: Controls the position and shape of the mainsail, the large triangular sail behind the mast.

Mark: A buoy used to mark the racecourse.

Mast: The vertical spar that holds up the sails.

Mastman: Crew member who hoists sails up the mast.

Match Racing: A racing format where only two yachts compete at a time, like a boxing match, as opposed to fleet racing where three or more yachts sail at once.

Measurement Committee: A group that confirms through inspection of the boats that the crews and boats comply with governing rules.

Nautical Mile: The unit of geographical distance used on salt-water charts where 1 nautical mile = 6076 feet or 1.15 statute miles. Therefore 1 statute mile = 0.87 nautical mile.

Navigator: The crew member who monitors the yacht's location and progress relative to the racecourse and the opposing yacht.

New York Yacht Club (NYYC): The original winner of the America's Cup and its possessor for 132 years, overcoming 25 challenges; challenger of record for America's Cup 2000 and backer of the Young America syndicate.

Owner's Representative: An onboard observer on an America's Cup yacht who cannot assist the crew in any way; also known as the 17th man.

Peeling: Changing from one spinnaker to another.

Pitch: A boat pitches when the front and back move up and down about the transverse center.

Pitman: Crew member that controls the halyards (ropes used to hoist sails) and mast winches; assists the mastman.

Plane: A boat planes when she sails over her own bow wave, so that only a small section of the hull is in the water. This in turn allows the boat to go faster than the theoretical maximum hull speed.

Port: Nautical term for the left side of the boat when facing forward.

Port Tack: Sailing with the wind blowing onto the port side and the mainsail on the starboard side.

Prada Challenge for America's Cup 2000: The Italian syndicate.

Protocol: A formal document that further defines the rules for the America's Cup.

Racing Rules: The Racing Rules of Sailing for 1997-2000 are issued and administered by the ISAF. They govern the interaction between boats during racing and are revised every four years.

Race Area: The race areas and starting points are approximate and are subject to change due to variables such as weather conditions and shipping movements.

Reef, to: To decrease a sail's size.

Rigging: The wires, lines, halyards and other items used to attach the sails and the spars to the boat. The lines that do not have to be adjusted often are known as standing rigging. The lines that are adjusted to raise, lower and trim the sails are known as running rigging.

Rolling: A yacht hull's sideways movement about the fore-and-aft axis.

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron: Current holder of the America's Cup. Founded in 1859, the Squadron is New Zealand's premier yacht club and one of the leading clubs of its kind in the world.

Sailing Instructions (SI): Detailed instructions issued to the syndicates prior to the race that identify starting times, course details, etc.

17th man: An invited guest aboard an America's Cup yacht who is not allowed to assist in sailing the yacht.

Sewerman: Crew member that maintains and lifts the sails from below deck.

Slatting: Lying becalmed with the sails flapping uselessly.

Spinnaker: Large light ballooning sails that are only attached to the spars at the corners. They are used when running or reaching, sailing downwind.

Starboard: Nautical term for the right half of the yacht when facing forward.

Starboard tack: Sailing with the wind blowing onto the starboard side, and the mainsail on the port side.

Stern: The rear of the boat.

Stephens, Olin: A yacht designer synonymous with winning the America's Cup. He assisted Sterling Burgess on the J Boats in the late '30s and drew the lines for six 12-metre defenders, from Columbia in 1958 to Freedom in 1980. The only defender he did not design during this period was Weatherly in 1962. He refined the use of tank testing in the design of America's Cup yachts.

Tacking: Turning the yacht so that the bow crosses through the eye of the wind, thereby changing the side of the yacht on which the sails are carried (opposite of jibing).

Tactician: Crew member that plots race strategy, course changes and sail selection.

Team Dennis Conner: Led by the colorful Dennis Conner, Team Dennis Conner is the challenge syndicate from San Diego, California, representing the Cortez Racing Association.

Tender: Each syndicate has a chase boat that serves a variety of functions. The tender tows the racing boat out to the course, and then follows the boat around the course. The following may be on board: a weather expert, gathering information for future analysis; a rules or tactical expert, observing and making notes for training and debriefing the skipper and crew; and a sail designer, taking photos and gathering information to assist in the ongoing design process.

Transom: The flat rear end of a boat, the upper part of which tends to lean forward on modern racers.

Trim: To adjust the sail to make it the right shape and angle to the wind.

Turner, Ted: One of the more colorful people in the history of the Cup. He reportedly once spelled the word "fun" as "W-I-N" after defending the Cup with Courageous in 1977. Often called the "Mouth of the South" and "Captain Outrageous."

Upwind: Toward the direction from which the wind blows. Also called windward.

Vanderbilt, Harold Stirling "Mike": Defended the Cup three times -- in 1930 (Enterprise), 1934 (Rainbow) and 1937 (Ranger) -- and assisted with the 1958 defence. He was the first owner to sail his yacht in America's Cup competition.

Viaduct Basin: Home of the new America's Cup Village in Auckland where syndicates have set up compounds. This area, right on the doorstep of Auckland's central business district, will be the nucleus of the action.

Yaw: Fail to hold a straight course, side-to-side movement, which is typically caused by rough or confused sea conditions.

Y flag: A flag flown when a skipper or tactician feels their competitor has committed a foul. It prompts the umpires to issue an immediate ruling. The umpires signal either no foul, or a flag corresponding to the fouling boat, which then must perform a 270-degree penalty turn.

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